Jacqueline Johnson, TES Author JJResources, talks about her engaging math mystery series Case of the Super Bad Superhero for Years 1 to 6
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a qualified primary school teacher with a master’s degree in teaching. Before becoming a stay-at-home mum, I was lucky enough to teach across all primary grades.
What made you decide to create math resources?
During my teaching, I came across a large number of students who were unmotivated in the math classroom. Unfortunately, because of their lack of engagement, I found that behaviour issues frequently arose during math lessons, which ruined the learning experience for all. That inspired me to begin experimenting with ways to make math fun.
How can math mysteries be used to motivate learners?
Quite simply, math mysteries make the moans and groans disappear! As we use math in many aspects of our lives, it is essential that students get lots of opportunities to practise numeracy skills in the classroom. These unique stories are a great hook and encourage even the least motivated learners to get involved, crack the clues and solve the case.
Can you describe your math mystery series in more detail?
I decided to use the theme of superheroes in my latest series – Case of The Super Bad Superhero – because I find that students are more engaged and responsive to learning when characters are incorporated into a lesson’s activities. In each resource, your math detectives will receive a story, suspect list, five math worksheets that reveal clues, and a mystery declaration sheet. Learners will read the story and complete each worksheet to reveal clues about the antihero. The elimination process should leave only one suspect at the end of the five clues, and that suspect (if worked out correctly) is the Super Bad Superhero!
By mixing and matching the clues, you can differentiate the worksheets for individual students. It also has the benefit of allowing children to correct their own work, so you can avoid long hours of marking.
What are the benefits of these resources for teachers?
I hope that teachers will find motivating their class during math time much easier with these resources. With a variety of numeracy skills along with literacy and critical thinking skills embedded throughout each mystery, students/math detectives will have the opportunity to develop essential learning and understanding.
Resources are ready to print and teach without additional preparation, so implementing them in any classroom should be stress free and can easily be used by substitute teachers as well. Whether used in the classroom or as numeracy skill revision, math mysteries add an element of fun to disguise all of the math work students must do to solve the case.
Math Mystery series: Case of the Super Bad Superhero
Are you a TES Author who would like to contribute to a blog post? Find out more about how to get involved.