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Summer Activities for Students with Learning Disabilities

As summer is fast approaching, many students are thinking about fun in the sun, family vacations, and summer camp.   Students may consider it a time to stop learning, but research has proven that if students do not spend any time in educational activities then their learning loss can retract by, at minimum, 2 months.  This means that a student leaving the 2nd grade and entering the 3rd grade will still be on a 2nd grade level.  This is especially important for students with learning disabilities.  This loss can put the student even further behind their classmates.

camp

There are many fun ways that fun time, family vacations, and summer camp can be intertwined with learning.

Learning at the Beach

A trip to the local beach can be filled with learning opportunities for a child.  Children love to play in the sand and romp through the waves of the ocean.  While playing with children at the beach, they can learn about what sand is made up of, the importance of the ocean to the environment, and the math behind building the perfect sand castle.

The summer is also peak turtle nesting season.  If you are fortunate to live in a sea turtle nesting area, you can go on a nest hunt.  The nests will be marked off in the sand with information to learn about protecting the nests.  Children can then learn about the different sea turtle species, their nesting habits, and hatchlings.

Websites for Learning at the Beach

  1. Enchanted Learning Beach Activities – great activities and crafts for younger children to do while at the beach or about the beach
  2. Frugal Activities at the Beach – list of great low-cost ideas for hands-on projects while at the beach
  3. EPA – great website for parents/teachers to learn about the beach to then teach their children/students

Historical Family Vacation

If you are going away this summer, it is easy to tie in history by visiting some of the famous landmarks around the United States.  I recently went on a school trip to Charleston and Savannah where students learned about American history by visiting various historical attractions.  The students enjoyed having their ‘history book come to life.’ Many cities around the country offer educational tours of the museums, landmarks, and attractions that include the historical importance.

Websites for Historical Family Vacations

  1. TripAdvisor History & Culture Trips in the United States – top vacation options including information on places to visit in the top 16 cities for history and culture
  2. Learning Vacations for Kids –  includes tips for parents traveling with kids to encourage learning while on vacation

Summer Camps

Many local summer camps offer fun hands-on learning and activities for the summer.   Many camps also make accommodations for students with special needs.  Traditional camps are typically provided through school districts, museums, and city recreation centers.  Also look for other options at local nature centers, parks, or research other options in the local newspaper or online.  Camps are a great way for students to learn, be active, and participate in activities with children their age away from the formal school setting.  While your children will be learning things that can tie into academic curriculum, they will also be learning social skills.

Websites for Finding the Perfect Summer Camp

  1. Choose a Camp – Choose and compare camps based on location, activity, or even special needs
  2. Computer Summer Camp – Use www.internaldrive.com for information on camps all around the U.S. geared toward technology and computing
  3. Choosing a Camp – great website that provides information about the different types of camps for kids and their strengths and weaknesses

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Space Exploration Lesson Ideas

There are many different space-based teachable moments that will happen in 2011.  Space events for this year so far include a solar eclipse, meteor shower, the super moon, and four planets can be seen with the naked eye.  Still to come this year are a lunar eclipse, meteor showers, and  the last shuttle launch in the United State by Endeavor.  These teachable moments can capture students’ attention to learn about science topics based on real life.  Teachers can find the dates and time period for these events in a Space.com’s article about the space watching season.

space

There are some great online resources to learn about space, the moon, the sun, the planets, and the United States involvement in the space program.

Space.com

Space.com is an article and video based website that covers and reports on the top space, space travel, and sky watching happenings.  This is a great website for middle and high school students to use for research projects based on space.  Topics range from how to clean up space junk, the shuttle launch rescheduled for May 16th, photos of space, photos of earth from space to videos about various space science events.

I found the article about the launch on May 16th to be informative and interesting.  I can see middle school students reading and responding to this article in a journal entry, which would combine science and writing.  I loved that  the article touched on why the shuttle did not launch on the 29th, the experiments that will be happening on this last trip, the importance of the crew, and what will happen to the shuttle after it returns.

NASA

NASA has a very extensive website about space exploration with videos, articles, and mission information.  There is a specific section for teachers and another section for students.

The teacher section provides resources for teachers to use to create lessons, units, and projects for students to learn about space exploration in conjunction with the NASA website.   There are resources to learn about the different events that will happen this year in space like the super moon, the solar eclipse, and the planets aligning in the sky this month.

