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Math Murder Mystery Midterm Review!

Lily Bruscini

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A newer member of the PHS staff, Mr. Glasberg, introduced his own, uniquely designed, math midterm to his Algebra II class; The Murder Mystery Midterm!

I had the pleasure of being able to speak to Mr. Glasberg about his eccentric
assignment where I was able to receive more insight on his process. Being a group
assignment, teams were assigned names of an old Nickelodeon TV show called,
“Legends of the Hidden Temple” with names such as Green Monkeys, Red Jaguars,
Purple Parrots, Silver Snakes, Blue Barracudas, Black Frogs, and Orange Iguanas. Mr.
Glasberg has been working on this project since before the Moving Wall visited
Ponaganset! With the help of Mr. Moscarelli, Mrs. Parrillo, Mrs. Fogarty, Mr. Martin, Ms.
Wilson, and many, MANY more, the Murder Mystery Midterms came to life! Mr.
Glasberg had told me “In the end, the activity from the teacher handbook was 129
pages. It’s only that short because I ran out of time!”
Mr. Glasberg said the idea for this hunt originally came from his time watching
the lessons and courses of Mrs. Parrillo, Mrs. Oatley, Mrs. Fogarty, and especially Mr.
Coyle, and from his scavenger hunt lesson for his students where he had them solving
clues. This quickly registered in his head as an opportunity for his own students to
better their learning. He spent unimaginable amounts of time thinking up ideas for this
assignment, “during early mornings and breaks, I was usually talking with someone
about ideas.” With the few occasional complications, Mr. Glasberg’s midterm activity
took off. He would not tell me what kinds of thoughts he had towards changing the
midterm and ideas on his final due to him possibly playing them out, so sadly, we have
to wait for the fun!
I spoke with some students, Taylor and Elizabeth about their thoughts on the
concept and actual midterm itself. They had told me that each group of students had
been assigned their own murder mystery, each based off different horror movies, theirs
being The Shining. They were given around three class periods to complete their
investigation of the murderer through equations. They would use given math equations
to find their next location of clues, locker combinations, etc. Taylor had told me they had
to find papers, flash drives to watch videos, use cypher wheels, even visit the school
vending machine for the next clue. Overall, they described their experience as very fun
and extremely helpful.
Mr. Glasberg worked extremely hard to create a midterm both entertaining, yet
educational for his students and he most definitely delivered. We can only anticipate
what he will bring to us by the end of this year. Until then, we can only imagine what
kind of ideas are bouncing in his head to stumble his students!
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