Friday, April 13, 2012

Baseball (This is Math?)

Welcome to the third installment of "THIS IS MATH?"  (Sorry I missed last week.) (I still hope to post these activities once a week)
Take me out to the Ballgame!!!

If you don’t know anything about baseball – NOW IS THE TIME!!!  It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame!!  Have your student(s) pick three activities from the chart below.  I've included some notes and details after the chart.  Remember: this is supposed to be FUN.

Learn the song: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
This song is traditionally sung in the middle of the 7th inning.
 Sing it once a day for a week.
List the names of all the major league teams in
(choose one)
a) your state 
b) the American league
c) the National league
d) America
List what the colors are for major league baseball teams.  (see box to the left to choose a group of teams to research their colors).
List the names of the baseball parks where the major league teams play.  Find the cities on a map of the United States.
The next time you mow your yard, just mow a diamond in your grass to represent the infield.  Have races around the bases. 
Pick a team and follow it for a whole month.  Every day record if they win or if they lose.  Calculate their winning percentage every morning.
Pick a team and examine their batting averages today.  Put the averages in order from highet to lowest to see who is the best batter on that team as of today.
Find out: How many players are out on the field at a time.  How many innings are played.  How many strikes make an out.  How many balls make a walk.  How many “how many-s” can you think of?
Pick a favorite player to follow this week.  Calculate  his batting average every day.  Do this to make sure the newspaper or web do their math correctly! (see below)

You can check out sing-a-longs on YouTube so you can learn the words and tune to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”  There is a good chance you will learn the whole song if you sing it 7 days in a row.

Have your students make NICE lists.  They can surely try to use neat handwriting – maybe even using the correct colors for the teams!  You can play games with these lists.  “Which team in Texas is red and blue?”  “Which team plays in a ballpark called Fenway Park?”

Winning average can be computed this way: “Number of wins” divided by “Total games played”.  Some students can do this statistic on paper – since only a few games have been played the math won't be too hard.  You can let them use a calculator, also.  Give the answer to 3 decimal places.

Batting average is computed this way:  “Number of hits” divided by “Number of at-bats”.  Both of these numbers should be available in your newspaper or on the web on the baseball team home pages.  (The team's numbers will probably be in a big chart... with LOTS of numbers.  Look for the column with an "H" at the top to find Hits.  Look for the column with "AB" at the top to find At-Bats.)  The current batting average will be written there – but how do you know they did their math correctly?  Let your students use a calculator for this – and give the answer to 3 decimal places.  It’s early in the season, so the number of hits and the number of at-bats will still be fairly low.

And having your very own baseball field in your lawn???  The neighbors will envy you!  And it can all be mowed the same height after your races (or at the end of the day) (or next week!)

"I don't care if I never get back!"

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