Hi! My name is Dr. John Walter. I'm coaching the College Hills Number Sense team for 2013-2014.
I'm very happy to have your child working with the team to improve her or his arithmetic skills. As we all know, a comfortable facility with math makes it much easier to interact in the world today.
All day, every day, we're exposed to little math problems. Miles per gallon, dollars per pound, the percent change in the Dow Jones index, estimating a restaurant tip, computing calories in a meal... the list goes on and on. My experience is that, when students develop a comfortable relationship with everyday math, little computations like this become fun! And the better they get at doing little math problems, the more enjoyment and sense of satisfaction they have.
The team consists of three students, and there are usually more than that number trying out. We will meet at lunchtime on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and the kids have permission to bring their lunches to the classroom so they can eat while we learn. Any parents are very welcome to have lunch with us and watch our practices. You may find yourself amazed at the math skills we're developing!
We'll spend about five weeks practicing different shortcuts and giving all the kids a general overview of "Number Sense". Then, usually just before Thanksgiving, we will have a test like the one given at the UIL meet. The three students with the highest scores will be selected to the team. In January our team will compete against teams from other elementary schools in College Station. It's a very exciting time for both students and parents, with an awards ceremony later that evening.
I want everyone to know that we couldn't have a team if we didn't have lots of kids trying out, and I very much appreciate all their efforts. Skill in math is a lifetime talent, and each and every student has the ability to improve and become comfortable with numbers and math.
Happy number sensing!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org