I recently decided to stay in the classroom until I’m at least 59, instead of retiring at the first opportunity a year from December. I’m hearing rumblings that the economy is about to tank, and that’s probably not the best time to rely on doing school visits with Solution Squad. My decision to postpone my […]
Just a few weeks ago, we were honored to learn that Jim McClain’s Solution Squad is a finalist in the 2018 Excellence In Graphic Literature Awards, sponsored by Pop Culture Classroom and Denver Comic Con. It is one of six finalists in a field of 90 books that were submitted for Best in Middle-Grade Books. I (Jim) […]
I have to take a half day off the first day of the new semester to take my wife to the doctor and I need a quick lesson plan for kids I’ve never met. My go-to is a writing prompt with which I like to begin each new class: What Would You Do with One Billion Dollars? […]
Happy New Year, everyone! Here is an abbreviated history of the Julian and Gregorian Calendars that we all know and love! I’ll be coming back to it later this week to talk about this fascinating subject. But for now, I thought a little history is in order: The calendar is a fascinating mechanism. It’s full […]
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 […]
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 […]
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? […]
Hello, everyone! It’s been too long since I updated the website, and I think it’s time for that to change! The first phase of Solution Squad was producing a webcomic and then a print comic book that could be used to test the waters, so to speak, of educational comics. The first webcomic premiered on February […]
Thanks to IngramSpark, Jim McClain’s Solution Squad is now available from booksellers everywhere! You can find the 146-page paperback version available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Chegg, and elsewhere! The hardcover copies are still about a month away from being completely printed, but in the meantime, we have a book!
Our Kickstarter is a success and the project is a go! We’re not done yet by a long shot! I just wrote a small story for Christopher Jones to draw and another one for Jessica Lynn! We’re making the book bigger if we get to $12,000! Check it out!
Hey, everyone! The long wait for the book is finally over! We have a 132-page hardcover book ready to roll, and we’re live on Kickstarter to get support for printing it! Here’s the cover by Serena Guerra (pencils, colors) and me (inks)!
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 […]
For a limited time, the widescreen digital version of Solution Squad #1 is available for free, right here! The download code is FALLBACK. And if you really don’t know what to do with that, I’ve created a new 15-minute video that will guide you through just that. This isn’t the kitchen sink, but it’s certainly […]
Jim attended New York Comic Con last week, where he presented on two panels: Comics, Graphic Novels and STEM, as well as Comics, Graphic Novels and the Reluctant Reader. Both were well attended, and recorded on his phone. Enjoy!
If you’re coming here from Comic-Con International San Diego, welcome! Solution Squad is an all-ages comic that teaches math. If you attended one of my panels, you already know this, so let’s get started! You’re already in the right place for free webcomics. We are currently finishing the second Solution Squad story, “The Trouble with […]
Our newest venture is in the domain of lesson plans! Along with curriculum expert Tracy Edmunds, we have launched a Teachers Pay Teachers store! In it, we have the 113-slide digital comic, along with 25 pages of lesson plans and activities for grades 4-8! The first listing goes with Solution Squad #1: Solution Squad is a […]
As announced the other day, we are bringing a new collaborator on board to help with our Solution Squad YouTube Channel. I am pleased to welcome Nikki Tolerico to the Solution Squad team! I met Nikki at the 2014 New York Comic Con and she’s a fantastic cosplayer AND math teacher! She’s in the process […]
Hello, everyone! Jim McClain, here. Upon reflection, 2015 flew by. I began by dedicating the year to making progress on the hardcover Solution Squad book. I gave up spending hundreds of dollars in table fees to do comic book shows where I would find precious few from my target audience, and dedicated that money instead […]
Posting has been light here in the past year or so, but we promise you, it’s all going to be worth the wait. Here’s the lineup of talent behind Solution Squad: Primer. The whole book is written, and more than half of the artwork is now done. When the book is complete, we will […]
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, […]
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 […]