“I hate math,” said a grade 6 student last week in a class I was supply teaching.
He was obviously not enjoying (or doing) his assigned math work.
So I sat with him and asked “What DO you like?”
Me: “… Well, you know, football’s got a lot of math.”
Me: “… (In a commentators voice) And the Redblacks are 2nd and 7 from the 8 yard line… That’s math. What do those numbers mean?… Measurement!”
“What about when the QB throws the ball? How hard does he need to throw the ball to hit the moving running back right on target?” I drew a diagram to help make the point.
“… And how can you predict who will win the football game? That deals with statistics and probabilities… math again.”
The student looked at me, quietly. I helped with his specific math challenge and let him on his way. I looked back a while later. My football math talk had worked…