Fifth-graders become masters of math
For most elementary students, math is not a subject they really enjoy, let alone want to practice more they have to.
However, there is a small group of 12 students from all the elementary schools in New Richmond who have joined to become a part of the Math Masters group, a math competition for fifth-grade students.
“The students compete in groups of five, and there is an individual math facts portion, an individual story problem section and a group story problem section,” said Melissa Schulze, the elementary level Tiger Quest teacher. “The groups meet once per week to practice their math skills with parent volunteers.”
At their weekly meetings, the students practice fact drills, which vary from simple multiplication to complicated algebraic equations that require students to use the correct order of operations. The groups meet for their weekly practice sessions with their parent volunteer coaches in Schulze’s classroom at the respective buildings.
“The kids seem to enjoy being part of the group,” Schulze said. “They do a great job of working together to try and solve the difficult math problems they are faced with.”
Since Math Masters is only for fifth-grade students, none of the New Richmond students participating in the competition have any experience with the types of questions or problems that will be asked at the final competition in April, which will be held in Hammond. However, the students aren’t the only ones who are taking part in Math Masters for the first time.
“I am not sure as this will be my first experience with a Math Masters competition and it is only for fifth-graders so this will be their first experience as well,” Schulze said. “Although, I am told they are excited to go out to eat after the competition” To become part of the group, students are selected by their teachers and asked if they would like to become a part of Math Masters.
“Teachers select which students to give the permission slips to out of the students who have been shown to excel in math,” Schulze said.
At the competitions, students are split into three sections, including fact drills, individual story problems and group story problems. Each of the three sections has a different allotted time to be completed. Once the time is up, the scores are tallied both for individual students and as a team.