• Math Olympiads: Strengthening Problem Solving Ability

       We are gearing up for this year's Math Olympiad Competition!  Contests will be held once a month for five consecutive months, starting in November.  We are hard at work in class learning and discussing our problem solving strategies.  We are strengthening our ability to think like mathematicians!  
       One way we develop our problem solving and mathematical thinking ability is through exploring some prior Math Olympiad problems and applying different strategies to solve these.  Students then present and discuss their different solution strategies as a class.  Through this mathematical interaction and exploration, we support NCTM's Process Standards and the 8 Mathematical Practices of the Common Core Standards.   
       Occasionally, a "Take Home Olympiad" will be sent home with your child.  These are sent home as an opportunity for you to experience the type of problems and thinking your child explores in the Math Enrichment program.  Of course, they are also a great way to sharpen your mind, share great ideas, and see what your child has learned!  I encourage you and your child to independently take the contest in the allotted time.  When the time is up, discuss your strategies and solutions.  You will be amazed at the different ways you can process these mathematically rich, challenging tasks!  Here are some guiding questions to assist in discussion when reviewing the solutions and strategies with your child:   
    1.) Explain how you used George Polya's 4-Step Problem Solving Method.
    3.) Show and explain how you solved your problem.  Don't leave out any steps!  (Remind your child to explain a problem as though they are teaching someone who has never seen or doesn't understand a problem like this one.)
    4.) Show me how you checked your work.
    5.) Does this problem remind you of any others you've done?  Which one(s)?
    6.) Would you solve it differently the next time?  If so, how?   
    Have fun solving these problems!  Feel free to email Mrs. Kane with any comments or questions about these problems.