Making Math Real: Overview, K-12
4 half-day Distance Learning Course | 9:00am to 1:30pm daily*
*In response to COVID-19, the daily course schedule for distance learning classes will only be half days from 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM due to the extra cognitive demands of interacting with computer screens for extended periods of time, increasing the number of days from 2 “in-person” full-days (9am-6pm), to 4 “online” half-days (9am-1:30pm).
Registration Fee: $399 for tuition & course reader (shipped)
1 optional academic unit [see below]
WHY THE OVERVIEW? The Overview course provides the necessary introduction to the structure and methods of Making Math Real to prepare educators and parents for the up to 680 hours of content courses that follow (see the full list of courses here), and is therefore the mandatory prerequisite for all other Making Math Real courses. The Making Math Real Simultaneous Multisensory Structured Methods are historically unprecedented and are the first and only comprehensive pre-K through calculus prescription for teaching that emphasizes integrating the development of executive function and working memory within every math lesson.
Research has identified the critical role of executive function and working memory development for student success in math. Therefore, a major emphasis of the Making Math Real: Overview, K-12 is the introduction to the connection that we can successfully teach all students once we understand this developmental basis for the successful teaching and learning of math. The Overview course will present the research, define working memory, present which self-regulatory executive processes directly support working memory, and how to structure these developments while teaching math.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Making Math Real: Overview, K-12 is designed for educational therapists, special educators, elementary, secondary, community college, and university-level classroom teachers. Parents and those who consider themselves non-math majors are especially encouraged to enroll. In support of the multifaceted focus of the Overview, the course is organized into three main sections: 1) Pedagogy 2) Structure 3) Sensory-Cognitive Development
SECTION 1: Pedagogy: The Research Connections from Cognitive Science and Neurobiology
The focus of the pedagogy section is the presentation of the research connections from cognitive science and neurobiology that define how the brain does math and how Making Math Real puts this research directly into teaching practice. In addition, the pedagogy section presents the definitions of executive function, working memory, and processing as well as their function in supporting math learning and how to integrate their development within every math lesson. The purpose of this research is to empower educators to develop numeracy for all students, and the pedagogy section includes the definition of numeracy, the two distinct brain activations that support its development, and the instructional basis of the Making Math Real Simultaneous Multisensory Structured Methods, Strand 1: Concept-Procedure Integration and Strand 2: Sensory-Cognitive Development. Furthermore, this section includes “The Perfect Architecture” that is math: a system of interconnected codes from pre-k through calculus that provides user-friendly symbolic codes to express what is real; and that students’ ability to decode and encode all of these symbolic codes is as important for math comprehension as it is for reading comprehension. Please CLICK HERE to access a selected bibliography of research articles that provide the research basis for the Making Math Real: Overview.
SECTION 2: Instructor Demonstrations of the Structure: Guaranteeing Students’ Successful Processing
The “structure” within a simultaneous multisensory structured methodology refers to the teaching structures that provide systematic and incremental executive function and working memory scaffolds to help all students process the math successfully. There are two structures that span k-12 math education: Concrete to Abstract for k-5 and Integrity of Incrementation for pre-algebra through calculus, and this section will address both through two representative demonstrations by the instructor. These structures are all a part of Strand 1: Concept-Procedure Integration. Concept-Procedure Integration means the concepts of the math and its respective procedures are integrated as one and provide the basis for developing comprehension by activating students’ working memory through the structured decoding and encoding of the symbolic codes of math.
SECTION 3: Sensory-Cognitive Development: Building the Tools of Working Memory
Sensory-cognitive development is a focus on Strand 2 and refers to how the three main senses, visual, auditory, and touch-motor support processing. The emphasis in this section is on the specific sensory-cognitive development, symbol imaging, that most supports students’ abilities to activate and sustain working memory to learn and retain the 100 multiplication facts. The 100 multiplication facts are an invaluable development that functions as a gateway for fluent number processing for most math content through calculus. One of the main roles of symbol imaging is the development of automaticity with all of the 400 math facts, which include the 100 multiplication facts. The development of automaticity is an essential processing support that significantly reduces cognitive load in accessing any math fact. When students who lack automaticity for the math facts have to work too hard to retrieve a math fact(s) embedded in problem solving, frequently, the flow of math reasoning is interrupted while searching for the requisite fact(s) and consequently, the flow of reasoning may be lost. Since rote processing is anathema and must be avoided at all times, it is critical to distinguish between rote processing and automaticity (authentic processing), and the distinction between the two is a key part of this section: automaticity is the antidote to rote, and by significantly reducing cognitive load, students have increased access to working memory, which supports the continuous flow of math reasoning during problem solving.