The student section includes videos, pictures, articles, games, and experiments based on grade level.  I especially enjoyed the interactive story about the shuttle.  This online interactive book includes historical facts about the shuttle, the missions, how it works, how it launches, bios on astronauts, and a comments section for students to read and post comments about the activity.  This is a great resource to explore further to incorporate in your classroom lessons on space.

Other Great Websites about Space:

  1. National Geographic  – Space
  2. Hubble – Pictures of Space
  3. Kids Astronomy
  4. About.com Space Tour

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Lesson Ideas for Cinco de Mayo & Mother’s Day

This week we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.   These two special occasions provide great hands- on-learning connections in the classroom with crafts and culture.

school

Cinco de Mayo Lesson Ideas

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held in Mexico honoring their victory over the French army in 1862.  In Mexico, this is a relatively small holiday that is only celebrated in Pueblo.  In the United States however, this special occasion has grown to celebrate Mexican heritage, food, and customs.  Here are some lesson ideas to celebrate Cino de Mayo in your classroom.

  1. Mr. Donn’s website provides not just lessons about Cinco de Mayo, but full units of lessons, activities, and resources on the topic of Mexico.   This site also has a presentation to share with students, a reader’s theater lesson, and a link to games that you can play in your classroom for Cinco de Mayo.
  2. The Teacher’s Corner has lesson plans including holding a classroom fiesta, learning Cinco de Mayo vocabulary and history, and making arts and crafts related to the holiday including paper flowers and piñatas.
  3. Scholastic has resources on their website to teach students the history and cultural significance of the holiday.  These activities are great because they are already standards based and provide great classroom instruction for an introduction on the topic.  The activities are very visually oriented and would be great to complete as a class using an Interactive board.

Mother’s Day Lesson Ideas

Mother’s Day, which is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May in the United States, is a day to honor motherhood and ones’ mother.  In the United States, it is typical to celebrate by having a special day for your mother.  Making breakfast, buying flowers, or making a card are traditional ways to honor mothers.

Mother’s Day is actually celebrated all around the world during different times of the year.  Each country has their own customs of the significance and customs of Mother’s Day.  This would make a great lesson that combines the occasion, geography, and culture connection.  Wikipedia has a list of the countries who celebrate Mother’s Day including the date they celebrate and their customs.  Students could be paired off to learn about one of the countries and how they celebrate and then present to the class.

For younger students, crafting and Mother’s Day go hand in hand.  There are many different crafting ideas for young students on Mother’s Day.

  1. Mother’s Day Central provides 151 Craft Project Ideas for Mother’s Day.  Some of the crafts are more complicated  and intended for older children and require more material, while other craft ideas are perfect for young students like creating a frame to put a picture of themselves in, making paper flowers, or designing and decorating a greeting card
  2. Danielle’s Place has very cute craft ideas for mother’s day that aren’t as typical.  This includes creating a bookmark, puzzle cards, window clings, and jewelry made out of paper.  The great thing about all of the ideas on this page is that it provides you a list of materials needed for the project, a picture of the completed project, and the steps of how to complete the project.
  3. Enchanted Learning has projects for younger students.  They include printables with starter projects ideas.  They also have classroom connection worksheets with vocabulary words related to Mother’s Day.

Have fun celebrating this week!  Feel free to share your crafty lesson ideas for these holidays by commenting below!

Article By Laura Ketcham

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National Frog Month – Jump Into It!

April is National Frog Month and is a special time set aside to celebrate those little fun creatures found both in urban and rural settings all over the country.  Nearly everyone has been fascinated by the development of a frog from a tadpole, listened to their croaking calls, or watched them leap in the grass or on the pond.  There are so many engaging activities for students to learn about frogs.  Books, movies, crafting activities, and even apps have been created for children to study frogs.  Teaching students about frogs in the classroom is a very interactive lesson plan that children of all ages enjoy and can be tied to many subject areas.

frog

Frog Activities Based on Books

There are many famous children’s books that have a frog as the main character.  One of my favorite series, Frog and Toad, is a collection of easy reader short stories based on the adventures of Frog and Toad.  Their traits and appearances hold true to the actual characteristics of frogs and toads.  This story would be a great lead into a lesson about the differences between frogs and toads.

