Children First: Adding Up Success

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

Every student has their nitch, a certain subject in which he or she really excels. Well, the students who competed in the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics District Level Junior High Math Tournament are no different.

Competition included students from seven schools within Lauderdale County and included two students from the Meridian Christian Home Educators Association.

The MCTM sponsors the tournament in the hope of encouraging development and success in mathematics and beyond.

"Mathematics is not just simply achievement in answering a word problem, it's an overall skill. The skill that it takes to solve a problem makes that student a good problem solver in anything they then want to go and apply it towards," said coordinator Lisa Shannon.

The types of math problems students are solving are not simple math. The problems range from geometry to pre-algebra and are not limited to graphs and equations. Students must understand the questions accompanying the numbers to find the correct answer.

"It can be anything to do with area. It could be rectangles. It could be circumference. It could be measurement," said Shannon, "the whole range of concepts that you deal with in mathematics."

Students competing at the district level are 7th and 8th graders, who have already taken either 1st or 2nd place at their local competition for their grade level. They all have achieved a measure of success in math, but many of them also enjoy the subject.

"I like it because it's challenging and it deals with different shapes and sizes and things," said Evelyn Polk, a seventh grader.

The first and second grade winners from each grade level will go on to compete at the state tournament in Decatur on Apr. 8.

First place winners receive a $100 prize to use for anything they choose.

"I thought it was easy, but I don't think I did that good on it," said eighth grader Anthony Fortin. "But I hope I did."

Anthony did better than he thought. He took the second place award for the eighth grade. Katherine Forester took first place.

In the seventh grade competition, Caleb Callahan won first place and Allen Massingill took second place.


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