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MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition

February 12, 2008

On Saturday, I took a young team of 4 mathletes (2 boys and 2 girls!) to our region’s MATHCOUNTS chapter competition. You may recall that in the past, I’ve had to go to great lengths to get kids to try it. This year I had 4 willing (some even eager) participants, even though the kids who went last year didn’t end up going this year, for different reasons.

The kids all had a great time and can’t wait to go back. The team score was middle-of-the-pack, which is great considering that they are young and did not have any after-school practices.  And a little brag: one of the boys was my 11yo son. He made it into countdown (top 12) and won one of his matches before being eliminated. We think he will probably go to the State competition as one of four individuals from our chapter, but we won’t find out for sure until next week.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2008 8:39 pm


    Congratulations to you and your son!

  2. February 13, 2008 1:20 am

    Thanks, Sol!

  3. February 13, 2008 12:03 pm

    Congratulations! Our chapter competition is this weekend, and I have two eager competitors and two not-so-eager. (My son is one of the latter. He really, really, really didn’t want to do well on the school-level test, but at least he was honest enough not to sabotage his results.)

  4. February 15, 2008 12:58 am

    Good luck to your group, Denise! I hope they have a great time. May I recommend pizza? 😉 Our chapter doesn’t serve lunch, so we order pizza which I pick up during the team round, and we eat together between that and countdown. I think it definitely contributes to the overall quality of the experience for them. 😉

  5. February 15, 2008 10:28 am

    Our chapter takes care of the food situation: cookies and donuts beforehand and between rounds, then sub sandwiches and pie with the countdown round. Most of my boys (we didn’t have any girls try out this year) only tolerate the math, but they sure look forward to the food!

  6. February 15, 2008 4:55 pm

    Ah, very nice. Our chapter has snacks beforehand (muffins, pastries, etc.) and some drinks, but doesn’t touch lunch. State, on the other hand, serves lunch (pizza and a cookie and a fruit) but nothing earlier.

    Usually our Chapter give the kids all something (MATHCOUNTS Pencil, water bottle, ruler, or stuff from the the state’s Society of Professional Engineers) but they didn’t give out anything this time.

  7. February 18, 2008 11:21 am

    Our team had a great weekend at the competition. They are all 8th-graders, so this is their last year—I was proud to see them go out with a bang. Now we are headed to the State level, where we expect to be blown away by the big-city magnet schools.

  8. February 18, 2008 12:07 pm

    Congratulations, Denise. You might just surprise those magnet school teams. 🙂

  9. Bayram permalink
    March 31, 2008 11:04 pm

    Congrats on Mathcounts.

    I have a 13-student team (all but one – 6 graders). Is it reasonable to reduce the number of mathletes? I tried to get all 8 students into the chapter competition, but I’m thinking of taking only the smart and REALLY interested ones.

    What do you think?

  10. March 31, 2008 11:14 pm

    Bayram, are you talking about next year? Because all the chapter and most of the state competitions for this year are over by now.

    In general, I would say to take as many as you can. The kids I brought to chapter were not “REALLY interested” but they had a good time and I think having a good time doing math for “fun” is a pretty important goal at this level. I do some prep with the kids in class (not explicitly mathcounts prep, but we work on many mathcounts-style problems, and sometimes use the warmups and workouts in class) and I bring kids who have done no prep beyond that, if they’re interested and willing to give up a Saturday to it. Obviously, if you have 13, you will need to cut it down to 8 for chapter (though our chapter sometimes allows extra if there is space) but I would let anyone who shows up do the training, and then cut it down before chapter.

    Good luck!

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