Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous! Blog

Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous introduces K-12 educators and professionals to a multitude of strategies for optimizing math instruction. Educators will discover how the brain learns and processes mathematical information to facilitate teaching and delivering new content and concepts to their students. By completing this highly practical course, the educator will become better equipped to combat misconceptions and roadblocks students face while learning and understanding math. Educators will be able to help their students build their confidence and knowledge as they progress through more advanced mathematics.

Course Name: Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous!

Course Number: EDUC 717S

Semester Credits: 3

Course Description

Research in Cognitive Neuroscience suggests not only ways to build on the innate mathematical abilities that nearly all students bring to their first years of schooling, but it also suggests ways to continue building over the years from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.  This course introduces research on brain development at preschool, Kindergarten, pre-adolescent, and adolescent ages, and its implications for both how students can learn math and how teachers can facilitate learning math.  These methods emphasize deep understanding through direct experience that extends the students’ prior knowledge.   The texts provide many well-researched suggestions on optimizing instruction at all levels while remaining cognizant of the demands placed by Common Core on teachers’ time and choices.  Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous also addresses anticipated problems, ways to overcome them, and teaching strategies to better understand different learning strengths and skill levels. 


  • Acquire basic knowledge about how the brain learns mathematics during different developmental stages.
  • Understand number sense and if this is a skill that can be taught or if it is innate.
  • Understand and describe subitizing
  • Gain practical experience with different learning styles 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    

Course Contents

  • 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

Evidence of Learning Outcomes

Upon completing Making Math Meaningful, Maybe Marvelous, the student will have demonstrated how the brain learns math and how teachers can optimize their instruction through engaging and practical coursework. 

How to Register

Registration is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Courses are offered ongoing during three semesters, and enrollees may begin at any time. Students may choose to enroll in up to a maximum of 15-semester credits at any time during a semester.

 Fall: September 1 - January 31

Spring: February 1 - May 31

Summer: June 1 - August 31


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