Cleveland students have ‘sum’ fun



Students at Cleveland Elementary School love to do the math – and on March 3, 68 sixth-graders competed online in a live 48-hour math marathon against one million students in more than 200 countries.

World Math Day, developed in 2007 by 3P Learning, involves students from all over the world participating in real-time math competitions. Students have 48 hours to answer as many questions as possible. Each mental math exercise lasts 60 seconds, and students can participate in up to 500 of these games (100 questions in each of the five levels).

“Throughout the year I use competition to challenge and motivate my students whenever possible,” says Cathy Holley, sixth-grade math teacher at Cleveland Elementary. “World Math Day provided the ultimate challenge for my students and they rose to the occasion. This is our second year to participate in this competition and I look forward to it each year.”

Throughout the day, the computer lab was buzzing with excitement as students tackled mathematical problems and connected globally with kids around the world. Cleveland students competed with children in more than 200 countries including Botswana, United Arab Emirates, Istanbul, Estonia, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

“Using the data from last year I set our first goal of solving 75,000 problems. My students blew that number out of the water within a few hours,” says Holley.

Thousands of classrooms across the globe must have shared the same excitement when millions of students logged onto Wednesday morning and caused the server to crash. Organizers of World Math Day extended the competition a day as some students had difficulties logging onto the system.

“Since they extended the hours, I increased our goal to 200,000. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my sixth-grade class could answer correctly 345,501 questions in this time,” she continues.

Cleveland students were among millions worldwide who spent their mornings, recesses, lunches, and after-hours logging on to computers completing hundreds of timed, 60- second quizzes.

“The World Math Day website allowed me to check my students’ stats anytime during the 48-hour competition. Students were amazed when I knew which ones had been on late at night and even as early as five in the morning,” says Holley. “The dedication these students have shown was astounding and I am very proud of them. They have set the standards extremely high for the upcoming students.”

“The thing that has impressed me about this competition is the excitement level by the students,” says Dr. David Bradford, principal. “Education that motivates children is exciting. This competition strengthens their math skills in a fun way. These students have exceeded my expectations.”

In addition to working on their math skills, students got a world geography lesson, learning about time zones and little known parts of the globe with the help of Michael Pepper, Athen State’s technology specialist for Technology in Motion.

Students worldwide worked to get into the Guinness Book of World Records to be a part of the largest online math competition in the world and beat last year’s world record of correctly answering 452,681,681 questions. This year they succeeded and set a new world record correctly answering 572,753,084 questions.

For more information on the competition, visit

Cleveland Elementary School Results:
Total questions : 372,147
Total correct answers: 349,179
Total points earned: 345,501

First to finish the 500 game:
Chase Biles – 13,916 correct answers

Top 10 in correct answers:
1. Grayson Taylor – 17,785 points
2. Clay Daughtry – 16,182 points
3. Peyton Hazelrig – 16,113 points
4. Caylin Glass – 14,132 points
5. Chase Biles – 13,916 points
6. Kimberly Patterson – 10,415 points
7. Josh Torres – 9,439 points
8. Caroline Weems – 9,390 points
9. Paola Hernandez – 8,760 points
10. Ulises Herrera – 8,641 points

Most improved: Kimberly Patterson – 10,415 points