[Numeracy 122] Re: how age affects learning style

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Rachel Lyon rlyon at lyon.k12.nv.us
Mon Feb 8 18:40:38 EST 2010


Thanks Carol - I had heard reference to Zombie math but did not know
what it meant :-) Now, I can maybe use some similar references. This
will be helpful!



I notice the same down here - The examples or rather the references I
use change according to age and experience. I like to know what career
or job interests them as well as what particular game or instrument they
enjoy - this helps me to create better or more relevant problems for
them to solve. I think life experience comes to play - if they have
purchased a house, a car, or even sale items, we can relate percents,
fractions and decimals; construction jobs, cooking, game playing, etc.
all have or can have relations to math. I find the younger students
sometimes understand the algebra but not the basic
division/multiplication/fractions and percents while the older students
tend to grasp those ideas but not the algebra and geometry.
Interesting.....



________________________________

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Carol King
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 3:30 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 95] how age affects learning style





I find that 16 or 70 the issues of what they do not understand are
close to the same. The most popular areas of need are fractions (and all
related math); multiplication especially of 7,8,9; and interpreting word
problems; and the concepts involving negative and positive numbers.
However, the older the student the more likely it is that the person
does not have exposure to Algebra and Geometry (and now for our
proficiency exams, trigonometry.) rather than had it and did not
understand it. Older students tend to have more rigidity in their
thinking or problem-solving skill set and like older muscles it just
takes more warm-up to get the flexibility going. Older students tend
to understand decimals more easily than younger students do.

The big difference is in the frame of reference and context that I
can use to teach math. Older adults definitely benefit more from
examples that use real life elements like doubling a recipe or balancing
a budget. For example, when my students do not understand how to solve
for a variable and for whom the idea of a balanced equation does not
work I find I have to adjust the story I tell based on their age. We
call it zombie math here. For the young kids I can tell them imagine the
X as a zombie (this is a popular film subject). You should run away
right? We talk about how all the kids and zombies tend to form groups in
the movies. We discuss how it is always the guy closest to the shambling
zombie that cannot seem to get away, so always move the furthest from
the zombie first. Then we talk about the fact that the two sides of the
problem are like teams. If you run away to be on the other team you have
to change your shirt (shirts and skins works if they have that
referent). Older students and students who do not watch zombie films do
better if instead of a Zombie we imagine the variable to be a stranger.

I see the difference as context rather than content.

Carol King

Fernley Adult Education

Fernley, Nevada

cking at lyon.k12.nv.us

________________________________

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Denney, Brooke
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 9:30 AM
To: numeracy at nifl.gov
Subject: [Numeracy 88] What are your thoughts...



Greetings!



Now that things have slowed down a bit, I wanted to encourage people who
have not introduced themselves to please do so Then perhaps reflect upon
the following questions: What are your hopes for this discussion list?
What skills or knowledge can you share with us to deepen our knowledge
about mathematics &/or numeracy?



I also have a question that was asked of the list,



In an Adult Education class with a wide range of ages from 16 years old
to 70 years old, does age affect learning style? If so, how do you deal
with such diversity? If no, how did you arrive at this conclusion?



This is something that we see in all of our centers. Therefore, I am
interested to read your responses.



Brooke Denney

Math & Numeracy Moderator

Cowley College Adult Education

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