Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Clague at the Super Tournaments in March

If you are reading this blog, you hopefully know that the Clague teams will be competing at the Michigan Super Tournaments (“States”) in Grand Rapids in March. You might not, however, know how the tournament works.

The State Tournament is something the team looks forward to all year. The team members have a lot of fun but also are working very hard. Hundreds of students from around the state come to demonstrate the academic skills that they have developed all year.

The “Elementary” teams (this group includes 5th and 6th grades) will compete March 2-4 and the “Middle” teams (7th and 8th grades) will compete March 9-11. Both tournaments are similar in structure.
  • We take a bus to Grand Rapids and then the entire tournament takes place in the hotel. Competition and meals all take place in the hotel’s meeting rooms.
  • Players compete in teams of five. We form these teams in January. Last year, we had four Elementary teams and eight Middle teams.
  • We compete in two types of games. First, “cube” games include Equations, On-Sets, Linguishtik, and Wff ‘n’ Proof. Each of these competitions consist of four “rounds”. We play two rounds of each game on Wednesday and two on Thursday. Results are posted each day, so if you follow our Twitter @clagueag you will see first the scores after the first two rounds and then the final standings. Teams that do extraordinarily well go to playoffs either Thursday evening or Friday morning to determine champions.
  • Second, “reading” games we compete in are Presidents and Propaganda (there is also World Card). We play Propaganda on Wednesday and then Presidents is either Thursday (Middle) or Friday (Elementary).
  • We will try to keep our twitter page @clagueag updated with results.
  • No matter the results, we are all proud of every member of the Clague team for their hard work and the integrity they show in competition. 
 Families will be getting more information on the technicalities of signing up soon. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Saturday Tournament at Jackson Northeast

This Saturday 45 members of the Clague team were part of over 200 players at the Saturday Tournament in Jackson.  Clague once again led the way in Top Five and Total Points but came in second in Team Average to that impressive new team down the road at Thurston.  Congratulations to all who participated with Clague and with other teams, and thanks to our Jackson hosts for telling us where to find the good donut shop after the competition.

Top Clague scores (18 or higher) include James X., Ben Z., Derek H., Elizabeth L, Daniel H., Kristian P., Eli S., Zihao W., Jin L., Amy X., Daniel M., Avani H., Candace J., and Darius A.

This was the 4th Saturday Tournament of the 6 held during the school year.  A special salute to the 17 Clague team members who have competed in all four.  We expect players to participate in at least three of the Saturday Tournaments if they intend to compete at the State Tournaments in March in Grand Rapids. 

The fifth Saturday Tournament is at Ypsilanti Community Middle School on January 9.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Saturday Tournament at Gompers: Halfway to States

42 Clague students were part of about 200 students competing last Saturday at Detroit’s Gompers Elementary-Middle School.   Clague led the way with a 16.71 average.  A salute to the new team down the road from Clague – Thurston Elementary’s new Academic Games team placed third in team average!  Congratulations to all who competed.

Top Clague scores (18 or higher) include Matthew R., Dan W., Scott B., Gerald K., Eli S., Angie Z., Derek Z., Young Seo L., Max M., Elizabeth L., Darius A., Brian W., Joey O., Jerry L., Jerry C., Kristian P., Zach N., Karinne T., and Eric Z.  

This is the third of the six monthly Saturday Tournaments which lead up to “States” – the Super Tournaments in March.  Clague expects those who want to compete at States to prepare by competing in at least three Saturday tournaments.   24 Clague students have competed in all three Saturday tournaments so far.  

The next Saturday tournament is at Jackson Northeast on December 12.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Follow Us On Twitter; also a classic film introducing Equations

If you are reading this on a mobile device or have an ad blocker running, you probably can't see our twitter feed on this blog page, so you may be missing out.   We tweet at @clagueag so follow us.

Also, if you want to show someone what Equations is like or want to see for yourself, Clague alumna (and a winner this year of the Academic Games Outstanding Senior award) Claire Fishman has a video on youtube explaining the basics of Basic Equations.  The video is a few years old so a couple rules have changed, but on the other hand, there are cats. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Equations Worksheets

Equations worksheets are linked on the right. There is a packet for Elementary players (6th graders) and one for Middle players (7th and 8th grade). We will not be printing out the worksheets, so it is up to each student to print them out on their own. Worksheets are due before Thanksgiving break.

For every page completed, students will get one point added to their Friday tournament score, regardless of the number of problems they get correct. The idea is to reward effort. Students are encouraged to bring their worksheet packet with them to all practices, as we will often have times when they can work on them with other students.

6th and 7th grade students can get a maximum of 20 points from the worksheets, while 8th grade students can only get points for the worksheets that have not been in previous years' packets, specifically worksheets 7O, 7P, 7Q, 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E, 10C, & 10D 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October Tournament Results

55 students from the Clague team competed in Saturday's tournament against students from other schools in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Northville, Detroit, and Fenton.  Overall Clague finished with an average of 15.98 (low is 8, max is 20), good for first place in the tournament, and with a top 5 score of 100 (out of 100), also good for first place!

