The paths to "Eureka" moments: Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Education

Softball Game

Walking up to the stands, I heard my name “Look, its Ms. Becker”, “Hi Ms. Becker!” I had talked with several of my math students about their softball games and determined to come see the recreational department teams play. It was great to see their enthusiasm for the game, their encouragement towards each

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other, and analyze the positions they played. I was surprised to see one student, typically distracted in my algebra class, pitch the entire second round of innings. She was focused, methodical, and very talented. She struck out many batters and ended up winning the game for her team. She did not waver under pressure and threw few balls, walking no one while I watched.

As I watched her from behind the fence, I thought, “Well, that’s it. Now I will have to expect more out of her in class.” It is interesting how an outside event affected my view of this student. Now that I knew she was capable of intense focus and drive, I felt I could use softball, or the dynamics of the game, to inspire focus and motivation in algebra. There are many aspects of math that can be applied to baseball/softball. In this way, I hope to incorporate student interest in my math lessons.


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