Statistics: Batter Up!

It's the final day of the 1941 season and Ted Williams' batting average is .39955. What will he do? Sit this one out and guarantee an historic .400 season or take a chance and aim for mathematic immortality? Find the answer to this and other exciting stories in a unit full of whole numbers, fractions and decimals, percentages, proportions and problem solving. This thematic unit teaches fundamental concepts that connect the calculator and the clubhouse while using and interpreting the statistics of famous ballplayers.

Thematic Objective

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Examine how everyday mathematical concepts, such as addition, subtraction, fractions, decimals, etc., apply to baseball and the real world.

Analyze baseball statistics and interpret data in terms of fundamental mathematic operations.

Understand the application of baseball statistics and how they are calculated using basic mathematical principles.

In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.

Tom Seaver

Rookie (Grades 3-5)

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Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Looking at Baseball Statistics

Students practice identifying and ordering whole numbers and decimals as they examine statistics on baseball cards.

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Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Batting Average Part 1: Fractions

Students review prior knowledge of fractions and understand that fractions represent parts of a whole.

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Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit): Batting Average Part 2: Decimals

Students review prior knowledge of decimal place values, practice converting fractions into decimal form, and round decimal numbers.

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Lesson 4: On-Site Visit or Virtual Field Trip

Students will work with museum teachers to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the classroom.

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Lesson 5 (Post-Visit): Other Baseball Statistics

Students review that there are many different statistics and averages that show an athlete’s success.

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Intermediate (Grades 6-8)

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Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Batting Average

Students learn how to calculate a batting average and review such math concepts as converting fractions to decimals and rounding decimal numbers.

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Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Batting Average Ups and Downs

Students review prior knowledge of average calculation, and learn how averages can change with the addition of new data.

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Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit): Averages & Percentages

Students practice converting averages to percentages and vice versa. More advanced students have the option of using basic linear algebra to solve for unknown variables in batting average equations.

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Lesson 4: On-Site Visit or Virtual Field Trip

Students will work with museum teachers to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the classroom.

Book your On-Site Field Trip or Virtual Field Trip


Lesson 5 (Post-Visit): Other Baseball Statistics

Students review that there are many different statistics and averages that show an athlete’s success.

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Advanced (Grades 9-12)

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Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Batting Average

Students will discuss the importance of statistics in baseball. They will learn how to calculate batting average, and review conversion between fractions, decimals, and percentages.

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Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Slugging Percentage

Students learn to set up and solve equations for slugging percentage.

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Lesson 3: (Pre-Visit) Teams & Players By The Numbers

Students review how to find the mean, median and mode of a data set, and learn to calculate standard deviation. Students will also evaluate data using stemplots.

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Lesson 4: On-Site Visit or Virtual Field Trip

Students will work with museum teachers to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the classroom.

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Post Visit: Fantasy Baseball

This long-term activity allows students the opportunity to apply what they have learned about statistics as they create and track their own fantasy baseball teams. Ideally, students will be able to work on their fantasy baseball teams over several weeks of a given semester.

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Common Core Standards

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CCSS MATH CONTENT: 3.NBT.A.1, 3.NF.A.1/3, 3.OA.A.2/3/4, 3.OA.B.5/6, 3.OA.C.7, 4.NBT.A.2, 4.NBT.B.6, 4.NF.C.6, 4.OA.A.3, 5.NBT.A.3/4, 5.NBT.B.6, 5.NF.B.3, 5.OA.A.2