Page 1

RTG Education | Lifestyle | Recipes | Math Games | Did You Know?!



We’re Releasing the Genius in Lahore, Pakistan. | pg. 2-3

Teaching students the skills they need to succeed | pg. 5

SoM Students bring home the medals for Team Canada | pg. 4

Pakistani recipes | pgs. 6-7







Have fun figuring out this issue’s Block Busters, learning a fun fact about Pakistan, and playing our Sudoku Sizzlers | pg. 8

pg. 1

KIM’S KORNER When life presents opportunity


Spirit of Math Schools Inc.

About Kim A loving mother and wife, an innovative entrepreneur, and a voice of authority in education; Spirit of Math Schools CEO and Co-founder, Kim Langen, is dedicated to “Releasing the Genius” in every child around the globe. Kim has an extensive background in mathematics and education; she holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Math and Science from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Biology from Queen’s University. As a Canadian teacher, she has taught at numerous high schools in Toronto and was the Head of Academics at The Bethany Hills School before incorporating Spirit of Math in 1995. Kim was named Entrepreneur of the Year by EY (Ernst & Young) finalist and is a member of Chatelaine’s W100 2015 List of Top Female Entrepreneurs, amongst her many mentions and awards.


RTG is produced and distributed by: RELEASING THE

pg. 2

At certain times in your life there are people you meet, or events that happen that change your life forever. Our visit to Pakistan in November 2015 was one where my two adult children, Nathan and Kirsti, and I attended a spectacular wedding. Not only was it breathtaking with the dresses, the food, the music, the dancing, but also the focus on people and excellence. We quickly realized that we were in a land with many very bright people with immense global experience and a perspective of the world that embraces an outstanding understanding of the West and the East. It became clear very quickly that as foreigners we stood out; because of the one-sided reporting of the country, it is a country that is understood very little by the west, and therefore, almost ignored by international tourists and business. Yet, despite this, the passion and drive of the Pakistanis is creating a massive change. It was this passion for progression and excellence that intrigued me, and has resulted in Spirit of Math launching classes in three locations in Lahore, Pakistan this past August. During our visits over the past year and a half, we have met significant changemakers, participated in a national debate, spoke at several conferences, provided workshops for parents, and trained teachers in mathematics education. One of the highlights of one of my trips was a visit to Ala-u-Din Academy, a girls school in a very poor area of the city. The building was a family home, transformed to classrooms and administrative offices. The family donated the building, and several generations later, the females of the family still run the school. The picture on the front of this NewsMagazine shows the girls and boys in the courtyard of the school. It costs approximately $60 US dollars a year to attend this school, and yet a scholarship fund had to be created because some of these students’ parents are not able to pay for this. The boys who attend are brothers or cousins in the same home, and can only do so up to Grade 5. I spoke to a room packed with girls in Grade 10 about being a female CEO, and how believing in their inner-genius and working hard to strengthen their skills and knowledge, can change their world. It was clear that they were ready to take on the world; they have already overcome extreme hurdles just to go to school, imagine what they will be able to do in their future. This is just one example of the many incredible well executed initiatives that one family has taken. We are excited to announce that Spirit of Math is now in Pakistan! Classes are running with the same program as in Canada and in the USA. With after-school classes in three different schools in Lahore: City School Alpha Phase VI, SICAS Kids Kampus Gulberg and Kids Kampus Johar Town. My daughter, Kirsti Langen, has taken the role of Academic Director, and Zorain Masood from Lahore, is the Operations Manager. This is just the beginning of our adventure there. The requests for Spirit of Math’s classes and teacher training is immense, the support is incredible, and the opportunities to make significant changes at all levels is exciting and enormous. z Spirit of Math® is a thought leader, influencer, change maker and an authoritative voice in higher education. Spirit of Math (SoM) is an exclusive Canadian after-school preparatory math enrichment program for high-performing and gifted students from Kindergarten to Grade 11. For over 30 years, students are being taken from the top of their class to the top of their world with nearly 7,800 students, impressing peers and faculty across 40+ campuses throughout Canada, in the United States and now in Pakistan. The unique curriculum challenges and enhances students’ problem-solving strategies and logical thinking, resulting in students finding themselves on national and international mathematics honour rolls year-in and year-out. SoM has been increasing the standard of excellence in global math education; its successful program was asked to exclusively represent Canada at the World Mathematical Olympiad (WMO) in Beijing, China on August 12, 2017. SoM’s Team Canada (Grades 3-6) competed on the world stage and proudly earned Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

