As I watch the Super Bowl (along with millions of other Americans), I’m thinking of all the math questions I could pose to my elementary math students tomorrow. Have some fun with these and take advantage of this universal experience.
Last year was Super Bowl 50, but for some reason the NFL didn’t like to use a plain L. But this year, its L I. Take this opportunity to go over other Roman Numerals:
Review the multiples of 7, to reflect the score of a typical touchdown. Talk about potential scores that are usually multiples of 7. If a score is 21, what are the factors as well?
If a team scores 4 touchdowns, we can represent by 4TD, which would be 24. If a score is 24, what are all the other possible equations? TouchDown (TD) = 6, Extra Point (EP) = 1, Two Point Conversion (TPC) = 2, Field Goal (FG) = 3, Safety (S) = 2.
Ask if your students saw any number lines while watching the game. (The markings along the long edge of the field.) Ask what is the purpose of a number line for football, what are the benchmark numbers along the football field. What do they represent? What do the hash marks represent? This line is also symmetrical, why?
If a team advances the ball ten yards within four tries (downs), they receive a 1st down and can try again for another ten yards. How many feet is in ten yards? How many inches? Based on this information, estimate the length of a football field? FYI the width is 53 yards.
What fractions did they hear or see during the Super Bowl? (Quarters and Halves) Why are they called that? Also each quarter is 15 minutes, what fraction of an hour is that?
The game has four 15 minute quarters and a 12 minute half time show. There is also a two minute break after the 1st and 3rd quarters for the teams to change sides. If there are no time outs (media or team), how much time is a complete game? What does a typical game run 3-4 hours? How many minutes is that?
Odd and Even
There are eleven players from each team on the field. Is that an even amount or odd amount of total players on the field? Does doubling an odd number make the total even? What about doubling an even number? Why?
This year, the estimated price to run a 30 second TV commercial is about $5 million. Think of the things you could buy for $5 million. If a candy bar costs $.50, how many candy bars could you buy? If a used car costs $10,000, how many cars could you buy?
This is a start to all the possible math discussions you can have with your students! Help them understand that learning math is important, real, and fun!