December 2012

In this issue:

Win an Everything Bundle! |
Make It Real Learning Activities and the Common Core |
Moody's Mega Math Challenge |
DISCOUNT! |
How are we doing? We'd love to hear from you! |
Video Resource: HippoCampus.org |
Flipped Classroom: Q&A with Kelly Way |
Yes, the 2012-13 Reel Math Video Challenge has begun!

**Win an Everything Bundle!**

Like us on Facebook for a chance to win an Everything Bundle. We'll randomly select a winner on Jan 7, 2013 from those who've "liked" the Make It Real Learning Facebook page. We'll announce the winner on Facebook and in January's newsletter.

**Make It Real Learning Activities and the Common Core**

**Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.**

Solving problems is at the heart of the Make It Real Learning approach. Students can better make sense of problems that are based on real-world situations. As students work to solve these problems, they learn to persevere. Perseverance is best learned by, well, persevering! Initially, perseverance may mean that a student sticks to it for just a minute or two. As students find success solving interesting problems that are connected to motivational contexts, they are apt to stick to a problem for longer periods of time before giving up.**Reason abstractly and quantitatively.**

Rather than to only mimic procedures, students using activities based on real-world contexts must engage in reasoning. In fact, the activities often ask students to explain their thinking, to make connections, and to justify their arguments. These kinds of activities will help students to reason abstractly and quantitatively. Also, the activities make appropriate use of mathematical symbolism to help students move from the concrete to abstract.**Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.**

When working to solve real problems, students often need to construct an argument defending their thinking, their problem solving approach, or their conclusions. This is a skill that will be beneficial for preparing students for college and career. All of the activities can be easily incorporated into group work and/or classroom discussions and instructors are encouraged to do so. When working together with a partner or a team, students will be afforded the opportunity to listen to the reasoning of others and to provide feedback. Learning to provide constructive criticism of the reasoning of another is a valuable skill that can be developed while solving real-world problems.**Model with mathematics.**

The Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practices states, “mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace.” The Make It Real Learning activities provide students the opportunity to develop this problem solving ability.**Use appropriate tools strategically.**

These tools include paper and pencil, calculators, Internet resources, measuring devices, and even mental images. Students need to learn not only how to use these tools but also when to use these tools appropriately. Some computations can and should be performed mentally (e.g. 6 x 8 = 48) while others can be done efficiently, in the context of a real-world problem situation, using a calculator. In some problem situations, students may need to conduct research to learn more about the situation as they make sense of the problem. Collecting data, making measurements, using concrete tools to model a situation are real-world problem solving strategies.**Attend to precision.**

Certainly, computing accurately is part of attending to precision. Another important part of attending to precision is helping students to develop precise explanations and descriptions of their thinking, their conclusions, and their strategies. As students construct viable arguments, write down their conclusions, or orally present their thinking, we can help them to do so precisely. Describing the mathematics as it connects to a real-world situation can be helpful in developing this precision.**Look for and make use of structure.**

One of the goals of the Make It Real Learning approach is to help students to develop a conceptual understanding of the mathematical ideas that they are learning. For example, the idea of a linear function is strongly connected to the idea of a constant rate of change. As students work to make sense of linear functions in a real-world context, they can better see the structure of the mathematics and make important conceptual connections.**Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.**

Mathematics is often described as the science of patterns. Students who learn to identify patterns can develop a profound understanding of the mathematical ideas. While working in real-world contexts, students are often encouraged to practice reasoning about the solution methods so that the ideas can be developed in a profound way.

**Moody's Mega Math Challenge**

**REGISTER BY Feb 22, 2013**

From the their website: "The M3 Challenge spotlights applied mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool, as a viable and exciting profession, and as a vital contributor to advances in an increasingly technical society. Scholarship prizes total $115,000. The Challenge is entirely Internet-based and there are no registration or participation fees. Each high school may enter up to two teams of three to five junior and/or senior students."

More information here. **Note:** The challenge is only open to 29 of the US states at this time (the Challenge hopes to be nationwide in the USA by 2016).

