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March Madness Math Activity | Project Based Learning

I. AM. SO. EXCITED. ABOUT. THIS. ONE.

My hope for this activity is that it will spark the interest and engagement of students that otherwise aren’t, that students will be able to see how numbers are all around them and the math they are learning applies outside of school, and even to things they think are cool. I also hope a love of March Madness develops, because I’ll be honest… I don’t always love basketball… but I ALWAYS love March Madness!

This activity is one that kept me up at night. I knew there had to be a way to bring the March Madness excitement into the classroom that incorporated mathematics. I focused on the statistics associated with the game, and from there the idea of combining March Madness, Fantasy Basketball, and Project-Based Learning bloomed.

Product Description
Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning

This product includes the following March Madness Activities:

  • Detailed step by step instructions
  • Details for filling out a private March Madness Bracket Online
  • March Madness reading comprehension and questions
  • Research a school of choice and design an infographic (Digital and print versions)
  • Differentiation for whole numbers, decimals, fractions, mixed numbers scoring.
    • Blank editable version available
  • Measurement conversion activity with ratios
  • Ordering decimals
  • Adding and subtracting decimals
  • Multiplying Decimals
  • Converting fractions to decimals
  • Mean Median Mode and Range using Sports Statistics
  • …etc.

This product includes a LOT. You can literally decide how much or how little, or how long you do this project in your classroom. Does the start of March Madness fall on Spring Break? No worries, start the project when you get back and begin to implement during the Sweet 16! Do it for one round, or all of the rounds, you can completely customize this project to your student’s needs!

Click Here to Purchase through Teachers Pay Teachers 

I would begin with the March is for Madness Reading Comprehension and questions. This gives a brief rundown of the history, selection process, and terminology that will be useful when building their Dream Team.

If you’re looking for a smaller scale project for March Madness, this is a great alternative and can be purchased separately. ***This is included in the March Madness Math Project above!

Click Here to Purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers

The next activity I would complete would be filling out a bracket. You can do this by either printing off a page with that year’s seeds, or a blank one and filling it in by hand… or do my favorite and do it online using:

https://bracketchallenge.ncaa.com/

Simple, straight-forward, easy, and it will do all of the work for you. Best part is once you register, you can create a group. You can make this group private and put other parameters on the group. Even better you can invite members to the group using email…. or sharing a link. (Hello Google Classroom) Students will sign up using an email and then be invited to complete their bracket.

  Before you have students fill out their bracket, I would download this free reading and crossword puzzle. This activity is SO FUN. A completely, almost fool-proof, basically guaranteed guide to filling out the perfect bracket. (Tongue in Cheek) This is a fun tip sheet that goes through “bracketology,” and suggests what numbers show as the school color that wins the most, where to pick an upset, and even which mascot is more likely to win. This one is SO FUN. Guaranteed your class will LOVE this Reading Comprehension Passage and Crossword Puzzle. It will especially come in handy when filling out their own Bracket!

The Practically Perfect Bracket Reading Comprehension and Crossword puzzle is an EXCLUSIVE download available for FREE only to members of Teaching on Lemon Lane. Not a member? Not a problem! Sign-up is Fast, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon Squeezy! 

Click Here to Become a Member Fast, Free, and Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!



Once everyone has completed the reading, and the free bracketology “Tip Sheet,” I would then begin to divide the class into the 4 divisions found on the bracket: East, West, South, and Midwest. You are basically dividing your class into 4 equal groups. Once in their equal groups students will research a team from their division, and create trading cards for that team. To separate your class into the 4 divisions, I would project a bracket with the teams onto the whiteboard, or simply print off a page with them. From there I would randomly call students to go and write their name or class number next to a school of their choice.

Once a division has approximately 1/4 of the students in your class in it. Close that division. Once all of the divisions are filled and every student has selected a team of their choice, they can then complete an infographic for the school of their choice.

The infographic can either be done digitally through google slides or simply print off the template and have the students draft one on paper. Students will need to visit the school’s official website to track down the information required to complete the project.

***Remember you can do as much or as little of this project as time permits. 

Once the infographic is completed I would have the students present what they found out about their school. Personally, presentations to the entire class take FOREVER, and lose engagement fast. If it were me I would separate them into groups of 4 and aim to have one person from each division in each group. Then give the students time to present to the 3 others in their group. You can always do a quick share at the end of the presentations as a whole class where you ask students to share something interesting they learned from a friend.

The next activity requires the students to look deeper into their school’s starting basketball team that’s been invited to participate in the NCAA Championship. They will make a trading card for their school’s team starting 5 players. The stats they write on the trading cards need to be based on this year’s basketball season. My favorite website for this information is included in the product instructions.

Once students have their trading cards completed, they will cut them out and literally get ready to trade. Before coming up with a new line up. I would have students complete the “Who’s Who” Activity. Here they will order the players from their division based on different stats like height, weight, field goal %, free-throw %, assists, blocks, fouls, and turnovers.

You can have the students complete this page with everyone in the division, or have them work in a smaller group within their division. There are some great math skills that require their understanding of place value that may be better suited in groups of 3. Once they complete this activity they will come back together with their division and use this information to create anew starting line-up for their division. The new DREAM TEAM in their division.

At this point, students should be well versed with the players in their division. This will help as they must decide who makes their division’s New DREAM TEAM, who will start, and who will sit the bench. Students will work within their division to name and agree upon the starting team for their division. I like this to be completed before the first games on Thursday. However, if you are late to start, you can always start the dream team process before a round begins. Just make sure students make trading cards using the teams that are remaining, not of teams that have been eliminated.

When students have determined the starting 5 players: 2 guards, 2 forwards, and 1 center, as well as the 7 remaining on the bench. The students must “Lock In” their picks before the first-game of the round begins. 

You may choose to have your students complete a DREAM TEAM Design for their Division’s team. A sheet is provided for students to come up with a mascot. Hopefully, they use the stats from the tip chart from the website! Team Colors, a logo, and motto. They will also design the team’s uniform.

Keep in mind that students will fill out a new “Starting Line-Up” sheet at the end of each round, before the beginning of another. This is when they can pull players from the bench if needed. (Players will be eliminated, or possibly injured and no longer able to play.)

At the beginning of each round, you will need to decide which scoring system will be used to determine the points each player earns. I have a few to pick from ranging from whole numbers, mixed numbers, fractions, and decimals. 

There is also an editable version that allows you to decide what the players are awarded points for. At the end of each round the East, West, South, and Midwest Division groups will work together to determine the stats of the individual players on the team for that single game that round.

**Remember that positive points are awarded for free throw percentage, field goal percentage, assists, rebounds, assists, and blocks. Negative point values are given for fouls and turnovers. This means students will add the positive amounts together and subtract the negative amounts. Great, great, great practice!

After each round, students will add up all of their starting players’ scores to get their Dream Team’s Overall Score. As a class, you can record each round’s overall score from least to greatest. The greatest score determines the winner of that round. I highly encourage a reward or privilege of some sort for the winning division of each round. You could even have a “Trophy” of sorts that is passed from one division to the next!

There is another sheet that allows you to keep track of the Overall winner of each division, as well as the best individual player and lowest scoring player. Encourage the team with the lowest scoring player to consider replacing them from someone on the bench if that player wasn’t eliminated.

This process will be repeated each round until an overall Division Dream Team is named. Feel free to use a new scoring system for each round to ensure practice over a variety of concepts and skills! If you find additional and effective ways to implement this activity, PLEASE share it with me, so I can share it with others!

This activity includes fun extensions and activities that you can use to really personalize to your grade’s standards and classroom needs. For example, the March Madness Mean, Median, Mode, and Range page is a lot of fun. Students determine the values based on the division’s statistics.

As if that weren’t enough I have ANOTHER Extension for you and its totally FREE to download. Measuring Up to My Favorite Player is a measurement conversion activity that allows students to compare themselves to their favorite players. They also can explore ratios by comparing their own foul-shot percentage to their player of choice.

Click Here for the Free Download

Hope you and your students absolutely LOVE this! I could not be more excited about this one! Would love to hear what you think. Please please please tag me in your photos. There is nothing better than being apart of your classroom!

