Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2016

Action Math Baseball

A mathematical home run for baseball fans; less engaging for rookies

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6-8
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Pros: This is an engaging and rigorous extension of daily classroom instruction, especially for your sports fans.

Cons: Students need a solid understanding of grade-level math standards, as well as baseball, to take full advantage of the learning.

Bottom Line: Students use their math skills to solve challenging real-world sports problems.

Action Math Baseball is best used to complement your regular math curriculum. The class will need a foundation of knowledge before finding success with the program, since it covers fifth- to seventh-grade CCSS. Teachers could assign it as enrichment for students ready for more of a challenge, or it can be used a few times a week with the whole class.

The program could make for an engaging homework project, with the site used alongside actual baseball statistics. Having students compare the fantasy league with what's happening in real Major League Baseball would create a strong connection to the classroom.

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Action Math Baseball brings a fantasy baseball league to your middle school math classroom. Each student manages a different baseball team by building the team roster, computing and analyzing players' statistical data, drafting and trading players, and arranging lineups. Once the teams are set up, simulated games are played, and the outcomes help inform the students' next moves as managers.

Ratio and proportional reasoning, probability, and fluency with decimals and fractions are put to use when you're synthesizing the stats and building the best teams possible. Seven lessons are included for teachers to use with the program. Each lesson explains an element of the game, such as the free agent draft. Video tutorials and worksheets help guide students through the process. The program can be used with a minimum of four students and with a maximum of 30 in each league. Teachers can review progress via standards and league-wide reports.

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Students benefit from having multiple opportunities to solve real-world math problems. Action Math Baseball gives students many chances to calculate and analyze meaningful statistics. By managing a baseball team, students are applying their math skills within an engaging context.

Teachers should be prepared to give mini-lessons on the math concepts that pop up during the games, since Action Math Baseball is focused more on applying skills than teaching them. The website will appeal to students with a love of baseball, but other kids may need a primer before playing; the program is rich in sports jargon. Tutorials for students and teachers are provided, but it takes many clicks to get to the information you need.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students with a background in baseball will find the program inviting and engaging. Baseball novices may encounter a bigger learning curve.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Provides a real-world context for ratio reasoning, probability, and other middle school math standards. Users are on a quest to create the best baseball team based on player stats.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Tutorials guide students through the process of managing the baseball team. The website is full of baseball jargon that might be new and challenging for some students. Teachers have access to printable lesson plans and resources.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

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