Marcia Kraut, Kingston Elementary School math instructor, summed up the routine of the annual competition.
“Math Fest is a competition where each school has six kids on a team and one alternate. During [one portion] of the competition, they answer questions and the last team with people in the competition is the winner,” Kraut said, adding the individual students receive a first-, second- and third-place trophy. “Another part of the competition is the math trail competition where they work in groups to solve puzzle problems and things like that and they earn points, so the group that earns the most points at the end of that competition wins. It’s really fun and the kids work hard all year to compete here.
“Some students have smaller competitions at their schools and the winners from those competitions end up being on the Math Fest team and other schools select their students for their team.”
She said Math Fest is a way to engage students and get them excited about math.
“Kids love competition and [at KES] we have a monthly competition that helps gauge them and they know when they leave that competition, they’re aware of what they still need to learn,” Kraut said. “So, we’re hoping that when they go back into the classroom, they’re more eager to ask questions, and [math competitions are] a motivation for them to learn more.”
She continued, “All of the questions in this competition are aligned with the Common Core standards. Both grades need to be fluent in whole number computation, they have to have a good, conceptual understanding of multiplication and division, they need to have a good, conceptual understanding of fractions, they also need to know how to compute using fractions, there’s some measurement questions and geometry questions and ... some decimals.
“We have the Common Core Standards, which are the standards we aspire to; we have our Georgia Frameworks activities, which are more hands-on oriented math work; we do a lot of group work in math — kids working together toward a common goal or to learn the concepts and procedures; we do a lot of strategies ... to solve problems hoping that each individual can enter into a problem at their own level.”
For example, Jaden Musacchio, a fifth grader at White Elementary School, won 1st Place Individual.
“When we were practicing we would go to Ms. [Jill] Upchurch’s room during special areas and during recesses and work on math problems we had in previous years and do a smaller version of [Math Fest],” Musacchio said.
Musacchio said while she was nervous, she felt she was well-prepared for the competition.
“During some of those questions I was thinking ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to lose it,’ ... but I just thought about what I did before I came and remembered what to do with the problems,” Musacchio said.
She described what she considered the competition’s most difficult question: “Today there was a question about ears of corn and you had to figure out how many were sold in a day and you were given the total for five days and you had to estimate it and I messed up on that one because they wanted to round to the thousandth,” Musacchio said.
The only schools not to compete were Taylorsville Elementary School and Mission Road Elementary school.
This year’s Math Fest winners are:
Fourth grade — Timed Test, Autumn Henderson, Adairsville Elementary School; 1st Place Individual, Tifton Worthington, Emerson Elementary School; 2nd Place Individual, Landon Luginbuhl, WES; 3rd Place Individual, Camden Meadows, Cloverleaf Elementary School; Winning School/Question Competition, Clear Creek Elementary School; and Winning School Math Trail Competition, AES.
Fifth grade — Timed Test, Kayla Jenkins; 1st Place Individual, Jaden Musacchio, WES; 2nd Place Individual, Dylan Matthews, WES; 3rd Place Individual, Kyla Jenkins, CES; Winning School/Question Competition, WES; and Winning School Math Trail Competition, Euharlee Elementary School.