What's New

Math Musings: An Adult Numeracy Blog

  (Click the title of an entry to read full text.)

What’s the Big Idea?
by Connie Rivera You may have seen one version or another of Did You Know?, a video that went viral in 2007. I’ve seen it more than once during presentations since WIOA regulations came out. The key take away for me was the idea presented in the video that “We are currently preparing students for … Continue reading What’s the Big Idea?
The Misbegotten Trifle: What Cooking Fails Have in Common with Math Learning
by Sarah Lonberg-Lew In a Thanksgiving episode of the popular nineties sitcom Friends, the character Rachel attempts to make a traditional English trifle. The layers include: ladyfingers, jam, custard, raspberries, beef sautéed with peas and onions, bananas, and whipped cream. As she lists them, the other characters’ reactions go from appreciative to incredulous to disgusted, … Continue reading The Misbegotten Trifle: What Cooking Fails Have in Common with Math Learning

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.