In this blog post, we're happy to introduce you to the Canadian Mathematical Society and the opportunities it presents for helping students discover their love for mathematics and its applications. Continue reading, below, to find out more.
... Register your students for the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Mathematics Competitions
Executive Director, Canadian Mathematical Society
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
September registration at www.COMC.math.ca.
Mathematics competitions are a fun activity for students of all ages. Since 1969, the CMS has been staging national math competitions and camps to encourage students to explore, discover, and learn more about mathematics and problem solving. Along the way, thousands of students have become more comfortable with math and more confident in what they can achieve.
The Canadian Open Math Challenge : A Chance to Become a Canadian Olympian
The most popular of the CMS national competitions is the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) held in November each year. Top performing students receive certificates and their school receives a plaque. In addition, students may be considered for an invitation to a CMS regional, speciality, or national math camp. While the 2.5-hour competition, normally staged at a school in early November, is nationally focused, performance is recognized as ‘best in Canada’ and ‘best in grade in Canada’, as well as ‘best in the province’ and ‘best in grade in the province.’ In addition to awards, plaques, certificates, and prizes, top-performing students are also automatically invited to participate in a more advanced CMS competition. In fact, for advanced students, the COMC is the first step on the way to international stages. Listed below are the competitions that lead to the qualification of students at the International Mathematical Olympiad.
1. The Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition (CMGC) – Starting in 2020, the Canadian Mathematical Society will hold a mathematical competition for elementary school students. While the competition is a fun way for students to get interested in mathematics and their score at the competition is not a criteria for qualification in other CMS competitions, the CMGC is a great way for students to prepare for mathematical competitions in general and Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge in particular.
2. The Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge - This flagship national competition is open to any primary and secondary student in any location. It attracts thousands of participants from across Canada and internationally each year. Although the competition is targeted at upper-level high school students, performance awards are available at multiple grade levels. Furthermore, every student in Canada who participates is equally eligible for prizes. The COMC is an opportunity for math students and teachers to engage with problem-solving exercises in the fall using notably CMS resources made available to everyone online. These include the problems of the week which are posted with video solutions 9 weeks preceding the competition, problem solving journals such as CRUX Mathematicorum (link: https://cms.math.ca/publications/crux/) access to previous years’ COMC exams and other resources shared on CMS social media pages.
Register for CMS Competitions!
3. The Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Qualifying Repêchage - Students who come very close to qualifying for an invitation to the CMO (Step 3) are invited to participate in the take-home Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Qualifying Repêchage (CMOQR) in early February. About 75 students are given eight problems to solve. The CMOQR is a week-long exam completed through email. It is not scored, but evaluators choose the most insightful correct exams and offer the top 20 an invitation to the CMO.
4. Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Competition - The Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO) is Canada’s premier national advanced mathematics competition. Candidates are invited to write the CMO based upon excellent performance in COMC or CMOQR. This three-hour advanced competition is usually written in each student’s school in late March and typically consists of five challenging math problems.
5. Competing on the World Stage - Candidates with excellent performance in the CMO, the CMS Math Training Camps, and, in part, in other mathematics competitions, are selected to be part of Math Team Canada and compete on the world stage at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) or the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO).
The Canadian Mathematical Gray Goose Competition (CMGC) : Mathematics Can be Fun!
The CMGC is a great way for elementary school students to discover their love for mathematics and its application. The exam consists of 15 multiple-choice questions for all levels of numeracy conceptualised by top mathematicians and educators from across the country.
The Canadian Mathematical Society anticipates the participation of thousands of students from all over Canada and the world and hopes to see your students in great numbers. To adapt the exam for the pandemic and post-pandemic era, it will be written online.
CMS’ Commitment to Equity and Diversity : Mathematics for All
Math for Girls: The CMS recognises that the state of gender parity in mathematics in Canada leaves much to be desired. The Society has put in place initiatives such as all-girls’ math camps (link: https://cms.math.ca/education/math-camps/ ) and all-girls’ training camps for Canadian Team participating in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad, but more work needs to be done to change the culture of mathematics. The Canadian Mathematical Society strongly encourages Canadian math educators to invite their female students to participate in math and STEM activities, including CMS competitions.
