The Math Club at William B. Miller Elementary started in 2016 with 15 students being coached by Math teacher Elias Cabrera. Every year the school has participated in the TMSCA, Dallas ISD Invitational contests, as well as all the Math Olympiads.
Club sessions are on Tuesdays and last two hours, from 3–5 p.m. In the TMSCA contests, the students usually reach the first positions in Number Sense, which consists of a test of only 10 minutes where students have to use mental calculations and shortcuts since the use of pencil and eraser is not allowed.
Every year the Department of Mathematics organizes the Math Olympiad. The last two years the competitions have been using a Math video game from the company Dimension-U, where points are earned by correctly answering math questions.
In 2020, the school earned first place in fifth-grade and second in fourth-grade. This year the school earned first place in the fifth-grade category and the 5th in fourth-grade.
It is important to point it out that the Math Olympiad is district wide. In each grade, there is approximately an enrollment of 12,000 students, so placing students in the top five is not an easy challenge.
An example of participation in the Number Sense contests at TMSCA is the Meet 2020 TMSCA FALL ELEMENTARY ONLINE MEET event, where the school’s fifth-grade students placed 1st, 3rd and 4th.
In this same event, fourth-grade students obtained the first, second, third and fourth place, as can be seen in the official TMSCA result posted on the TMSCA website.
Currently there are 25 regular students at the club, where all sessions are face-to-face and mental calculation strategies are practiced repeatedly. Teacher Noe Olvera, whose first profession is in architecture, is now joining the club as coach.
It is interesting to note that, thanks to these activities, the percentages of Master level students on the STAAR final exams have reached 45%, Meet 80%, and Approaches 90%.
The school invite everyone to watch the club’s videos on the YouTube channel called Elias Cabrera, identified by the logo of a koala. Here the students are seen showing off their high-level math skills.