What Are People Saying About Math Pentathlon?

I want to relay a story to you about one of our fifth grade Pentathletes who earned a silver medal this year. This student was retained at his grade level last year due to some medical and academic challenges. He still struggles academically, but has shown significant strides in math this year. Having learned the games last year in school, he was a “step ahead” of his classmates when we began introducing the games. He took great pride in that fact and it gave him something academically to be proud of. He is always so focused when we play the games or work on strategy skills. The last couple months I was amazed at how well he was doing at the games (even though he still struggled with some of the basic math skills – like adding his running score in Stars & Bars). He had really grasped the strategies and worked so hard to master the games. Winning four games at the tournament and earning a silver medal was a major victory for him. The math pentathlon program has not only helped make him a better student but it has instilled confidence and a stronger drive to succeed.

I love that kids of all abilities can benefit from the math pentathlon games and that the tournament has an “everyone is a winner” atmosphere. Our thirteen students all had a very positive experience regardless of how many games they won. I am so happy to be able to provide this positive academic experience to these students, many of whom are from social-economic backgrounds that make them at risk of academic failure.

Anne Wolf, School Coach & Parent, St. Michael – St Gabriel, Indianapolis, Indiana

The Mathematics Pentathlon games have had a tremendous impact on the Math Program at our school. More and more students are saying that they like math class and test scores have improved noticeably. Each year there is a waiting list of students wanting to join the after-school Pentathlon Math Club. Participation in the Pentathlon Program has certainly added a spark of excitement to my teaching and, I believe, made a difference in the lives of many of my students.

Augusta McAnulty, Teacher, Hazel H. Hendricks School, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana

I hope you know what a difference I believe you’ve made in the lives of my kids. They are very strong in math in the classroom, on standardized tests, and in “real life”. It’s the one subject I know they’ll always do well in, because they have a strong foundation. So, thanks for creating games that have had such a profound effect on kids’ lives!

Eileen Sailor, Parent, St. Maria Goretti, Westfield, Indiana

Math can come easy for some, or be extremely difficult for others.  While we try to meet each child at their level to teach them the skills they’ll need to become thriving members of an adult society, sometimes there are gaps.  Those gaps can be closed sometimes by introducing math in another way.  What if there was a set of games that would incorporate ACTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING (think chess), COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT, and PEER SUPPORT???  Funny you should ask, there are sets of games that do just that: the Math Pentathlon Games and Program.

I noticed something different right away about this program.  When the kids sat down, they all shook hands and said, “good luck” to their opponent.  Then, they talked across the table with each other on what they thought the next move should be.  Then, when the game was over, they all shook hands again and said, “good game”.  I have to say, I was astounded by the attitude they all had.   Little did I know, that was the beginning of my love of all things math!   Really.  Honestly.  I was not a math fan, until Math Pentathlon!

Teaching the games became something I never thought I’d ever do, but I took over Math Pentathlon at Reagan Elementary.  I was nervous.  The prior Math Pentathlon was so good at it.  Would I be able to do it?  Well, with the help of many other volunteers, the program continues to grow and evolve

With all the competition in the sports world, there are few that exercise the mind like math does.  It’s nice to know that the Math Pentathlon is an outlet for children to explore, enjoy and compete mathematically.  Check out a Math Pentathlon Tournament and you’ll get a very good sense of what it’s really like to be at a tournament. The energy and brainpower in one room is truly something to behold.    It’s nice to know that even as an adult, there’s always something out there to push us out of our comfort zone and open our eyes to new possibilities.  For me, it was Math Pentathlon.  I hope that you’ll branch out and see if maybe it might be a good fit for you as well.

Christine Mauer
Instructional Assistant for Resource/Inclusion
Reagan Elementary, Austin, TX
School Contact Designee – Reagan Elem. And Henry Middle School

I have been involved with the Mathematics Pentathlon for over 20 years. I have coached competitive teams for grades 2 through 5 and used the games in my classroom for grades K-1. In my opinion there are no other games for children who do what these games do. It has been my experience that the games fit for children of all abilities from the brightest to those with more limited abilities. Children who are in academically talented programs, regular education programs, and special education programs have been able to participate successfully. All levels of competency benefit in the following ways: increased computational skills, active problem solving, sense of fair play, attention to detail (learning game rules), the experience of winning and losing, and providing children who are not able to compete in team sports a chance to be successful.

