Batter Up! Math Stations
Math stations that review important concepts with the real-world example of baseball.
By Erin Bailey
Wondering how to turn the all-American pastime into a series of great math lessons or stations for fourth through seventh graders? A little bit of prep work is all that’s needed to keep your students engaged in math concepts. To get you started, follow these tips:
- Visit the MLB website for a list of team and player stats, rosters, and schedules.
- Depending on the ability of your pupils, pick two or three teams for comparison. Internet access will allow each person to select teams and players he/she is interested in. The stats pages for the teams and individuals can also be printed and placed at each station.
- The website has tabs to select a specific timeframe, such as yesterday, the last seven games, and the last thirty games. Adjust this setting for ability level.
- Clicking on a player’s name will bring up the individual stats for his entire career (CAREER) or for a series of games (GAME LOGS).
First Base Station
For this station, print a diagram of a baseball field with the measurements labeled for the coach’s box and the diameters of the pitching mound, home plate circle, and on-deck circle.
Learners will practice measuring and making conversions between units. In a long hallway, mark off ninety feet—the distance between bases on a baseball diamond. Have your pupils use a measuring tape or yardstick to find the measurement, followed by converting feet to inches to yards.
Using a measurement of ninety feet between bases, learners can find the area of the square made by the bases. This exercise can be repeated using the coach’s box, which measures twenty feet by five feet. Then have pupils find the radius, circumference, and area of the pitching mound, home plate circle, and on-deck circle.
Second Base Station
Baseball is full of decimals, which makes it a good way to practice adding and subtracting them. At this station, learners will look at the batting averages (AVG) column.
From here, young mathematicians can select decimals to hit a target number. For example:
- Find three decimals that total exactly 1.000 when added.
- Find three decimals that total .450 using two different math operations.
- Subtract two decimals to hit .235.
Third Base Station
Like many concepts, measures of central tendency are better understood when related to real-life examples. The game of baseball is full of opportunity for exploring the mean, median, mode, and range. For this station, pupils will look at batting averages (AVG), home runs (HR), at bats (AB), runs (R), and the number of games played (G).
- Have pupils use the batting averages for individuals to find a team’s batting average.
- Participants can find a player’s home run average by dividing the number of homers by the total number of at bats.
- Select a player and click the tab for “GAME LOGS” to pull up a game-by-game account of home runs and at bats.
- Which team has the highest median number of runs for the season? Pupils will need to use the numbers from the “R” column for players from the three teams to calculate this measure. You can modify this by telling the class to look at only the top ten players on every team.
- Selecting just one player, children can find the mode for at bats (AB) in the last 30 games. (They look at how many at bats a player has in each of the last thirty games played.)
- Mitch Moreland has played in 34 games this season with the Texas Rangers while Justin Grimm has only played one. Find the range of the number of games that the members of a team have played this season and compare it to the second and third teams.
As an extension exercise, learners can graph one measurement of central tendency to compare the three teams.
Young mathematicians need real-world practice with logic. For this station, have members of your class create a schedule for a recreation league’s five teams. Adjust the challenge level up or down by adding or subtracting the number of teams as well as the number of games to be played. Tell your class that there are eight weeks to play all games. Teams must play each other twice; double headers and bye weeks are allowed.
Explore These Resources on Lesson Planet:
Designed with K-1 children in mind, these stations are all about addition. Young problem solvers use technology apps, manipulatives, and whiteboard activities to complete the problems.
Grades 6-9 explore measures of central tendency. Participants then practice data analysis to make recommendations for a hypothetical radio station. They also will consider the use and misuse of statistics.
Operations to Exploration
Learners in grades 5-8 practice using the order of operations. Each set of operations correspond to cardinal directions which are used to find pre-hidden artifacts from American history. An engaging lesson that works best outdoors.