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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.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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