Math Madness is a team-based event that takes place during the fall in which hundreds of middle schools and high schools from across the country compete to be national champions.2016 Standings
Entering its 5th season, Math Madness is emerging as one of the premiere academic competition events in the United States, soon to be world-wide. In 2016, well over 500 schools and 10,000 students from across the country competed in the online league, tournament and championship and the feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive. Teachers and students love this experience. Indeed, nearly every day AreteLabs receives an email about a math team ballooning in size, peer dynamics transforming, or students inspired toward the mastery of mathematics. It is simply an amazing chance for a math team or class to improve its skill, cohesion, and contentment.
Math Madness takes place in the fall with one event held for high school teams (9th-12th) and one for middle school teams (6th-8th). The structure of the event is as follows: 1 practice round, 2 qualifying rounds, and 2 collaboration rounds followed by a maximum of 6 single elimination bracket rounds. The system arranges all matches for all rounds. Each match involves 2 teams and each round lasts 1 week. All rounds begin Sunday and end Saturday. A team can compete at any time during a given round. It can change its time to play during the round and from round to round, as well as the players it fields. In addition, a team can opt out of any round that might conflict with its school schedule, keeping the commitment required to participate in the event to a minimum. In fact, the only 2 responsibilities of a teacher throughout the entire season are to add students to the team and choose the time to play each round, simple.
If a team chooses the same time to play as its opponent, the match is live with team score updating in real time. To add to the excitement, individuals from opposing teams are matched together evenly based on past performance, a second level of competition. If teams cannot find a common time to compete, then each team plays at a time convenient for it, with the winner decided after both teams have played. In this case, students square up against their personal best.
All matches are 30 minutes in length and all students from the same team must play under the supervision of their teacher, simultaneously and individually. Thus, each student must have separate access to a computer/tablet and the internet. A team must field a minimum of 5 players per match but a maximum team size is not imposed. When the match starts, all team members logged into the AreteLabs website are automatically redirected to the Match Arena where a scoreboard is displayed as well as a question area. Each match includes 7-8 multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions aligned with traditional American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) content, AMC 10/12 for the high school event and AMC 8 for the middle school event. A student receives 1 point for each question answered correctly. Team score is calculated by summing the top 5 individual scores of the given team. Students are not restricted to a specific time length for answering any given question. Once the match is over, questions and solutions are immediately furnished to each team to stimulate a unique teaching and learning opportunity.
As the season progresses, rankings of the top 10% of individuals and teams are published to highlight achievement and to help members of the greater community measure their own effort and progress. With data taken from the practice round, teams are matched for subsequent rounds, first by skill so that the competition is even and then by common time availability so that teams can play live where possible. Data from the 2 qualifying rounds are used to determine bracket assignments. The top 64 teams are assigned to the Title bracket. Remaining teams are then evenly placed in additional brackets based on team size, with all teams competing in a bracket. Within each bracket, teams are sorted by skill and seeded accordingly, following NCAA March Madness protocol.
The two collaboration rounds are meant to be informal. They are the only rounds where students do not play individually. Instead, teachers are asked to divide their team into mini-teams of no more than 3 students and no less than 2, assigning 1 student to log in and input answers on behalf of the mini-team. The members of each mini-team are free to discuss each question together.
Those teams that are eliminated from a bracket can nonetheless extend their season by opting in to play against other similarly situated teams in weekly matches automatically arranged by the system. In addition, a teacher can separately challenge another team to a match or divide his/her team into multiple teams that play against each other. Content from the present season and past seasons is made available to fuel such additional competition activity. Thus, all teams are guaranteed 10 rounds of play with the flexibility to opt out as needed.
Math Madness 2017 opens the week of September 24th with the practice round, the official season commencing the week of October 1st and running through the end of the fall. The week of Thanksgiving is the only off-week. To participate, a teacher must activate a free ClassMatch account, create a team and then register that team on the Events page inside the account. A teacher can add as many students to the team as desired throughout the season, with each student assigned a separate account. Unique student ID information is not required nor does AreteLabs utilize student or teacher data in any way. Moreover, students are free to conceal their identity throughout the entire event. While registration by September 24 th is encouraged, the period to register will remain open until October 28th. Once registered, please review Math Madness in more detail by clicking "Math Madness" in the dropdown at the top/right of the account and then selecting the About tab. In the pricing area below, a player is defined as an individual student who competes at least once during the event. Price accommodation is available upon request and as needed. Please do not hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or call 312-952-0436. We are happy to walk teachers through the process as we are committed to providing exemplary customer support, at sign-up and during the entire season. Thank you and welcome to Math Madness! . . .
The idea behind Math Madness is to create a structure that motivates students throughout the entirety of a school semester, one of enough time duration and frequency that students can observe actual progress, and in turn, amplify their efforts to continue on that path.
Modeling the event in part after the popular NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament, the hope is that it will be more easily understood and embraced by the public, and as a result, that students will eventually receive the same recognition and support that athletes do to fuel their efforts.