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Tutor issues challenge to local math teachers

Math tutor David Williams is issuing a challenge to local math teachers.

He is sponsoring a math contest for all Knoxville-area math teachers of grades one-through- 12. Williams, who is just beginning his 25th year as a math tutor, hosts an annual “mathmindedness” contest for students and said that he wanted to get the teachers more involved in the process. “I thought that maybe we could turn the tables on the teachers this year,” Williams said. “Many of the teachers encourage their students to enter the ‘mathmindedness’ contest and this way the students can encourage their teachers as well.”

The entry forms will be sent to the schools later this month. The teachers will be required to submit one problem in arithmetic, algebra or geometry. The problem must be 25 words or less and teachers must provide a solution.

“I will be breaking the problems down into different categories because I can’t put a fifth-grade arithmetic teachers’ problems on the same level as a problem in a higher form of math.”

According to Williams, the winning problem in each category will be put on the test for the “mathmindedness” contest, which begins January 2005.

The winning teachers in each category will be given an award as well as something for their classroom and prizes for the students. “I will probably give the students some sort of math puzzle or pyramid that they will be able to figure out by using their math skills,” Williams said.

The awards will be presented to the teachers on “Everyone Uses Math Everyday” day, which is Dec. 1. Williams said he is undecided as to where the awards ceremony will be held, but he has considered presenting the winning teachers their awards in their own classroom with the students in attendance.

Williams says that we all use math everyday. “The students ask me all of the time when they will use the skills that I am teaching them,” he said. “I try to create problems that show the students just how important math skills are in everyday life.”

Williams tutors students from first grade through senior citizens. “I have a couple of elderly students who just want to brush up on their math skills and one student who is getting ready to take the real estate exam.”

Rules for the math contest for teachers are as follows: the problem and solution must be typed and the teacher’s name, school and telephone number must be included. Applications should be mailed to: David Williams Algebra Tutoring, 505 Hollywood Dr., Knoxville, TN 37919. Teachers will be able to get applications at their individual schools. The entry deadline for the teacher contest is Nov. 15. For more details, call Williams at 865-588-2268 between the hours of 1 and 10 p.m.


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