Jump, Frog, Jump! is a very cute picture book that involves repetition and the life cycle.  Younger students appreciate the repetition and the rhyming while older student can use it at a spring board for learning more about frogs and other reptiles.  Kcls.org has a document of a variety of lessons for reading this picture book.

Frog Activities Based on Movies & Television

The Princess and the Frog, a Disney movie that came out in 2009, is a popular frog movie for children.  This story is a modern retelling of the Frog Prince.  Lessons for this movie can include learning about frogs, crocodiles, and lightening bugs along with connections to learning about jazz and New Orleans.  Scholastic has a website of plans and printables for lessons based on The Princess and the Frog.

National Geographic has an entire documentary style series of videos available on their website to learn about specific species of frogs like the Leopard Frog and the Bullfrog.  The videos are short and designed for kids.  There are facts sheets and links associated with each video for further exploration.

Kermit the Frog is a famous connection to frogs that kids of all ages will love to learn about.  Students can make connections between Kermit and real frogs describing the similarities and differences.  Students can also learn many academic-based lessons with the video clips of Kermit the Frog that are available online.

Frog Activities Based on Apps

One of the standard requirements for high school biology classes is to dissect a frog.  The Easy Frog Dissection app is an educational guide that allows students to dissect a real frog by viewing real images of a frog with the various organs pinpointed and explained.  This app is great for high school students to review and study or in lieu of completing an actual dissection.

Frogsaregreen.com has an online review of 5 of the top frog apps.  U.S. State Amphibians can be used to find out which frogs live in your part of the country.  Frog Flip can be used to study the variety of frogs based on their physical characteristics.  Frog Dissection is a virtual application where students can dissect frogs.  Pocket Frogs is a popular free game that students can play where they become the frog surviving through environment challenges.

Other Resources for Learning about Frogs

  1. Kid Activities – Frog Themed Lessons
  2. Harcourt School – The Life Cycle of a Frog
  3. eHow – Celebrating National Frog Month
  4. Exploratorium – Frogs (Great for middle school students)
  5. Grow-a-frog kits

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Earth Day and Arbor Day Activities for Students

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and Arbor Day is celebrated on April 29th.  Both of these nature inspired celebration days offer a chance for students to learn about the earth and trees by contributing something back to their community.  Many classrooms around the nation will be celebrating these occasions by planting trees, participating in environmental clean-ups, joining recycling programs, and other ecological related activities.

earth

Both of these events provide a great opportunity for hands-on learning in the classroom that can be bridged with almost any subject area including science, math, language arts, social studies and even PE, foreign language, art, and drama.

Reading, Writing, and Drama Lesson Idea

One great idea inspired by a teacher at my school is to read the students The Lorax.   This children’s fable was written by Dr. Seuss with imaginary creatures and personification shows how nature can be harmed by humans.  Concerns are raised about cutting down trees, polluting lakes, and air pollution caused by industrial businesses.

In small groups, students can then reflect upon these ideas and use them to compose their own environmental story for children.  Taking this lesson one step further, students could then perform a reader’s theater skit for fellow classmates based on their story.  This activity ties in with both Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Science & Art Lesson Idea

eHow.com has a great article with 3 informative and engaging lesson plan ideas for Earth Day for special needs students.

The first lesson is to have students create a compost bin.  The students can then see the process of biodegrading over time.  This compost can then be used to plant a classroom garden.  This activity gets the students active and involved outside.

The next lesson idea is to teach students about the harm plastic bags on the environment and the benefit of reusable bags.  Students then students create their own reusable bags using recycled materials and cloth.  These can then be used at home or in the classroom in lieu of plastic bags.

The most interesting lesson was to have students coat paper in petroleum jelly and then hang it in the school parking lot.  The jelly will cause all of the air pollution caused by passing cars to stick to the paper and can then be observed or even analyzed by the students.  This is a great connection into a further lesson on air pollution and how we can reduce our carbon footprint.  A banner could be used to explain the project and attract community attention to local pollution.

PE Tree Lesson Activity

A simple connection to trees and PE is through learning the “tree” yoga pose.  PE central provides a description of the activity and song suggestions for students to personify a tree.  Students are arranged in lines with enough room to stretch out and yoga mats.  They will learn tree yoga pose and then during the stretching and movements they reach up like branches, sway side to side as if the wind were blowing their leaves, and planting their feet like the trunk of a tree.