SoM NEWS Releasing the Genius in Lahore, Pakistan Spirit of Math (SoM) is growing globally. After almost a year of hard work and preparation, our exclusive after-school math enrichment program has finally opened its doors to its first overseas campus in Lahore, Pakistan. Spirit of Math’s unique curriculum focuses on encouraging high-performing and gifted students to take risks and expand their minds far beyond what they are used to in their day-school curriculum. New and unique challenges were expected and met, as SoM prepared to successfully open three campuses more than 12,000 kilometers away.

WHY PAKISTAN? For Kim Langen, CEO & Co-Founder of Spirit of Math, Pakistan felt like a natural fit. When asked what drove Kim to bring her unique program to the region, Kim explained how the nation values a high-standard of education, along with its upward economic trajectory. She says that the ideals of the nation are closely in tune with that of

and gifted students. Kim says that providing a great deal of Teacher Training and support is also part of the plan. Just as the Winnipeg School Division brought elements of the Spirit of Math Teacher Training Program to their schools in Manitoba, Canada, Kim hopes SoM’s philosophy of mastering material before teaching it will make its way into Pakistan’s educational psyche. After observing several classes in Pakistan, Kim noted the prevalence of rote learning; the concept of teaching students

“The people of Pakistan understand and value high standards. They want to be recognized for their forward thinking and will do what it takes, without making any excuses to succeed. It is this drive and focus that attracted us to Pakistan.” our company, just like our SoM teachers and parents in Canada, Pakistanis value education. “The people of Pakistan understand and value high standards,” she explains. “They want to be recognized for their forward thinking and will do what it takes, without making any excuses to succeed. It is this drive and focus that attracted us to Pakistan.” Our mission in the developing nation of roughly 182-million is no different than our mission here in North America. When it comes to our goals in Pakistan, they are just what they’ve been across Canada and in the US, since we opened our first campus in 1994; to address the needs of high-performing and gifted students. Partnered with strategically selected schools in Lahore for the first year, our program will focus on high-performing AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

material through memorization and repetition. With this technique, the teacher is the “centre of knowledge,” with text books putting the student’s skills to the test. Through rote learning, students simply learn to be what Kim describes as “intake agents.” She knows SoM will change the conversation of how education in Pakistan is delivered with its unique curriculum and Teacher Training program. “The teacher has to lead their (students) thinking, then consolidate and finally challenge their thinking,” Kim says of Spirit of Math’s teaching model. “Other students in the class are also a huge part of this learning. Therefore, teachers are not the centre of the universe of learning. We will teach (Pakistani) teachers how to work in this new way.” “When the teacher has a strong program to work with, and the teacher’s skills are good, then their students will progress forward,” Kim says. z pg. 3

SoM NEWS Gold. Silver. Bronze. Spirit of Math’s Team Canada brings home the medals from Beijing, China Proudly representing their country at the 2017 World Mathematical Olympiad (WMO) in Beijing, China on August 12, 2017, Spirit of Math’s Team Canada returned home from the international competition with eternal gleaming Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Facing tough competition from nine other nations including China, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Korea, the SoM team exclusively representing Canada at the event stood on top of the world with Grades 3-4 students Jessica Jung and Victor Sarca earning Gold and Silver medals, while Grades 5-6 team member Gavin An earning a Bronze medal.

Tristan Scarlett, Andrew Lin, Derek Chen, Emma Tang, Jessica Jung (GOLD), and Victor Sarca (SILVER); Level 2 (Grades 5-6): Anthony Golubev, Andrew Radin, Caroline Cheng, Eddie Mocanu, Gavin An (BRONZE), and Tai Poole.

“Not many people in their lifetime get to represent Canada in anything... This opportunity is pretty huge. They are trying not to put pressure on themselves, but it’s a super cool experience to be there as Canadians and show the other teams what they can do.” Tristan Scarlett, one of twelve SoM students representing Canada at the WMO, is no stranger to math competitions. He has competed in both the Math Kangaroo and Caribou Contest, but the WMO was his first international contest outside of his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. For high-performing and gifted students like Tristan, competitions such as the WMO provide a “once in a lifetime opportunity” according to his mother, Beth Scarlett. “For kids whose strength is in academics, they don’t get much opportunity to work in teams,” she explains. “A lot of Tristan’s friends are on hockey teams or play competitive soccer, and they get to have these neat experiences where they get to travel with their teammates and compete together. Tristan doesn’t play hockey, this (math) is his thing. It’s giving him a chance to work with a team and travel with a team to get that really cool experience and feeling to rely on each other and work together.” Canada was exclusively represented at the WMO by a team of SoM students from Grades 3 to 6. The SoM students competed in the WMO’s Grade 3-4 and Grade 5-6 categories. Representing Team Canada were Level 1 (Grades 3-4): pg. 4

“Not many people in their lifetime get to represent Canada in anything,” Beth said of the opportunity for Tristan to represent his country at the WMO. “This opportunity is pretty huge. They are trying not to put pressure on themselves, but it’s a super cool experience to be there as Canadians and show the other teams what they can do.” Math competitions provide students with a medium to prepare, apply, and showcase their math knowledge and skills on national and international stages. To compete in mathematics competitions at a high-level, participants must have strong critical analysis skills, which are developed in SoM students. For Tristan, the fun of math competitions is the ability to work closely with his teammates to achieve a common goal, while learning new math concepts that he’ll carry with him for a lifetime. “Competitions are important for math students, because they can learn new things,” Tristin says. “For example, a new type of division they didn’t know before, then they can work on that and it can potentially become something very big in their future.” z AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

SoM TIPS Teaching students complex concepts and problems gives them the skills they need to succeed At Spirit of Math Schools, Grades 1 to 4 students love our POW (Problem of the Week). POWs come in many forms, but they all have the same goal in mind: to teach students to use their logical thinking skills in order to work through complex concepts and problems, such as: “I have two coins that add up to 6 cents. One of them is not a nickel. What is the other one?” “Garfield began reading “Math is Fun” at the top of page three. He read ten pages. On what page did he finish reading?” These are just two examples of some of the POWs posed to Grades 1 to 4 SoM students. Such thought-provoking problems are designed to challenge students and develop their critical thinking skills. Giving your family members a “problem of the day” is a great way to create a competitive and fun atmosphere at home, that provides an intense mental workout. Here are some great resources to find your very own POWs, so you can challenge your eager young minds on a daily basis with mathematics competitions, Spirit of Math Competition Books, and post secondary institutions.


Mathematics competitions are held throughout the world, and serve as a way for students to showcase their knowledge and allows them to measure themselves against a global standard. Many math contests have past papers available for free online. Math problems taken from the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest, the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad and other competitions make for great problem of the day questions. Check out this Spirit of Math Contest question posed to grade 4 SoM students, that you can challenge your child or yourself with. Find the solution at engage.spiritofmath.com


As part of our Releasing the Genius® series of Spirit of Math publications, our Competition Books are a collection of problems and solutions designed to help students prepare for national and international mathematics competitions – the books also make a great source for daily problems to challenge high-performing students in Grades 1 to 4.


The mathematics departments of many post-secondary institutions offer their own problems of the day or week. The University of Waterloo is home to one of Canada’s most prestigious undergraduate mathematics programs. Check out their Problem of the Week page (www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca) to see a wide range of problems and solutions for students in Grades 3 and up. AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

pg. 5

SoM TIPS LIFESTYLE Chicken Curry/Karahi BY SAIRA FAZAL | NEW SoM CAMPUS DIRECTOR AT SCARBOROUGH CAMPUS & FOREST GROVE CAMPUS This is a Pakistani Curry that my family loves to eat served over rice, especially during Ramadan. From my family to yours, we hope you enjoy this dish!

