The Math Forum Problem of the Week staff has spent the summer planning for a new school year. We are happy to announce to you that we will have five mentored services this year to use in your classroom or as homework assignments. They also provide opportunities for students who crave extra challenges. Our problems are written for students learning topics from Numbers and Operations through Trigonometry. We are writing today to invite you to participate in the Problems of the Week this school year.
Many schools and home-schoolers use the PoWs as part of their math programs. To better meet the needs of our students and teachers, there are three main changes to the Problems of the Week this year. First, we will be scoring submissions using a scoring rubric so that students can learn more about how they are doing. Second, we have reorganized and renamed some of the problems to better reflect the math content covered rather than emphasizing a particular grade level.
You can read general information about our rubric and our five services on our status page.
The third change is that we will be prioritizing student submissions because we want to make sure that students who want our feedback get it in a timely manner. To be assured of a mentor response this year, students will need to follow two steps. First, they will submit a solution, as they have in the past. Second, they will compare their answer to one of our short answers and then write back with a comment on how accurately and thoroughly they think they've solved the problem. This extra step will only take a minute or two for the student, but it will save hours on our side because we'll be able to prioritize which students submissions will be reviewed by mentors. We do not want to leave any students out of our program, but since we know that many students do not take advantage of our mentoring, we'd like to make sure we give attention to those who are interested in revising and thinking about mathematics with us.
We're going to be working hard this year to help students and teachers figure out the best ways to use our PoWs. Some teachers use a PoW in place of other classroom assignments. They use our mentor replies to reinforce with the students how to write math solutions to complex problems. Other teachers grade the solutions themselves and do not require the students to read and think about the mentor replies. We'd like to know how you use our problems in your classroom. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or just send your comments to the pow-teach discussion at email@example.com.
We are really excited to get started. We will post new problems every two weeks, giving students two weeks to submit their solutions. The first problems of the year for Pre-Algebra and Geometry will be in preview on Thursday, August 29. Students will be able to submit their solutions starting Monday, September 2.
The first problems of the year for the Math Fundamentals, Algebra, and PreCalculus problems will be previewed on Thursday, September 5. Students will be able to submit their solutions starting Monday, September 9.
To learn more about the schedules, check out our calendars: