Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!

Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!

Math is something that we all learn. From learning to count to the number when we are very young, to computing large quadratic equations when we are teenagers, math is a subject that is loved by few and loathed by many. But why the stigma? Some may say they don’t love math because their parents weren’t good at it, so it must mean they also won’t be good at it. Others may feel apprehensive about asking for help when something isn’t straightforward and choose to struggle independently for fear of being single-out.

As an educator, you want to make sure that your students are successful in any subject, but math always seems to hit a nerve. Is there a way to get your students to understand the math concepts you are teaching and enjoy them at the same time?

Research in cognitive neuroscience suggests that there are ways to build on the innate mathematical abilities that nearly all students bring to their first school years. This research also offers ways to continue building mathematical skills over the years from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Bringing this knowledge and research into the classroom can make the difference between an apprehensive learner and an eager one.


The Importance of the Course Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous! 

Like reading and understanding language, math is a crucial life-skill necessary beyond the time a student is in school. Math helps us calculate time, make a purchase, bake a favorite cake, analyze statistics for a favorite sports team, and much more!  Students can typically develop basic number sense with relative ease, but more complex concepts can be harder to grasp as they get older.

Abstract concepts, such as multiplying numbers, involve activating certain parts of the brain responsible for critical thinking. However, students who cannot readily tap into this side of their brain are not always going to struggle in math. Being able to successfully identify math difficulties, including learning disabilities, early on in a student's mathematical development will aid in the student's ongoing success and allow them to change into successful math students.

For this reason, teachers need to understand how the brain learns math so they can apply these instructional strategies to their lessons. Not only will knowing and using this research make their job more effective, but it will also allow their students to thrive, and in many cases, learn to love math! 

To achieve this learning objective, Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne offers the course Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!


Benefits of the Course Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!

The course, Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!, introduces research on brain development at preschool, kindergarten, preadolescent, and adolescent ages. This three-semester credit course makes implications for both how students can learn math and how teachers can facilitate learning math.  The methods presented in the course material emphasize deep understanding through direct experience that extends the students’ prior knowledge of math concepts. The curriculum is detailed yet straightforward and readily applicable to all K-12 teachers.

Topics include:

  • Acquire basic knowledge about how the brain learns mathematics during different developmental stages.
  • Understand number sense and if this is an innate skill.
  • Understand and describe subitizing.
  • Gain practical experience with varying styles of learning and mathematical curriculum.
  • Understand how to identify and correct math anxiety, and change attitudes.
  • Gain insight into how the brain learns mathematics in students with various learning disabilities.
  • Develop insight into how to motivate students.
  • Teach to different individual skill levels and learning strengths.


Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous! Course Contents

Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!, offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, provides many well-researched suggestions on optimizing instruction at all levels while applying the strategies immediately. This course also addresses anticipated problems and ways to overcome them to identify different learning strengths and skill levels better. 

Course contents include:

  • Developing Number Sense
  • Learning to Calculate
  • Reviewing the Elements of Learning
  • Teaching Mathematics to the Preschool and Kindergarten Brain
  • Teaching Mathematics to the Preadolescent Brain
  • Teaching Mathematics to the Adolescent Brain
  • Recognizing and Addressing Mathematics Difficulties
  • Putting It All Together: Planning Lessons in PreK-12 Mathematics
  • Reversing Math Negativity with an Attitude Makeover
  • Understanding and Planning Achievable Challenge
  • Creating Student Goals for Motivation

This course's curriculum is for busy working K-12 teachers who want the flexibility and convenience of a distance learning course that will earn graduate credit from an accredited university. All content is self-paced, written in user-friendly language, and can be completed online or via emailed PDF format.

Successful completion of Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous! can help teachers make noticeable impacts on their students' lives. The new skills and credits received may also boost your professional career, qualifying you for potential promotions, pay increases, or license renewal/recertification.

This three-credit course counts towards the University of La Verne’s 15-credit certificate in Health and Human Development. Other popular course options for this certificate include:

Note, the University of La Verne is accreditedby the Western Association of Schools. Since requirements may vary, students should check with their school district or state department of education before enrolling in any course.


How to Register

Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous! is completed in an online or via emailed PDF format. It is open for anyone to register at any time during each of the three semesters. After completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit reflected on an official transcript from the university. 

Registration is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Students may enroll in courses on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! Students may enroll in up to a maximum of 15-semester credits at any time during each semester.

The registration dates are:

  • Fall: September 1 - January 31
  • Spring: February 1 - May 31
  • Summer: June 1 - August 31

Are you ready to see your students change their attitude towards math right before your very eyes? Register in the course Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous! today and crack the code of how students learn math to empower them with a skill they will use forever!

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