Northbrook Junior High Students place 3rd in international online math contest
When students can smell victory and the prize is pizza, there's no telling what they can do. Mary Claire Seeberg's Northbrook Junior High geometry students completed 75,048 math problems in the month of April to take third place in an international online 'IXL Learning Showdown.'
The effort resulted in impressive bragging rights -- the class competed in the grades 9 to 12 category because they are enrolled in a high-school level class and there were more than 26,000 classes around the world registered for the competition. The Learning Showdown was held by IXL, an online supplemental math resource program. Ms. Seeberg said she has been using the resource to help students brush up on all of their skills in preparation for the Illinois Assessment of Readiness.
When IXL launched the Spring Learning Showdown with prize money for a classroom pizza party, Ms. Seeberg's students jumped at the chance. Using a leaderboard in the classroom, the students could see each other's progress and could check their standings online within their category. After the first two weeks, they could see they were in the running to place in the contest. Soon her students were accessing the program during their spare time at school, in the evenings and weekends, Ms. Seeberg said.
Eighth-grader Matthew Yuan completed 8,070 problems, and Ellie Farber was close behind with 8,013 problems. Matthew said he sometimes stayed up late at night to complete more problems. "If it's for pizza then I'll do it," he said.
Ellie Farber completed the second-most problems in the class at 8,013.
"It's fun, it's a challenge and you get to learn new things. The competition was fun," she said.
Even with the students' eyes on the prize, there are lasting benefits to the challenge. Ms. Seeberg saw it as an opportunity to unite the remote learning students with the in-person students.
"I hope the students always remember how they came together as a hybrid class. We had active engagement from both our students in the Remote Learning Academy and students attending school in-person. It also helps that they learned and practiced some math along the way!" Ms. Seeberg said.