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Elementary School Math Club First Meeting 2014

by Jennifer Choi, Oxford Academy, Class of 2017, and Daniel Shi, Sage High School, Class of 2017

On October 5, twenty-two nervous yet eager fourth to sixth grade students from all across Orange County showed up at the Avid Academy Northwood campus for the first Elementary School Math Club meeting. The meeting was the first of the five meetings of the Elementary School Math Club Fall Session, in which enthusiastic young students will be introduced to competition math and will develop a passion for math at an early age.
Volunteers, dressed in OCMC T-shirts, greeted parents and students warmly and helped parents to sign their children in before directing students inside to the classroom. Once everyone was settled, the volunteers officially kicked off their first class at approximately 1 PM. After briefly introducing themselves, the teachers started off with a quick icebreaker called “Two Truths and a Lie.” Each student went around introducing themselves with his or her name, school, and three facts, with one of the facts being a lie that other students had to identify. Soon, the tension in the classroom vanished as students became acquainted with one another.

Following the icebreaker, students received an opening test that would help them get a sense of the math concepts that were in store for the year to come and would allow the directors to gauge the students’ mathematical experience and ability. The classroom was silent as students diligently worked on the challenging twenty-problem test to solve as many problems as possible in the given forty minutes. Meanwhile, the volunteers updated students on how much time they had left and efficiently graded tests as students turned them in.

Volunteers then distributed handouts for the lesson of the day, which was a basic review of PEMDAS, fractions, and decimals. Students focused as teachers taught the material on the board. They then worked on the practice problems while volunteers went around the room to help students who were unsure how to solve the problems. As the end of the two-hour class neared, students were handed back their tests and were also given a “Mental Math Tricks” handout to look over at home.

After the successful first class, numerous students and parents expressed their thanks to the volunteers for holding the class. Their gratitude foretells that students will come back to each class even more eager and ready to learn.

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