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March Mathness Tournament: A Thrilling Math Competition in the Classroom! 🏀➕📐

As a basketball coach, March Madness has a special place in my heart. Given my passion for the sport, I integrate it into my classroom. What better way to leverage the excitement of March Madness than by introducing a MARCH MATHNESS challenge?


March is the perfect time to combine the thrill of basketball with the intrigue of math. By incorporating this tournament-style challenge into math lessons, students can interact with various math concepts covered throughout the year.


As a math educator, I know the importance of keeping students motivated and engaged. This challenge will surely spark enthusiasm and active participation among your students!



Here's everything you need to know about how I plan to run this tournament in my classroom:



Prepare your students:

The first week of March,ignite the excitement! Let your students know that March Mathness is on the horizon. We have spring break about mid-March Most students check out after spring break so I try to get them excited for the return.


The Eligibility Criteria:

To ensure everyone joins in, think about making a couple of rules, this way, it encourages students in any the classroom, and ensures they're ready for the math excitement in a few weeks.


For example I told my students to participate in the March Mathness tournament, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have no missing assignments for the current unit.

  • Pass the unit exam.

The Bracket(s)

You can create an entire March Mathness bulletin board for the bracket. I had some help with this. I used the following items:



How to play

Thanks to the 8th Grade Math Teacher for being the original creator of this idea! March Mathness includes students engaging in math and basketball, with Google Slides set up for all 6 rounds, beginning with the qualifying round.


Qualifying Round: The Monday after Spring Break

The day after Selection Sunday and our first day back from spring break, we'll kick off the tournament with a qualifying round. The Qualifying Round decides which 8 students/groups will advance to the competition! This round will serve as a review of the unit we just completed, ensuring all students remain engaged and prepared.


How the Qualifying Round Works:
  • Each student will receive a whiteboard and marker.

  • A question will be displayed, and students must answer it.

  • The first student to answer correctly earns a point.

  • Once a student earns 2 points, they will be seeded on the tournament bracket.


The Tournament:

Bring out your basketball hoop and basketballs! You can be extra like me and go with the arcade style, grab one of the more affordable over-the-door hoops or look for a stylish trash can. The tournament will begin following the qualifying round, with each round conducted in the same format. Students will compete head-to-head, answering questions and earning points to advance in the bracket.


Each student will have a dry-erase board + marker, eraser, and small basketball.


Be sure to put a line on the floor (painting tape works well here) as a line from which they must shoot behind. When the time comes, you may want to give the shooter a rebounder or they will be chasing the ball all over the classroom.




The Thrill of the Competition:

At the end of each class period, we'll have an exit ticket question, providing a spiral review opportunity. Competing students will sit at the front and answer the question on their whiteboard. Upon answering correctly, they'll have the chance to shoot.


Here's the twist: The second player may answer the question after the first shooter, but if they score first, they'll be declared the winner. I’m ready for some Cinderella stories and unexpected victories!


Round 4 and 5:

This is where it may get tricky. At this time, you are pulling students from different class periods. Luckily for me, we have a homeroom period and I can request students to participate during that time.


The play rules don't change, unless you want to give them more questions to answer to make it a little more competitive. In fact, I think I will add a 3 point line in these rounds.


March Mathness Prizes

Here are some prize ideas for the winner!



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