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Topic: Seahawks

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September 5, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Fantasy football in the classroom can reap real-life gains in math

Excited children show their Seahawks spirit during an assembly last January at Kimball Elementary School. Photo by John Lok / The Seattle Times.

Excited children show their Seahawks spirit during an assembly last January at Kimball Elementary School in Seattle. Photo by John Lok / The Seattle Times.

Finding students a bit sluggish on this, just the third day of school in many Seattle-area districts? Could it be that they were up late, watching the Seahawks season-opener against Green Bay? Football may leave you cold, but consider the volcano of statistics, the numerical slicing and dicing used to predict outcomes. All of it is built on math.

Fantasy football? Even more so.

For the uninitiated, the game works like this: You pick an assortment of real-life players for various positions on your imaginary team  quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, for example  then rack up points based on the players’ actual performance on game day.

Yes, it’s pretend-play for grownups. But teachers find that fantasy football can energize students who are otherwise less-than-motivated by traditional math. Even the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has suggestions for incorporating football into lesson plans (baseball and basketball, too).

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