This first appeared on January 23rd 2010 on my old blog. I’m re-posting some material which I have salvaged from that mysteriously disappered blog here. I hope you find it useful
My final lesson of the week to involve the Wii used the practice option for batting on Wii sports baseball. I decided that I wanted to create a larger range of numbers for the children to find the median number of. Wii sports baseball batting practice allows you to have 10 swings at 10 pitches. It records (quite quickly) what the distance is that you hit it. It was this data we recorded for our averages lesson. As with the bowling, there were 10 numbers to record, meaning we had to split the 5th and 6th numbers to find the median. After a discussion about the best way to do this, we managed quite well and got better at it as we progressed through the tables taking their turns at batting.
The children were by now quite good at finding the mean and mode for the range of numbers. One of the more interesting discussions we had whilst using the Wii for averages, was the way the modal average differed between the bowling game and the baseball game. In the bowling game, the mode was 10, and the mean average score was frequently around 9. The children could clearly see that the mode and mean were closely related in that scenario. However, despite some of my group being ace sluggers, (the record was 7 homers out of 10 attempts!), the mode for each set distances was 0. This was not close to the mean average, which was around 110m.We briefly discussed the reasons behind this and talked about which average is most useful in which situations.
One final thought about the Wii bowling. The scoring of bowling is quite complex when spares and strikes are involved (which with my class they always seemed to be) I wonder i there is some maths to be investigated in how the scores are made, maybe with a secondary class devising new scoring methods for bowling and using the Wii bowling game to see how they would work, comparing the scoring methods with each other. The children throughout the week certainly enjoyed our use of the Wii, and they seem to have learned how to calculate the mean, mode and median averages for a set of numbers. An enjoyable and productive week in maths.
By The Library of Congress