Top Scorers (18 or higher) included:
Aarnav U.
Anirudh C.
Avani G.
Ben Z.
Bhaavna Y.
Brian W.
Daniel H.
Daniel W.
Derek H..
Eric H.
James X.
Jin L.
Kaiwen Y.
Marisa R.
Matthew R.
Max M.
Mimi G.
Prathik G.
Raayan B.
Rafid F.
Young Seo L.
Zihao W.

Online team results for Region B (and all other regions) can be found at

Congrats to all the Clague players who attended the first tournament of the year.  The next tournament is November 21 at Detroit Gompers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Game of On-Sets

We have now moved along to playing On-Sets (in addition to Equations and Presidents) during our practices.

Clague players will already know everything in this post, but just in case some parents or people interested in learning Academic Games are reading, here is a (very) simplified version of what On-Sets is about. 

On-Sets is a game of set theory, and therefore a game of logic. The game consists of cards, cubes, a timer, a "flub", and a board. 

Cards have between zero and four colored dots on them -- blue, red, green, or yellow.  This means there are 16 (=2^4) cards in the set.  Only some of them are dealt (face-up) and these become the "universe".

There are several types of cubes.   Eight have colors on them.  A yellow cube means the set of all cards which have a yellow dot on them -- and similarly for blue, red, and green.  Seven of the other cubes mostly have set operators such as union, intersection, and complement.   [If you're new to set theory, it might be helpful to see the Wikipedia Page on basic set theory]

The three remaining cubes have digits on them.  One player -- the "goal-setter" -- uses these cubes to form a numeric goal.  Players must then be prepared to write an expression using set theory where the number of cards in the universe described by their formula equals the goal that was set. 

The rest of the game is similar to Equations -- as cubes are moved onto the various sections of the board it changes which cubes must (or must not) be used in solutions, and players look for opportunities to "challenge" the moves of their opponents.

There is a lot more to On-Sets -- particularly at the Adventurous level that the Clague team plays at.  The complete rules and other documents about the game can be found at the Michigan Leagues of Academic Games website

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Game of Presidents

Since today is Election Day (in Canada), it seemed a good opportunity to explain the game of Presidents, particularly for the new families who are hearing about this game from the students.

Presidents is a game about U.S. History in which a series of clues are given about a President and the goal is to identify him.  Presidents are identified by their number (Washington is #1, Obama is #44).

The players are each given a sheet giving the number of the President, his name, his years in office, his political party, and the year and state of his birth and death.

First, a "six-point clue" is read about the President.  Based on this, players choose whether to write down an answer or wait for more clues.  If the answer turns out to be right, they will get six points, but a wrong answer gets no points in Presidents.

Next, a "four-point clue" is read about the same President.  Players who haven't answered the six-point clue choose whether to answer or not -- this time getting four points if they are correct.

Then, a "two-point clue" is read.  Players who haven't answered yet answer now since it is the last chance for points.

Finally, the President is identified, scores are recorded, and the game moves on to the next President.

For some tips on studying for Presidents, have a look at an earlier post on the topic.

In high school, players have to know every President every year, but until then, the list is split in two.  The 2015/16 year covers Presidents #1-24 (Washington through Cleveland).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2015-16 Captains

The team has spoken and captains for 2015-16 have been chosen.  This years Clague captains are (not in any particular order) Elizabeth, Benjamin, Eli, Rhea, and James.

Clague captains put in a lot of work leading their teams, so both congratulations and thanks are both in order.  This week was captaincy at its most aerobic, as we held a Challenge Match, wherein the captains move around the room answering questions for their teams. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Variations in Equations

So far this year in practice we have been working on Equations and Presidents.  For (Adventurous) Equations, after the cubes are rolled three Variations are chosen which affect how Goals and Solutions are composed.

These variations are different for Elementary (5th/6th grade) and Middle (7th/8th grade) and the list varies from year to year, so just about everyone on the team has new variations to learn each year.

We have now introduced all the variations (except "Multiple of k" for the Middles) and will be using them in our Friday tournaments right away.

You might want your own copy of the variation sheets, in which case have a look at the Michigan League of Academic Games website where you can find many useful items including the Elementary Variations Sheet and the Middle Variations Sheet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First tournament of the year

53 students from the Clague team competed in Saturday's tournament against students from other schools in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Northville, Detroit, and Fenton.  Overall Clague finished with an average of 16.17 (low is 8, max is 20), good for first place in the tournament, and with a top 5 score of 98 (out of 100), also good for first place!

Top Scorers (18 or higher) included:
Aarnav U.
Amy X.
Angie Z.
Daniel K.
Daniel M.
Derek Z.
Eli S.
Elizabeth L.
James X.
Jasmine X.
Jerry C.
Jingyang Z.
Kristian P.
Phillip L.
Phoebe Y.
Rhea C.
Sherry C.
Thomas Z.
Young Seo L.
Zach N.

Online team results for Region B (and all other regions) can be found at

Congrats to all the Clague players who attended the first tournament of the year.  The next tournament is October 24 at Huron High School.