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Friday, February 14, 2020

The MathStorm swept through Lower School this week! Students had a blast learning math and earning storm pieces for their Storm Party on Friday (the culmination of the MathStorm). Over the course of just four days, IL 1-4 students completed 648 lessons during the MathStorm. 

What is MathStorm? 

An IL2 student describes what it has been like working together during the MathStorm:

"The MathStorm is a friendly competition where you try to do as many lessons on your math tool as you can, as a team, or by yourself and with your IL. You do this to get prizes and to have fun and learn. When you finish a lesson, you press a button with your IL on it. The button is foil conductive and when you press the button, it will go on to the computer which is on the projector. It is kind of like a little race. Each time someone in your IL completes a lesson, the character for your IL moves forward." 

Whenever students completed a lesson in their math program, either Khan Academy or Zearn, they got to push their IL’s button. The buttons were connected to a Makey Makey which converted the button press to a input on the computer.


Each time a student pressed a button, there was a chance they will get to spin the wheel. When they spun the wheel, they received raffle tickets that will be pulled on Pi Day. Winners will get to pie any willing teacher in the face!

There were 6 different "PowerUps" students could pick up along the way to try to push themselves ahead or perhaps knock others back. There were clues to help them figure out what the PowerUps did. Some had riddles, some were tricks, and some were just weird.

At the beginning of each day, we celebrated those who completed the most lessons the previous day. A huge part of MathStorm was learning how to support and encourage each other in our learning process.

Every time a student completes a lesson, they get to press their button as well as collect a raindrop or lightning bolt. Each raindrop becomes a balloon and each lightning bolt becomes a glow stick that their IL will have dropped on them during the Friday dance party!

"After you stick your storm piece on the whiteboard, you go back to your space and keep working on math. Being in the MathStorm is very competitive and fun. We always want to keep going and don’t want to go to break. I really want to win the boba party with my favorite teacher." - IL2 student

On the last day, the conditions were changed once again. Students were told something would happen if each team was able to cross the finish line. All their animals formed a unified Taco-Dino-Penguin-Bear and had to defeat the final boss (The Evil Chi-Ray Dragon) and save Mr. Sawicki!

And so completes our tale. Our students reached the Cartesian plane. And the game is complete. But the learning never stops.