Author Archives: Blaine

Experience matters

Our visionary, Frank C. Wilson, has a line of math books published by Brooks Cole and available through

Experience matters: Years of classroom time, combined with years behind the author’s pen, merge to create an ideal environment for the birth of high-quality real-world math activities. See our full line of activities on our site.

If you have suggestions for materials that will meet your needs, feel free to contact us here.

Rule of 4

The Rule of 4 refers to representing mathematical functions with graphs, tables, equations, and words. As learners discover how to represent functions in each of these ways, the mathematics becomes more meaningful. For example, consider the following cell phone plan offered by T-Mobile in 2011, represented using the Rule of 4.

Words Representation (from website)
Even More 1000 Talk + Unlimited Text
$59.99 includes 1000 whenever minutes
Additional minutes $0.45 per minute

Table Representation
Table of minutes vs cost

Graph Representation
Graph of cost vs minutes used

Equation Representation
Equation representing cost vs minutes used

Despite the fact that each of these representations of the cell phone cost function looks different, the same function is represented in each representation. All learners should practice to increase their ability to “see” the other forms mentally even when only one form is given.

Product Review!

The folks at Christian Perspective have just posted a review of the Make It Real Activity Library. Check-out their review of our real-world math activities here.

“The thing I loved about many of the scenarios is that, unlike a typical word problem, they really take the student into the scenario and let them experience the decision in a way few math books even approach. When used selectively, I can see them being wonderful ways to present math as a practical tool, especially in the high school years where textbooks focus more and more on abstract math.”

Bonus: The review contains a 10% coupon for our products, good to the end of April, 2011.

Real-world math workshops at Arizona State University

ASU logo

Real-world math workshops at ASU

In a March 23 workshop for K-12 teachers sponsored by Arizona State University Math and Science Programs, Frank engaged teachers in a rich dialogue related to how to effectively teach the ratio and rate concepts identified in the Common Core Standards. The group used five real-world math contexts (gasoline cost, vanilla pudding recipe, dish detergent prices, world’s fastest runners, and Frosted Mini-Wheats nutrition content) to investigate the mathematical concepts. Additionally, participants reviewed activities from the Make It Real Learning Fractions, Percents, and Decimals II workbook. The final workshop in the four-workshop series will take place on April 6, 2011.

Contact us for more information about bringing real-world math workshops to you.

TeamUP Presentation

ipod activity

Free iPod activity!

Make It Real Learning activity developer and award-winning author, Frank Wilson, will be part of an all-star lineup of authors and educators at the Cengage Learning TeamUP Faculty Programs Mathematics Conference in Chicago on March 4, 2011. Wilson’s general session, entitled Captivating Contexts for College Algebra, will feature intriguing real-world contexts that interest and engage students in learning. By creating mathematical models for real-world situations, students learn more than math: they learn about the world in which they live. Participants will receive an activities packet featuring fascinating contexts ranging from the Nintendo Wii to the Apple iPod. A copy of the presentation and packet may be freely downloaded.

Journal article published

The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) publishes the journal MathAMATYC Educator. The February 2011 issue features an article entitled When Am I Ever Going to Use This? Creating Mathematical Models authored by our lead activity developer Frank Wilson. The activity featured in the article shows how linear and quadratic functions can be used to model Apple iPod storage capacity and price data. Real world math modeling is a focus of our authoring activities. Whether in Wilson’s seven award-winning textbooks, his entertaining picture book Measure Up! A Bug Contest, or our Make It Real Learning Activity Library, Wilson helps others discover how to do real world math. “I want everyone to be able to see the world through a mathematical lens,” Wilson said. “If people can see how to use math in making real world decisions, they will be empowered to make better decisions. It is my personal mission to empower people with real world mathematics.”

Worldwide appeal!

Teachers the world over are looking for high quality real-world math activities. Since opening our doors, we’ve provided real-world math materials to great people in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • Canada
  • China
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Qatar
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom (Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain)
  • United States

Contact us here for more information on how we can tailor a package for your needs.

Who is Make It Real Learning?

Make It Real Learning Company creates interesting and engaging, real world math activities that answer the question, “When am I ever going to use this?” Reviewers around the world have praised the activities as fun, appealing, professional, interesting, and real life. Written by award-winning textbook author and college math professor Frank Wilson, the activities engage learners with intriguing contexts such as baking cookies, playing dice games, and choosing a cell phone plan. After working one activity with her son, a reviewer wrote, “We have never had so much fun doing math.” Read more reviews at