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Math Musings: An Adult Numeracy Blog

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Scale Diagrams as a Testing Strategy and a Teaching Opportunity
by Melissa Braaten The end of the calendar year is the season for HSE testing, so I’ve had a lot of students looking for test prep recently.  Every practice test seems to include at least one Pythagorean Theorem question with an accompanying diagram, like the one below: Sarah has to drive from her home to … Continue reading Scale Diagrams as a Testing Strategy and a Teaching Opportunity
Differentiating Instruction with Parallel Tasks
by Sarah Lonberg-Lew & Melissa Braaten One of the biggest challenges we face teaching math in adult education classes is having students who vary widely in their readiness, prior knowledge, and reasoning ability. Ask a question of your whole class and some students will have their hands up with the answer before others have made … Continue reading Differentiating Instruction with Parallel Tasks

What is (AR)2?


The Adults Reaching Algebra Readiness series builds upon the content presented in Adult Numeracy lnstruction (ANI) professional development.

(AR)2 begins with a review of linear functions, including in-out tables, equations, and graphs and progresses to systems of equations, always relating to real-life.

Activities then build from linear functions to nonlinear functions and explorations with exponents. Geometry concepts are explored as ways to apply algebraic reasoning in real-life contexts, including both linear and nonlinear examples.

Throughout the sessions, we continue to connect to basic number properties which are the focus on the College and Career Readiness Standards and other core ideas introduced in Teachers Investigating Adult Numeracy (TIAN) and ANI, including

Overarching Objectives

Participants in (AR)2 will be able to:

• turn everyday experiences into opportunities for teaching algebraic topics;

• work with algebraic expressions/equations in various formats: verbal model, input/output tables, graphs and equations;

• solve a system of equations graphically and algebraically;

• manipulate symbols in decontextualized problem to solve various algebraic equations;

• make connections to the College and Career Readiness Standards;

• use real-life problems to analyze linear and nonlinear situations.

Why (AR)2?

The jobs of the 21st century will, at a minimum, require an associate's degree or better. For students to meet these challenges, and with the release of the Career and College Readiness Standards, higher level math skills are needed.

Less than 5% of adult education teachers were math majors in college, and many, at best, only completed up to algebra when they were students.

Both our students and our teachers need strategies to understand these higher level math demands at both the conceptual and algebraic level. (AR)2 helps prepare teachers to meet these challenges.