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TEACHER FEATURE: OUR ALL-STAR EDUCATORS

Posted January 05, 2015

Each year, NBA Math Hoops programming is made possible by the effort and dedication of hundreds of teachers across the country. We are proud to feature the insights of a few volunteers and educators who are working with the program during the 2014-15 season. Enjoy their stories and observations, and consider joining them in the growing community of NBA Math Hoops champions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy Chen
Volunteer, Scholastic Olympics’ NBA Math Hoops Clubs
Student, University of Maryland
Prince George’s County, MD

How did you first become involved with the NBA Math Hoops program?

I first heard about the program through an email I received. The email said that they were looking for University of Maryland students to help volunteer at local clubs. I’m a Math and Science Education major, so I had been wanting to do some volunteering related to math or science. It sounded like something I would enjoy, so I contacted the person in charge, Professor Henry (of Scholastic Olympics). We later met up to talk about logistics, and then after that I started volunteering at the NBA Math Hoops club at Highland Park Elementary.
 
What were your initial thoughts/impressions of the program?
 
I thought it sounded awesome! I definitely thought that it made math more fun and applicable. I wish that I had a game like it when I was growing up. It is a fun and engaging game that incorporates both basketball and math. 

How easy was it for you to learn about the game?
 
It was pretty easy for me to learn and it didn't take me very long to get the hang of it. The basics are fairly straightforward and simple to understand. I am also familiar with how basketball works, so it was very natural for me to pick up.

How did students respond when you first introduced the game?
 
The students I worked with had already played before, but they all loved it. Some of them really got into it, and some would be very sad when we had to stop playing.

How have your students evolved or grown through the experience? What are they taking away from it?

I've definitely seen some of them get really into the game. And as they do that, whether they realize it or not, they are getting more into math. Their motivation to play the game makes the math that they do seem less like a chore and more like a fun thing. I think that their math skills have definitely improved, whether they realize it or not.

Do you see this as something that you will use in your own classroom?
 
Absolutely! It’s always good to find ways to take the concepts you learn in the classroom and make them fun, engaging, and applicable. This would be a great way for my future students to have fun while doing math.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanesha Feliciano
Learning Zone Director, The Salvation Army West Park Corps
Cleveland, OH

How did you first become involved with the NBA Math Hoops program?

I became involved with NBA Math Hoops through my Salvation Army Program Director, Christopher Vilevac. He gave certain SA corps the option to participate in the program and I was interested because some of my students have low math
skills and this game sound like it would be fun for children to become interested in math.

What have you discovered about the program after using it for a few months?

After using the NBA Math Hoops game over an extended period of time, I noticed that the students with poor multiplication and division skills were
doing better on tests, with homework, and performing up to grade level.

How have your students evolved or grown through the experience?

In the beginning, there was only boys playing the game and now there are
girls playing it who dominate statistically. The students who play the game actually ask me everyday if they can take some time to play. I feel that the game is teaching the kids to work together and promotes math skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Ulricksen
Neighborhood Center Program Director, Cowell Elementary School
Denver, CO

What were your initial thoughts/impressions of the program?

Myself and my Fit Fun staff attended a Math Hoops training on September 24th at the Pepsi Center. We played Math Hoops at the Tip-off Clinic and we were so enthused with the program we just had to share it with our students.

How easy was it for you to learn about the game?

The game was very easy to learn but I still find myself learning new little rules every time I play with my students.

How did students respond when you first introduced the game?

We were right about how awesome the game was because our students started playing it the week we received the games and haven’t stopped. They loved that they knew the players and teams. It was something they could relate to and buy into because it involved the NBA.

What have you discovered about the program after using it for an extended period of time?

The students enjoy participating in the curriculum not only because they get the three extra points (in the Math Hoops incentive program for regional initiatives), but because it also helps them better play the game. The students also love playing because they love watching their point totals go up every week.

How have your students evolved or grown through the experience? What are they taking away from it?

They have learned how to work successfully with a partner. They feel more empowered when completing math homework, and they are taking away that learning and math can be fun.