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Teacher: Samantha Ruedy who teaches at Undergraduate student at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in Sparta, WI. Samantha Ruedy can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Mathematical Heptathlon

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To integrate the common core Math strands into an all-school Physical Education "Heptathlon" so that all students can contribute and be involved. This is based not only on certain strands of the math common core, but also of NASPE standards 5 and 6.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-8

Materials Needed: Track area, common track & field equipment (shot put, discuss, hurdles--depends on events), whistles, pencils, score sheets, teacher volunteers

Mathematical Heptathlon

In a school or grade-wide event, students will participate in a "Mathematical Heptathlon ". In this, the students will participate in seven events related to mathematics and physical activity. The event will be done utilizing the Sport Education Model. Students will work together and take turns (NASPE standard 5) timing and measuring, starting races, and recording scores at each event. The students will be placed into teams for them to compare scores, times, and measurements for the assigned math problems. Students will be challenged in both areas of study and in the end, hopefully find challenge and enjoyment in the Mathematical games (NASPE standard 6).

Example physical activities/mathematical problem events:
1. 100 m dash at same pace, what would you run X distance
2. 200 m Backwards dash Find mean, median, mode of the team
3. Medley relay power walking add distances together to see how far each participant needs to power walk
4. Discus convert distance thrown into different units of measurement.
5. 400 m relay - part of series for finding percentages and average of their team score
6. Long jump
7. Shot put

The outcome of the event will be to engage students in real world experiences dealing with distances and time measurements, while receiving some physical activity. With these measurements the students will be asked to perform different mathematical problems with the measurements they obtain from participating in each event.

Students will be actively exercising their brains and bodies throughout the event and should feel challenged in both areas. The event should bring a better grasp of different mathematical processes and real world math.


Any events can be done, as long as they relate physical activity and track events to real-life math.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

As this is a special event and using the Sport Education Model you may not have all students engaged in constant physical activity as they have certain tasks in directing and recording the events as well as participating. The emphasis is also involves student leadership.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Could implement a 50 meter wheel race for wheelchair users or use a beeper or bell at the finish line for a student with a visual impairment.

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Posted on PEC: 5/31/2013 and has received 56 votes.

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