Judy Campbell, Retired Teacher and Current Pentathlon Coach, Mason Public Schools, Lansing, Michigan

I would like to let you know that we are so thankful for all the efforts you put in the Math Pentathlon program especially the time and energy. The workshops you conduct every year for the adults (parents and coaches) are extremely useful. Especially for a working mom like me, I learned the games and rules during the workshops and later practiced with my kids at home since they didn’t have any Math Pentathlon program in the schools they attend.

With a heavy heart I need to say goodbye to the Math Pentathlon Program which I have been actively involved for the last ten years since both of my boys completed this program. We are taking with us the knowledge and experience we acquired during the past several years and also many fond memories that we will cherish forever in our life.
With regards and gratitude,

Anne James.
MP Parent for 10 years in Austin, TX

Math Pentathlon has helped improve students’ confidence to solve problems critically and creatively. The activities are fun, engage the students, all while challenging their thought processes. Teachers see the benefits of using Math Pentathlon in their classrooms due to increased student understanding of difficult concepts. Parents love Math Pentathlon because it keeps their children challenged while increasing the depth of their understanding of mathematical concepts.
Beth Needermeyer, Principal, Fishback Creek Public Academy, Indianapolis, Indiana

Math Pentathlon has taught me that I probably should have been a teacher. I’m not good at the math games, but I’m really good at teaching the games! Teaching the games gives me a certain energy that I never could have expected. One of the most positive things about the games is that they unveil talents that kids never could have expected. The “smart kids” in the class aren’t always the best game players. This is because the games reveal talents not tapped into by traditional educational methods, but talents that are so vital to the types of thinking and strategizing necessary in certain real world professions. Stated simply, the games help kids “think outside the box!”
Nina Brahm, Math Coach and Parent, Wayne Township, Indianapolis, Indiana

In seventeen years of teaching I have seen many instructional programs come and go. Often this is because they are not “teacher friendly”, matching state models, or not fun for kids. Math Pentathlon meets all of these requirements and more. I enthusiastically support this program for all students.
David Herick, Fifth Grade Teacher, Sugarcreek Local Schools, Ohio

The annual tournaments are a unique part of this program and are a big attraction to probably the great majority of children participating. The desire to compete provides additional incentive to the children to play the games, which in turn improves their math skills. Preparation for the tournaments is exciting and energizing. Competition in them is also valuable in many ways beyond a math education. Tournaments are real-life experiences that provide lessons in learning about oneself and other people. These lessons are in such areas as team support, standing up for oneself, logical legalistic argument, and most importantly, good sportsmanship. This has kept me involved in the program even though my youngest child has graduated from it.

Laurie Dubin, Parent and Math Coach, Walled Lake Schools, Michigan

My daughters have been part of MP for 4 years and not only have they gained math fluency, strategy and planning skills but they most importantly have gained life experiences.  Playing one on one with other kids and learning to take a win and a loss at tournament has taught them so much.  My oldest lost her first 2 games at her first tournament and shed many tears but made me proud by picking herself back up and continuing on to win 2 games and a happy tie for the last game.  There are not a lot of opportunities for competition for kids that do not play sports and my kids love MP tournament play.  MP has taught my kids how to perform under pressure, truly learn the meaning of sportsmanship, and to be proud of their performance.  Win, lose or draw; they have had fun while learning and competing!
Thanks Rene,

Michelle Gonzales
School Contact Designee and Coach at Baldwin Elementary in Austin, TX

I have been involved with the Pentathlon program for about 5 years. All students, at all levels of math skills, can play and succeed at the games. I have had both behaviorally problem students, along with academically challenged students, place in the tournaments. What a difference winning can do to change a poor self-esteem to an attitude of “I can do it.” Students are encouraged to use higher level thinking skills when playing these games. Strategy and logic are important key elements. Many games focus on spatial reasoning skills which are sometimes overlooked in the regular classroom setting. I highly recommend the program for all grades Kindergarten-7th.

Debbie Boles, Teacher and Pentathlon Coach, St. Jude School, Indianapolis, Indiana

I would like to point out that the competitions are not just about winning.  Every student that participates in the Math Competition is a winner.

We practice one day a week for an hour at a time, starting in late October.  At practices we work on learning the rules of the games, learning strategy, we talk about different strategies and let the students discuss their insight to the strategy.  Believe it or not, after coaching for nine years, I am still learning different strategies for the games.  Each group of kids gives me a new insight.  I like to say the games are like onions, once you think you have it mastered, you just realize you have peeled away a layer and then it is time to look deeper.  The learning NEVER ends.

