# [Numeracy 119] Re: Introduction, fractions and percents

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Shannon Klasell sklasell at masoncountyliteracy.org
Mon Feb 8 17:38:31 EST 2010

Charlie,

I struggle with that as well. I found the EMPower Series book on Using Benchmarks really helped my ABE students begin to understand fractions and percents. We started with the benchmarks of ½, ¼, ¾, and went from there. I personally find the teacher's guides very helpful because they show what some student work might look like.

Also, I draw every fraction - boxes are my specialty. Once the students can see what they are dealing with, the operations become easier to do.

________________________________

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Charlie
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 11:24 AM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 54] Introduction, fractions and percents

Hello

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

701 Camino del Rio, Room 301

Durango, CO 81301

phone: 970-385-4354 ext. 110

fax: 970-385-7968

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

Mason County Literacy

360-204-4680

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