Practicing addition and building fact fluency recently got a lot more exciting for the second graders at Elwood’s Harley Avenue Primary School, as math teacher Jill Greenblatt hosted Harley’s first annual Math Madness bracket-style tournament. To tie it in with the NCAA’s March Madness basketball contest, each student was “drafted” onto one of six teams named after colleges: Arizona Wildcats, Florida Gators, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Syracuse Orange and Wisconsin Badgers.
Round one took place on March 9, when four teams faced off in the cafetorium in front of their grade-level peers. It was followed by round two on March 15 and the championship game on March 23, which was won by the Badgers.
“As I went into each second-grade classroom to teach the students and teachers how to play the fact fluency game that they would play during the tournament, I could feel the excitement,” Greenblatt said. “Fun events like this really motivate the students to learn their math facts. They also loved hearing about different colleges, had a chance to bond with teammates from the other classes and practiced good sportsmanship.”