## Tuesday, September 22, 2009

### Fantasy Sports and Math News Update

Just received this news update from Dan, creator of Fantasy Sports and Math:
Two years ago the University of Mississippi surveyed 144 teachers who were using fantasy sports in their classrooms. The results were shocking and are listed on my home page. The results indicated fantasy sports were playing a major role in increasing enthusiasm and academic achievement.

Last fall the University of Mississippi went straight to the students, as they surveyed nearly 350 students and 10 teachers who were using fantasy sports in math class. Ole Miss is still going through the data, but for now one result stands out: 40% of the female students (compared to 34% for the male students) reported that their math grades were higher compared to the previous year when they were not playing fantasy sports. What does this mean? I am not sure, because no one knows how many students are actually using fantasy sports to learn math. Thus, we do not know if 350 students is a representative sample. Simply put, the greater the number of teachers and students who participate in the survey, the more accurate the data . Teachers ask me all the time if they can do anything to help. Well, I would really appreciate it if teachers could fill out the survey by clicking on the button at the bottom left of the home page. To all those teachers who have already participated, thank you.

In other news, the NFL stats sheet is up and running. The sheet lists all of the stats you need, so students do not have to spend time reading boxscores. This saves a considerable amount of time. I did have an issue today where a player (Darren Sproles) was not listed on the sheet. That has been rectified. If you notice other players who are not showing up on the sheet ( who have played and scored or gained yardage), please let me know. A couple of teachers asked why interceptions and fumbles for defenses are not showing up. It is because defenses do not earn points from interceptions or fumbles recovered. I purposely designed the scoring systems that way, because it would just make everything more complicated for the students and would require more time. I also had a couple questions about the default scoring system. In hindsight, for several reasons I should have made the default scoring system based on a common denominator of 24. Total points equation number 10 on page 16 is probably more appropriate for most students.

Good luck this fantasy season. My top fantasy pick is DeAngelo Williams, who averaged more fantasy points per-start last season than any other non-quarterback. Contrary to popular opinion, I think he is the best back in the game, and I believe he will have more fantasy points at the end of the season than Adrian Peterson, who will probably have difficulty staying healthy.

Have fun,

Dan
Read more about my experiences using fantasy sports in my classes here.

#### 4 comments:

This Brazen Teacher said...

As someone who could have benefited from some creative math education as a child (you know, like not... ditto sheets) I would have loved Fantasy Sports (and your class I'm sure.)

Sadly, there is only one time I remember a teacher who applied Math to the world I knew. In fourth grade we got to make our own checkbooks. And balance them once a week. I'll never forget it.

I enjoy dropping by your blog once in awhile to see what creative things you're doing. I like to think the subject is not as far from the Arts as many are led to believe.

Craig said...

I had a fantasy baseball class that I taught during summer school for four weeks. My students used Google Docs for keeping track of all the statistics. It went fairly well for my first time doing it, although I wish I had more math content in the class than what I did. Most of the students (3rd-7th graders) were more interested in playing math games on the internet after they were done finding the statistics. After all, it is summer school and I guess they still were doing math!

I would love to do fantasy football, but I'm having a hard time taking away class periods in the fall to do the drafts and other things. With our state testing in October and other district tests in late September, I can't really afford to do so. Fantasy basketball would be great to break up some of those winter months, but I just don't get the feeling that my students are into basketball as much as they are football or baseball.

vlorbik said...

gaming generally...
i'm only familiar with
fantasy sports tangentially...
*also* (hi brazen) isn't
far from maths.

(of course i agree about arts...
math takes a large share
of the *intersection*
of "arts" and "sciences";
my recent rant on the
need to put handwriting and drawing
back in the middle of the picture
in math teaching... you know,
what we actually *do*...
will serve as evidence
that this article of faith
goes deep in me.
[archimedes drew in the sand.])

i knew a couple hex wargamers
pretty well in my younger days.
computer majors the pair.
anyhow one has these messy
rules and a bunch of markers
with numeric attributes are
moved around on a map
according to these rules...
and some choices by the players...
*and* chance (classical probability
problems can here be made
into the heart of the matter;
the "chance" events will
typically be determined by
dice rolls, the meanings
of whose outcomes are
published in the rules).

anyhow, it never had much appeal
to *me* but who feels it knows it
and anyone enjoying such games
*obviously* gains in such
(formerly) school-like skills
as reading and reasoning
(and resolving disputes
peacefully... differences
of interpretation arise
*inevitably*) so i'm all for it.

one of these guys quit programming
(or software engineering or whatever
they were up to by then) for law.
caught me by surprise but shouldn't have.
(he's still into the arts of course.)

basketball is about dancing bodies
not statistics.

(and football is about pain.
only *baseball* is about statistics.
[this used to be quite well known.
of course there were "seasons"
back then. before they changed
the water.])

vlorbik said...

oh. ps. @brazen.
ditto sheets rock.
in the hands of the *kids*.

i made my first zines
(drawings and handwriting)
in 6th grade on school
equipment during math class.
ah, the sixties.

god bless mary ann di baggio...
my platonic ideal of
"elementary school math teacher".
she could light up not only rooms
but lifetimes.

(in the particular case of zines
she did it by giving us access
to tools and leaving us alone
[and then... The Art... providing
a receptive environment for
sharing our results].
there were some other teachers
along my way who knew how
to do this much. which is a lot.
[i was *very* fortunate.]
but nobody like di baggio for
the mathy stuff...)

drawing and handwriting baby!
(and... of course... the *conversations*
they engender...)