Sunday, May 11, 2014

Math Pentathon

For the first time, Dane join the Math Pentathlon team at his school. They initially met one day a week after school to learn and practice the games. Closer to competition, they begin meeting twice a week.

Math Pentathlon is a program of interactive problem-solving games, supportive curricular and instructional activities, and assessment tools for students in grades K-7. This motivational program strengthens basic math concepts and skills, aligns with National and State Mathematics Standards, and stimulates creative thinking while developing problem-solving skills. (from the taken MP website)

In grades four and five, the games are "Queens and Guards," "Juggle," "Contig 60," "Fab-A-Diffy," and "Stars & Bars." All have some luck and some strategy involved.

On Saturday, May 3rd, MP teams from Austin and Pflugerville met at the Delco Center in Austin for the big tournament. The tournament is set up so that each contestant plays each game once and always against someone who is not from their own team. Each game is 45 mins long. So it was full day for us!

Dane with his Bulldog Team
Back row: Garret, Andrew, Golden
Front row: Grace, Kyra, Dane, Abigail
(with 4th grade teacher Ms. De Léon in the second pic)
This is what the competition floor looks like. Parents and spectators sit in the upper area of bleachers to watch. You may notice that there is an adult at every game station. They are the game monitors. Game monitors are there to "judge" if a challenge on the rules is called by either player. However, they are not allowed to talk or comment on anything they see unless there was a challenge called.
 Ed volunteered as a game monitor for "Queens and Guards."
 Dane played well and won 3 out of the 5 games. Earning himself 11 points.
 Once all the games were played, the teams came out one at a time, with their school banners, for applause and awards.
 Awards are based on points. 10 points and below earns a ribbon of participation. 11 points earns a ribbon of "Honorable Mention." 12 points earns a bronze medal, 13 points earns a silver medal, 14 points earns a gold medal, and 15 point earns a "Hall of Fame" medal (which means you won all 5 games.) 

Dane and teammate Abigail earned "Honorable Mention" ribbons. Great job for first time in a competition!
The rest of the Bulldog Team earned ribbons of participation. Everyone on the team won at least one game so the coaches were very pleased!
Dane really enjoyed Math Pentathlon. We are hopeful his new middle school will have a team he can join so he can participate again next year.

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