Welcome to Villainy, Inc., a Maryland Public Television Electronic
Field Trip that delves into the exciting world of mathematics.
Each Villainy "mission" includes a detailed storyline,
and three opportunities for students to solve mathematical challenges.
You may want to begin your visit by visiting the For
Teachers section to get a quick overview. As with any new
content area, students will be most successful when they have
the level of support they need to handle new and unfamiliar
concepts. Less skilled readers will require even greater levels
We have embedded strategies specifically designed to ensure
that all readers can successfully understand the content. Since
this online field trip focuses primarily on math concepts and
activities, middle school students will not encounter large
sections of text that could pose problems for either less skilled
or reluctant readers. When text does appear, a number of design
features help support readers.
Design features that support readers:
- The animation is closed captioned and narrated for students
to develop fluency as they read along silently.
- The prose is clear and written in a style that middle school
students can easily read.
- Animations are appealing and engaging.
- The size/style of the font and amount of print on a page
are accessible and motivating.
- Graphical information (cities on a map, for example) offer
additional information via pop-up feature for easy reading.
Strategies for using the site successfully:
- Consider introducing the
characters, the storyline and the setting prior to beginning
a mission. If students get intrigued with the characters,
they will be highly motivated to follow the mission mathematics
carefully. You might consider teaming with a language arts
colleague, or assigning the reading for homework.
- Students can choose two helpers to assist them throughout
the mission. Again, introducing students to the helpers'
"back-stories prior to beginning the mission will
help them set the stage for success. Assigning this "background
research" prior to beginning a mission will ensure that
students are fully prepared to follow (or discard!) their
- The teacher's
edition for each mission has the following supports:
- Vocabulary lists - Consider introducing words in a word
sort activity or predicting the meaning of the word if
it's presented in a sentence
- Mission Scripts - Consider assigning some or all of
the story line to be read for homework.
- For general support in using missions successfully in the
classroom, check out the Teacher
Best of luck! Enjoy tackling the Villainy, Inc missions with
your students. All types of readers will be eager to solve the
math problems as the lively animated characters lead the way.
Suzanne Clewell, Ph.D.
Joe Czarnecki, Ph.D.