The New “Normal”

Art by Craig Rousseau

Hey, everyone! Solution Squad creator Jim McClain, here. First, I want to assure you that I am not one to capitalize on tragedy. I was a classroom teacher for 32 years and I know how hard the job is. I just retired in January, in the hopes of traveling the country talking about using comics in the classroom to teach math. I was going to offer my comics and lesson plans for sale. Obviously, those plans are out the window. To supplement my income, I was also substitute teaching. Well, that’s not really going to work out either, with Indiana schools being closed by the governor today until at least May 1. My third plan for retirement income was to sell vintage comics at comic book conventions. And…well, you get the picture, I’m sure.

As I look at the models of projected COVID-19 cases and the associated hospitalizations projected over the next several months, it becomes clear that working with kids at home is going to be the new “normal” for the foreseeable future. So, here’s what I’m going to do. I am giving you an educational use copy of Jim McClain’s Solution Squad. Here’s the download link from my Dropbox server:

Jim McClain’s Solution Squad Education Copy

No strings attached. The whole book is there, for free. It’s not in print resolution, but it’s free for you to read and use. Just download it, push it out to kids via Google Classroom, Canvas, or whatever electronic means you have, open it up in your favorite PDF reader, and read with your kids. Each day, I will provide a free standard-based math lesson that goes with the book. This is for teachers doing remote learning/e-learning, home schoolers, whomever needs activities for kids to do during this crisis.  The math in the book typically ranges from 4th through 8th grade, depending on the states whose standards you are using. I will explicitly include those standards for each lesson, using both Common Core State Standards, and my home Indiana Standards, which I am most familiar with. If you have any questions, please hit me up directly at and I will answer any that you have.

At some point, these activities will be bundled with digital landscape format comics in high resolution and offered for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. Buy them or don’t. I will leave the activities here on my blog for your use. It would be nice, however, if they were purchased when available. I’m kind of out of a job, too! The point is, together, we can make math at home fun for kids and adults alike.

Defendit Numerus! (There is safety in numbers!)