Starting a                       Program

Team Round

There is rarely enough time for any one person to do all 10 problems.

Try several strategies for dividing the questions among the team members Two students do evens, two do odd, one of each pair starts a the beginning, the other at the end

Assign problems to members who do that type of problem well, everyone has strong places & weak areas.



Each problem should be done by at least 2 people, and a third if the first 2 disagree.

Do not always assume the smartest member is correct!

Be sure your team practices together frequently

Underline actual question in the problem to see where the question is heading, and that all steps have been completed



Some suggestions from Jason Batterson









Tips For Team Round?






Here is what we do ... and it has been pretty successful.


One member creates a grid numbered from 1 through 10 on the left, initials or names on the top, with a place for each person to fill in his/her responses.  They typically allow this to be created before the timer starts.


Each member is assigned problems from the start (these are actually assigned when the team is formed and the same assignments are used at every practice).  I give my two faster problem-solvers 1-3 and 4-6, with the students who are better at hard problems getting 7-8 and 9-10 (it is not always the case that these are harder, but it is often the case, more so at the higher level competitions).  


The goal for my teams at chapter competitions is for everyone to work every problem to completion, at states everyone is trying to get 5-8 problems done (but specifically they need to be sure they take time on their own problems, checking wording, avoiding carelessness, answer the right question, etc.).  


I ask them to work silently for the first 10 minutes or so ... they only communicate to trade problems (for instance, if one student stinks at Geometry and gets a hard Geometry problem, they are encouraged to trade early with someone who is stronger at Geometry).  Without this rule, they often end up talking way to much and arguing ... or sometimes they all end up trying the same problem because it seems like a cool problem.


As a student gets an answer, they fill it in on the grid.  If they are unsure, they add a “?” to let others know ... if they are confident, they add a check mark to let others know that they should look over other problems and come back to it last once others are checked.


 When each person finishes their assigned problems, they continue to the next problems (the person assigned to 4-6 next checks 7 ... 8 ... 9 ... etc, and each member wraps around after they do 10).  After about 10 minutes they usually have a pretty good idea of what problems need work/cooperation and which they can mark complete and they work together on problems for the remaining time (or at least they redistribute the work that remains).


If I have a "star", we invoke the "always trust ____" rule in the case of disputed problems (last year this was the case, but my team is very balanced this year).  Assigning problems may go more like 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-10 with the goal being that everyone finishes their assigned problems in about the same amount of time