More Lesson Ideas

  1. http://www.theteachersguide.com/arbordaylessonplans.htm
  2. http://www.ehow.com/earth-day/
  3. http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson260.shtml

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Planting a School Garden

Planting a school garden is an engaging and versatile activity for students of all ages.  Many schools have green areas where a school or classroom garden can be planted.  This is not a small undertaking, but the rewards are high.  Many local nurseries, lawn companies, hardware stores, and even parents are helpful resources in starting a school garden.

garden

Students who are actively involved in the planting and maintain of the garden are actively learning many different science topics like plants, weather, soil, and the whole garden ecosystem.  Standards connections can also be made to nutrition, measurement, math, social interaction about science, and a love of nature.  With its practical nature and application this activity provides special needs students with a great outdoor connection that can be applied to real life.

Gardening & Measurement

After the vegetables have been harvested, students can be involved in cooking a delicious meal using the fresh vegetables.  This lesson involving cooking incorporates learning a life skill along with math.  One popular garden based recipe is to make a ratatouille.  This has been popularized by both the “Series of Unfortunate Events books” and the Disney movie about the cooking rat, Ratatouille.  Here is a great kid friendly recipe for ratatouille.

Gardening & Nutrition

Childhood obesity is a concern our country is facing today.  Many kids do not understand the computation of calories and how food choices affect your weight and health.  Tying in learning about the vegetables of the school garden can be a meaningful hands-on way for students to learn about healthy eating. Here are some lesson ideas to incorporate learning about fruits and vegetables in the classroom.

Other Great Gardening Ideas

One great twist that my school has added to the school garden this year is to make it a living and learning garden.  This is a year-round garden that involves plants, vegetables, and fruits.  As the seasons change, so do the plants.  Even schools located in very cold climates can use potted evergreens and plants with berries to attract wildlife and it will serve as a visual garden for the winter. An outdoor classroom is also being constructed at my school with a blackboard wall and outdoor seating for students to not only learn about the garden, but to learn in the garden.

Resources for Starting a Classroom Garden

Kids Gardening is a non-profit organization that provides online information about grants, fundraising, curriculum, and a how-to guide to getting started with planting a classroom garden.  They also have a specific section that provides tips for gardening with students who have special needs.

School Garden Wizard is a website to help teachers from the beginning planning stages of creating a school garden.  Information is provided on getting administrators on board, planning, creating, learning, and keeping the garden growing throughout the school year.  This site is very informative and easy to follow.

BBC Kids Gardening is a great resource including information about plants, seeds, gardening facts, and activities.  This is a very kid friendly site that explains gardening in kid friendly terms.

Do you have a school garden?  Share your experiences by commenting below.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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April Fool’s Day Activities for Students

This year April Fool’s Day is Friday, April 1st.  While not a traditional holiday of either gift giving or religious importance, it is still a fun day to celebrate.  Today’s traditions of April Fool’s Day revolve around playing harmless jokes on friends and family.  However, the basis of the day actually revolves around topics that are great for the classroom – learning about the calendar, the first day of spring, the change of when New Year’s is celebrated, and the historical significance of a variety of pranks that we play today.

joke

This is an especially sensitive issue as students with emotional or cognitive disabilities may not understand or become upset by the jokes or pranks that other students may be playing throughout the school day.  Making special needs students aware of April Fool’s Day is important so that the students can understand the intentions of why their peers may make jokes or play pranks They could get involved in school-appropriate April Fool’s jokes as well.  This day must be managed with sensitivity and direction to avoid mean or destructive behavior from any student.

History of April Fool’s Day

There are many resources available online geared for students to learn the history behind April Fool’s Day.

Wilstar.com, a website based on exploration of a variety of topics, has a history page devoted to April Fool’s Day.  On this page, students learn that the significance of April’s Fools Day and how it began when the calendar was updated to the Gregorian calendar.  The New Year was changed from the beginning of spring to January 1st.  The people who didn’t accept this change were considered the ‘fools’ and were made fun of for not following the new calendar.  Today, different cultures put their own twist on the day including tricking people for the entire day, holding two days of April Fool’s silliness or celebrating the day on a different day of the year.

The Franklin Institute also has a great page about teaching students about the history of April Fool’s Day.  This includes more information about the different calendar systems and the changes that were made and why they were implemented

April Fool’s Day Activities

Classroom activities for April Fool’s Day should be fun and engaging.   Playing small jokes on your students to get them motivated always works with the middle school students.  Giving the students a silly, impossible worksheet or a fake pop-quiz on pop culture are two examples. For elementary students, you can read them silly books or give them fun worksheets to learn   to learn about simple jokes and April Fool’s related vocabulary.  More activities can be found on this link to April Fool’s activities designed by teachers.

There is one “prank” that sent me into tears from laughing so hard as I was writing this blog.  I was thinking of a classroom joke to play for my students this year and I was thinking of the traditional examples given above when I came across this idea from eHow.  As a computer teacher, I can update the Google homepage, the default on computers, to search in three different ‘fun’ languages Elmer Fudd, Pirate, and Klingon.  I will do a web-related activity having these settings up on the search engine without their knowledge to have a fun time.  For each option, the main choices of searching, settings, feeling lucky, and search are all updated in the fun languages.  For example Elmer Fudd “hunts” instead of searches, and the Pirate “Sails into Port” to login.

What are you plans for April Fool’s Day?

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Opening of Baseball Season – Great Classroom Connections

As covered in many of my blog posts, students are much more engaged in learning when it is a relevant topic that they are interested in – especially if it relates to the “real world”.  The opening of baseball season, a favorite American past time, is one of these great “real world” events that can be connected into classroom curriculum.  Opening day is March 31st.

baseball

There are so many classroom connections with baseball that incorporate math, language arts, languages, geography, history, and even science and all  fit the standards-based instruction.  Here are some online resources for ideas on how you can incorporate baseball into your class curriculum.

The Teacher’s Corner – Baseball Season

The Teacher’s Corner has a wide variety of resources to teach core curriculum content in relation to baseball.  These activities are great for the elementary classroom or could be adapted for older grade levels and span across many different subject areas.  Activities include journal writing, vocabulary crosswords, figuring averages, the science of baseball, baseball-based review games for many different subjects, and problem solving.

The science of baseball activity was really fun and engaging.  Students learn about what the ‘sweet spot’ is of a baseball, how to react to and hit a fast ball, throwing a curve ball, along with other historical facts about baseball.  There are interactive activities and great animated pictures that bring the concepts to life.  The comic book style of the page will also be very engaging to middle school students and is considered very popular and current.

PBS:  The Tenth Inning

PBS has great resources for lesson plan ideas that connect with a documentary series about baseball entitled The Tenth Inning.  This video documentary chronicles the history and impact that baseball has had on society including the first black baseball player, women in baseball, and the growth of Hispanic and Asian players.  It also includes the scandals and triumphs of the baseball world from the 1990’s until today.

Among the many lessons that are found online that correlate with the video and includes “stadium consultants” where students act as the stadium managers and make choices about ticket prices and concessions, a lesson on “shadow ball” which is a warm up activity that was created by the Negro league, and “mapping baseball” where students would learn the history and growth of the baseball league.  All of the lessons I looked at were very engaging and I could see my 7th grade students really enjoying the activity and learning at the same time.

Another section on this site is “The 7th Inning Stretch”.  This page includes more open ended examples of lesson ideas including researching about the music of baseball, fantasy baseball, and the invention of the baseball.

Buddy Project

The Buddy Project has three simple lesson plans for teaching math concepts with a  baseball theme.  The first lesson incorporates the use of baseball cards.  The teacher should provide each student with a baseball card and discuss the information that is included on the back.  In this discussion the teacher would talk about the batting average and how it is calculated for each player.  The students could then be given the at-bats and number of hits so they could calculate the batting averages of some of the top players.

The next lesson has students playing math baseball on Funbrain.  This activity can be done individually or in pairs and is used as a review of basic math facts.  Students earn a base for every question they answercorrectly.  Competing against their classmates is a great way to motivate students to be more actively engaged in the activity.

The last lesson involves students solving money-based math problems in computation of salaries for baseball players.  The website provides a table of real baseball salaries and then provides a quiz based on the data table information.

All of the activities on this site have companion interactive activities that students can do online or on the interactive whiteboard in the front of the class.

Happy Opening Day!

