Fourth-graders combine math, football

Krystle Wagner • Sep 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — A local fourth-grade class is paying close attention to NFL teams this season.

Aaron Klanderman’s fourth-graders at Peach Plains Elementary School developed Fantasy Football teams — consisting of one quarterback, wide receiver and running back — to follow for 17 weeks. Each Tuesday, the students will calculate their team’s score.

By pairing math and NFL football, it gets students to work with statistics and graphs, Klanderman explained.

Last year, Klanderman’s daughter participated in a similar activity. Although she didn’t usually watch football, she likes math. Klanderman said his daughter started cheering for teams and players who were on her team.

Last week, teams selected their players by drawing names out of a box.

Students also created their own team names — the Winning Lions, Swimming Monkeys, Soaring Eagles, Slithering Serpents, Running Chickens, Flying Unicorns, Lying Lions are some of them.

To calculate their team’s score, students will round numbers, add and multiply. They will use the ESPN iPad app to get box scores to begin their calculations.

One of the scores students will calculate is for their quarterback. For every 25 yards their quarterback throws for a completed pass, they earn one point. They also earn four points for every touchdown and points for rushing yards.

“It’s not plain old math — you get to do an activity with it,” said fourth-grader Alayna Thompson.

Digging into players’ scores also helped Arya Schaendorf to learn more about each player’s role on the team. She said it was fun finding the scores and seeing whose players performed better.

Although fourth-grader Ryan Haug doesn’t usually follow football, he’s looking forward to the project.

“It seems like a fun class project,” he said.

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