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Can’t wait, THANKS!

 

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PSA:
April Fools’ Day is TOMORROW
I know many of you are coming off Spring Break, to lighten the load and add a little laughter to the classroom I quickly put together a fun and FREE activity/ joke to play on your class 💛 This impossible word search is in disguise as a #nationalpoetrymonth activity. Students will try and find words like stanza, verse, and rhyme... but won’t come up with a dime! 😉 They may however come up with words like tomfoolery, bogus, shenanigan, joke, buffoonery...etc 😂😂😂 Hope you and your class enjoy it, and this brightens your day! Tag me if you decide to use it, tags completely make my day! Comment below and I’ll DM you the link💛
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This fun FREEBIE works with ANY circular treat and is such a fun activity for students to explore and calculate Pi on Pi Day!

Comment below if you want me to DM you the opt in link 💛
Thank so much for the tag @sunnyinclass 💛 I can’t wait to hear what your 5th graders think! #l

#piday #pidayactivities #pidayatschool #pidayintheclassroom #mathteacher #math #mathactivities #mathactivity #mathactivitiesforkids #5thgrademath #5thgrade #5thgradecollaborate #ediblemath #edibleactivities #foodintheclassroom #havefunteaching #havefunlearning
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Guys.... I’m not usually one to toot my own horn.... but 🎺 🎺. You HAVE to try this in your classroom. I racked my brain to come up with a pie recipe that didn’t require melting butter, a hand mixer, oven, or mess, that still incorporated math and fun. When plastic bags came to mind I couldn’t find anything that supported the idea of whipped cream in a bag but, in theory it should work.... IT. DOES. Every “piece” of that pie #punintended is made in a ziplock bag with ingredients that simply require measuring. Best part, it’s delicious. This is SURE to be a favorite and memorable activity with your class! 💛 be sure to tag me, I can’t wait to hear all about it!.

Link can be found in my story, or comment below for the link! Link includes the email opt-in for my March Freebie Bundle, that includes TWO no-prep Pi Day activities.
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Comment below if you plan to try this activity with your class tomorrow or comment if you’d like me to DM you the link to the Pi Day FREEBIE opt in 👊
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When an idea for an activity turns out EVEN better than you imagined?!
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Add a little spice to your Stuck in a Snow Glove activity! Your Upper-Grade students will LOVE this activity!
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❄️In short it’s MAGICAL❄️
Head to my story or link in bio for more info…
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How many days do you have left until winter break? Comment ⬇️
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On September 12th we were one nation under God.
Indivisible.
Seeking justice for all.
Love this beautiful depiction by @paigepayne_creations see her thoughts on September 12th below.
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“ And on September 12th, we all came together. We were one. My family was living in Scotland when 9/11 happened. It was everywhere, all over the news. In school the day after, we had a long moment of silence in remembrance of those who were lost. We continued to have an annual moment of silence every year after that. It was incredible that even thousands and thousands of miles apart, we were mourning with those that mourned. We were one. At that time, we all displayed what we are capable of. Even in the face of incomprehensible tragedy, humans are capable of immense love. Capable of setting aside differences and coming together as one. As we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of lives the were lost that day, let us also strive to be more like how we were on September 12, 2001. Full of love, understanding, and compassion for each other. “