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Spring Break Activities for Students

Over the next month, many students will be taking a week or more off for “Spring Break”.  Spring b recess is a time for students to relax and unwind and spend time with family.  This is also the time of year that typically comes right before many states administer standardized tests.  Having students relax during their break is important, but teachers could provide fun and interactive activities for students to continue their academic growth without school.

beach

Engaging Reading & Writing Activities

One way to have students to continue learning during “Spring Break” is through reading.  Many schools assign students to read novels and write reports as reading assignments over Spring Break.  Instead of assigning a book that all of the students read, allow the students to choose their own (level appropriate) book will be more engaging over break time.  Also, instead of having the students write traditional book reports, allowing students to make multi-media projects will be more engaging.  Students could summarize the story, complete a literary analysis, or personal reaction of the story by creating video, picture montage, Voki, online comic book, or Wordle.

To get students writing over spring break, you could have them keep an online diary of what they did over spring break.  Students can use a site like Blogger to write their reflective journal.  This journal can then be shared digitally with other students in the classroom.  Students can then comment on other students “Spring Break” activities.  Encourage students to expand their vocabulary and use descriptive words that are not typically used in their writing.

Less formal activities could include providing an annotated list of online learning games that students could complete during “Spring Break”.  Providing parents with a goal for the amount of time the students should spend on the activities would be helpful.

Online Reading & Writing Activities

1.       Primary Games – Language Arts

2.       Between the Lions – PBS Kids Games & Stories

3.       My Monster Poems

4.       Classroom Resources – Reading Write Think

Math & Science Activities

A great science and math based “Spring Break” activity would be to have the students watch an episode of Head Rush from the Science Chanel.  This is a newer TV show hosted by Kari Byron from Mythbusters.  The show provides a variety of science experiments that are explained from beginning to end.  Students are asked multiple choice questions about the experiment to guess what or why questions about the experiment.  If students don’t have the Science Chanel at home, many of the clips and experiments can be found online at the show website or on YouTube.  Students could then either perform experiments, with parent supervision of course, complete a lab write-up about which show they watched that they can then share with the class, or just watch the show for learning pleasure and then be ready to discuss the show in class after the spring recess.

Online Math & Science Activities

1.       Fun Brain Math Arcade

2.       Sheppard Software Interactive Math Games

3.       Cool-Math Games

4.       Math Playground

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Connecting Concepts through High-Interest Topics: March Madness

Teaching challenging concepts by using high-interest and timely topics helps students to make connections and increase comprehension.  World and national events like a presidential inauguration, the soccer World Cup, the Olympics, shuttle launches, and large sporting events can be used in teaching lessons including  math, science, social studies, and language arts.

basketball

One event coming up that many students will follow is March Madness.  March Madness refers to the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament of the top 64 Division 1 teams.  March Madness is also called “The Big Dance.”  It is a single elimination tournament.  The winner of each game moves on to the next round until the top team emerges as the winner.

The Bracket:  Conducting Research & Making Predictions

One of the most popular activities associated with March Madness is the filling out of “the bracket.”  The bracket is a tree-graph that is filled-in with predictions of game face-offs based on university regions and expected winners.  This is an activity that students can do that actually has connections in the classroom.  Students can fill out the bracket with the teams that they think will win each game, which teams will face-off against each other, and end with their guess for the final two teams and the ultimate winner.  Students should develop their predictions by researching team statistics, ranks, standings, and divisions using online websites or by reading sports journals or newspapers.  University websites, along with ESPN, are also appropriate student resources for conducting this research.

Getting other teachers, classes, and even the administrators involved in creating and sharing their bracket predictions make the lesson even more meaningful.

The Bracket:  Math & Geography Connections

Teachers can tie in connections with math and geography using this bracket.  Students can be asked questions that involve percentages and fractions.  For example, what is the likelihood that a certain team will make it into the finals?  What percentage of teams a student chose won during a certain bracket?  What is the reduced fraction of number of teams that are in the final 16?  As the games progress, students should make updates to their brackets.  Additional lessons based on this can also include who had the most winning teams.

As students follow the games and find the winners and losers, geography connections can be made by having students take the teams in the bracket and locate the universities on a map.  An extension can be made where students would have to conduct research about one of the universities or the cities in which schools are located.

Incorporating topics that students love while teaching the curriculum is a great way to motivate students.  Highly engaging activities ‘trick’ students into mastering the learning outcomes that are desired.  March Madness is a great way to make math and geography connections based on a high-interest subject.

More lessons based on March Madness:

1.       Creative Parents March Madness Lesson

2.       March Madness Project

3.       Time out for March Madness

Article By Laura Ketcham

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