The first player has made a fairly large number of

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the first player has made a fairly large number of field goal attempts, his or her per- centage is likely to be very stable; however, the second player has made relatively few attempts so his or her percentage might fluctuate more despite equivalent play over the next few games. For example, if both players make 2 of the next 5 field goal L E S S O N 4
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From NCAA Basketball Fast Break: Lessons Across the Curriculum With the NCAA, © 2003, NCAA. 183 Third Grade–Fifth Grade Math attempts, their averages would be .648 and .588 respectively. This is why box scores usually list both the FG-FGA ratio and the percentage after each players’ names. This practice gives a more accurate statistical picture of the athletes’ performances. Accurate sports statistics are important to newspapers and colleges. Newspapers regularly request sports statistics so they can identify the leaders in various catego- ries such as rebounding and scoring; coaches are interested in a potential student- athlete’s statistics. This lesson involves solving word problems about sports by find- ing percentages and finding the percentage of a number. Students are encouraged to verify their answers. Introduce the Lesson Show the class the sports pages from several editions of the local newspaper and tell them that they will be working on problems related to sports statistics. Explain the need for accuracy. Follow These Steps 1. Review how to change a fraction to a decimal by dividing the numerator by the denominator. 2. Copy the following information to the chalkboard and discuss the basketball abbreviations from lesson 1, “Basketball Box Scores,” on page 168: FGM-FGA 3P-3PA FTM-FTA Player 1 58-123 4-11 23-34 3. Compute Player 1’s percentages, explaining each step as you do so. Remind stu- dents that the bar in a fraction indicates division and that ª means approxi- mately equal to. field goals = FG = 58 = .4715447... ª 47.2% field goals attempted FGA 123 4. Have the class find Player 1’s other two percentages. Spot-check the answers. (Answers: 3P = 4 =.363636... ª 36.4 % FT = 23 = .676470... ª 67.6%) 3PA 11 FTA 34 5. Inform students that because statistics must be correct, they must be double- checked. To check Player 1’s field goal percentage, multiply that percentage by the number of field goals Player 1 attempted. The answer should equal the num- ber field goals made. PCT FGA = FG 47.2% 123 = FG .472 123 = FG 58.056 = FG Compare the answer to the actual number of field goals Player 1 made. The numbers should be approximately the same. Because the percentage used in the check had been rounded, the answer produced is slightly off.
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From NCAA Basketball Fast Break: Lessons Across the Curriculum With the NCAA, © 2003, NCAA. 184 Third Grade–Fifth Grade Math 6. Distribute the Math in the Sports Pages: Sports Percentages worksheet and tell students that the problems contain information found in the newspaper or on Web sites. Circulate and help students as needed.
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