CSU’s Ticknor Releases Third Math Comic Book for Young Learners
June 9, 2021
An expanding comic book series by Columbus State University’s Dr. Cindy Ticknor continues to make math education more engaging for elementary school students and teachers. Ticknor is the author of The Mysterious I.D. Vide in Newton’s Nemesis series, three comic books centered around learning fraction division.
Ticknor, a professor in mathematics education and past president of the Georgia Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, has long sought to demystify math concepts for the aspiring educators she teaches and their future students alike. Now dean of CSU’s Honors College, which comes with less time in the classroom, the comic book series has become a way for her to remain connected to her math education roots
“I’ve taught future teachers for a long time and one of the pivotal concepts that they struggle with is fractions,” Ticknor said. “So, I’ve always wanted to give them another tool they can use in the classroom to help conversations around the concept of fractions.”
She credits her husband’s comic book collection as inspiration for the series and the motivation to begin her first manuscript. Now, the combination of math, artwork and literature is connecting with students of all different backgrounds and giving teachers more resources. She also hopes the comic books give students the confidence to approach math problems.
“You should get messy with math. You should make mistakes because that’s part of learning,” she said. “It’s okay if you’re not doing it right the first time because if you can learn from those mistakes and as long as you keep trying, you’ll get it. And if I can get kids thinking about that by reading these stories, that’s half the battle.”
In the latest edition, the heroes work to solve 2 ÷ 3/8 so they can save Newton the dog from the villain, Ms. I. D. Vide. The popular series is now in all 31 elementary schools in the Muscogee County School District, as well as schools across the United States. Ticknor also raised funds to donate 500 copies of the book to low-income schools.
The books will also be used at CSU’s youth summer math camp, Operation Super Solvers. The camp is designed to help students completing 4th, 5th, and 6th grades who may have missed out on hands-on learning activities due to COVID-19.
Columbus-based artist and former CSU student Nathan Long designs the artwork for the comic books. All three books are available for purchase at mathcomichero.com.