What an exciting way to make math real!

**DISCOUNT!**

We're offering our newsletter subscribers a **25%** discount on any single product this month, including bundles. Just enter coupon code * DECNEWS* on the checkout page. Discount ends DEC 31, 2012.

**How are we doing? We'd love to hear from you!**

We've posted a short eight-question customer survey and would appreciate your feedback. Take the survey.

**Video Resource: HippoCampus.org**

HippoCampus.org has posted a collection of educational videos (math as well as other topics). According to the site, "HippoCampus is a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE). The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge."

**Flipped Classroom: Q&A with Kelly Way**

Kelly Way, one of our tremendous customers and a high school math teacher, shared her experience with her flipped classroom. Thank you, Kelly!

**Q:**How long ago did you flip your classroom?**A:**This is my second year using a flipped/inverted style of classroom teaching.**Q:**In what ways has flipping your classroom impacted student learning?**A:**The overall grade distribution seems to be statistically similar as years past, possibly with one or two less "F" grades. However, by student report, the ability to master the subject felt "easier" and the homework load lighter.**Q:**What has been the biggest challenge in implementing and maintaining your inverted class?**A:**The biggest challenge was with a certain section of students who chronically failed to invest themselves in the preview videos and notes prior to the classroom experience. Generally, these would be the same students who chronically failed to do "traditional" homework if assigned to them. The statistical average is about 10% of each class not completing the required preview reading/videos prior to class.**Q:**What has been the biggest benefit of the flipped/inverted class?**A:**From the students' perspective, most students appreciate the less-stressful activity of watching videos and taking notes at home and then saving the more challenging material of actually "doing the stuff" with the greater teacher support in class.**Q:**On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the level of student engagement in the learning process before inverting the classroom?**A:**About 7/10 would consistently do traditional homework.**Q:**After the inversion how would you rate the student engagement level?**A:**About 8/10 consistently do the preview videos and notes "homework."**Q:**How have the MIRL activities benefited you flipped class?**A:**I just started to incorporate some of the MIRL activities as part of their in-class practice and mastery level work. I think the students appreciate the realistic applications with the math they are learning.**Q:**What do you wish you would've known before you began implementing this model?**A:**I wish I understood that this model is not a "cure all." Also for this model to work, I wish I'd have known that time needs to be invested in explaining the benefits and required responsibilities to both students and parents.**Q:**When you first inverted your class, how long did it take you to start feeling like you were in a rhythm?**A:**About two months.**Q:**What are the top three tips you'd give to someone interested in flipping their classroom?**A:**- If possible, make your own preview videos in order to absolutely align the preview content with the in class content.
- If you plan to use videos and pre-reading, require some sort of system of interaction such as the grading of notes, or a short online follow-up quiz with instant feedback. (See Kelly's youtube channel for a sample of her preview videos.)
- Hold students to a high degree of accountability to complete whatever "preview" activity you assign. Follow-up at least every other week with the parents of children who do not invest themselves in the preview assignments.

Kelly has kindly offered to field questions directly. If you have questions for Kelly, please send us an email and we'll get you in touch with Kelly.

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

**Yes, the 2012-13 Reel Math Video Challenge has begun!**

This year's Reel Math Challenge has begun!

From Reel Math's site: "Open to any US resident in grades six through eight, the contest challenges students to create a video that uses a real-world application to teach the math concept in a problem of their choosing from the 2012-13 MATHCOUNTS School Handbook, freely available for download here:

http://www.reelmath.org/download-problems

Public voting, which begins in January, will decide which videos advance through the competition. Four finalist teams will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2013 MATHCOUNTS National Competition, where they will present their videos. Each member of the team that creates the winning video will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. In addition, any team that enters videos in the contest becomes eligible for weekly gift card drawings.

All entries will be added to a free online library indexed to specific math concepts, difficulty levels, and Common Core Standards. Check out the more than 300 videos entered from last year, all searchable and categorized into fourteen math topics: