What’s all the excitement about!?
Meadow Park held its first (and hopefully annual) 7th Grade Solve for "x" Math Challenge. It was a HUGE success, involving 64 different teams and spanning 8 different 7/8 math classes. Each team had 3-4 students and each battle was between four different teams resulting in two teams advancing from each battle. There was a double elimination bracket so teams who lost one battle had the opportunity to come back - and they did!
So how did this all work?
Throughout the week, teams worked together to solve a given equation for “x.” Equations were at least 3 steps and some equations required up to 8 steps. The equations got harder as you made your way deep into the tournament. Everyone on the team had to write the problem down and show all of their work individually. They were allowed to work together and help each other - group thinking was encouraged and celebrated. Calculators were also allowed. Once a team was ready with their answers, they raised their hand to signal that they were ready for the “answer check.” If the answer was correct, they placed their team’s sticky note on the large Connect 4 grid (7x6). This added another level of strategic thinking for each team. Not only did they have to be quick and accurate at solving equations, but they needed strategies to potentially be the first team with a “connect 4.” The first two teams to “connect 4” advanced to the next round. Each battle will be 45 minutes in length. Tie breakers scenarios and challenge problems were administered if teams failed to “connect 4” within the time constraint.
How did it end?
Our final championship was held this afternoon in the Meadow Park Library at 1:00pm and was viewed by many through our Facebook Livestream. The excitement was palpable! We saw team motivation and camaraderie like we’ve never seen before. It was a fantastic way to keep our students focused and fully engaged in math learning, leading up to the start of winter break!
So what did our teachers have to say?
“My heart is full. I am grateful for how this math tournament went down and elated to see that I just so happen to trick 200+ 7th graders into doing 8th grade math super-fast! I am beyond proud at the result. Kids who have struggled all year are understanding how to solve for x! I go home happy knowing these little victories are occurring and students are building up their confidence and belief in themselves.”
“It definitely added to them WANTING to learn the math, and when they do, you see the fire and pride in their eyes.”
What if I want to learn more about this challenge?
You can find out more information through these resources. You can also check out our social media campaign through YouTube Videos, Instagram & Facebook:
To the amazing 7th grade math teachers for making this happen!: Jesse Slick (mastermind of the tournament), David Kloucek, Harrison Merims, Eric Ruiz, and Janet Sanders
And the staff who helped make this possible: Jared Freeman, Sandy Boe, Kim Haskins, Jenn Mann, Nancy Elsmore for letting us take over the Library, The C-hall team for letting us disrupt their flow on Thursday and Friday, and the parent volunteers who helped with crowd control. It was a combined effort and couldn't have happened if everyone wasn't onboard and constantly willing to serve our kiddos.
An additional thanks to our valuable collaboration time on Early Release Wednesdays when teachers are able to plan for and execute awesome experiences that motivate students to apply their learning in a variety of creative and motivating ways.
I'm Interested In...
These blog posts will be compiled by the team to show our current interests, and what we are doing around the district!