Strengthen
Your Students’ Word
Problem Solving Skills
Using
this “Math Can Be Fun” Adventure
Story!
Secrets of the Wizard is a fantasy adventure with 99
math word problems woven
into a suspenseful story that will hold your students’
attention. The
story provides a fun activity that math teachers and parents can use to
help students master solving
word problems while covering Common Core Standards.
The
story ties math and the
written word together. Written
at
a 6^{th} – 7^{th} grade reading level
and presented in
small, one-page bites, every page challenges the reader
with a math word
problem which must be reasoned through and solved
correctly. The problems,
covering general math, include all the operations of
arithmetic, fractions,
decimals, percents, exponents, integers, measurement
conversions, and geometry.
Most of the problems should be easy for 5^{th}
and 6^{th}
graders; some of the problems involve multiple steps and
will challenge 7^{th}
and 8^{th} graders.
The story, written and illustrated by Jim
Bennett, chronicles
the
adventures of the good wizard, Galimedes and his two
faithful helpers (a
gnome and an elf) who must recover the lost scrolls of
time and seasons. They
find themselves in many perilous situations as they
battle a phantom knight, a carnivorous
giant, the legendary Minotaur, an evil magician, and a
witch. Galimedes even
travels to a parallel universe!
The
author’s goal
is to provide tools to help educators reverse the
downward trend of American
students’ math scores. He believes that working on
improving students’
attitudes toward math, especially at the middle school
level when many of those
attitudes solidify, is critical to achieving this goal.
There are 99
word
problems. The pages of Secrets
of the Wizard,
presented
as a journal, are all scrambled, and the only way to
know what page to read
next is to solve a math puzzle that appears at the
bottom of each page. There
is also a hidden secret message which can be found by
stringing together the
first letters on each of the pages when they are read in
the correct order.
There are
frequent
“cliff-hangers” which will keep students “on
the edge of their seats.”
For this reason, the book is a fantastic resource for
the teacher or parent who
is looking for material to make mastering word problems
a fun activity. Students
will be motivated to get the right answers so they can
find out what happens
next in the story.
Jim Bennett, now
semi-retired, was a full-time
classroom teacher for thirty-four years, having taught
in Virginia, Ohio, and
New York. In addition to this book, he previously wrote
and illustrated Calligraphy
For Dummies, Calligraphy for Creative Kids, and
The
Algebra Journal. In
2003 he was named Educator of the Year by the
Southeastern Ohio Art Education
Association. He has also developed a number of math
lessons based on the Bible.
His website is mathsquad.com.
Secrets of the Wizard by Jim
Bennett is available at Lulu.com |