Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fantasy Football and Mathematics update

It has been very difficult to implement the curriculum from Fantasy Football and Mathematics: A Resource Guide for Teachers and Parents, Grades 5 and Up (Fantasy Sports and Mathematics Series). It's not because of resistance from the students--far from it. Many keep asking "When are we gonna do it?" and I reply, "Soon!"

The problem is one of time constraints. Our time line leaves little room for extension, creativity or innovation. I have schedule FF every week since school started, after our weekly assessment, but these quizzes have taken my students much longer than expected. Inevitably, we run out of time.

We've finally managed to make rosters and introduce how to calculate weekly scores, but it took 6 weeks. I left the students to do the first week of actual scoring themselves on Friday (see my last post), but the substitute didn't hand out the rosters that were right there on top of my desk, clearly marked and separated by period. Those who were able to do it seemed to do just fine.

  1. DOWNGRADE: Having students keep track of starters and bench players has been a confusing extra element on what can already seem like a daunting system. For now, they aren't "setting" starters like you would in online versions of FF, but usually picking their top listed players if they didn't mark anyone as requested. In the future, I'd either create a different roster worksheet than what is provided by FSM that would more clearly designate starters and bench players or eliminate the bench altogether to streamline the administrative part of the game.
  2. DOWNGRADE: The activities provided aren't aligned to my state standards. There's a lot of middle school level material. Also, all of them are based on the "default scoring system," which uses all fractions with a common denominator of 48. I don't like that system, and while I can freely change it for scoring, I can't easily change all the built-in activities. In short, I can't use a lot of what's provided.
  3. UPGRADE: FSM just developed a system that allows you to input each of your students' teams and print out only their team's stats! No more printing out 20 pages of stats per week to post on the wall (as I did this week), which was already a recent improvement over the nothing available up until this year. I give credit to the FSM company for trying to continually improve the system.
  4. UPGRADE: The lack of time issue is only going to get worse as we delve deeper into the fall semester, so I don't see any way around making this an extra credit project. I am working on getting some prizes for the end of the season to keep them involved and motivated, but I can't hold everyone strictly accountable for this on top of everything else we're doing in class. It's just too much. In the end though, there's plenty of students participating, and this makes things much easier on me.
Fantasy Sports and Mathematics official website

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