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large, deep sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 20 seconds, until fragrant. 2. Add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides. 3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomatoes, peppers, cumin, chili powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and turmeric. Mix well. 4. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is mostly absorbed, 20 min. If there is still too much liquid after cooking for 20 minutes, remove the lid and cook, uncovered until it thickens, 5-10 minutes. 5. Garnish with slices of fresh ginger, sliced chilies, and fresh cilantro. Serve over Basmati rice. z

Basmati Rice A staple with every meal in South Asian cuisine. INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Basmati Rice 1 3/4 Cups Water Large Pinch of Salt

INGREDIENTS: 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil 1 inch Ginger Root, Minced or 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced 1 lb Chicken Breast, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces 3 Tomatoes, Diced 2-4 Jalapeño Peppers, Chopped 1 tsp Cumin 1 tsp Chili Powder 1 tsp Salt ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes ½ tsp Turmeric 2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro, Finely Chopped pg. 6

DIRECTIONS: 1. Wash the rice by placing the rice in a strainer basket and running your fingers through it as you rinse the starch off the rice repeatedly under running water. Let the rice sit in the strainer over a bowl to drain for about 20 minutes. 2. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. 3. Add the drained rice, stir, and wait until the water comes back to a full boil. When it does, turn the heat down as low as it can go, and then cover the saucepan. Cook for 15 minutes. 4. At the end of 15 minutes, cut the heat. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Now your rice is ready to serve to your family topped with your delicious Chicken Karahi. Enjoy! z AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

SoM LIFESTYLE SoM TIPS Chicken Biryani BY NIDA AKRAM | NEW SoM CAMPUS ASSISTANT AT SCARBOROUGH CAMPUS, FOREST GROVE CAMPUS & INCARNATION CAMPUS I love making this delicious and easy Pakistani recipe for my parents on the weekends.

Vermicelli Pudding/ Seviyan Kheer BY MUJTABA ALIBHAI | PROUD UNCLE OF GRADE 7 SoM STUDENT, SHAYAAN One of my favourite Pakistani desserts, that’s only if I had to just pick one. I make Kheer for my family on special occasions, as a special treat.

INGREDIENTS: 300 g Basmati Rice 25 g Butter 1 Large Onion Diced 1 Bay Leaf 3 Cardamom Pods 1 Small Cinnamon Stick 1 tsp Turmeric 4 Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into Large Chunks 4 tbsp Curry Paste 85 g Raisins 850 ml Chicken Stock Chopped Coriander and Toasted Almonds to Serve DIRECTIONS: 1. Soak the rice in warm water, then wash in cold water until the water runs clear. 2. Heat butter in a pot and cook the onions with the bay leaf and other whole spices for 10 minutes. 3. Add turmeric, then add chicken and curry paste and cook until aromatic. Stir the rice into the pot with the raisins, then pour the stock over mixture. 4. Cover pot and bring to a hard boil, then lower the heat to a minimum and cook the rice for another 5 mins. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 mins. 5. Stir well, mixing through half the coriander. To serve, scatter over the rest of the coriander and the almonds. z AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

INGREDIENTS: 1/2 Cup Broken Vermicelli 2 1/2 Cups Milk 3 tbsp Sugar 2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder 1 tbsp Chopped Unsalted Almonds 1 tbsp Chopped Unsalted Cashew Nuts 1/2 tbsp Raisins DIRECTIONS: 6. Heat ghee in a pan. 7. Fry the vermicelli until they become golden brown. 8. Pour the milk over vermicelli and let it come to a boil. 9. Add sugar and cardamom and mix well. 10. Lower the flame and let the milk simmer for 5-7 minutes till the vermicelli gets cooked and the milk starts to thicken a little. 11. Lastly add chopped almonds, cashews and raisins. 12. Serve hot, warm or cold. 13. If serving chilled, then refrigerate before serving. z pg. 7


Find the solutions online on our NewsMagazine page at engage.spiritofmath.com

Block Busters You are to dismantle all the blocks in the structure below on the left and rebuild them so that all the blocks in the top level are placed one on top of another to make a very high stack of single blocks, then add all the blocks on the bottom level to that stack. Take all the blocks from the middle two levels and place them one on top of another in the same way, beside the other tower of blocks. Which tower would be taller, the tower made of the top and bottom layers or the tower made of the middle 2 layers, and by how much?

Did You Know?!

Sudoku Sizzlers

Pakistan is the world’s largest producer of soccer balls! Sialkot, Pakistan’s 12th most populous city, is the world’s largest producer of hand-sewn soccer balls. With local factories producing anywhere from 40to 60-million balls each year. The small city has an approximate population of 920,000 and is responsible for the world’s largest production of soccer balls. In 2014, Sialkot exported more than 42-million soccer balls to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

pg. 8


Profile for Spirit of Math

RTG NewsMagazine | August 2017  

RTG NewsMagazine | August 2017