In addition to the above, the kids are working on how to represent North Hill with good sportsmanship, win or lose.  This is an  important part of the foundation of Math Pentathlon.  They are required to shake hands before and after each competition.  At tournament, students can lose points for poor sportsmanship.  The kids are also learning about team building.  At the beginning of the year, we work and practice together in groups of four, without challenges, we encourage each pair or group to help their teammate learn the game and to discuss and give insight into their strategy.  In this way, each of our students are teachers.  As we near tournament time, the students play against each other and practice challenges.

There are so many opportunities for learning and growth in Math Pentathlon.  The kids grow academically and socially.  It increases their confidence, gives them the opportunity to teach others and learn from others.  It also gives them the opportunity to challenge themselves and stretch their boundaries.  These are the reasons I do not focus on winning.

Every student who goes to tournament is a winner.  A winner because of their dedication and commitment, a winner because they have stretched their boundaries, a winner because they can look past winning and learn from their mistakes.  I like to say, oftentimes, you learn more from losing then winning.  And sometimes it is losing that gives the kids the courage to challenge in the next game, whether the next game be in 15 minutes or another year away.   These are not Math Pentathlon lessons, these are life lessons!

Thank you PTA for your generous support.  I wanted you to see that the support you give the 80 pentathletes is multi-faceted and far reaching.  They are not just learning math, they are learning the importance of good sportsmanship, being a team member, gaining confidence, the importance of commitment, the value of challenging friends, adults, and others when they believe they are wrong in a safe atmosphere, and many more skills.  It is also far reaching in the respect that the Math Pentathlon program at North Hill has been instrumental in helping to start up other programs in local schools.  All of this would be impossible without the generous support and commitment of the PTA, our coaches, and the North Hill parents.

Dawn Blanchet
MPT Coach at North Hill Elementary in Rochester, MI
Former SCD who started MPP at North Hill

Plugging in students’ minds is only the tip of the iceberg known as “Mathematics Pentathlon.” As an educational adminstrator I explore numerous educational programs and examine what they offer above the surface and their foundational depth: connection to research, history, and current standards. Through these explorations I have found the Mathematics Pentathlon Program to be truly exemplary while meeting the needs of a variety of populations. Experiencing this program first hand over the last seven years in diverse settings I have found the following to impact my educational community: 1) challenges students from all ability levels while providing multiple venues for them to become more successful; 2) provides educational opportunities for students from like and different cultures and/or communities to come together to explore academic and social needs; 3) raises students enthusiasm for mathematics; 4) encourages students to work cooperatively in groups while sharing ideas and strategies; and 5) teaches students to successfully “think” through life.

René LeBlanc, Principal, Maplewood Elementary, Austin, Texas

I wanted to share a personal story.  I started volunteering with the MP Program many years ago when my son began kindergarten.  He has autism.  This program has been an amazing experience for him.  It combines a strength of his (very advanced spatial thinking) with a manageable social setting (small groups or l-on-1).  I don’t think you sell enough the potential this wonderful program can have for a child’s overall development!  It has been a joy to see him grow through this experience.  Thank you on so many levels!

Catherine Pallotta
School Contact Designee and Math Pentathlon Coach at Smoky Row, Carmel Clay Schools in Indiana

Interest in Math Pentathlon by St. Jude students continues to grow each year. The thinking and problem-solving skills challenge the advanced students, while those less able students gain more practice in many math areas. Pentathlon enhances any math program and aligns with state standards. One student even remarked, “It’s called Math Club, but really it’s just fun games!” What’s wrong with making math fun and painless while learning important skills?

Nancy Meyer, Teacher and Math Coach, St. Jude School, Indianapolis, Indiana

All the Math Pentathlon games are awesome.  They can be quite challenging depending on the intellect of the people playing, but also extremely enjoyable, engaging, and rewarding.  I marvel at the design of these games and genuinely think that these games provide deep enrichment for bright as well as average kids who wish to enhance their mathematical as well as cognitive skills.  Whether one wins or loses, I strongly feel that practicing these games creates new neuron connections in the brain and are even beneficial for the adults teaching and playing these games.  In fact, losing the game is even more brain-transforming because it forces one to dig deeper and change one’s strategy since the previous one failed.

