Inside Outreach: Training ‘Mathletes’!

April 10th, 2008

Thirteen blogger: Maura B. Thompson

This week Cyberchase has a very special appearance from John Maine of the New York Mets on Friday, April 11. The honor? Because Maine can help connect math and baseball for Cyberchase viewers–he’s one of many we’ve worked with to draw real-world parallels and experiences into the process of learning math.

As I wrote in last month’s blog entry, Dan Flockhart is one of the presenters I wish I had seen at Thirteen’s Teaching and Learning Celebration. Dan is the man behind Fantasy Sports and Math, a really cool math curriculum that engages children using baseball, soccer, football, and basketball math.

Math & Sports is but one of the new Outreach tools on our belt. For each of Cyberchase’s thematic initiatives we create an activity kit that contains a DVD with episodes specific to that theme, and a CD-Rom with activities that extend the educational message. This year we had two thematic initiatives, Builders’ Math and Math & Sports. For both initiatives we asked educators to pre-register so we could send the kits out as soon as they arrived at Thirteen. Both kits have presented us with quite a good problem…we “sold out” of our free kits in a matter of days! So what is an educator that uses Cyberchase resources to do? Have no fear; Cyberchase Math & Sports (and Builder’s Math) activities and games are online! What we can give away physically, we have made available virtually.

Trainees playing Cyberchase’s ‘Slugball’

The Cyberchase Outreach team trains our partners at conferences and events nationwide. The American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance AAHPERD … try saying that five times and fast … is our newest partner; they joined us specifically for the Math & Sports initiative. We have been to both a state conference in Connecticut and a regional conference in Rhode Island.

This month, however, we joined the big leagues at the national conference in Texas. As I type, two Cyberchase Outreach staff members are training AAHPERD conference attendees. Our trainings include an introduction to Cyberchase, a preview of Math & Sports episodes and how to facilitate our Math & Sports activities. Our team truly enjoys these opportunities to interact with educators that use Cyberchase to teach math.

Tune in (online!) and train to become a “mathlete”!