MONTVILLE, NJ – At Hilldale Elementary School, students have been talking Super Bowl since September. The excitement centered on the school’s three fourth grade homerooms, who competed on Jan. 30 in Math Super Bowl IV. Fifty-eight fourth-graders faced off for a chance at the title of Champions in Math.
“We've designed the Math Super Bowl to be an exciting event,” said fourth grade teacher, Stacey Hogan. “As the children move into fourth grade, mastery of their math facts is critical to their success in math. Fourth grade math covers two-digit by two-digit multiplication, as well as long division. Without mastery of their math facts, students cannot progress.”
Since the first day of school, Hilldale’s three fourth grade teachers have been coaching their homerooms. All year the students and teachers prepared for Thursday’s big game. The students created banners and practiced math facts, “so they could fly through them on the day of the event,” said Hogan.
Through exercises and practice each homeroom learned teamwork.
Each homeroom also named their team and chose colors. Math Super Bowl IV saw Mrs. Hogan’s Flaming Red Hot Brainiacs, Mrs. Garibell’s Lightening Fast Lucky Leprechauns and Mrs. Weber’s Brave Wise Blue Bulls battle for top spots and everlasting math glory.
Two days before the event, students took math fact assessments that tracked their time and accuracy so they could secure a spot in the Math Super Bowl IV competition. On game day, proudly dressed in their team colors, the teams took to the field prepared to win.
“The homerooms compete against each other in all four operations,” explained Hogan. “We've structured it so that all kids have an opportunity to participate.”
Thirty students, ten from each team, competed in answering 75 questions per round. As the students finished, they were assigned a number from 1 through 30. Each round took three to five minutes to complete.
“I thought it was awesome,” said Sophia Kuznetsova, a fourth grade student who participated in all four math operation competitions. “I was nervous at first, but in the end it was pretty fun.”
Kuznetsova said she began preparing for Math Super Bowl IV last year when her mom gave her several sixth grade math workbooks with which to practice.
At the end of the day it was Mrs. Hogan’s Flaming Red Hot Brainiacs that emerged victorious as Math Super Bowl IV Champions. The Brainiacs were also the Multiplication and Division champions, but Mrs. Garibell’s Lightening Fast Lucky Leprechauns led in Subtraction and Mrs. Weber’s Brave Wise Blue Bulls led in the Addition operations.
The MVP’s for the day included Leprechaun, Thomas Chen, who finished first in all four operations. Wise Blue Bull, Nilay Patel and Brainiac, Adit Terapanthi, placed second and third, respectively.
Following the game, parent fans and teachers prepared a big "tailgate" party.
“In the end, it's a very fun day,” Hogan added. “The kids come to school filled with excitement over their math facts; what could be better than that!”