Students gear up for math tourney

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Calling all mathletes.

The Covington County Schools Elementary and Junior High Math Tournament will be held Thursday and Friday at the county board of education office.

Over the two-day tournament, students from each school compete in three different portions. The first, a written portion, has already been administered. The second and third portions include cyphering (solving problems in the shortest amount of time for the most points) in front of a large crowd, and team problem solving, respectively.

Covington County Schools Curriculum Coordinator Nikki Guilford and Guilford’s office administrator Sabrina Reynolds put this year’s tournament together.

Guilford said the benefits of the math tournament are two-fold.

“It encourages the students to excel for one thing,” Guilford said. “From the beginning of the year, they know the math team is going to be selected in the spring.

That’s something the kids work toward, the spot on the team.

“Not only is it an internal motivator, but they get accelerated at this time of year,” she said. “They’ve done all their grade level math, and these kids are focused on the competition as they’re moving ahead.”

The elementary math tournament will be held on Thursday, and the junior high tournament will be held on Friday. Action starts at 9 a.m. on both days.

Schools bring two teams from each grade level to the competition, which draws hundreds. Each team has seven students, and not only do they compete against other schools, the students can compete against each other.

“They prepare for weeks leading up to the tournament,” Guilford said. “They try to work problems above their grade level, and make sure they’re mastering own grade level.”

Guilford said the tournament has been around for quite a long time, at least 10 years.

Award ceremonies are slated for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, and at noon on Friday.

Guilford said trophies will be given to the winners, along with medals, and the highest score per grade level will be recognized as first, second or third place winners.

Additionally, the winners will have 365 days of bragging rights ahead of them.

“They have a lot of good and friendly competition,” she said. “They enjoy being able to win for their school.”