[Numeracy 84] Re: Introduction, fractions and percents

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Kathy Laws klaws at yvcc.edu
Thu Jan 28 16:48:04 EST 2010

I have found the Empower math series by Key Curriculum Press to be very helpful in teaching introductory fractions, decimals and percents.

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Michael Gyori
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 3:56 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 65] Re: Introduction, fractions and percents

Hello Charlie and everyone,

When I teach "parts" (vs. whole numbers), I introduce a range of values less than one but greater than zero. I introduce parts in the three ways they can be denoted in basic math: fractions, with the denominator being the total number of parts, and the numerator, the number of parts out of the total number in question. Dividing the numerator by the denominator will yield a decimal. Percentages represent a value of a particular number of parts over 100 (thus, a fraction). Dividing the numerator by the denominator (100 in this case) will yield a decimal.

Perhaps such a holistic approach will assist in rendering partial values more comprehensible. As you haven't mentioned struggles with decimals, you might make decimals your starting point in teaching the other two expressions.


Michael A. Gyori

Maui International Language School


From: Charlie <charlie at durangoaec.org>
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>
Sent: Mon, January 25, 2010 9:24:19 AM
Subject: [Numeracy 54] Introduction, fractions and percents


My name is Charlie Love. I have been teaching a wide range of levels of math for several years in various tutoring settings, improvising most of the lessons and using hands-on manipulatives as often as I can. Recently, I began teaching an ABE Math class. Engaging and supporting a group of students is quite a different challenge from working one-on-one. The concepts that I have had the most difficulty teaching are fractions and percents. I have had trouble conveying the meaning and the mechanics of fractions and percents. I am looking for new ideas to try the next time I teach these concepts in class.

Charlie Love
GED/ESOL Instructor
Durango Adult Education Center
701 Camino del Rio, Room 301
Durango, CO 81301
phone: 970-385-4354 970-385-4354 ext. 110
fax: 970-385-7968
charlie at durangoaec.org<mailto:charlie at durangoaec.org>

On Jan 22, 2010, at 12:36 PM, Shannon Klasell wrote:

Hello All,
My name is Shannon Klasell, and I am one of two Adult Program Coordinators at Mason County Literacy. We’re a community-based adult literacy organization located in Western Washington State . We use trained community volunteers guided and supported by paid staff to provide most of the instruction we provide. We offer Basic Skills, GED Prep, Financial Literacy, basic computer skills, and ESOL to our adult student community. Our services reach across two counties; each with its own distinct demographic and issues. I am also the lead GED instructor at a class held at our main site. Over the last couple of years I have found myself struggling with the issue of teaching math effectively. Almost every student we serve “hates math” or is “freaked out by math” or “can’t do math”. Many of our volunteers also carry the same negative attitudes regarding math and numeracy.
I hope to listen and learn from this list. I am a bit isolated – located in a small town in a primarily rural county and the only Basic Skills Instructor and Coordinator for the entire organization.
Currently I am trying to “change how we think about math and math instruction” around here. I have been fortunate to have some great professional development experiences through the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (a major funding source for us). I have been working with the EMPower series of math books by Key Curriculum. I am finding that mentoring and guiding people to improving numeracy and math skills in EMPower’s inquiry-based style is difficult to sustain in an environment where students tend to come and go, attendance can be spotty, almost everybody wants a GED tomorrow, DSHS puts pressure on students to complete their studies in what they think is a timely fashion and get a job, and many volunteers come from the days of drill and kill.
The topics I will be most interested in are those that will help me be more effective in helping both students and volunteers not only meet their specific educational goals, but become confident problem solvers and doers of math.

Shannon Klasell
Adult Program Coordinator
Mason County Literacy
360-204-4680 360-204-4680

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