Black and Indigenous Students: In June 2020, the CMS issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to a more equitable mathematical community with more Black and Indigenous mathematicians. In order to remove all socioeconomic barriers and in form of reparation, 280 Black and Indigenous students participating in the COMC will have their registration fees covered by the Society. Equally, 200 Black and Indigenous elementary school students can participate in the CMGC competition free of cost. We invite math educators to let their students know of this incentive and encourage them to take part in these stimulating mathematical activities.
Preparing for the Contest
In order to assess the difficulty of a typical COMC exam, you can view the COMC exam archive (link: http://comc.math.ca/2019/practice). You may also visit here (link: https://cms.math.ca/Competitions/problemsolving/) to learn about resources you and your students can use when preparing for our competitions. Moreover, beginning in the first week of September, Problem of the Week will be posted on the COMC website each week leading up to the competition as a tool to prepare for the competition.
The 2020 COMC will be written on November 7th, and the CMGC will be written on October 8th. Registration for both competitions will open in early September. To register your students, visit www.COMC.math.ca. To stay informed, subscribe to the math competitions email list through the COMC home page.
If you have any questions, please contact the CMS at email@example.com.
President’s Report - 2019/20 Chapter Activities
The Ottawa Zone for Mathematics Educators (O34ME) had a successful year thanks to our Executive and Council Members. As a result of their dedication to collaboration and commitment to leading with the Chapter’s Mission, Values and Objectives, we were able to build capacity within our Chapter for leadership in mathematics education. We also brought awareness to membership of our strategic priorities through ongoing communication and support for professional learning experiences.
Mission: Fostering enthusiasm, innovation, and growth in mathematics education.
Vision: We value making teaching and learning mathematics accessible for all.
We recognize, as a Chapter, that the 2019/20 school year was wrought with exceptional challenges (e.g., job action, COVID19)--circumstances atypical for most educational organizations to navigate with their membership. Despite the challenges faced, there is an opportunity for O34ME to redress its plans for supporting membership and explore new opportunities for growth in 2020/21.
The information that follows in Tables 1 and 2 describes a year-in-review and prospective activities, respectively, as well as areas for growth--some of them taking into account any learning the Chapter has experienced under these exceptional circumstances.
In closing, it has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to have served as this year’s chair, working alongside such a focused, creative, open and collaborative group of professionals.
2019/20 O34ME President
Table 1 - Year-in Review: O34ME Council & Membership Activities
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Table 2 - O34ME Council & Membership Future Activities
As mentioned in many of the “Next Steps” (Table 1, above), the following represent potential activities for O34ME Council and Membership in 2020/21.
The evening began with introductions by this year's Chapter President, Chris Stewart, followed by an inspiring address by Dr. Marian Small, with networking between educators for the remainder of the evening. If you were unable to take part in this event, the introductory address (and slideshow) and highlights from Dr. Small's address are included in the remainder of this post.
President's Welcome Address & Slideshow
*Highlights from Dr. Small
Key Messages for Math Educators
Dr. Small also shared her perspectives on how educators might best navigate tensions associated with political unrest in Education. Essentially, leading in ways that promote conversation about the key issues is how we'll move forward to better meeting students' needs. Speaking clearly, acting respectfully, and being enlightened (educating oneself) are a few criteria for successful conversations with various shareholders in Math Education. To clarify one of these issues--"Back-to-Basics"--Dr. Small reminded the audience that students are performing well on knowledge-related items on provincial testing; where students are falling down is in relation to thinking and application problems. What this means is that we first need to distinguish and understand the differences between knowledge questions and those that promote student thinking. The latter type of question can result in deepened student understanding while helping students build the types of skills critical for employment and citizenship in today's world.
*NOTE: The highlights presented are not directly quoted; rather, they paraphrase the key aspects of Dr. Small's message to attendees.
Connecting to Our Guiding Principles
During Chris' address to attendees, he mentioned that every decision made on behalf of Membership is done through the lens of the Chapter's Guiding Principles. Below are links to examples of how events, like the Fall Social, demonstrate our commitment to supporting our Membership and the greater, Math Community.
Seeking Alignment to Our Strategic Priorities
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