Question:

We are concerned about there being questions for Second Graders that they cannot do because the Second Grade Math Curriculum doesn't teach things like volume and circumference. We have been told that we have to follow the state math guidelines yet there have been questions for Second Graders that fall outside these guidelines.

Perhaps you could send my emails to the Supervisor and we can communicate without posting to the blog?

Answer:

Your question has been referred to the WESO board, as it has been previously asked and answered by the event supervisor.

First of all, we do not allow communication between event supervisors and coaches without posting to the blog. This has the potential to create an unfair advantage for a school, and we avoid such situations.

All of our events are governed by the rules in the event descriptions, which were developed by event supervisors and approved by the WESO Board. The event description rules and any clarifications issued by the supervisor through this blog supersede the generic grade level content expectations. Many of our events do go beyond the material taught in the classroom and offer an opportunity to learn more about a subject area.

In the case of Estimania, we do specifically reference the grade level expectations. This is meant to give an indication of the math ability required from some of the questions. Estimania, however, is not a math event - it is an estimation based event. There may be some questions that can be solved exactly with a math approach, but most will require the students estimate some quantity. Working on strategies to estimate, and then refine that estimate if time permits will lead to more success than trying to calculate an answer.

For example, for circumference - yes students could estimate a diameter and calculate circumference from a formula and yes this is beyond the scope of the 2nd grade math curriculum. This is, however, a time consuming and difficult approach. Better to fully utilize estimation. As a former Estimania coach myself, I know that my hand span is about 8 inches. If asked to estimate the circumference of a pipe, for instance, I might try to see how many "hands" it took to reach all the way around. If the answer was a little more than 2, I might estimate 18 inches as the circumference (8+8+2). The math in this example is within the scope of 2nd grade, even though the concept of calculating a circumference is not. We are asking the kids to estimate, not calculate.

You can take a similar approach to volume - kids know the concepts of volume, or can readily pick them up - ask what is the volume of a bottle of water? They can be coached on strategies for estimating the number of objects in a container without specifically having to do volumetric calculations /use mathematical formulas for volume. They should have a feel for what one unit of common weight measures feels like - look for common objects that weigh 1 pound, one ounce, one 1kg, etc., - is the object the want to estimate lighter or heavier than these? Again - this is a concept of estimation. The math required will fall within the grade level standards, but the concepts/measurements they are expected to know are set out in the detailed event description. Questions will be drawn from these concepts, even if they are not specifically mentioned in the grade level math expectations.

We hope this provides a clarification.

the WESO Board