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When am I ever going to use math?

This is a question that students have been asking math teachers for years. Although answers such as "It will increase your problem solving skills" or "You'll need it in college" may be true, such responses fail to motivate most students. Wouldn't you like to show students how the math they are learning will benefit them on a personal level? Now you can.

Make It Real Learning Arithmetic workbook

Make It Real Learning Fractions, Decimals, Percents I workbook


Make It Real Learning Fractions, Percents, and Decimals 3 workbook

Make It Real Learning workbooks each concentrate answering the question, "When am I ever going to use this?" Each workbook also has a mathematical theme, such as "linear functions", so that you can find materials on the appropriate level for your students.

The workbooks contain activities or problem situations taken from real-life, with real data. Some examples of the situations are: cell phone plans, autism, population growth, cooking, borrowing money, credit cards, life spans, music downloads, etc. etc. As students work through the problems, they can use the math skills and concepts they have learned in their math curriculum (such as the concept of average or graphing), and apply those to a situation from real-life.

Each activity-lesson in the book contains several questions about the situation, starting with basics and going into more in-depth evaluations, and should be adequate for one-two complete class periods.

Why does that benefit you, the teacher? It will motivate the students far more than dull, boring word problems from the textbook. It will show students how mathematics is truly USEFUL. Also:

  • The problems are written by an experienced math teacher (Frank Wilson)
  • The problems are matched to the learning objectives of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and in the Common Core Standards. This means that the concepts and skills required to complete the problems ARE found in typical middle and high school mathematics curriculum. You can simply replace some of the problems in your textbook with these real-life scenarios.
  • These activities are excellent to be used in a small-group setting.
  • Typically, the activities contain challenging parts and therefore allow students to practice real problem solving - not just apply knowledge from textbook examples to other almost identical problems.
  • Gifted students can enjoy the challenge of solving all the questions on their own.

The video below explains the basics of the Make It Real Learning activity workbooks:


These books are suitable for various grade levels - please see the list below. Many of them suit best high school math such as algebra 1, 2, or precalculus, but several books also are perfect for earlier grade levels. All books include complete solutions to all activities and problems. Please note that Make It Real Learning workbooks do not contain the instruction or explanations of the concepts.


List of available workbooks:

Arithmetic I - for grades 3-6

Arithmetic II - for grades 4-7


Fractions, Percents, and Decimals I - for grades 4-8. $4.99

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals II - for grades 6-11. $4.99

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals III - for grades 4-7. $4.99

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals IV - for grades 4-7. $4.99


Geometry I - for grades 6-7. $4.99

Geometry II - for grades 4,7, and high school. $4.99


Sets, Probability, and Statistics I - for grades 6-10. $4.99

Sets, Probability, and Statistics II - for grades 6-12. $4.99


Linear Functions I - for algebra 1 and algebra 2. $4.99

Linear Functions II - for algebra 1 and algebra 2. $4.99

Linear Functions III - for algebra 1 and algebra 2. $4.99


Graphing and Other Algebra Skills I - for grades 7, 8, and high school. $4.99

Graphing and Other Algebra Skills II - for grades 6-8, and high school. $4.99


Quadratic Functions I - for algebra 1 and algebra 2/precalculus. $4.99

Quadratic Functions II - for algebra 1 and algebra 2/precalculus. $4.99


Exponential and Logarithmic Functions I - for algebra 2/precalculus. $4.99

Periodic and Piecewise Functions I - for algebra 2/precalculus. $4.99

Periodic and Piecewise Functions II - for algebra 2/precalculus. $4.99

Polynomial, Power, Logistic, and Rational Functions I - for algebra 2/precalculus. $4.99


Calculus I - for grade 12. $4.99



Make It Real Learning Activity Libraries

The activity libraries allow you to get 11 workbooks from the series for a discounted price of $39.99!

Activity Library I - $39.99 Activity Library II - $39.99

Arithmetic I
Fractions, Percents, Decimals I
Fractions, Percents, Decimals II
Sets, Probability, and Statistics I
Linear Functions I
Linear Functions II
Quadratic Functions I
Exponential and Logarithmic Functions I
Periodic and Piecewise Functions I
Polynomial, Power, Logistic, and Rational Functions I
Calculus I

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Arithmetic II
Fractions, Percents, Decimals III
Fractions, Percents, Decimals IV
Geometry I
Geometry II
Sets, Probability, and Statistics II
Linear Functions III
Graphing and Other Algebra Skills I
Graphing and Other Algebra Skills II
Quadratic Functions II
Periodic and Piecewise Functions II

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States by the Numbers series

Make It Real Learning Arithmetic workbook
There is a book for each
state of the US.
Each book has 38 pages
(80 activities)
Price per book:
$2.99 PDF download

Free Sample (PDF):
North Dakota


Bundle of 50 workbooks $19.99
($0.40 per state)

Your order is secure
Shopper help at Kagi

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Besides the workbooks mentioned above, Make It Real Learning also has a series of smaller workbooks called States by the Numbers. This series contains 50 workbooks — one for each state in the United States. The data in each workbook is taken directly from the Census Bureau's 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States.

These workbooks offer a real-data math adventure across the United States! You can use the workbook for your state along with other resources as a unit study about your own state, or your other favorite states. Meanwhile the students will also learn and practice place values, rounding, estimation, fractions and percentages.

There are 50 workbooks in the series — one for each state. Each workbook includes basic instruction and 80 practice problems. The problems can be used on grades 3-7; probably the best fit is for grades 4-6.

Additionally, the “What's the big idea?” pages give learners the opportunity to reflect on the things they've learned.

There are multiple ways to use the activities in a teaching environment. Since the activities teach both mathematics and social studies, many teachers and families enjoy using the workbooks to reinforce mathematics across the curriculum. Although the activities may be effectively used in a formal teaching setting, they are designed specifically for the independent learner.

Each PDF for this series of books is enabled for annotation. This means that if you prefer, your student can fill it in on the computer, using the typewriter and drawing tools in Acrobat Reader version 9 or greater.

Read more about States by the Numbers series workbooks here.



Make It Real Learning Superbundle

This "Superbundle" of Make It Real Learning products contains:

  • Activity Library I (11 workbooks)
  • Activity Library II (11 workbooks)
  • States by the Numbers bundle (50 workbooks)

You can get all of the above for $79.99.

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Testimonials/reviews

Review of Make It Real Learning from Armyof5 blog


Math Mammoth Tour


Confused about the different options? Take a 7-day virtual email tour around Math Mammoth! You'll receive:

An initial email to download your GIFT of over 350 free worksheets and sample pages from my books; 6 other emails on 6 subsequent days that describe the different series of Math Mammoth products, answering the most commonly asked questions, including "What is the difference between all these different-colored series?"

This way, you'll have time to digest the information over one week, plus an opportunity to ask me personally which book would be right for your child or students.

Note: You will FIRST get an email that asks you to confirm your email address. If you cannot find this confirmation email, please check your SPAM/JUNK folder.

"Mini" Math Teaching Course


This is a little "virtual" email course. You will receive:

An initial email to download your GIFT of over 350 free worksheets and sample pages from my books; 7 articles on important topics on mathematics education, including: multiplication tables, fractions, how to help a student who is behind, and the value of mistakes; 1 email about Math Mammoth books.

Note: You will FIRST get an email that asks you to confirm your email address. If you cannot find this confirmation email, please check your SPAM/JUNK folder.

Maria's Math News


This is my newsletter that comes out about once or twice a month. Peek at the previous volumes here.

You will receive:

An initial email to download a GIFT of over 350 free worksheets and sample pages from my books; Maria's Math News: my newsletter filled with math teaching resources, news, downloads, humor, and giveaways. The content is equally good for all of us who teach math.

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