Reading a chart that shows numbers and statistics sounds boring, doesn’t it? How about if the chart shows baseball stats for your child’s favorite team? Now that’s a fun way to explore the relationship between decimals, fractions, and percents! Taking data and showing it in various ways helps strengthen your child’s data collection and analysis skills.
By exploring how different ways of representing data relate to one another, students are extending their knowledge of decimals, fractions, and percents. Here’s a fun at-home activity that will help your child strengthen his ability to work with and interpret data in various forms.
What You Do:
Have your child check the "Box Scores" in the newspaper for two baseball teams playing a game against each other. Box Scores are a condensed version of the game's events, expressed in data points which can be confusing to look at, but very informative if you know what you are looking at. Identify the data for each player AB (at bat) and H (number of hits).
Now it's time to find out who the sluggers are! Show your child how to use these numbers to show each player’s ratio of hits compared to the times at bat. This will show how effective the hitter was in this particular game. It works like this: if a player is at bat 4 times and hits 3 times, he gets a hit 75% of the time, which is equal to 3/4 times or 0.75 times.
Help your child make a chart showing the names of the players on each team. Use the Box Scores to show each player’s ratio of hits, showing the percentage, fraction, and decimal. You can make more boxes in the chart to express other aspects of the player, such as jersey number, favorite foods, etc! If your child is artistically inclined, he may also enjoy illustrating his chart with drawings of the players.
Using the data, ask your child to make a list of the top five hitters in each team using their calculations. Who is the game's Most Valuable Player?
By showing your child that decimals and fractions are all around us, even in the Sports section, you're teaching him an important lesson: math matters - especially in baseball!
Sally is an experienced educator, with over 14 years of teaching experience. Over the last ten years she has created educational materials, including ancillary, textbook, and test items, for Grades K-8 for major educational publishers.