Math Pentathlon

View Committee Chair Contact Information Here

Math Pentathlon Club focuses on learning and playing strategy games that exercise different math skills. The club is parent-run, meaning we need you to participate!  We meet for 9 weeks in the fall, and 8-12 weeks in the spring.  The spring season culminates with an optional tournament for Austin area schools.

Based on a curriculum from the Math Pentathlon Institute, the program consists of interactive problem-solving games that strengthen basic math concepts, develop problem-solving skills, and encourage good sportsmanship. The games are more like chess or checkers than math fact drills. Fall club meetings focus on teaching the games, and spring meetings focus on playing and developing strategy. See http://www.mathpentath.org for more information.

The games and learning activities are designed for kids of all math abilities and all grade levels. Students are divided into three divisions: K-1 (Division 1), grades 2-3 (Division 2), and grades 4-5 (Division 3). There is a set of five, age appropriate strategy games for each division. Under the supervision of adult volunteers, groups of four students learn each game in a cooperative manner through a progression of activities and simplified rules.  Math Pentathlon games promote creative thinking and instill a positive attitude towards math, and the group learning environment encourages sportsmanship and communication skills. In the spring, the kids play one-on-one and can participate in competitive tournaments in the Austin area.

Meetings

For 2017-18, the club continues to meet on Wednesdays after school, Sep 20-Nov 15. Spring meetings will resume on Jan 24. Other key highlights follow.  Please contact the club chairperson (listed below) with questions.

  • Safety patrol will help K and 1st get to the meeting.
  • Parents lead the meetings, hence the requirement to volunteer.  (Training and the lesson plans are provided.)
  • Parents must arrange for pickup promptly at 3:45 (K & 1st) or 4:00pm (2nd-5th).
  • Students will be brought to the front, circle drive for pickup.
  • At 10 minutes past pickup time, volunteers will call you or your emergency contact.
  • Membership may be revoked for misbehavior or late pickups.
  • The club charges a small material fee which goes straight to the PTA.  Scholarships are available.

Registration

This is a club completely run by volunteer parents at Doss. The number of participants is limited and a volunteer commitment is required (about 2 or 3 times per semester). Last year we switched to Wednesday meetings to avoid conflicts with after school music events. There are two easy steps to register:

  1. Register online using this form: https://form.jotform.us/72288453206155, or submit a paper form to the office.
  • We will make room for anyone who registers prior to the first meeting.
  • Only one form per family is needed.
  1. Sign up to volunteer at club meetings at: http://signup.com/go/iQvpfRp.  A description of volunteer roles appears near the bottom of this page.
  • We need K/1st parents to volunteer 3 times and 2/3rd parents to sign up 2 times. We need one or two key parents to lead each of the three divisions.
  • If you use a different email address on the registration form and the volunteer sign-up, please let us know so we can track your volunteer commitment.  We want to be fair!
  • We just need a responsible helper: you, another parent, a grandparent, a nanny, etc.(If you plan on someone else helping, let the chairperson know so you get “credit”.)
  • We are only asking for three meetings total, no matter how many children participate.  Of course, more frequent help is needed and appreciated.
  1. Pay your material fee by the third meeting (Oct 4).
  • The material fee is $20 for the first child and $10 each for siblings.
  • Make checks payable to “Doss PTA”.
  • Scholarships are available!  Contact the club chairperson (see page bottom). Please do not let this fee keep your child from participating.
  1. Want to learn the games?  Sign up for interest in training here: http://signup.com/go/imKOchP. We will schedule training in mid-September, usually the week before we start club meetings.

Volunteers

Simply put, we must have several volunteers each week in order to hold meetings. (We will cancel specific grade sessions that are short volunteers.) Please use SignUp.com (http://signup.com/go/iQvpfRp ) to sign up for one of the roles below.

                Lead Volunteer       Teaches the game or concepts based on a pre-defined curriculum.

                Wrangler                   Keeps track of the kids and insures they are picked up.

                Helper                        Guide groups of four students based on the Lead Volunteer directions.

We support our volunteers–you do not need to be a math wiz to help!

  • Each game box has contains rule summary sheets for the volunteers.
  • Each week, a copy of the teaching materials and game rules are e-mailed to all the volunteers, based on the Volunteer Spot listings.
  • The volunteers occasionally meet after kid bedtime to practice the games.

Training

Adult volunteers are encouraged to attend a free training session, tentatively scheduled for mid-September.  Sign up to show your interest in a training session at: http://signup.com/go/imKOchP

National Tournaments

Last year, over twenty Doss students became “National Pentathletes” after competing in the Austin area tournaments. These national tournaments were well-organized, a positive competition environment, and each participant was recognized with an award. The kids used skills learned at club meetings to compete against different opponents in each of the five games.  Save these Saturdays for this season’s national tournaments (registration starts in September):

Division 1 (Kinder & 1st)         April 7, 2018

Division 2 (2nd & 3rd)                April 21, 2018

Division 3 (4th & 5th)                 April 28, 2018

Individually register your student for a tournament at http://www.mathpentath.org/ starting in last September. Contact Jeff Russell for detailed registration steps, so you are placed on the Doss “team”.

Additional Information

The Math Pentathlon Institute website: www.mathpentath.org

Please contact Jeff Russell at KleinStuff@austin.rr.com or 512-415-9809 for more information.

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