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Eagle View third graders take on a new math challenge

A new math program designed to enrich pre-existing curriculum is being implemented at Eagle View Elementary School.

Students from three third-grade classrooms are participating in the Continental Mathematics League for the first time this year, and so far, the program has been a success, said third-grade teacher Deanne Trottier.

The league challenges students to three meets throughout the school year, where they are presented with six math problems they work out on their own. Students receive points for correct answers and are recognized for both individual and team achievements.

The three classrooms have turned the league into a friendly competition among themselves, but Trottier said they are also able to compare their scores to classrooms in other local districts and across the country.

The program was first suggested by another third-grade teacher, Sean Bengtson, who sought to challenge his students who were advanced in math for their grade level. The Math League problems, he said, “take a little more sustained effort” to solve.

Trottier said she appreciates that the league provides a way to challenge advanced students without moving them up another grade level in curriculum as well as to foster group learning. Once they’ve each had a chance on their own to solve the problem, the students work the problem out together as a group.

“What they’ve learned is there will probably only be one answer, but there isn’t always one right way to get to that answer,” she said.

In addition to Bengtson and Trottier’s classes, third-graders from Kathie Harman’s multiage class also formed a team. The final meet for this year will take place March 13. The students with the two highest overall scores from each class will receive a commemorative pin.

Continental Math League began in 1980 and also provides supplementary materials for grades 4-9 in current events, geography, social studies, language arts and science.

Chelsey Perkins
Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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