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A Math Tournament

**Update: Nov 23, 2020: Follow along on Twitter with some of the thinking at the hashtag #SMIT2020

COVID has created a global (and now chronic) pressure on all teachers in all classrooms, and the shifting, local realities have made teacher collaboration a precious commodity. It’s hard enough to find time to confer with colleagues under the best of situations, and now our major professional muster points are not currently viable–adding further value to any sense of connection that can be generated.

Bummer, right?

Perhaps a silver lining, however, is the drastic increase in teacher fluency with digital tools. I am not on the leading edge of these skills myself, but have noticed a general increase in comfort level with designing and enacting mathematical experiences in digital mediums. This got me wondering about ways to harness this new competency in order to re-capture some of the connectedness lost in recent months.

Then MULTI hit my Twitter feed. As if on cue, Federico Chialvo from Joyful Mathematics provides, what I consider, a perfect vehicle to spread a little math joy in classrooms. If you haven’t already interacted with this beautiful game, please do so. (Read the review from Games for Young Minds.) With Federico’s blessing, I began to play with possibilities of connecting classrooms to participate in games of MULTI. The result consists of a set of Google Slides and a sign up form, not exactly the smoothest tech solution, but one that is most likely familiar to teachers.

This post serves as an official invitation to the First Annual SMIT (Saskatchewan Mathematics Invitational Tournament). If you, or someone you know, teaches grades 4-8 (ish) in Saskatchewan, and wants to be involved in a friendly game of MULTI with another classroom from across the province, please fill out the form here. Somewhere around the start of November, the tournament will officially get underway.

  • It is not a huge time commitment (a move as a class about every-other-day)
  • The tech savvy required is low (click-and-drag objects on a Google slide deck).
  • The game beautifully entwines strategy with flexible, multiplicative thinking (a staple in elementary classrooms).

This is a pilot project, and I have no clue if/when it might become available to classrooms outside of Saskatchewan.

Update: The materials and logistics for hosting a similar tournament in your area are now posted here.

Connections and community have been challenged in the past few months, and the world can always use some more joyful mathematics. I hope you will join me in the endeavour.

If you are on the fence, these screenshots from the Official SMIT Google Slides might give you more context about the goals and/or gameplay of the tournament.


2 replies on “A Math Tournament”

My Grade 8 Math students at St. Augustine School (Humboldt) would like to join your math tournament if it is not too late! Thank-you. This is an awesome idea and could lead to so many great possibilities.

Dennis Corcoran

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