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Mr. Math Series:

Building Numeracy Concepts through Live Character Illustration and Participatory Storytelling

Imagine a classroom where math units are taught through captivating, participatory, and live illustrated stories. The educator, together with the students’ input, builds a culturally-relevant character whose unexpected adventures grow with every lesson. This method turns numeracy into a dynamic, collective experience, deeply engaging students as they explore concepts via the main character.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
Students lower
April 2024
Our long-term goals with Mr. Math: • Promote visual literacy to teach diverse subjects holistically. • Foster participatory lesson creation, engaging students in their learning. • Enable teachers to facilitate live, open-ended stories, exploring concepts playfully. • Integrate local elements and aesthetics, making learning relevant. • Potential expansion through published educational materials.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

“Mr. Math" came to life organically, within the inquiry-based and collaborative setting of Academyati. We saw the need to make a repeatable format in numeracy to make math engaging and memorable. By integrating visual and dynamic storytelling into the curriculum, we address the challenge of fostering deeper understanding and classroom unity. Numeracy concepts link to tangible characters.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Our interdisciplinary innovation structure, the Mr. Math series, actively engages children in mathematics through the live drawing and story-based approach, bringing math lessons to life with characters like Omar the Bear and Baba Jabar, who introduce concepts such as shapes and addition. This series, designed around the AERO math standards, incorporating a proprietary curriculum, blending hands-on activities with story-driven content using characters inspired by local culture and flora, drawn from regional archives for authenticity.

Evidence of the program’s success is vivid in the consistent enthusiasm and creative participation of students. They eagerly anticipate each lesson, where they interact with the locally relevant characters and contribute to unfolding math adventures on the group carpet, helping to solve problems and explore new numeracy concepts. The structured environment supports collective creativity and engagement, increasing student interest and involvement.

How has it been spreading?

Our goal for the next 2 to 3 years is to develop the Mr. Math units through the following:

1. Clarify Lesson Structure: Classify math lessons and their corresponding stories for clear educational alignment. Outline key characters, events, and lesson integration for each story.

2. Enhance Educational Materials: Integrate and refine worksheets and problem-solving exercises tailored to each story.

3. Professional Development: Conduct sessions with similar age group teachers to share implementation strategies.

4. Expand Pedagogical Testing: Test this method in various settings and document the outcomes.

5. Develop Collaborative Stories for Publication: As an established illustrator, I aim to develop these stories for publication, enriching our educational impact.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

To adopt our Mr. Math solution, start by integrating a character at the beginning of a unit, letting students add unique story details. Observe their reactions to shape dynamic, unexpected twists. For deeper engagement, consider a professional development (PD) session with Charlene K. and Ameena A. to enhance creative confidence and learn systematic character drawing rooted in regional aesthetics.

Spread of the innovation

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