By now, I bet basketball is in the front of many of your students’ minds, which is a great reason for you to update your current March lessons.
Try making learning more effective and engaging by relating it to what you know your students love!
With the tournament this March, our students are thinking and talking about basketball non-stop.
It just makes sense to try to focus lessons around basketball!
Check out the ideas and links below for lessons ranging from Pre-Algebra to Algebra & Geometry!
Engaging Bulletin Board Ideas
Spruce up your room and set the mood for Math Madness this March! I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites and linked the creators to spark your creativity.
Keep in mind, you can always add a basketball themed problem of the week (or day!) to the board to make sure there is an aspect of learning; you want to make the best use of your time decorating. Twist a word problem or challenge problem from your current lesson in the textbook and just add a basketball theme to it! You won't even have to switch the numbers or answers from the book if you use a little creativity to re-write it.
The games last all throughout March; the final four games are on March 31st and the National Championship is on April 2nd. Consider using this bracket above or printing out this gameday schedule for your board and assign students to fill in the teams that are yet to be announced!
You may want to set up a bracket like the second bulletin board that actually tracks student progress instead of the basketball games. Have students participate in a math tournament like my End of Course review tournaments, and let the teams compete in this way instead of on the graph!
Tom DeRosa shares a great Probability Activity using the NCAA’s data since 1979. Students find the probability of a given seed winning the tournament, as a fraction and percent.
Then, they use these numbers to answer a few questions about probability. They discuss the difference between experimental and theoretical probability. Using real-life data about basketball makes the work relevant to their lives!
March Madness Trashketball
This FREE download brings real-life fractions and decimals practice and lets your students get in on the basketball action! They get to “shoot hoops” by shooting crumpled up paper into the trash bin.
They keep track of the shots they make versus the shots they take, and they use this data to practice fractions, statistics, and decimals!
STEM Idea: Basketball Tower Challenge
If you need a STEM lesson idea, look no further! Try this fun idea by Sarah Wiggins at More than a Worksheet. All you need is newspaper, masking tape, and a few basketballs. Have students work in pairs or small groups to build a newspaper tower that can support a basketball. This challenge sounds simple, but is actually very tricky! Students will definitely be challenged.
Before students create their tower, have them create a hypothesis and introduce the STEM engineering design process with the free graphic organizers she provides.
Algebraic Expressions Basketball Game
This game allows middle schoolers (Pre-Algebra) to play a basketball game practicing with expressions!
Geometry in Basketball
This presentation offers a lesson for your Geometry students, showing how geometric principles play into every aspect of the sport.
Let kids explore it, then write up a few questions using the information they discovered. They can swap with a partner and use the presentation to try to answer the other set of questions!