January 2013

In this issue:
Introducing Explorations: Our XL activity | DISCOUNT! | Win an Activity Library | Free 3-D 2013 Calendars | What's Math Got To Do With It? | December's Winner | Like us! |

real-world math activities - Introducing Explorations

Introducing Explorations - 2013 Super Bowl math activity!

Super Bowl Exploration

Middle School - Common Core Standards Aligned - 18 pages - Teacher edition with worked-out solutions is included

MIRL is helping students answer the "why" of mathematics through a collection of engaging real-world math activities that give you the tools to answer the question, "when am I ever going to use this?"

Explorations extend the standard MIRL two-page math activity into a much larger investigation of the mathematics of a real-world context. Explorations are ideally suited for group work, individual work, or even group competitions. This Exploration activity includes a student version of the activity as well as a teacher edition, complete with worked-out solutions and Common Core Standards mapping.

Explorations are intended to enhance, support, and be used alongside existing curricula. Explorations reinforce mathematical concepts learned prior to completing the activity.

The Super Bowl 2013 Exploration is focused on the following areas:

Included in this Exploration:

A portable document file (PDF) detailing the Common Core Standards alignment is available here.


We're offering our newsletter subscribers a 40% discount on any single product this month, including bundles. Just enter coupon code JANNEWS on the checkout page. Discount ends JAN 31, 2013.

Library 2 real world math activity

Win an Activity Library!

Let us know how we're doing for a chance to win Activity Library 1 or Activity Library 2! We'll randomly select a winner from respondents of a short survey. We'd love your feedback! Take the survey.

We'll announce the winner in February's newsletter.

3D Calendar

Fun hands-on project: Free 3D Cut-n-fold Calendars

Cleave Books in the UK has a collection of free print, cut, and fold 2013 calendars. Enjoy these conic, rhombic, triangular, and pentagonal calendars as a fun diversion.

Super Bowl Exploration

What's Math Got To Do With It?

In August 2011 the median salaries for 2011 bachelor's degree graduates were released. The ranking of the majors by midcareer salaries is found in the following table:

Top 10 Majors Starting Salary Midcareer Salary
Petroleum engineering $97,900 $155,000
Chemical engineering $64,500 $109,000
Electrical engineering $61,300 $103,000
Materials science and engineering $60,400 $103,000
Aerospace engineering $60,700 $102,000
Computer engineering $61,800 $101,000
Physics $49,800 $101,000
Applied mathematics $52,600 $98,600
Computer science $56,600 $97,900
Nuclear engineering $65,100 $97,800

Notice anything special? It is not hard to see that every one of these majors require a significant amount of mathematics...but what kind of mathematics? Most of the jobs that come from the Top 10 majors require unique skills and thinking abilities. Successful workers in these fields must be able to actively and skillfully conceptualize, apply, analyze, hypothesize, exhibit creativity, synthesize, and/or evaluate information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

Consequently, if we are to serve the student's needs that are taking our mathematics courses we must help students learn to think critically, solve challenging problems, and are required to communicate clearly and effectively with other students.

One of the most successful ways to do this is to incorporate into your teaching of mathematics solving truly real-world problems. Students can see right through a teacher claiming: Let's do this real-world problem so we can see how math is used while both the teacher and the students know that the problem is really contrived. There are so many constraints and constants assumed that the problem boils down to being no more than procedures with words around it. Students need to be able to immerse themselves in the context of a problem and determine what variables are important to consider as well as those that can be ignored throughout the problem solving process.

The Make-it-Real Learning (MIRL) approach uses real real-world data and contexts that do not have clear-cut procedures but require students to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them (CCSS Mathematical Practice #1), model with mathematics (CCSS Mathematical Practice #4), and use appropriate tools strategically (CCSS Mathematical Practice #5). If your goal is to help your students with their current learning of school-based mathematics as well as to become problem solvers into the future we encourage you to utilize the MIRL activities and materials.

WINNER from December's giveaway - Denise Davis

Denise Davis - you've won an Everything Bundle. Please contact us and we'll get you your Everything Bundle. CONGRATULATIONS!


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