Friday, May 18, 2012
By ABBY SLANKER
Go ahead, ask C.H. Campbell Elementary School fourth-grade student Andrew Marenkovic any math problem and he will give you the answer without using a pencil and paper.
Marenkovic, a student of Dana Zarlenga-Buist, C.H. Campbell math teacher of 18 years, placed first in his division in the mental arithmetic category at the Eastern Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Elementary Math Contest April 28.
Along with Marenkovic, Zarlenga-Buist took fourth-graders Sanjana Nallapaneni and Arvind Subramanyam to the competition. They both received a certificate of participation.
“This is the first year I have taken students to this competition. I chose the participants based on their reactions in class and by observing their way of thinking and how they came up with answers without pencil and paper,” Zarlenga-Buist said.
Zarlenga-Buist prepared the students for competition with lots of practice.
“We practiced mental math strategies and played the game of 24, during which the students are given numbers and are challenged with coming up with different ways to get the answer. We also practiced converting measurements. We really practiced a lot and it paid off,” Zarlenga-Buist said.
The competition, which is for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, was held at Austintown Fitch High School with 288 students competing from Mahoning County.
“There are many different categories to choose from when competing in this event, but I chose mental arithmetic because I saw the talent my students have for this category,” Zarlenga-Buist said.