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Algebra II honors finish 3rd in Mathfax

Eleven students in the Algebra II honors class have exceeded Lonnie Godfrey’s math standard by finishing third in the national Mathfax competition and first in the Private School Division on Mar. 5.

When Mathfax was founded in the fall of 1996, only 20 schools were involved. The contest has since grown to approximately 1300 schools. The main purpose of Mathfax is to help the students gain test-taking skills. These skills will help the students on their college entrance exams [www. educontest.com].

“The Mathfax is a 25 multiple point test that is more focused on problem solving abilities and logic than actual math intellect,” Cale Livingston, ’04, said. “You don’t have to be smart in order to do well. All you need to do is figure out the patterns and solve the puzzle.”

There are approximately 2000 students in each category. The students compete in both the honors level and the non-honors level; the honors scores in the national competition are in the upper 1/4 for algebra I, middle 1/3 for geometry, top 10% for Algebra II, and the upper 1/3 for the advanced honors.

The only preparation Godfrey gave the students was a practice quiz he sent home as homework the weekend before the competition. This allowed the students to understand how the test was administered and helped them correct any careless mistakes they might make.

“This is our fifth year in the Mathfax competition. Two years ago we were first in our division in Algebra II honors and advance math honors,” Godfrey said. “This year the Algebra II honors finished 1st in the private schools division and 3rd nationally among more that 90 public, private, and parochial schools.”

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recommends that teachers follow the principles of standards for high school mathematics.

“We are in the early planning stages of increasing our math requirements for graduation to 40 units instead of our current level of 30,” Godfrey, said. “We are also planning to introduce a version of the California Exit exam in Mathematics as a minimum requirement for graduation.”

The requirements for the Algebra II honors class include a total score of at least 30 and a mastery level of at least four areas on the MDTP Algebra II readiness test. A teacher’s recommendation is also required.

“Mr. Godfrey pushes us to go beyond what usually required in an average math class,” Chris White, ’05, said. “However, our rest results prove the effectuality of his teaching methods. After loosing hours of my precious life to math homework and math studying it is wonderful to reap the benefits and have our Algebra II honors class be declared number one.”

All freshmen, sophomore and junior math students will be taking math tests on April 2 to determine placement for next school year.

For more information on the Mathfax contest, go online at www.educontest.com or call Godfrey at 297-9464, ext. 144.

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