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Kids excel at game of math in May

In back from left are Hayden Payne, Luke Scott, Nick Moody, Sherry Snudden, Lori Wilson, Sierra Bonser, and in frornt, Emma Olson, Madison McGraw, Brendan Farmer, and Allison Mayo-Moyle. (click for larger version)
May 21, 2014 - Math is the name of the game during the month of May at Clarkston Elementary School.

"It's been quite a tournament," said parent volunteer Sherry Snudden, helping with the Math Pentathlon tournament, part of May Math Madness at the school.

Their game of choice, Queens & Guards, teaches logic and strategy, said student Hayden Payne.

"You want to get all your people up there," Payne said. "I win all the time when I move the queen up."

"It was hard to understand at first," said Madison McGraw. "I always try to bring the guards in, move the queen in, and close the last space open with the last guard."

"Think before you move make sure you keep your eyes open or things go wrong," said Sierra Bonser

Math Pentathlon is a national organization consisting of five math strategy games. The bracket-type tournament started with 86 players on May 1, mostly from grades 4-5 with a few third graders. Playing during their lunch hour, they were almost down to the final four last week and will wrap up this week.

"This is the first time doing this at such a large scale," Snudden said. "The fifth graders have met weekly to learn all the games and then taught their peers how to play the games."

Prize basket for the winner is filled with donations from Neiman's Family Market, Halo Burger, Dairy Dream, Leo's Coney, Culvers, and other businesses.

"We really appreciate the support of local businesses," Snudden said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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