From the Desk of David Berg, E.T. – New Course Expansions

The 4 Operations & The 400 Math Facts Part 1
The 4 Operations & The 400 Math Facts Part 2

The Impact of Distance Learning on the MMR Series of Courses

On May 4, 2020* I wrote an article in response to the new world order of delivering education courses during the early onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. During that time of adjusting to the reality and shock of what the pandemic presented, it precipitated in me a state of limbo in which I was trying to reconcile conflicting forces of truth:

  1. Making Math Real was created and intended to be a direct, explicit, and physically presented/experienced in-person simultaneous multisensory structure.
  2. Making Math Real was never intended to be delivered in an online/distance learning format.
  3. In-person courses could no longer be an option for the time being.

The first conflict I needed to resolve was, do I stop teaching the Making Math Real series of courses and shut down the Institute or do I try to find a way to somehow keep the series of courses and the Institute going? 

In the spirit of doing the best I could to keep the series of courses and the Institute going, my only alternative was trying to deliver them in an online distance learning format. Initially, and while I was under the misconception of the possibility of the pandemic ending in a foreseeable future, I took the first step of classifying which of the series of 12 courses were educationally feasible to present online, and which, due to being hands-on and manipulative-based, were not.

* From my May 4, 2020 article In the Wake of Changing Times: Making Math Real’s Response to COVID-19:

The Physical, Hands-On Use of Manipulatives: The Cornerstone of all the Making Math Real Series of Courses that Cover the K-5 Scope and Sequence

As an educator of 45 years, I have always experienced the superior educational benefits of presenting all instruction in a direct, in-person structure in which the physical, hands-on connections that drive the Making Math Real simultaneous multisensory structured methodologies can function appropriately. We are physical beings, and despite the ongoing developments in virtual technologies, virtual forms of educational practice can neither replace nor substitute for the direct physical experience that fosters the integration of all learning in the body. It is through this body-based integration that simultaneous multisensory structured methods achieve the highest priority goal and objective of instruction: the development of essential self-regulatory executive functions that support initiating, activating, and sustaining working memory.

The most significant and effective form of direct, physical learning occurs with the extensive use of manipulatives, which is a cornerstone of the all Making Math Real series of courses that cover the K-5 scope and sequence. Consequently, all of the following Making Math Real series of courses that rely extensively on group interaction with manipulatives cannot be transitioned to an online format:

• Making Math Real: Overview K-12
• Making Math Real: The 9 Lines Intensive
• Making Math Real: Kindergarten
• Making Math Real: The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts
• Making Math Real: Time & Money
• Making Math Real: Games!

Addressing the Challenges of an Uncertain Present and Future Has Been a Learning Process

As my misconception of the pandemic ending within a foreseeable future began to shift to an awareness that a return to in-person courses was no longer an indicated option, and in the spirit of trying to keep the Institute open and functioning, I needed deeper adjustments to overcome the sacrosanct principles of never teaching hands-on, manipulative-based instruction online. I had to find a way to present the most fundamentally required courses, Making Math Real: Overview K-12, The 9 Lines Intensive, and The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts in an online distance learning format. 

Trying to solve this challenge has proven to be an intensive and ongoing learning process for me as I have had to redesign and restructure all the formats of a direct in-person, physical, hands-on and manipulative-based presentation into a functional translation for online formats. Since this was ostensibly an insurmountable task to override my most fundamental principles of teaching and learning, it has understandably been an incremental process of making an initial forecast of how each course could be translated to its respective online format, and then learning by experience, what changes and improvements could be made.

Since the in-person format cannot be directly translated to the online format, especially in accounting for how much slower the online format pacing is, it has been extremely challenging for me to know in advance how long to make the online version of each respective course. The highest order demand in predicting how long to make an online course was for the 4 Operations because it contains by far and away the most hands-on, manipulative-based content than all of the remaining courses in the MMR series combined, and consequently my initial estimate for how long to make this distance learning course was not long enough. Now, having had sufficient experience teaching this class online, I have been able to re-evaluate the number of class days needed to present the full content of this invaluable fundamental course in mathematics.

A New Two-Part Version of The 4 Operations & The 400 Math Facts

The new version of the 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts course now has a Part 1 and Part 2 improved structure. The combined total for Part 1 and Part 2 is 34 half-day classes, which have decided to break into two logical chunks based on grade level content:

  • The Part 1 course
    (22 half-day classes) covers the most essential fundamental for all mathematics development:

    The K-2 scope and sequence for concepts of place, place value, comparing and ordering, Base 10 applications, concepts of addition and subtraction, addition and subtraction problem solving, and the 100 addition and the 100 subtraction facts. 

    CLICK HERE to read the full course description for Making Math Real: The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 1 

  • The Part 2 course
    (12 half-day classes) covers:

    3rd through 5th grades focusing on the concepts of multiplication and division, single, double, and triple-digit multipliers, the 100 division facts (the 100 multiplication facts are taught in The 9 Lines Intensive), long division with single and double-digit divisors. 

    CLICK HERE to read the full course descriptions for Making Math Real: The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 2



The prerequisites for enrolling in The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 1, starting September 23, 2023, are the Overview K-12 AND The 9 Lines Intensive, both of which are offered this Summer 2023, back-to-back during weekdays in June!

This Summer is the ONLY opportunity for new Making Math Real participants to complete these two mandatory prerequisites for the Fall 2023 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 1 course.

LAST CHANCE: This Summer’s 9 Lines Intensive will be the last time it is offered in 2023, and before The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 1 is offered – DON’T MISS OUT!

Registration for the 2023 Fall Semester opens June 6 at 9:00 am PDT, so take advantage of this final opportunity to be eligible for The 4 Operations Part 1 coming this Fall!

Prepare for Part 2 in 2024 or 2026

Please also be reminded that successful completion of The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 1 is a mandatory prerequisite for enrolling in The 4 Operations & 400 Math Facts Part 2 starting in the Spring 2024 semester, and also offered in the Spring 2026 semester. As a bonus to all those who successfully complete The 4 Operations Part 1 course, they will be eligible for a special 48-hour “pre-registration” window that allows them to enroll in The 4 Operations Part 2 Spring offering before registration is open to the public, thereby ensuring a space in the Part 2 course if they want to continue on from the Part 1 course, straight into the next semester.

I look forward to seeing you in the Summer and Fall.

Be well and stay healthy.

David Berg, E.T.
Founder & Director of the Making Math Real Institute
Creator of the Making Math Real Simultaneous Multisensory Structured Methods