These techniques are designed to reach the full diversity of learning styles. Extensive color-coding is a critical element of the structure. Please bring 4 colored markers or pencils in blue, green, red and black.
TRANSFORMATIVE AS AN INTRODUCTION, INVALUABLE AS A REPEAT
Recently I have been extremely pleased to note the number of experienced Making Math Real practitioners who have elected to take the Making Math Real: Overview, K-12 course again. The unanimous motivation: “There are so many layers of learning and understanding in the Overview, and now that I really understand how MMR works, I am ready to make all those deeper connections.”
WHAT MAKES MAKING MATH REAL DIFFERENT?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, and its answer is the basis of the Making Math Real: Overview. The Overview course is extremely voluminous and provides the necessary introduction to the structure and methods of Making Math Real to prepare educators for the up to 680 hours of content courses that follow (see the full list of courses here). The introduction is necessary because the Making Math Real simultaneous multisensory structured methods are historically unprecedented. Making Math Real is the first and only comprehensive pre-K through calculus prescription for teaching that emphasizes integrating the development of executive function and working memory within every math lesson. The focus on the development of the essential self-regulatory executive processes that directly support students’ abilities to initiate, activate and sustain working memory distinguishes Making Math Real from every other method, program, textbook, or software.
FUNCTIONAL MATH EDUCATION: ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSE RATHER THAN TREATING THE SYMPTOM
Working with thousands of students and teachers nationwide over the last 43 years has consistently indicated to me that any degree of math struggle is not related to students’ lack of math ability, intelligence, or motivation. Rather, the root cause(s) for challenges in learning math is more related to teaching practices that do not activate students’ working memory and/or relative underdevelopments in students’ executive processes that support working memory, because without sufficient ability to activate and sustain working memory, students cannot access their native intelligence, and therefore, are unable to express what they know.
Therefore, a major emphasis of the Making Math Real: Overview is the introduction to the connection that we can successfully teach all students once we understand this developmental basis for successful teaching and learning, because the profound limitation affecting math education, has been and continues to be, focusing entirely on math content skills disconnected from the development of the self-regulatory executive processes that directly support students’ abilities to initiate, activate and sustain working memory. Without working memory activated, students are “perceptually blind” and consequently must rely on procedural memory rather than understanding and knowing what they are doing.
I have seen innumerable math programs come and go, and each new version is a repackaging of math content that has yet to address the developmental basis for successful teaching and learning. This is why there has been no effective positive change in math education outcomes across the decades (according to research data), in particular for the gap in achievement and special needs populations.
From the “2018 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well are American Students Learning?”:
“…Since NCLB’s (No Child Left Behind) early years, scores have largely plateaued at levels of nationwide performance that many Americans find underwhelming, leaving still-large gaps between historically advantaged and disadvantaged groups.”
And from “NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress), the Nation’s Report Card: 2015: Mathematics and Reading at Grade 12”:
“In comparison to 2013, the national average mathematics score in 2015 for twelfth-grade students was lower” and “In comparison to the first year of the current trendline, 2005, the average mathematics score in 2015 did not significantly differ.”
Research has identified the critical value of executive function and working memory in student success in math, even to the extent that by kindergarten, a student’s relative development of several key self-regulatory executive functions and working memory predicts future success or struggles in math. Research has identified the source of the problem, but unfortunately has yet to propose any specific, direct, and practical way to incorporate it into teaching.
Making Math Real is the first and only to successfully integrate research within its methodologies, and this is another major emphasis of the Overview: present the research, define working memory, present which self-regulatory executive processes directly support working memory, and how to structure these developments while teaching math. Continue Reading —>
Optional Academic Credit Costs & Registration: Optional units of credit are available for each course at the low cost of $134 per unit, paid directly to CSUEB Continuing Education. Credit registration forms, payment instructions, and the grading policy will be provided on the first day of class. All credit registration forms must be submitted with payment to the MMR instructor by the end of each course. No exceptions.
Although it is possible to take most of the Making Math Real courses after completing the Overview we strongly recommend that the courses are taken in sequence if your calendar and MMR’s schedule of courses permits: