# New England Math League Contest (Grades 2-5)

After the children explored the logic questions of the Noetic Learning Math Competition, I had them attempt the New England Math League contest which is given to 4th gradeers and up. So Mathletes in 2-4th grade took the 4th grade test and 5th graders took the 5th grade test.

During class, I created 20 problems that would help them to build strategies around these types of questions which are more calculation based as well as logic based. One difference between the two contests is that the NEML allows calculators. I showed them several examples where using the calculator actually slows them down. For example, if the problem is: 30 - 27 +24 - 21 +18 -15 +12 -9 + 6 - 3 =

they should notice that each two differences are positive three and that there are five of them, so 3 x 5 = 15. Doing these calculations from left to right or on a calculator would take minutes vs. seconds.

Even though the contest allows 30 minutes or one minute per question, I suggested they take as much time as they like, self grade and give me the questions with which they had the most trouble.

Remember, there is no passing or failing score. This is just a contest to get them practiced in the work of mathematicians. A score for a 4th grader of 12/30 is commendable. Anything more is a bonus. For 2nd and 3rd graders, just trying these problems and attempting to translate the abstract lessons from Mathlete class to this contest is their only job. Don't try problems that are frustrating, bring those to class next week.

The most important objective is to have fun.

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