To celebrate Opening Day this year, my 5th grade class and I had an all day "Baseball Day". Most of them wore baseball jerseys (most provided by me, which looked pretty funny), they did research presentations on historical figures in baseball (Jackie, Roberto, Joe, Lou, Willie, Babe, etc.), we watched Sport Science on ESPN (which is totally awesome, if you haven't checked it out yet), and we did a lot of baseball-themed word problems in math.
As anyone who has looked at the back of a baseball card can tell you, there is a lot of fodder for word problems in baseball. I had a station where they were looking at some cards and trying to find the median and mode for certain categories. There was also a station where they looked at standings and had to answer problems about those. And there was a station where they came back to work with me and we created baseball cards.
I'd been passing them out for a while at this point, so they all knew what they looked like, and were excited to design the front. Of course, no matter how you disguise it, they knew that on the back, they were still doing math.
I was pleased with how quickly they were able to get the concept of batting average (very similar to how they get grades; how many answers right out of how many possible points). I had a few kiddos that were doing really well, so I tried to teach the concept of slugging percentage. Of course, as I was prepping this lesson, I had to figure out myself how it was determined. Once I figured it out, I was surprised that I had gone my entire life without knowing what it meant. Anyways, that proved to be difficult, even for the advanced students.
Anyways, why is "Special Edition" a part of this post title? Because these cards are all super-limited, special edition, #1/1's. Difficult to get. But I got 'em. Here are just a few of my favorites.
I love how the kids picked up on the brand name of the cards they had. Topps does have the monopoly on cards, huh? This is a Dancing Cookie subset, complete with black and white photography and eraser marks.
The only Padres card in the bunch. "Bubbles" was a fan favorite, a cut-up in the vein of Turk Wendell. Was never the same after Tommy John surgery on both arms went horribly wrong.
My favorite card of the bunch. The Weirdos were a barnstorming team from the midwest, and Bob was one of their utility guys. Had a little bit of everything in him. Not a lot of speed, but had a lot of guts and brains.
The back of the card. Like I said, Special Edition. Not only a signature and a short bio ("I love hamburgers, brains r 2 mushy), but it's a short print because of the error in the slugging percentage column.
It was a tough year with this bunch, but Baseball Day was a highlight. Being on a military post, a lot of them are moving elsewhere over the summer, so the chances of seeing them again are very slim. Regardless of how the year went, I'll miss 'em all when they go to middle school this year. Hope everybody's having a good summer.