How Many Days Old Are You? Part 1

When I want to assess my students’ problem solving abilities to begin the semester, I ask one simple question. It’s the title of this post.  So simple. It requires nothing more than whole number addition and multiplication and a rudimentary knowledge of the calendar. But watching student after student answer the question incorrectly, I lay […]

Teaching with Jim McClain’s Solution Squad, Part 3

Students continued their writing today, and I promised them that I would do the activity right along with them. I guess their thought is if we suffer together, it’s more bearable? Since they’ve moved past the organized list phase into the paragraph writing phase, I modeled what I think their paragraphs should look like. What […]

Teaching with Jim McClain’s Solution Squad, Part 2

There isn’t only one way to teach using Jim McClain’s Solution Squad. I’ve been using it for years. Ordinarily, I’d go right through the first story, developing prime number skills. But this year, I decided to go off-script. My favorite Solution Squad activity is a writing prompt: What Would You Do with One Billion Dollars? […]

Teaching with Jim McClain’s Solution Squad, Part 1

We have published our first graphic novel, available here and here, but now the question is, “How do we teach with it?” The answer follows! In my seventh grade classroom yesterday, I polled my students to find out how many of them had never read a comic book or a graphic novel. I was pleased to […]

Games: Lo-Hi

Jim McClain here! If you have access to two 12-sided dice, try this game out for your elementary age kids who are struggling with their multiplication facts. My kids–seventh graders, mind you–beg to play this game. It’s easy, it’s fair, and you can copy the score sheet to your heart’s content. I do them back-to-back […]

Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter

Formerly known as The Graphic Textbook, Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter is a 184-page anthology of educational comics from science, social studies, language arts, and math for grades 3-6. It features comic stories by Katie Cook, Mike and Janet Lee, Chris Giarusso, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, Trevor Mueller, Russell Lissau, […]

For Those Who Came in Late…

Hello! “For Those Who Came in Late…” sounds like an insult, but it’s actually a reference to the classic comic strip, The Phantom. It’s how the writer would recap What Has Gone Before. So if you’re here from Edutopia or Instructor magazine, welcome. You’re not late at all! Solution Squad is an all-ages educational comic aimed […]


On February 21, we were informed that Jim had won a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship! What this means is that he will receive $10,000 in technology and time that will allow him to create a Solution Squad story that will be made available for free for digital viewing. The story will have enhanced web […]

AMP! Comics for Kids to publish Reading With Pictures: The Graphic Textbook, including Solution Squad!

We’re excited to announce that all 24 pages of the main story in Solution Squad #1 will be reprinted in Reading With Pictures: The Graphic Textbook! From the Reading With Pictures Kickstarter Page: “Andrews McMeel Publishing (AMP) has entered an agreement to publish READING WITH PICTURES: THE GRAPHIC TEXTBOOK, an educational graphic anthology produced by […]