- Word Problem Comic Books
- July 23rd, 2010
I have a task at work. It is making math word problems more appealing by laying out worksheets as though they are comic book pages. This way, word problems become comic panels, with blank spots for answers. There were some concerns about how much sense my layout was making. That didn't surprise me because organizing is one of my weaknesses that I work on! :D
We handed out the packets of worksheets to a group of seven middle schoolers today.
I felt silly because we hauled these kids in from playing Rock Band and racing games and Wii...to do math problems.
This is a video game lab where kids try out electronics and report what they like or don't like about the games. It's set up as an after-school program that supplies my department with information about what to do with our own games. The kids also get to develop their own video game concepts and show them off.
So. Group of quiet middle-schoolers browsing through these comic book things. I mean, I wasn't expecting anyone to get excited because um, despite the graphical dressup? The worksheets are still worksheets, and they still have math in them. Math is icky.
Important things we found out: It was clear where the middle schoolers were supposed to supply answers, and it was also clear that there were hints hidden in the comic panels for them to find in order to solve the math problems. The most unclear things had to do with the copy, but not the layout or the illustrations. Whew! I had wondered if I meandered into the dreaded zone of overworking, so it was nice to know that I'd gotten somewhere legible.
After the review, and some time for responses from the kids, there was an overall rating of "Meh. I'd rather have these than book problems." As long as the comic worksheets are the lesser of two evils (page filled with rote problems vs. comic book-style word problems), I think we're going in the right direction.
'Meh' equals 'win!' Today, I win*. Hurray!
*It sounded better than 'Today, I meh.'