Chagrin Falls School News

New Chagrin Falls High School Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning Course Provides Creative and Interactive Spin on Math


Students in Chagrin Falls High School’s MMR course estimated the height of the flagpole in front of the school. MMR student Samantha Brownell took a photo of teammate Tamara Birola Castillo beside it and edited the photo to stack her up several times next to the pole. They multiplied Tamara’s height by the number of Tamara’s in the tower to find a solution.

Chagrin Falls High School is currently in its first year of participating in the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Mathematics Modeling and Reasoning (MMR) pilot course.

MMR students work with their teams to collect measurements of the classroom as a part of a classroom remodeling project. Students are required to paint the classroom, install new flooring, add a fireplace, and install a gas line, along with other team-identified creative ways to enhance the room.

This course is currently taught by Steve Hass-Hill and Mike Sweeney, who participated in a week of training this summer to prepare for this hands-on, high-interest course. Both teachers have worked hard to be best-prepared to implement this course in the 2022-23 school year and are excited about this new course..


“It is exciting to see students truly experiencing math in such unique ways via this course,” said Principal Mike Janatovich, Chagrin Falls High School.

Students use their measurements and calculate the area of walls and floors to inform their purchase of paint and flooring. They must draw a model of the new classroom they are creating, provide dimensions of the room, and identify the total cost of this remodel by generating an invoice to include materials and labor.

This course was initially pursued by the District to fill a void for students who may not be interested in enrolling in AP Math coursework, but needed a fourth year of math.  “Through our research, we found that this course could also serve as an Algebra II equivalent course and/or may be of interest to students prior to 12th grade,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Becky Quinn, Chagrin Falls Schools.  “Students who succeed in this course may take an Algebra 2 course, College Credit Plus course or AP math course their fourth year.  Thus, it is truly a great addition to our high school math program.”


The Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning course is designed to promote reasoning, problem-solving and modeling through thematic units focused on mathematical practices, while reinforcing and extending content in Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Statistics and Probability, and Geometry.

Students research the cost of flooring, paint, and other resources needed to remodel the classroom. They will then put this information into a slideshow with links to the specific materials they will purchase. The students will then present to the class and give a total price for the cost of the remodel.

Through a partnership between ODE, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and the Ohio Math Initiative, MMR was developed as a math transition course with the purpose of preparing Ohio high school seniors who have not earned a remediation-free score for a college entry-level mathematics course. The Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning course curriculum was created by Ohio postsecondary and secondary math faculty.


Purchasing supplies in summer 2022 for use in the MMR course was quite an interesting feat.  “MMR thematic units connect student learning to real-world applications in creative and high-interest ways,” said Instructional Coach, Nick Leskiewicz, who has also been involved in this project.  The non-traditional supply list provided by the ODE included everything from play money, Barbie dolls, Lego gears, and Monkey String, to spaghetti, marshmallows, and Oreos.  “As the MMR teachers unpacked the units, they could easily see how these materials were used in unique ways to engage students in collaborative problem-solving, modeling, and reasoning to solve problems, “ said Quinn.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News