November 2012

In this issue:
Introducing Activity Library 2 | Why Real-World Math Activities | Book of Real-World Contexts | Discount! | Scholarships | Flipped Classroom? | Bedtime Math | Mathlanding

Introducing MIRL Activity Library, Volume 2.

Introducing library volume 2!

We've recently released the Make It Real Learning Activity Library, Volume 2. Brimming with 220 real-world math activities, it's a perfect companion to help make your math real. A great resource for flipped classrooms, teacher educators, homeschooling families, or just about anyone that's looking for a way to connect math with real life. A free 10 activity sample is available at our store.

Why Real-World Math Activities?

by Frank C. Wilson

In his book How the Brain Learns, Dr. David Sousa reports that "when new learning is readily comprehensible (sense) and can be connected to past experiences (meaning), there is substantially more cerebral activity followed by dramatically improved retention" (Sousa, 2001, p. 48). By connecting academic learning to the real-world experience of the learner, teachers can deepen the intellectual understanding of their students.

For example, a chocolate chip cookie recipe is a great teaching tool for introducing children to the concept of fractions. Measuring the ingredients (e.g. 2½ - cups flour, 1½ teaspoons soda) helps the child understand on a conceptual level what ½ means. By allowing the learner to experiment with the measuring cups and measuring spoons, the child can determine the relationship between fractional quantities such as ¼, ½, and ¾. Then when the abstract concept of adding fractions is introduced, the student has a solid conceptual understanding of fractions on which to build the new learning.

Connecting new learning to the real-world experience of the student is the key to increased student success. As a mathematics professor and textbook author, I have witnessed the empowering effect of real-world applications in the lives of my students. Learners become excited about mathematics when it is relevant and has personal value. For example, on the first day of classes my students used mathematical reasoning to predict the cost of tuition next year. The activity was motivating and had value to the students because the answer to the question impacted them on a personal level.

Learning activities, focused on connecting academic learning to the real-world experiences of learners, enable teachers to increase the quality and effectiveness of their instruction. With enhanced teaching tools, teachers can create a more meaningful learning experience for their students.


We're offering our newsletter subscribers a 20% discount on any single product this month, including bundles. Just enter coupon code NOVNEWS on the checkout page. Discount ends November 30, 2012.

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Free Real-World Math Contexts!

We've recently added a free book of over 100 real-world math contexts to our store. Download it free. Does finding real-world contexts for math take up too much time? We've done the work for you and compiled this resource for you to use, free of charge. Substitute the contexts into your learning activities for more variation.

Final Call for Grants, Scholarships, and Awards

Apply now for these grants, scholarships, and awards from NCTM's Mathematics Education Trust (MET), but hurry, applications have a deadline of this Friday, November 9:

The Mathematics Education Trust (MET) channels the generosity of contributors through the creation and funding of grants, awards, honors, and other projects that support the improvement of mathematics teaching and learning.

U shaped arrowInverted (Flipped) Classroom?

If you're using an inverted or flipped classroom, we want to hear your story! Email us with your experience. We want to hear the following in relation to your flipped classroom:

Submitters will receive a 40%-off coupon for any item in our store. One submitter, selected by MIRL (based on quality and creativity), will be gifted a single product of their choice from our store. Deadline: Responses must be received by November 30, 2012.

If you're new to the concept of Flipped/Inverted classrooms, Knewten.com has a great overview infographic to get you started.

Bedtime Math

bedtime math logo Bedtime Math is about making math a fun part of kids' everyday lives. The team at Bedtime Math have a goal to make a nightly math problem as common as the bedtime story. A new problem is posted each day with questions for "wee ones," "little kids," and "big kids." It's a great daily resource for parents and teachers looking to show real-world applications of math on a daily basis.


Mathlanding.org is a new resource focused on supporting elementary math. In their own words:

"It's about teaching; it's about learning; it's about elementary math.
Mathlanding (ML) is designed with the elementary math specialist/coach/mentor and teacher in mind. It's a dynamic resource to help support the professional development needs of elementary educators in building mathematical knowledge and instructional practice. The site is created to provide organized access to high quality resources and tools that support teaching and learning of elementary mathematics."

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