To Infinity and Beyond: Levels 0-1
The adventure starts in Level 0. We introduce the kids to the basic tools of a math detective – finding clues in math problems, organizing what you know, understanding and using tables, using visualization, and so on. We start learning important math terminology and how to decipher a problem when the student does not know some words. We do that while working through a variety of fun topics, such as making and counting coin combinations, made-up operations, simple cryptarithms, logic puzzles, and problems on a number line. We also introduce some interesting number patterns and discuss large numbers around us – always a hit among the kids.
In Level 1, we continue to introduce the fundamental ideas of analytical reasoning. The difficult math problems are often only hard because their solution requires many steps. Trying to connect the clues given in the problem to what one must find is impossible at first. We teach students to focus on the clues and what more they can discover from them, one step at a time, until the answer “miraculously” appears. This is done through learning many of the same topics that we introduced in Level 0, but to a greater depth. For example, while in Level 0 students learn simple logic puzzles, in Level 1 we work through harder ones involving indirect clues. This reflects our approach in general, where we study the same topics at various levels, and show kids that there is always more fun in math as you learn more and dig deeper. For instance, cryptarithms make their appearance in Levels 0 through 3.
Students in Level 0 and Level 1 participate in Continental Math League (CML) , Math League Grade 4, and Math Kangaroo contests. Some of the top students in Level 1 could be invited to participate in the Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS) Division E.