I hope that all schools across the country would include teaching these games in their curriculum.  Deep cognitive skills such as visuospatial and analytical skills can only be fostered through such stimulating games.  Simply memorizing number facts isn’t enough.  One should be able to apply that knowledge to problem-solve and integrate that onto the space provided on the gameboard.

Thank you so much again for everything and transforming so many lives through your excellent program.

Chetna Mahajan
Physical therapist at Botsford Hospital
Farmington Hills, MI

The support materials are so helpful and valuable. These are used along with the math curriculum to enrich, reinforce, and differentiate. As a result, we notice students’ attitudes, skills, and self-images improving because of their success with these games and hands-on activities.

Libby Stanton, Teacher, Bell Creek Elementary, Ohio

Thank you for another great Math Pentathlon day.  From my perspective, it was simply a terrific tournament for lots of little people.  I am always so impressed with the investment of the many parents who join in to help pull it off.  And you guys did a fabulous job in running the show.  Likewise, this year is typical in that I walked away happy, with enormous pride.  For me, culminating a year of the MP program in a huge room with hundreds of kids is a highlight.  Man, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Paul Hart
Parent of Several Pentathletes over the years and students from several schools
SWAMP, Austin, TX

I wanted to thank you for all of your work to make Math Pentathlon a great experience for so many children.  The tournament at Round Rock High School yesterday was a wonderful experience.  I love being a part of something where children and adults work together to make something happen. .  I witnessed so many monitors doing their best to make this a positive and encouraging experience for everyone.  Thank you for making this program possible.  It has been such a worthwhile experience for our family—both because of the academic challenge and because of the lessons on sportsmanship.

Carolyn Bryant
Austin, TX

My students at the second and third grade level have been actively involved in the Math Pentathlon program for several years. The games are used in the classroom and in a weekly after-school math club. In the classroom the games help the students sharpen their math skills. The games teach the students to think, investigate, and develop problem-solving techniques. The Math Pentathlon program provides a different format for developing various mathematical thinking strategies. Math Pentathlon games assist the teacher in enhancing and meeting the Indiana Standards. It helps the teacher address various learning styles and abilities in a cooperative learning atmosphere.

Cynthia Wiley, Teacher and Math Coach, Prairie Trace Elementary, Carmel, Indiana

It has been a pleasure volunteering for MP as a game leader (Division 2), school lead (Meridian IB World School) for all divisions, parent of pentathlete(s), score keeper (Division 3) and a playing a small role of the certificate names announcer. I appreciate all that the MP organization and leaders do to make this program a huge success and a great learning experience for our children beyond Math. Also appreciate all the feedback that you accept each year to ensure the ongoing success of this program. The entire experience with MP has been AMAZING!!!

I would love to continue to support and volunteer for future tournaments, so please keep me on the roster.

Tejal Bhalani
Meridian IB World School and MP School Coordinator in Austin, TX

I have personally grown, as an adult, in my math abilities while using and teaching these games as well as observed some incredible growth in the student’s abilities as a result of the Pentathlon games. The Pentathlon games continue to take kids from any ability level and develop them at their own pace.

Brenda Busscher, Teacher and Parent, Michiana

Before going any further, let me say that I truly love Math Pentathlon. While I do enjoy the games and have fun playing and teaching them, the aspect I love most is the “real world experience” or “life experience” that the Pentathletes receive while participating. First lesson is to do the best you can – the games are not easy, but if the Pentathlete gives the games his/her best effort, then there is no way that he/she would come away from the game with zero points or the tournament without recognition during the awards ceremony. Another lesson is to be a good sport, Math Pentathlon believes in losing with dignity and winning with humility, or good sportsmanship; in an era, where good sportsmanship seems to be the exception rather than the rule, I believe that it is very refreshing to see a competition where emphasis is placed on sportsmanship. Teamwork is also practiced – the Pentathletes learn the games together, practice together, and share any insights with each other during the practices and at tournament, and do support each other if the tournament did not go the way that they wanted. Two other lessons, which are somewhat tied together, that I have seen are A) to persevere and B) that not everything comes easy. The past years, while coaching, I have Pentathletes struggle to learn the games and then to say that they will fail at the tournament; however, they persevere and continue practicing – lo and behold at the tournament they do not fail at all, but even win a medal. Likewise, I have Pentathletes that are experienced and everything academically has been easy, so they assume that tournament should be as well; however, it is not, and they do not receive the medal they had assumed would be theirs. Life can provide many hard lessons and be very difficult for those who do not learn those lessons; however, the lessons of Math Pentathlon provide a great foundation for the Pentathletes to go forth and to be the excellent citizens and people that we look to as our future.

Kim Paulus
School Contact Designee & Coach Amy Beverland Elementary, Indianapolis

As a teacher, I found the Math Pentathlon games to be an extremely valuable resource. The well-crafted games covered topics that were appropriate to my grade level. The students always loved walking into the room and seeing the gameboards out on the tables. It was a welcome relief from the textbook and a fun way to practice key concepts while strengthening critical thinking skills as well. Math Pentathlon emphasizes cooperative learning and it was wonderful to see students of all ability levels working together to solve a problem in order to make the best move in the game.

Julie Kerr, Former Middle School Teacher and Parent, Carmel, Indiana

As a user of the Math Pentathlon Program for over ten years, in many different situations – as an elementary school special area for all students, as an after school enrichment club, and in my own classroom – I have grown to appreciate all of the benefits of the program. First and foremost, the program allows students to improve their problem solving skills. Every time a game is played, the scenarios and set ups are different, and so children must adapt, solving a different problem than they did before in the same game. Students also find themselves more able to deal with problem solving items on their yearly standardized tests, because they have been practicing slowing down to work through problems, and choosing the best outcome from all possible outcomes. Students find the motivation to work carefully and take their time because they know that at the end of the school year, they will be able to compete in the Math Pentathlon Tournament; they know they are working towards a goal. As a classroom teacher, I also appreciate the fact that even though the games are accessible for students of all abilities, there is built-in differentiation as well. There are activities to build up students as they are learning a game, or who need a review of a specific aspect of a game, and there are activities to challenge students who are ready to work on advanced strategic planning. The program is also fun and engaging, and I have worked with many students who ask to give up their recess to join me in playing the Math Pentathlon games instead. Finally, the program allows students to experience face-to-face interaction. Students’ opportunities for this is frequently lacking, especially as students, many as young as fourth grade, have cell phones and spend a lot of time in “social” networks and playing games online. As students learn the games in pairs, they strategize together, think aloud, and discuss math concepts. As they progress and play the games one-on-one, they practice sportsmanship. The Math Pentathlon program incorporates problem solving, strategic planning, differentiation, face-to-communication in a way that is enjoyable for students, and it has been a great asset to my work in elementary schools.

Ashley Meyer
Former Pentathlete, Classroom Teacher
SCD and Coach, Indianapolis

I’ve been at this task of education for forty-two years. I believe math holds children back more than any other subject. Most teachers are pretty good reading teachers; they need help with teaching math. This program works and makes the teachers artists. I encourage all educators to learn more about the Pentathlon games. I am a total convert to those wonderful Pentathlon games. I have had students tell me it changed their lives. I have witnessed this.

Kathleen Fleming, Principal, Our Lady of the Greenwood, Greenwood, Indiana

I think this will be my 14th year to attend Math Pentathlon tournaments. Some years I have only attended one tournament, some years I have attended up to 3. For me, being a game monitor at tournament is one of my favorite parts of the program. It is always interesting to watch how kids perform under pressure, what strategies they use, how they react to each other, and to their opponents. I have a lot of favorite tournament stories!

Eric Gilbert, Austin Center

In my regular fifth grade classroom I have used the games as the basis of my instruction in mathematics. The games are a close match to our Ohio State Model. The best part is that they are wonderful tools in the differentiation of instruction.

David Herick, Fifth Grade Teachers, Sugarcreek Local Schools, Ohio

Win or lose (and my kids have done both), Math Pentathlon is a great experience for learning about math, individual accomplishments, and team spirit.

Rebecca Fearing, Austin Center

We love Math Pentathlon! It is fun for the kids and a great way to get families involved in playing healthy games together. The tournament is so well run and so empowering for the kids.

Lisa Lyons, Austin Center

For 11 years I taught a transitional first grade classroom. These children are ones who were having difficulty in Kindergarten and needed more time before entering first grade. I taught my children the Division I games and they blossomed with math skills that they would not have gained through traditional mathematics teaching. I plan to continue to be involved with the Mathematics Pentathlon as I see the great things that it does for our children.

Judy Campbell, Retired Teacher and Current Pentathlon Coach, Mason Public Schools, Lansing, Michigan

Last year was my daughter Arianna’s first tournament, she had a great time and learned so much, it was a wonderful experience meeting all the other kids and their parents from other schools. We look forward to returning again this year!

Julie Campbell Mills Elementary, Austin Center

Being a coach and a parent of a Math Pentathlon participant has been a very rewarding experience!

Emily Spurgeon, Austin Center

Having worked with technology for 13 years, I am aware of the need for logical thinking in the computer world! Some people have a nack for this, some don’t. These math games help develop the logical thinking that doesn’t get covered in text books.

Fran Kandrac, Parent, Indianapolis, Indiana

My kid’s testimonial is that, he loves to participate in the Math Pentathlon because it shows many and different FUN ways to learn math.

Maria Delgadillo

My daughter LOVES Math Pentathlon and has participated every year since kindergarten. I have also coached for several years and enjoy it. This program reinforces many math concepts in a very fun way. I also like that the kids can challenge their opponent during tournaments which helps them pay attention more and use other communication skills. I like that it builds confidence!

Michelle Mohrmann, Austin Center

I only wish these games had been available when I was young. I know I would have thought differently about myself having mathematical abilities and I would have enjoyed math! These games build community, provide a gateway for reluctant parents, especially dads, and help students improve their math skills in a non-threatening environment.

Libby Stanton, Teacher, Bell Creek Elementary, Ohio

This is my third child that is going through the Math Pentathlon Program. I have seen this program make a huge difference in my kids lives. They have not only improved their math skills, but it has also helped with their social and communication skills. Wonderful program!!!

Lenora Stevens, Austin Center

My son loves Math Pentathlon! This is his sixth and final year.   He is really going to miss it. It is such a great program. Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers that make it happen!

Jennifer Sanford, Austin Center

Math Pentathlon has strengthened our students’ ability to think critically and strategically when solving problems. They now persevere when they used to give up when challenged. The Math Pentathlon games encourage cooperation, collaboration and communication skills among students. Thanks so much for making Math Pentathlon available for our students, staff, and families!

Beth Needermeyer, Principal, Fishback Creek Public Academy, Indianapolis, Indiana

My son participated last year, in the 2nd grade, even though there was no club at his school. This year, my husband and I worked with our PTA to start a club. We are only sponsoring one Division II club this year, but we are happy that we have 13 kids! We hope to be able to expand the club next year. Thank you for all you do for the kids!

Michele Nelson, Austin Center

Participating in the Mathematics Pentathlon program is such a rewarding experience for children and adults alike. We learn more math, make more friends, and practice important life lessons, such as being willing to try something new, even if it seems hard. And most of all, how to win and how to lose.

Augusta McAnulty, Hazel H. Hendricks School, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana

This is the first time experience for my daughter to participate in Math Pentathlon program. She learned a lot by playing and practicing her games. She learned sportsmanship, patience and much more. I am really looking forward to see our first time experience at the tournament.

Sailaja, Austin Center

As a mother, I have enjoyed watching my daughter gain the same benefits from learning the Math Pentathlon games as my students did in the classroom. She has gained confidence in her math ability and I have noticed a big difference in her critical thinking and problem-solving skills. My son can’t wait to learn the games when he is in Kindergarten.

Julie Kerr, Former Middle School Teacher and Parent, Carmel, Indiana

This is a great program and I am happy my son’s had the opportunity to participate. He has enjoyed learning math in a fun way and loves the competition in the games as well.

Rebecca Wustrau, Austin Center

I have been coaching for three years and my daughter has been in MP the same amount of years. This is a wonderful program to get the kids excited about math and have them learn critical thinking skills which is important throughout school and into their adult life.

Mara Marquez, Austin Center

It’s hard to believe after just registering Anya for the Division 4 Math Pentathlon tournament that this is the last year for our family. All three of our children have participated through 7th grade and they have learned so much through your program and the tournaments. No matter how crazy it gets at times, please continue exposing kids to it!

Beate Turner, Michigan Center
School Contact Designee and Coach

This is such a great program! My daughter is in second grade and didn’t like math. But her bigbrother, who has participated for 7 years,has inspired her to get involved in the Math Pentathlon program and at the Division 2 tournament this year. She earned a silver medal, which has been a great confidence booster for her. Thanks for all that you do. It really matters!

