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Math Musings: An Adult Numeracy Blog

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Some Help Hurts: Our Responsibility to Our Students
by Sarah Lonberg-Lew A student joined my class in the middle of April and told me she absolutely had to achieve her high school equivalency by the end of June. “I can. I must. I will,” she said to me. She is willing to do whatever it takes – get a tutor, watch videos about … Continue reading Some Help Hurts: Our Responsibility to Our Students
Calculator Use in Adult Education
by Melissa Braaten Calculators are something that both teachers and students seem to have strong opinions about. Some cling to them like a magical tool that will solve all of their math woes, while others blame them for the decline in mathematical fluency. I don’t find either of these attitudes helpful. A calculator can be … Continue reading Calculator Use in Adult Education

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.