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We encourage current events to collide with classroom curriculum. Here are tips for integrating the NCAA tournament with your lesson plans. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness basketball tournament runs March 14 through April 3. Alth

Mar 15, 2017

We encourage current events to collide with classroom curriculum. Here are tips for integrating the NCAA tournament with your lesson plans.


Whether you’re a sports fan or not, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness basketball tournament runs March 14 through April 3. Although most games take place during school hours, teachers can use the yearly event to spawn interest in math.

There are plenty of lesson plan ideas all over the internet (you will even find one for literacy here). If you plan to get in the game, we’ve created a list of March Madness dos and don’ts to boost inclusivity.

Do:

  • Know your learners and use their interests to your advantage. Find out who is a sports fanatic and recruit them to heighten enthusiasm about the lesson. Invite students to wear the colors of their favorite teams for matchups.

  • Remind students who aren’t interested in sports that the ultimate point of the lesson is to better their math skills.

  • Keep learners engaged. Even after students’ favorite teams have been eliminated, find ways to capture their attention. Keep an up-to-date bracket at the front of the room to keep track of the journey toward the championship.


Don’t:

  • Even if you’re competitive, aim to celebrate participation, rather than poking fun when a team loses.

  • It’s important to keep learning the central focus of the tournament. Yes, it’s fun to get students excited about college sports, but mastering new skills and content is imperative.

  • Gauge student attentiveness. If your class is losing interest, go from discussing the games every day to once a week, or on Fridays. If learners are loving it, reserve five minutes at the end of class for tournament talk.


May the best team win, and may all your students stay engaged!

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