Sherri Collins, Michigan Center, Farmington Public Schools

In my inclusive classroom I was able to use the game FAB-A-DIFFY to instruct all learners in the concepts of equivalent fractions and the adding and subtracting of fractions. All students from Learning Disabled to Gifted were able to play some form of the game. The best part was that ALL students passed the unit test.

David Herick, Fifth Grade Teachers, Sugarcreek Local Schools, Ohio

This exciting and comprehensive program has helped many of my students increase their problem-solving ability, confidence with mathematics, and deeper understanding of math concepts. I have also used this program to help bridge the home-school connection and increase community involvement.

David Herick, Fifth Grade Teachers, Sugarcreek Local Schools, Ohio

The Math Pentathlon program was a part of my children’s lives for 13 years. The games at each division level exercise a variety of mathematical thinking skills to provide both a broad strengthening of math skills and a broad range of fun. They made a great contribution to my children’s mathematical education and are particularly valuable in helping children understand the concept of fractions and in giving kids an incentive to memorize math facts.

Laurie Dubin, Parent and Math Coach, Walled Lake Schools, Michigan

One child stands out in my mind as one who was able to participate in the Pentathlon competition against great odds. He was a child who was in a special education classroom with an autism label. He had not been able to participate in activities that “normal” children could participate in. He was able to learn the games and with some adaptation at the tournament (time to adjust to new people) he won 4 out of the 5 games he played. This accomplishment was monumental.

Judy Campbell, Retired Teacher and Current Pentathlon Coach, Mason Public Schools, Lansing, Michigan

At my school we have over half of our school population playing the games. Many are playing the games in regular classroom settings of gifted classrooms. We have bi-weekly meetings and family game nights that are a huge success! It is truly a community of learners.

David Herick, Fifth Grade Teachers, Sugarcreek Local Schools, Ohio

One year at tournament John said something that has really stuck with me, he said, “Sometimes you learn more from losing than you do from winning.”  I thought about all the kids I had taught through the years and the joy on the faces of the kids who win and the disappointment on the kids faces that lose and I realized how right he was.  Not just in math, but in life.  When you lose or make a mistake you want to go back and do it again, figure out what you did wrong, do it right the next time, make a new strategy, make sure you know all the rules, etc., etc., etc.  I have witnessed this again and again over and over in these students.  I almost think the student who lose get more out of it, at the tournament anyway.  On that note, I wanted to share with you what I just shared with my parents. This is one of the many reasons I love Math Pentathlon so much…

“…However, it is not just the games and strategies they learn at practice, the tournament, the culminating event, is so valuable to the students.  Humbling, confident boosting, an opportunity to win, an opportunity to lose, an opportunity to show your sportsmanship or your lack of sportsmanship.  Whatever the case, whatever happens, its an opportunity to learn and to grow from our mistakes.  It is truly my favorite part of Math Pentathlon.  Our kids need to make mistakes and face disappointment, NOW.  In fourth grade and throughout school, so we can be there to guide them, pick them up, and help them grow.  I feel like everyone who goes to tournament is a winner because there is so much growth that happens there…”

This is important to say to parents because I feel like my generation focuses on our kids winning so much and never want them to lose.  Personally, as a parent, I want my kids to fall, stumble, and fail NOW, while they are living with me.  Alex is going off to college in  two years and I won’t be able to ensure his success or protect him from his failures.  That is why I need him to experience failure while he is under my roof so he can come back to the comfort of family, home and unconditional love.  The first time is the hardest, every time after that it gets a little easier.  Math Pentathlon tournament is a great place to start.

Just basking in the glory of your program and wanted to share with you what a wonderful thing you have going.

Dawn Blanchet
MPT Coach at North Hill Elementary in Rochester, MI
Former SCD who started MPP at North Hill

Nideesh participated in the Math Pentathlon® Program, 1st through 7th grades, in the Michigan/Ohio National Tournament Center, Troy School District. In this exclusive interview, Nideesh shared how much this experience impacted him and how he wanted other students to benefit from the thinking process that he experienced in his years as a Pentathlete. In 8th grade, Nideesh initiated the expansion of the MP Program within the district by coaching 1st graders at Hamilton Elementary. Now in his freshman year of high school, he has increased Troy SD involvement to yet another elementary school. To spread this initiative, Nideesh has recruited several of his high school friends, also former Pentathletes.