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Mathematics and Numeracy: Featured Instructional Resources

The terms mathematics and numeracy can be used interchangeably, although “numeracy” tends to be used when the focus is on applying math and mathematical thinking in everyday life situations. Both mathematics and numeracy require knowledge and skill with math procedures as well as critical thinking, problem solving, and quantitative reasoning.

Foundations of Evidence-based Math Instruction

Standards-based instruction: Virginia’s adult education mathematics standards can be found in the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRS). In addition to leveled content standards in the areas of number sense; geometry; data and statistics; and algebra, the CCRS include eight Standards of Mathematical Practice that apply across all levels. This VALRC resource page includes helpful reference links and resources to help teachers understand and use the standards. Math-focused resources include the useful Major Work of the Level summary document, math content progressions organizing the standards by domain instead of level, and classroom videos.

illustration of hands holding a tablet; the screen shows an online class in progress, with four student faces at the top of the screen while a teacher in the main window points to illustrations of cubes, a cylinder, and a pyramid

Adult Numeracy Network (ANN): ANN is the professional organization for math educators who work in adult education in the United States and a partner affiliate with the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM). Their website includes information on numeracy and adult education, instructional activities and resources, a practitioner newsletter, and opportunities for professional development and networking.

Accommodating Math Students with Learning Disabilities: This Focus on Basics article by Rochelle Kenyon explains dyscalculia, defines accommodations, explores common profiles of adult learners, and provides teaching strategies and modifications for math students with learning disabilities.

Teacher Resources with Math Activities and/or Lessons

Dan Meyer dy/dan Website: Known for his TED Talk on transforming math teaching, educator Dan Meyer shares math approaches and activities that were originally designed for K12 settings but are student-engaging and in line with the CCRS math practices.

Planning and Implementing a GED® Math Boot Camp: All too often, math is the one remaining test learners need to pass in order to earn their GED® credential. This page includes a plethora of resources and a recorded webinar from educator Susan Pittman full of tips and how-tos for math educators as well as information on organizing short-term, intensive “boot camps” to build learners’ math capabilities.

Math Resources from SERP: Math ByExample and Algebra ByExample are collections of strategically-designed problem sets developed to help students dislodge misconceptions–both small errors and fundamental misunderstandings. ByExample assignments incorporate correct and incorrect “worked examples” for students to analyze and explain as well as a similar problem to solve themselves. Poster Problems encourage students to develop their mathematical thinking through problem solving, groupwork and discussion, and visual representations. Although designed for K12 use, these standards-aligned resources are highly relevant to adult learners. Educators must create free accounts with the SERP (Strategic Education Research Partnership) website in order to download free, ready-to-use materials.

Illustrative Mathematics Curriculum: This standards-aligned curriculum was designed for K12 used but does a good job of comprehensively addressing CCRS math content, practices, and key instructional shifts. The full curriculum is available for free in the online “demo” version (while print-formatted materials are available for purchase). Materials (especially at the elementary level) may need some adaptation for adult education settings.

Learner-focused Math Resources

Khan Academy: Khan Academy hosts an extensive library of video math tutorials as well as practice quizzes.

GCF Global Math: Find a variety of free, visually appealing math tutorials, including interactive practice activities, developed by the Goodwill Community Foundation.

AAAMath: This site includes information and practice activities on a wide variety of math topics; it can be used to supplement or review math taught in class.

Online Interactives and Virtual Manipulatives

The following websites offer free, interactive games, visualizations, simulations, and interactive activities that can help teachers and learners illustrate and understand math concepts.

For more math and numeracy resources, check out the math issue of PROGRESS or search VALRC’s resource bank.