FSDB BJ Mayo for Math challenge
  • FSDB Sue Clark for Math Challenge
  • FSDB Mark Largent for Math Challenge
Weekly Math Challenge Aims For Fluency

In November 2017, FSDB students learned of a new mathematics skills challenge coordinated by Math Specialists BJ Mayo, Sue Clark, and Mark Largent.  Each week, students visit the Math Challenge website and select the “Problem of the Week” (POW) they want to solve. Student solution videos will be posted on the website for all to view.  In Mayo’s words, “The goal is to get kids engaged in problem solving and the 8 mathematical practices.”

These eight practice challenges are:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Participating student names will be posted.  Students will receive buttons or magnets for submitting solutions, and after five Problem of the Week (POW) solutions have been submitted, they can select a math game to take home.  In addition to the POW, students are offered a weekly fluency challenge, in which they create and solve expressions playing the 24 Game. The special “fluency” challenge will result in a 24 Game tournament for students who have earned the most points by submitting solutions—they will receive lanyards and medals and t-shirts as prizes.

Fluency in mathematics is defined by Mayo as “using numbers flexibly and having number sense wherein students recognize patterns in our number system and apply them to make operations easier.”

Parents, you may be wondering how you can help your students at home?  You can offer encouragement and praise for attempts, ask questions about your child’s thinking, and read/re-read the problems to them.  All problem solving attempts will be recognized and rewarded in the Math Challenge!

Note: The Johnson Foundation graciously funded the tangible prizes going home to the challenge winners.

By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services

About FSDB
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible Pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit