Posted on November 20, 2009
The Retro Hockey League Math Problem
For one of my ECMP mentorships I put together another problem for them to solve. I put it together for the sixth grade math class in Michigan (you can see their class wiki here). The class is currently learning about decimals, fractions and percentages. Mr. Kaechele said he has been trying to explain to the students how the concepts apply to sports. In a Skype call with him, he told me that he tried to get his students to use the internet to find some sports stats. He found that this didn’t work as he had planned, and figured it was a little too vague of an assignment. We came up with the idea to put together a question relating to the sports stats and fractions, decimals and percentages.
I decided to make the problem relating to hockey, mostly because it is my favorite sport and it allows the students to learn something new about me. I wasn’t able to make a fancy video like I did for my last problem, mostly because I didn’t have the time this week with papers and a midterm piling up. For this problem, I simply put together a Google Document and posed some questions for the students. The video is just a screen recording of the doc (nothing fancy) and me talking about it briefly.
The Google Doc I used can be found here, and is accessible to the students so they don’t have to hear me repeating the questions over and over again (I feel sorry for anyone that would ever have to sit through that).
I wish I would have more time to make a nicer looking video. However, I think the problem will be effective for getting the students to use their new decimal, fractions and percentage skills. I tried to use Dan Meyer‘s recommendation of being less helpful from his comments on my last problem. I think I was less helpful than the last problem and hopefully I can get the students thinking on their own without me guiding them towards the problem. However, I do feel like this could be a problem you find in a text book.
I would love to hear some comments and criticisms on this problem.