Friday, September 30, 2016

#IMMOOC Wii Golf and Integers

Image result for a teach math with the wiiSo in the spirit of #IMMOOC, I tried my hand at being #innovative today.  This year I've been trying to make a concerted effort to connect real world situations to the concepts I teach my students.  Today I had a surprise for my first class - we were going to play Wii golf!  A few years ago I bought Teach Math with the Wii by Meghan Hearn and Matthew C. Winner, but I never followed through with actually reading it and implementing it in my classroom.

I wanted to surprise my students with this so when we left the classroom right after the Pledge of Allegiance and headed down to the auxiliary gym where we have a really big screen TV, they had no idea what we were going to do.  This is what they saw when they walked in and sat down in front of the white board:

Then I pointed to the Wii that I had set up under the TV.  They were all super excited, even though they knew that somehow I would weave some math into the game.  Yesterday we talked about real world integer examples, such as bank accounts, sports, temperature, and weight.  So we started off today just reviewing that in most cases, negative numbers are viewed as a bad thing, but in golf, we want to see lots of negatives because the lower the score, the better.

I gave everyone a quick overview of how to use the controller and how to try to keep the ball as straight as possible.  I had everyone grab a clipboard with the scorecard.  The students played as one player, each taking their turn on a different hole.  They cheered each other on and coached each other on how to correct their swings.  After each golfer finished, everyone recorded the score on their scorecard.

After the nine holes were complete, we regrouped at the whiteboard.  I modified the par that each hole had been assigned in the actual Wii game so that we would have some positives and negatives to work with.  We went through each hole and decided whether the number of strokes was over par (+) or under par (-) and recorded each value in the bottom row of the scorecard.

Time flies when you're having fun, so we didn't get a chance to add up the total score.  We will do that next week.  I plan on introducing the concept of zero pairs and the use of 2-sided chips for this to help them with the totals.

So my attempt at being #innovative was a big success with the students.  I hope this will be a memorable lesson for them and that it has helped them with the concept of integers.  I guess I'll find out for sure next week when we continue our journey into the world of integers!


  1. That's a great project ... I bet students were highly engaged. Thanks for sharing. I will check out the Wii book.

    1. Yes, I can't wait to dig into the book some more and find other engaging lessons!