Overview of the Lessons

Get the Math is designed to help students understand real-world applications of Algebra I.  Interrelated video segments and interactive tools support student learning of algebraic concepts related to music, fashion, videogames, restaurants, basketball, and special effects.  Educators’ resources include videos of a teacher using Get the Math materials in his classroom, as well as lesson plans with editable student handouts aligned with the Common Core Standards and Mathematical Practices.

Get the Math supports the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Focus on Reasoning and Sense Making.

Professional Development Videos

This 6-minute intro video provides an overview of how the Get the Math videos and interactives can support algebraic reasoning and sense making in the mathematics classroom.

Click here to see the 30-minute video showing how teacher John Pallino uses the Math in Music materials with his Algebra I students.

Free NCTM and THIRTEEN Webinar on Reasoning and Sense-Making

Get the Math was featured in a free webinar — Reasoning and Sense Making in Context: Algebra Resources that Support Common Core Standards — for math educators and curriculum leaders presented jointly by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and THIRTEEN. An archived recording of the webinar is now available online here.

The webinar focused on the reasoning and sense-making components of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and provided guidance on how educators can use Get the Math to support their students’ engagement in key Mathematical Practices. The presenters were David Barnes, Ph.D., Associate Executive Director for Research, Learning, and Development, NCTM, and Deborah Ives, Ed.D., Lead Content Advisor for Get the Math.

Common Core-Aligned Lesson Plans

The lesson plans on this site include:

  • Math in Music: After learning how the hip-hop duo DobleFlo uses math in music production, students are challenged to match different music samples by calculating their tempos in terms of beats per minute. Algebra concepts explored include: rates, ratios, and proportions; linear relationships; algebraic and numeric expressions and equations.
  • Math in Fashion: Following a profile of fashion designer and Project Runway winner Chloe Dao, students are prompted to alter garment designs, using their sense of style combined with their math skills to hit target price points. Algebra concepts explored include: linear relationships; rates (percents), ratios, and proportions; using multiple representations; algebraic and numeric expressions, equations, and inequalities.
  • Math in Videogames: After viewing a video about Julia Detar, who uses algebra to develop online games, students must use algebraic reasoning to complete videogame challenges involving spaceships and submarines. Algebra concepts explored include: linear relationships; rate of change and slope; algebraic and numeric expressions and equations; graphing transformations.
  • Math in Restaurants: Students learn about running a restaurant from chef Sue Torres, who challenges students to analyze food prices to predict future costs and recommend menu prices for guacamole and other menu items. Algebra concepts explored include: trends lines and line of best fit; box and whisker plots; fitting a function to the data; linear equations, including point-slope form and slope-intercept form of a line.
  • Math in Basketball: A profile of NBA player Elton Brand leads to a challenge with a focus on the math behind free throw shooting. Students are asked to use three key variables and Elton Brand’s and other players’ stats to determine the maximum height the ball reaches on its way into the basket. Algebra concepts explored include: recognizing and interpreting quadratic functions in terms of a context, such as projectile motion; writing and solving quadratic equations by inspection, graphing, taking square roots, completing the square, the quadratic formula, and/or factoring.
  • Math in Special Effects: After hearing how Jeremy Chernick uses math to create special effects for film and video, students must analyze data to identify the mathematical relationships between important variables, such as light intensity, distance from the light source, and f-stop.  Algebra concepts explored include: inverse relationships, inverse square law, inverse variation; modeling relationships with an equation; diameter and area of a circle; ratio and rates.

Independent Research Study

In August 2012, MediaKidz Research & Consulting conducted an independent study to assess the effectiveness of Get the Math. Results showed that the program succeeded in prompting more sophisticated algebraic reasoning performance than the students had shown previously. Also, the majority of students asserted they could now name ways that algebra was beneficial in the “real world.” Most teachers rated Get the Math positively in terms of its educational value, appeal/engagement for students, and value/usefulness for teachers. The executive summary of the study is available here.