Brian Lies' books are a ton of fun, and this Friday the Boston Red Sox play the Minnesota Twins in their first spring training game. Spring training means it's time for me to start preparing for the fantasy baseball league I run in my classroom each year. I've laid out the steps below as well as attached various materials I use. Please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions
Activity Name: Fantasy Baseball League
Activity Description: Every year I run a fantasy baseball league in my classroom. In March, I put a call out for volunteers who can come in on Friday mornings from 9-10 AM. This is a great way to get fathers into the classroom. This is something many of them are interested in, and if you run your league first thing in the morning, many of them can pop in before heading into work. After you have a solid core of four volunteers, which means each volunteer only has to commit to coming into the classroom once a month, you're ready to go.
Your next step is to divide your class into six teams. I make sure I have at least one strong math student on each team.
Then, you need to have a draft day in your classroom. You do not need volunteers for the draft day. This is something you can do on your own. Before you begin dafting, you need to explain the concept of a batting average and an era. It's easier for the kids to understand the concept of a batting average, because the higher, the better. The pitching era is the oppositte of the batting average, the lower the number, the better. After you have explained those concepts to your students, you're ready to hand out the sheet below. Please note that these are the 2017 statistics to help students draft for the 2018 fantasy baseball league. If you are doing this activity yourself after this year, you'll need to go to www.mlb.com/ to download the previous seasons' stats. The sheets below showcase the top fifty batters and the top fifty pitchers. So, even students who have never watched a baseball game in their lives know who the top players are. You'll also need the Fantasy Baseball Team Roster. Make sure students note the name of the MLB team the player is on so that the students can locate their stats during the fantasy games.
Now that your students have drafted their teams, they'll be ready to go on opening day. The fantasy league will work best if every player has a Chromebook or another electronic device where they can access www.mlb.com/ If everyone can't have access to a Chromebook, then at the least, each team will need a Chromebook. Each of your students needs a year-to-date statistic packet. This packet has a sheet for each batter on their team. Every time you play a fantasy baseball game, students need to record the statistics for all five batters even though they will only use four of the player's statistics to calculate their score for the day. There are step-by-step directions for calculating the statistics below. At the beginning of each game, I scan in the scoresheets to my SMARTboard. Then, I calculate one player's statistics for each team. That way students have a model. After students have calculated the statistics for each player, they fill out the game scorecard sheet. Students love this activity and it makes our classroom a fun place to be. Contact me if you have any questions, and I'd be happy to walk you through it.
Whether it be for one specific student, a small group of kids, or a whole class, finding a "just right" book makes the teacher's and the students' day.