This painting is inspired by a beautiful photo taken by @masseya ❤️

#911 #911memorial #9eleven #911remembrance #thetwintowers #neverforget #neverforgotten #unity #love
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💡🚨PSA:🚨💡
ATTENTION ALL TEACHER FRIENDS
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Tag your #teachertribe and every #firstyearteacher below for this important reminder:
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As you set up your classroom for the new school year, and start divvying out materials… Do no forget to set aside 2-4 new student kits.
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Just like @adifferentiatedclass (shown in picture) I made sets using Gallon ziplocks.
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If you are in a developing community with new housing I recommend a minimum of 4 bags 🙀
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What to include:
🍋Name-tag/Desk-plate
🍋If you adhere the plates to the desk, have a segment of what you use in the pack.
🍋Welcome Treat (same one you’ve given to each student at the open house/back to school...etc.
🍋Whatever else you’ve set aside for students that begin on the first day of school.
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📣📣📣There will likely come a day when without warning you will be notified you have a new student, and the student will start THAT DAY. Save yourself and your poor new student the stress of frantically trying to get everything set up, by preparing NOW.
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Veteran teachers what else do you include in your new student kits?? Share in the comments below⬇️⬇️⬇️
📸: @adifferentiatedclass
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How satisfying/ beautiful 😻 is this #classroomorganization tip by @the_organized_classroom
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Use paint swatches as a visual to help students sort supplies! Keep this is mind as you set up your classroom for the school year!
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HELP ME BRAINSTORM:
What’s a brilliant #teacherhack you’ve tried or seen done with paint swatches??? Comment below 👇
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I’ll leave mine in the comments!
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Guys… I had a baby 🥰 Almost 10 months ago 😳 I STRUGGLE to consistently show up on this platform, but know how happy I am that you are here!
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There are a lot of new faces around here so I thought we should take the time to get to know each other!
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PLEASE comment below with what we have in common, or something we will never see eye to eye with 😜
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A few things to know about me😬
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🍋 My name is Tara, I’m the creator behind @teachingonlemonlane
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🍋 I’m a fresh lemonade connoisseur, and will not touch store bought/ from the tap.
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🍋 My patronus is a wolf 🐺 #potterhead
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🍋 A piece of my heart will always be in #5thgrade and New Orleans
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🍋 Ben and I will celebrate our 10 year this year and have 3 kiddos under 5 💀
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🍋#bucketlist item: New Zealand, Hobbiton, ride the #nevisswing 😳
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🍋 Teaching item(s) I can’t live without…Binder clips😎 You should see what I can #macgyver with a couple clips… also, flair pens. #cliché 🤓
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YOUR TURN: Tell me something about you in the comments!
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This product is available in both a printable and digital version that’s completely editable through Google. If you have a student or child interested in Digital Design, this is a fun way to introduce and experiment with different design tools. Because there are so many different types of situations and circumstances when it comes to a father the words father or dad are never actually used. Which makes this the perfect card to give to any figure that has taken on that important role. Whomever that is, they should be celebrated!
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Need #bulletinboardideas for March.... I’ve got you👊 like almost all of my Bulletin Board Kits, they center around student work and are made up of EASY TO CUT, Editable 🙊, ready to print and assemble slides!
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Make sure to check out the Lucky Because Bulletin Board BUNDLE get ALL this for only $3.99☘️☘️☘️☘️ The Clover craft is the PERFECT craft for tomorrow!
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My love of March shows in my resources, of all the months to have the most projects... March (of all the months???) is at the top of the list!
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I just added this CELTIC KNOT inspired Lucky Clover Craft and it turned out so fun! Use either the DIGITAL version and insert pictures into the leaves that represent why you’re lucky, or pick from one of the 18 different top layer options to create a beautiful clover like the one shown above! If you do go this route make sure to check out the EDITABLE bulletin board kit to really put these beauties on display!
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Do you love March? Why or why not? Drop a comment below 💛💛
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Selection Sunday and PI Day falling on the same day... Somebody pinch me. Two of my very favorites because of the projects you can start in your classroom 😍 Take for instance my March Math Madness PBL
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Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning 💛🏀💛
Students are separated into the 4 divisions then work together to put together a new starting 5 from players in their division. #dreamteam Each round their individual players are awards point values for how they played. At the end of each round students will calculate their team’s total points and decide which dream team comes out victorious! There are some really great opportunities to see Math in action. There’s opportunity for measurement conversion, converting fractions to decimals, ordering decimals, ratios, mean-median-mode, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals...etc. This is quickly becoming another tried and true favorite in the classroom!
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Also if you think your too late to the table, the only thing you are late for is brackets! The dream team activity can be started before any round! Second round would actually be ideal 👊🏻👊🏻 LOTS of FREEBIE extensions for this product that can stand on their own! Head to the website for more details!
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