Full Court Classroom
Nov. 30, 2017

The Student Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO) and a handful of student-athletes took to the basketball courts earlier this month to give math the full court press.

As part of SASSO’s math boot camp, Buckeyes reinforced the concepts of area and perimeter by exploring campus recreation basketball courts for a multisensory approach to the material. Student-athletes were tasked with finding the area and the perimeter of the court, center circle, and the key using measurements they collected.

By applying area and perimeter formulas and concepts to the real world, the material came alive for all involved. This led to engaging student-to-student and student-to-instructor discussion regarding course material, and students questioned each other about which formulas to apply in specific situations.

“I liked [the activity] because I got to talk and interact while doing math,” said freshman Thayer Munford. Munford and his peers actively discussed the material and tasks at hand using mathematical language.

SASSO’s math boot camp is designed to facilitate the needs of first-year student-athletes in the area of mathematics and is led by learning specialists Tyler Parminter, Rudra Trivedi, and Brett McDaniel. The focus of the program is not simply to review mathematical concepts but to work on each individual student’s metacognition and vocabulary development. Vocabulary is a focal point because studies have shown that a deep understanding and a strong background of language knowledge correlate with success across the curriculum.

In order to matriculate towards this purpose, careful planning is undertaken to develop sessions that address the different ways to problem solve. Lessons in the program incorporate a multisensory approach as students are activated aurally, visually, verbally, and kinesthetically, and according to Parminter, this lesson was a slam dunk.

“While the full court activity lasted only an hour, the learning and application of math to the real world has changed the mindsets of many student-athletes who participated.”