Teacher employs football stats to help ‘teams’ learn math |

Teacher employs football stats to help ‘teams’ learn math

Fantasy football has real meaning for fourth- and fifth-grade math students.

“Somebody could think they’re really bad at math and go to and say, ‘Hey, that’s math,’ ” said Sam Casale, 10, a fifth-grader at The Campus School of Carlow University. “This is fun, and sometimes you are doing math and you don’t even realize it.”

Math teacher DeAnna Kwiecinski started fantasy football competitions in two fourth-grade and two fifth-grade classes at the prekindergarten through eighth grade Catholic school last year to help students practice basic math concepts, such as addition, subtraction, averages and percentages.

The students paired up and created fantasy teams. Casale and Sam Gatti, 11, are “The ‘S’ Men.”

Fantasy football starts with a mock players draft during which participants assemble a fictional team using real NFL players. Their weekly score is based on the players’ actual game statistics.

Kwiecinski’s students chose any two quarterbacks, kickers, running backs, tight ends, wide receivers and defenses for the season. They pick one from each set to play each week.

Each Tuesday, the students eagerly gather around four computers in their classroom to check players’ stats and then calculate points for yardage, interceptions, sacks and touchdowns. Accuracy is important because they’re competing against other fantasy teams in the class. The winner of the championship game at the end of the fantasy season will get a small prize and, of course, bragging rights.

“Usually when you’re competing, you’ll get into it because you know you could win,” Gatti said.

Kwiecinski said using fantasy football to reinforce math concepts was something she thought of while forming her own fantasy league with a few friends.

“I think any time you can get a child excited about numbers and data, then I feel like I’m doing my job,” she said.

The students learn about how determining a player’s average yardage could help them in the competition by predicting future performance. An upcoming project will be finding the percentage difference between predicted and actual yardage.

Coincidentally, “The Irish Math Wizards” team was in first place in the competition last week.

“The best part is when you see your player has done a good job and you win,” said Alex Plummer, 10, one of the wizards.

Sophia Lebiere, 10, said she’s glad she doesn’t have to watch the actual games to play.

“I don’t understand how my family likes football,” she said. “But playing fantasy football is fun.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.