World Cup Connections
One of the greatest things about being a teacher is that you can actually watch World Cup games!
I sat next to a teacher when I saw the US play Algeria. She teaches high school English in a very different part of town than I do, but I discovered our jobs have a lot of similarities.
For one thing, she has to get creative when it comes to helping students behave and learn.
She told me about one of her students who constantly talked during class. He didn’t mean to talk, of course; he just didn’t realize exactly what he was doing. Luckily he loved to play soccer, and she helped him fix the talking problem by bringing this love into the classroom. She simply cut out yellow and red squares to look like the yellow and red cards used by a referee. Just like on the soccer field, the yellow card was a warning, and the red card meant a time out.
This incredibly personal form of discipline was not only a way of building her relationship with the student; it was a warning system that the student really understood. That simple. Problem solved.
Of course, there are thousands of ways to bring sports into the classroom (especially the math classroom) if that is what motivates you and your students. The World Cup is a great way to learn about statistics while making connections to the Social Studies curriculum to learn about other countries. A math teacher can write a thousand different soccer problems. I love this applet exploration on the NCTM website:
If you’re really excited by math and sports then there is a whole curriculum using fantasy sports in the classroom. It is a lot more sports than I could personally handle, but there are a million ways to teach math (and behavior) so that it will resonate with you and your students. I think I need one of those vuvuzelas.