Thursday, May 30, 2013

New physical education game multiplies with math

Mary Lou Baranowski, a physical education teacher at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary, recently challenged her students to a new game called Kinect-4.
Connecting at Lindbergh Schweitzer
"When a teacher brings to the classroom other disciplines of study, students benefit," said Coach Mary Lou. "The game of Kinect-4 incorporates math and problem-solving skills into a vigorous physical education activity."

Baranowski, named this year's Southwest District Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, was intrigued by the game that was strikingly similar to the popular Connect 4, but with physical activity included. In Connect 4, players attempt to fill four consecutive slots with their markers.

In "Kinect-4," the object is for players to still connect four of their game pieces, but now it's a large board, laying flat on the ground. Before they can place their markers, students solve various problems and work on a variety of sports and fitness related skills.

"The object of the game is to create a sequence of 4 co-linear squares," she said. "The squares may be placed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, but they must be in a straight, continuous line. The game of Kinect-4 features a multitude of complexity levels, making it adaptable to a wide-range of grade and ability levels."

For more information about Kinect-4, contact Baranowski at