Teaching Math

Changing the Way We Teach Math

What do the experts say about how to teach basic math to adult students? People who teach math have heard about most of their recommendations, but putting them into practice is harder than it seems. (119 pages).
Emotions and Math        Hands-on Learning    Group Work  Student Resistance            Real Life Problems
Putting Students in Charge of Their Learning                     

More Complicated Than It Seems

A Review of Literature about Adult Numeracy Instruction. What do the experts recommend for teaching basic math to adults? And a look at some research that shows why it is difficult to implement those recommendations (23 pages).

Working with Student Resistance to Math ToolsLiteracies article

You know that using manipulatives will help your students learn math, but they don’t want to touch them. What to do?? Working-With-Student-Resistance-to-Math-Tools

Changing Practice, Expanding Minds

It’s hard enough to change your own practice, how
do you get students to change along with you? Page 20 of this issue of Focus on Basics

Family Math Fun!

A manual for educators and parents who want to promote math thinking in kids of all ages. Math for the whole person: spirit, heart, body and mind are all connected in the activities in this book. When these are in balance, math becomes part of our whole lives, not a beast or a barrier. Patterns, recipes, and hand-outs all included (109 pages).

Family Math GroupsFam Math Groups

Your Family Math Group

Family Math Groups: An Exploration of Content and Style. A report on the project that produced Family Math Fun!, including recommendations for facilitating a successful family math group (47 pages).

Your Family Math Group: Note and tips for facilitating a Family Math Group, from the recommendations of the Family Math Fun! project.

6 thoughts on “Teaching Math

  1. Hi Melinda–I’m glad you find my manual useful–words I love to hear. It is fine to share the link with your class, or with anyone else. The manual was written with a grant from the Canadian government, so it is not allowed to be sold. I’ve sent you an e-mail with permission to print for your class if you want to do that.

  2. Hi! I am a community college teacher who teaches math and GED. I am putting together a course for our Education department for CTE intsructors to help them identify and teach the math their students need to be successful. Your manual seems like a great resource for them to use in this course. Is it available to share under a Creative Commons license? Is it okay for me to use it with my class? Thank you for creating it!

  3. Hi Margaret–I’d suggest you find a program for adults who want to upgrade their skills. I don’t know where you are from, so it’s hard to tell you exactly where to look, but here are some suggestions:
    Call a community college and say you want to upgrade your math. Upgrading programs have many different names–sometimes “Adult Basic Education” or “Developmental Education” or “Adult Basic Education and Training.” It may be quicker just to say you want to learn basic math.

    Find a GED program. They may be able to take you in, or may have another suggestion.

    Sometimes a community literacy program will also have a math program, or, again, they will know where to find one.
    Take a look at the answer I gave Margaret, who asked a question like yours.

  4. I would love to learn how to do math. I never listened while in school and really never learned how to do math. I also never went to high school. I don’t even do our bills my husband does this for us. I have always wanted to go to nursing school or become a lawyer,but the lack of math skills stop me from excelling. Any advise on how to learn math skills or where to go for someone over 40?

  5. I am trying to find information on how I can learn math. Without going into long detail. I was horrible in math in grade school and I did try, but now I am almost 60 and still struggle to learn. I would almost give anything to finally over come thing learning problem.

    • Hi Margaret,
      It took me a couple of days to get to your request, because I had to look up a couple of things, but here’s my reply, which may fit with your circumstances, but may not, as I’m sure you’ll be able to see immediately.

      First thing is to notice that you have got to “almost 60” and survived with whatever math skills and coping skills you acquired along the way. I know many adults who don’t do math the way the teachers wanted them to do it, but their way works fine, and they get the right answers. But somehow they feel ashamed of their methods, or worry that it is not real math. Let me say loud and clear: SCHOOL MATH IS ONLY ONE WAY TO DO MATH. There are many other ways that work just as well, sometimes better. Finding a short cut that works is good math.

      Next I would say to find a good teacher, but since I don’t know where you live, or anything about you, I can’t help you with that.

      If you like to read, a book called “Managing the Mean Math Blues” might help. It is by Cheryl Ooten. I notice that there is now a study guide to that book; I haven’t seen the study guide, but it might be worth checking out.

      If you like to work online, there are many many sites for learning math, and for getting practice. Some are much better than others. I’d suggest you start with the LINKS in the bottom section of this site: http://www.resourceroom.net/math/index.html

love to hear your ideas or experiences!

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