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Fantasy Football, Part Two

I blogged here about the Fantasy Football activity from Yummy Math.

To prep for the next class, I chose 4 players for each of the positions we previously wrote equations for: quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and running back.  I pulled each player’s stats from Week 1 and created a table for each position. Here’s the quarterback table:

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.58.35 PM

I posted the information to my website with these directions:

Draft!
  • Each table group needs to come up with a team name.
  • There are 16 players available representing 4 positions.
  • You must draft one player per position.
  • Download the pdf below to see the stats for each player. All scores/stats are based on Week 1 of the 2015-2016 season.
  • Use the equations from the Fantasy Football activity to calculate the points associated with each player.
  • You will have 10 minutes in the “War Room” to strategize and plan your draft.
  • Teams will be called at random and given two minutes to make a selection.
  • The team who drafts the players with the highest combined fantasy points wins!
Another teacher came to my class to help me run this draft – he acted as the commissioner. He had pulled pictures of each player ahead of time and created a slide within a Powerpoint presentation as each group made their selection. Here’s an example:
Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 8.04.15 PM
This was much better than trying to record each pick on the board. Being super creative, he also quickly found theme music based on each group’s name!
To keep this math-focused, and to avoid a football fanatic having an advantage, each group had to state their draft pick and the total number of fantasy points based on the equation.
At the end of the draft, thanks to the commissioner, I had a completed Powerpoint with every pick – labeled with the appropriate group name and fantasy points.
Almost all my kids actively participated – it was loud, fun, and filled with math talk! Win!
Next time I will not let the kids pick their own groups. The kids who are football fanatics and currently play in fantasy leagues grouped themselves together. Prior football knowledge was only minimally helpful since I required each group to state the fantasy football points when drafting.  But next time I will ask if anyone in the class thinks of themselves as a fantasy football expert and I will place one in each group. I think spreading out the “experts” will help spread out the excitement.
One thing I didn’t anticipate was what to do if a group got the math wrong. Do they lose their pick? Do they have to take a zero for that round?  In the moment, I just had the group re-do the math.  A few of my kids suggested if a group makes a math error, that group gets the player with the least amount of points in whatever category they were trying to draft a player from.
As I mentioned before, I am doing this lesson/activity during “Flex”.  This group of kids will rotate to a different teacher next week.  I’ll see a new group of kids on Wednesday.  It looks like I will have three days with my new group. I will use the activity from Yummy Math on Day 1 and the draft described above on Day 3. I’ve got something else in the planning stages for Day 2!

 

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Fantasy Football

My kids have a “Flex” period during the day which is used for different things.  Sometimes the class is used for remediation or extension, sometimes the minutes from the class are incorporated into other classes to lengthen them, sometimes the time is used for an assembly, a band/chorus rehearsal or a fitness class.

My school operates on trimesters – 60 days each. For this first trimester, my kids will have a fitness class every day during Flex for the second 30 days.  The schedule for the first 30 days is somewhat mixed up due to all the beginning of school activities – team building, opening assemblies, picture day, etc.  So my teammates and I decided we would use whatever Flex time we had during the first 30 days to design mini-units of something fun/interesting.  Something to incorporate the 4 C’s and/or 21st Century Skills. The kids are cycling through by home room, seeing each teacher for about 5 days.

One teacher is focusing on areas of history we never seem to get to – the Alamo, Battle of 1812. Another teacher is having the kids research a current event and put together a brief presentation for the class – the refugee crisis, Hilary and her emails, the Donald, etc.

I chose Fantasy Football. Yummy Math has a great activity designed to highlight the math behind the “game”.  From the Yummy Math website:

In the midst of another NFL season, we introduce students to Fantasy Football. Students first calculate football points given touchdowns, yardage gains and interceptions. They are then challenged to generalize an equation for that gives a player’s total fantasy points. Students solve equations as they try to find the number of passes, touchdowns, or interceptions that yield given point totals.  Students can also compete in their own fantasy football competition within the class.  This lesson is ideal for teachers that want to work on equations with their students or for a group of football fans.

The website has a kid-friendly introductory video to explain the basics: https://youtu.be/4Pm2pkxbYYU

I wish I could have captured the look on some of my kids’ faces when they saw a Fantasy football video projected on the screen.   “Sweet!”     “Are we really doing this?”    “No way!”

My kids were so into it – I think they were also somewhat surprised with my personal football knowledge. Although I am certainly not an expert, it’s difficult not to pick up on a few things with 10 years of marching band experience. Attending a Big XII school in Texas, well – football is king.  Hook ’em Horns!

I have one more day with this group. Two of the kids in my class are in a Fantasy Football league online and they are going to show the class their accounts.  I toyed with the idea of starting a classroom league but, understandably, the websites are blocked at school.  The Yummy Math activity has a section to track stats over the weekend but I made that optional considering it was a holiday. My idea is to pull the stats of 5 quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers from this weekend and hold a mini-draft in the classroom. Then have the kids use the actual player points and the scoring rules from the activity to determine the number of fantasy football points their “team” earned over the weekend.  Thoughts?