Students in Karen Keys' grade two class at Lynnmour Elementary School have placed second in Canada in a worldwide math competition called Number Rumble.
"I'm really happy and it was really fun," said Laura Laposi, grade two student, Lynnmour Elementary.
Number Rumble is a six-week online, interactive math competition where students in grades one through four use iPads and computers to do various math problems. The competition covers areas in math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, geometry, angles, symmetry, and many word problems. The problems are presented as fun games that use cartoon monkeys to capture and maintain student attention. Throughout the world, thousands of schools participated. Lynnmour Elementary competed in the Canadian division, which had 256 Canadian schools take part, and they placed second!
"My favourite part is that we had fun. And I like multiplication," said Lynn Elkins, grade two student, Lynnmour Elementary.
Every morning for one to three hours, students in Keys' class would pair up and huddle over iPads – enthusiasm reverberating around the classroom from persistent excited chatter as they tried to solve the math problems.
"They learned so much more than they would have from me just standing at the front of the class speaking," said Keys. "You could see the mental thinking, which as a teacher was very apparent."
Keys said she had to alter her teaching to make it more one-on-one and to allow for student self-driven exploration and learning. Her students took the initiative to help one another. They became really excited about math and they excelled – even learning math that is typically in the grades four and five curriculums. They also learned how to do much of the math quickly in their heads.
"We had to use our minds and help each other," said Connor Chmara, grade two student, Lynnmour Elementary.
"Ms. Keys told us that we don't need calculators; our brains are the calculators," said Elkans.
Throughout the six-week competition, students were able to track their daily score and standing versus other schools. In the final week of the competition, due to several days where Keys' class could not do Number Rumble because of other activities like sports day, the class dropped to third place. So, they had to step it up.
"The last few days we went Number Rumble crazy!" said Keys.
The hard work paid-off with Lynnmour Elementary School moving back up and clinching second place in the final standings. This second place finish means the school will now get free licenses for all classes to use the Number Rumble software. Math is part of the overall general focus of Lynnmour Elementary and now school staff members are working collaborative through the school planning process to embed the Number Rumble software into their math planning for next school year.