In this video segment from TV 411, world champion figure skaters, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, are interviewed. They demonstrate some of their routines and talk about their practice schedule. Then they help a fan figure out the average number of hours they practice each day.
Here are some Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions for using this video in a math lesson.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame: The word average is used a lot in math as well as in everyday life. You may hear news reporters talk about the average number of cars sold in a month or the average price of gas. You may also hear about a baseball player’s batting average. What do you think the word average means in these examples?
Focus: During this segment, get a piece of paper and a pencil and record Tai and Randy’s practice schedule, noting the number of hours per day that they practice. Then follow the steps demonstrated in the video to figure out the average number of hours per day that they practice.
Follow Up: What is the average number of hours per day that Randy and Tai practice? Is there something that you do every day or several times a week? How could you figure out the average amount of time that you spend doing this activity?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH JOYNER: Averages are a good way to figure out just about anything; like how many hours per week you work, or how much money you spend on lunch. I'm Florence Griffith Joyner, and over a four year period, I won three Olympic gold medals, two silver medals, and a silver and a gold in the World Outdoor Championships. That's an average of 1.4 medals per year. Let's check in with some world champion figure skaters--whose careers are based on averages-for an easy lesson on how you can figure one out.
NARRATOR: If you never thought figure skating and math should be a pair, just look at the numbers. Legendary pair skaters Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner have been sharing the ice for three decades. During those years, they won one world championship, and for five consecutive years, they were crowned U.S. champions. And not to mention every time they take the ice in competition, math plays a big part in their end result.
TAI BABILONIA: Hey!
MAN: Hey, Randy, you and Tai are always on the ice. How many hours a day do you practice?
RANDY GARDNER: Well, let me think. On average, three, four, five hours a day.
TAI: We should be able to figure this out. Since our scores in competition are actually averages…
MAN: What do you mean by an "average"?
RANDY: I have an idea. Go round up four of your friends, and we'll show you an easy way to figure out an average.
NARRATOR: As Tai and Randy perform their routine to the music of Verdi, let's see for what elements the judges will be awarding high scores. Ah, synchronicity is so important. Nice spacing…you can tell that they've been skating together for a long time. Excellent balance…what grace! The judges love this kind of artistry. Look at that death drop-a dangerous move, yet perfect form. Beautiful! And they finish strong. Let's see what the judges think. First add up Tai and Randy's five scores. Seven plus nine plus nine plus ten plus ten equals forty-five. The next step is to divide by the number of judges. Forty-five divided by five judges equals nine. So Tai and Randy's average score is nine.
TAI: So, do you see how that works? Our final score is actually an average.
MAN: I get it. So this formula can apply to almost anything!
RANDY: Exactly. Now let's answer your question and figure out the average number of hours we practice per day.
TAI: Randy, do you remember our practice schedule last week?
RANDY: Hmm, let me think.
NARRATOR: First add up Tai and Randy's practice hours. Four hours on Monday, plus four hours on Tuesday, plus one hour on Wednesday, plus three hours on Thursday, plus three hours on Friday equals fifteen total hours. Next, divide fifteen hours by five days. You will find that Tai and Randy average three hours of practice per day.
TAI: Here's what we do when we look at the numbers.
RANDY: If the lowest number of hours that we practice is one, and the highest is four, then our estimate can't be lower than one or higher than four.
RANDY: Hey, I was thinking, this year marks the thirtieth anniversary of our skating together.
TAI: So that means we've been practicing three hours a day for the past thirty years.
MAN: That's a grand total of twenty-three thousand four hundred hours of practice!
RANDY: Gee, we deserve a day off!
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