Ms. Nancy Bierly’s class competed in the online Sumdog Math contest for all K-8 grade students in Santa Clara County in February. As winners of the county level, they moved on to the National Sumdog contest and on March 31 won again. In the National Contest 558 classes and 13,401 students participated.
On this website students answered math questions. They only needed to play for about an hour in total to get a competitive score. These online math games adapted to each student’s level of knowledge and skill, giving everyone participating a fair chance to accumulate a great score.
“I have entered my classes in these competitions every year for the last 3 years,” Bierly said. “The fact that my second graders are competing against students from first grade to eighth grade makes their accomplishment even more amazing.”
Each contest requires a minimum of 10 students from a class to participate in order for the class and individual students to appear on the leaderboard. Each student has a limit of 1,000 questions. The students enjoy playing against each other, while working at their individual level.
Sumdog helps the students work on their math skills as the games are correlated with the Common Core and key state standards. Students get the opportunity to practice their math as well as be introduced to higher math skills as they improve.
“I found that it motivated my students to focus on their math lessons knowing that I have entered them in a national or county contest,” Bierly added. “Student confidence increased and they realized they were becoming leaders as they were able to help their peers. They also became part of a team that worked together towards a common goal.”
She said after seeing how her students respond this program, she plans to do this every year during her teaching career.
The second graders need to watch out for their own school mates in first grade, however. In Bishop’s front office, visitors can see certificates for two of the school’s first graders who were both recognized for being in the top ten of all of the students in the Santa Clara County Sumdog math contest.