In the spirit of March Madness, the time of the annual National Collegiate Athletic Association college basketball tournament, Lynbrook’s West End Elementary School students and staff participated in their own basketball tournament, while incorporating math skills on March 23. This was the second year that the students took on the event, Math Madness.
Coordinated by physical education teachers Danielle Marquardt and Greg Brosokas and math specialist Chelsea Jarret, the West End gymnasium was transformed into a competition space for each grade level to enjoy. The object of the competition was to give students the opportunity to work in groups to solve a number of math problems while engaging in basketball. Each problem increased in difficulty level based on color. Once the group successfully completed their math problem, a student from the group would stand on their corresponding color dot and try to score a basket. If they missed, the next student in their group would attempt to make the shot.
With each successful basket, the group would receive a colored stick which was worth a certain amount of points. The sticks were tallied up during the day and the prize for each class with the most points in their grade received an extra 15 minutes of recess time. Each class was also encouraged to submit up to four posters for the math challenge and received five bonus points for each poster they created.
At the end of each grade level tournament, the teachers joined the fun. One physical education teacher and one math teacher were assigned to each group as the two tried to score more baskets and obtain extra sticks for their students. The students cheered them on, creating signs on their dry-erase boards as a sign of support.
“Math in basketball is a great opportunity to practice simple skills like counting, addition and subtraction,” said Marquardt. “Our goal today was to get the students excited about math, work as a team, solve problems and score baskets while realizing how important math is in everyday life.”