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Numbers on the Court Review by Christine Field

Ronald Raglin
9624 S. Cicero Ave. #407
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Got a child who likes basketball? They'll love Numbers on the Court! It's a game, it's learning, it's fun!

The program consists of two components - a curriculum guide and a set of basketball-shaped playing cards, along with score cards. It can be used in a classroom or homeschool setting, although I think it would be more effective and fun in a group. The first step is to select or assign teams. You can name the team, choose a mascot, or create a pennant. Next, you schedule the games, generally in the form of a best of 7 game series.

On to game day! For first quarter play, the coach distributes 5 cards for each team. Students add the points from the cards and record them on the score card. The same procedure is followed for each other quarter. At the end of play, the coach adds the points for each quarter to determine the winner. As a few games are accumulated, the student has the opportunity to calculate, manage and interpret the data for statistical purposes.

Post game activities are also suggested, such as writing a newspaper-type summary of the game. Ideas are also given for integrating the game across the curriculum. Creating the pennant and possible logos are art activities. Game summaries can be translated into a foreign language for students who are studying another language. Geography can be implemented by labeling the locations of the fictional teams on a map. Students can write a theme song to incorporate music into the study. These and other suggested activities can really round out this "game" to touch many areas of study.

As the parent of three girls and one boy (who is not particularly interested in sports), I had a hard time reading and understanding the rules for this. I didn't know the scoring system for basketball, so the terms "rebound" and "assist" are new to me. I had to read up a little on the game to get my brain around this.

On the other hand, if you have a little sports nut in your family, this could be a real motivator to goof around with math. It is relatively inexpensive and would click with a young basketball fan. I could also see extending this type of activity to work on multiplication math facts, or even quizzing content-area subjects. Lots of potential here, but not for everyone.

-- Product Review by Christine Field, Contributing Senior Correspondent, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2006