Bee Hotel-Lesson Story

Making Bee Hotels

Spring is here!!! Meet Ms. Whitney Corcoran who is an environmentalist and loves nature! Listen to Ms. Whitney Corcoran’s Lesson Story about Making Bee Hotels with 3rd Graders and the amazing mathematical thinking that emerged from the modeling lesson.

Check out the 
Lesson Planning Tool and
Student Work Collection


March Madness Math Modeling

Whether your favorite team is in the March Madness, this sporting event is full of mathematical modeling. As people excitedly fill in their game brackets, there’s a secret world of math that helps guess who will win and understand the surprises that happen during the games. In this blog post, we’re going to talk about the math that makes March Madness so interesting, looking at the math problems that mix luck and surprises in a fun way.


The Elo rating system and math modeling are like special tools we use to guess who might win in games, such as in chess or big basketball tournaments like March Madness. Let’s see how they work and how they can help us guess who might win in March Madness.

Elo Rating System for Chess

  • What It Is: It’s a way to keep score of how good chess players are. If you win a game, your score goes up, and if you lose, it goes down.
  • How It Works:
    • Starting Score: Every player starts with a certain number of points, maybe 1000 or 1500.
    • Winning and Losing: When you win a game, you get more points. If you beat someone who has a lot of points, you get even more points for winning. But if you lose to someone with fewer points than you, you lose a lot of points.
    • Math Magic: There’s a special math formula that guesses who’s going to win. After the game, they use the result to change your points, depending on if you won or lost.

Math Modeling in March Madness

  • Team Scores: Just like in chess, basketball teams get scores based on how well they’ve played, like how many games they’ve won or how many points they usually score.
  • Guessing Game Results: We use math to guess which basketball team might win, kind of like how the chess system guesses who will win. The team with the higher score is usually expected to win, but sometimes surprises happen!
  • Changing Scores: After each game, teams’ scores change. If a team wins against a really good team, their score goes up a lot. But if they lose to a not-so-good team, their score goes down more.
  • Imagining the Tournament: We can use computers to pretend the tournament happens many times to see which team might win most often. It’s like playing the tournament in a video game over and over to guess the champion.
  • Filling Out Brackets: People use what the math tells them to try and pick the winners of each game. It’s a bit like using a treasure map to find hidden treasure, but instead, you’re trying to guess all the winners.

In both chess and March Madness, we use these special tools to make good guesses about who will win. Even though chess and basketball are very different, the idea of using scores to guess winners is the same.



Mooncake Modeling for Lunar New Year

Mooncakes are a key part of the Lunar New Year as well as the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. Mooncakes are round to represent the full moon, which symbolizes harmony and reunion. The round shape also symbolizes completeness and unity, making them a cherished gift to exchange with loved ones. 

During the festival, families gather to share mooncakes, express gratitude for the harvest, and admire the full moon.  

Try our Mooncake Modeling Task


Jump for Your Heart

February is America Heart Month-

 American Heart Month is celebrated in February to encourage healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Heart-healthy habits are important for children and adults of all ages. They can help prevent disease and ensure children are feeling their best. 

Here are some heart health tips for families:

  • Encourage daily exercise
  • Keep healthy snacks in the house 

The Kids Heart Challenge is a program that allows children to raise funds for children with special hearts. Children can also learn about taking care of their hearts and participate in cardio challenges.

Here is a fun Jumprope Making Task

Tutorial on how to Make Upcycled Jumpropes


Engaging in Math Modeling

December 2023

Greetings to All Teachers of Mathematical Modeling,

Hope you are gearing up for some family time with rest and relaxation during winter break! Just a few updates and support as you continue to engage in math modeling in your teaching!

One of our Project Investigator, Dr. Julia Aguirre has a new book!!!! Congratulate her and enjoy Dr. Maria Zavala and Dr. Julia Aguirre’s new book on Culturally Responsive Math Teaching!

This book introduces a model and a tool for Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching, constructed to create a safe, inclusive space where all learners can come together in their own educational journey and develop a love for math that centers their experiences and comes from the heart. Implementing the Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Tool (CRMT2) will help you cultivate and sustain meaningful, rich, and rigorous mathematical learning spaces for all your students–experiences that foster mathematical curiosity and joy.

Family Inspired Mathematizing the World Routine

Kindergarten teachers in Virginia are continuing to engage in the Mathematizing the World Routine with a twist. Family-inspired MWR. They dovetailed this awesome routine as part of their Star of the Week program and have invited families and children to bring in photos and artifacts to engage in Notice, Wonder and Math Questions.


Please share ways you are continuing math modeling in your own classrooms! We would love to share it in our monthly blog! Email


Welcome to EQSTEMM

We are excited you are here! This is a great website for professional learning and finding great teaching ideas for Math Modeling!

Please share how you engage in Mathematical Modeling in the Elementary Grades! We would love to showcase your practice! Email