Friday, April 20, 2007

Life Lessons


Today was a peek into the not-so-distant future for me. Kyra & I picked up my Mom & Dad early this morning, and drove down to Corvallis, where my niece, Tatum, got to take part in the Math Olympics, held each year by the Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI).

"What are the Math Olympics?" you say. When I first heard about them, I thought they'd be like a spelling bee, only for math. Not so. Here's a brief description from the ASCI handbook:

ACSI Math Olympics

Objectives:
1. To stimulate an interest in mathematics.
2. To recognize the achievements of students in mathematics.
3. To offer students an opportunity to glorify God in the use of their mathematical abilities.
4. To provide these students an opportunity to meet and fellowship with others interested in mathematics.

Description:
1. The Math Olympics is a series of tests, with each test being considered as a round. The competition will consist of three or four rounds. The final round will be used only to break ties. Work will be collected between rounds by representatives of the participating schools.
2. Two categories of competition are offered.
Computation: Problems will be of the paper/pencil computational variety (example: fundamental operations).
Reasoning: These paper/pencil problems will be more difficult than the daily mathematical assignments of the student's grade level. They involve more than one operation and/or concept and require a high level of reasoning (example: story problems, patterns, puzzles).
3. No calculators may be used in the Math Olympics.
4. The Math Olympics is a testing situation and visitors are not permitted in the room during the tests. Visitors are permitted at the awards assembly.

Eligibility:
Students in grades 3 - 8 may participate in the Math Olympics. Each school may send a maximum of three students in computation and three students in reasoning for each grade level (not each classroom). No student may perform in both categories. Maximum delegates per school would be 36 students. Schools should conduct their own math "run-off" and send their top students at each grade level to the ACSI Math Olympics. Each school must compile their own run-off math problems, using the ACSI samples as a guideline. Work will be judged in each grade level and in each category. Participating schools must bring four adults to the Olympics to be used as helpers. Two of the individuals must be teachers who will be asked to administer or monitor tests.

Schedule:
The Math Olympics is a half-day event in the spring of the year that gives students several months to sharpen their math skills before competing in the Olympics.

Awards:
All students will receive a certificate of participation. Ribbons will be awarded to the top five students in each grade and category. The first-place student in each grade and each category with a minimum FCC of 85% accuracy will receive a medallion instead of a ribbon.
Like it says above, each school is only allowed to bring 6 students from each grade, and my niece was one of them! We are so proud of her! And what's extremely funny is, she certainly didn't get her math-whizness from her aunt! In fact, I would probably not even qualify now for today's event--Can someone say, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

Anyway, when all was said and done, there were some very happy kids, and some that had to learn a kinda hard lesson today. There's always going to be someone that's better at something than you are. It's how you choose to respond to your situation that shows what kind of person you really are.

Well back to the "future glimpse". I realized today as a parent, it is our job to be our kids' biggest cheerleaders in all situations, but especially when the gold medals or blue ribbons go to someone else. In addition, how we respond to disappointment, also says volumes to those little eyes who are watching us.

Again, Tatum, we are very, very proud of you, and you'll get em' next year!

Blessings all, K~

2 comments:

d said...

especially when the gold medals or blue ribbons go to someone else.

I find it hard to believe that MY litle girl would do anything but finish first...

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