Math? Elementary, my dear Watson

Students in Susan Hoffman's sixth-grade class at Jacks Valley Elementary School got a math lesson Tuesday afternoon that they're possibly not soon to forget. After all, the lessons the elementary school students were learning were ... "elementary."

"Mastering Math - A Sherlock Holmes Problem Solving Mystery" is a musical play, featuring several musical numbers including, He's Mastering Math, I Just Want to Solve a Mystery, Guess and Check, Work Backwards, Draw a Table, Act It Out, A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words, Find a Pattern and Four Steps. The play was written by Ron Fink and John Heath and is published by Bad Wolf Press of Camarillo, Calif.

Students performed the play three times Tuesday - in front of kindergarten through third graders in the morning, fourth through sixth graders in the afternoon and friends and family in the evening.

On Wednesday, the class completed a writing assignment on the project.

"It was quite lovely," said Hoffman of the assignments. "(The students) remembered the songs and the math problems that went with them. Everyone's walking around the school humming the songs.

"The whole musical was about math. (The students) are still talking about the six strategies in problem solving."

Hoffman said both the students and their families and friends had a great time at the performance Tuesday evening. The students are still talking about how they learned how to sew and iron for their costumes, how to improvise, and how they had a buddy system to help each other during the show.

The cast included: Brayden Campbell as Sherlock Holmes; Ethan Shultz, Dr. Watson; Ashlyn Barnhill, math wizard; Hunter McEachin, Alayna Ynacay-Nye and Amanda Hancock as clients; Conner Love and Hanah Ediss, bankers; Ben Browning, Bradley Roberts, bicycle store clerks; Joey Petrali as the brother; Becky Grabow, Vickie Lopez, Maguy Sandoval as sisters; Gumaro Gomez, April Rodriguea, Chelsea Wilson as passersby; Nick Fickle, Nick Martin and Raenna Ramos as school children; and Tim Klekar, Adeleima Robles and C.J. Davis as math teachers.

The crew included Hoffman as director, teacher Teri Howley as assistant director, Ben Browning as stage manager and Nick Fickle and Tim Klekar were the stage crew.


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