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Topic: The Math Forum Problems of the Week - It's a new year!
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Kristina Lasher

Posts: 604
From: New Jersey
Registered: 12/3/04
The Math Forum Problems of the Week - It's a new year!
Posted: Aug 21, 2002 6:11 PM
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Dear Teachers,

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 or just send your comments to the pow-teach
discussion at

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:

Fun PoW --
Pre-Algebra PoW --
Algebra PoW --
Geometry PoW -
PreCalculus PoW -

Please write to us at with your comments and
suggestions about our new PoW offerings.

Annie Fetter, PoW Supervisor
Lisa Lavelle, PoW Manager and Mentor Coordinator
Kristina Lasher, Associate Director of Programs

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