[Numeracy 403] Re: [SPAM] - Re: Transitioning from GED to Post-Secondary Ed - Email has different SMTP TO: and MIME TO: fields in the email addresses

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pacarow at aol.com pacarow at aol.com
Fri Jun 18 19:53:32 EDT 2010

Very well put! How many times have students asked, "When am I going to use this stuff?" meaning algebra specifically. I find that I also spend quite a bit of time teaching my GED/ABE class basic math--fractions, decimals and percents. How do we expect them to be able to tackle trig when they can't understand a basic fraction. Most of our students do not go on to college, but rather go into the work place. So how do we determine which is more important? College prep? Workplace prep? or both?

Gloria Sward
Palm Coast FL


-----Original Message-----
From: Gail B <gbundy at rmi.net>
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>; The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>
Sent: Thu, Jun 17, 2010 10:01 pm
Subject: [Numeracy 399] Re: [SPAM] - Re: Transitioning from GED to Post-Secondary Ed - Email has different SMTP TO: and MIME TO: fields in the email addresses

My concern in this discussion is that the emphasis on trig and complex algebra that the the Accuplacer, college entrance tests concentrate on -- really ignore that type of math that most people will have to use in their adult professional lives -- to be successful. And that is the money management, basic forecasting / estimation techniques, numerical pattern recognition, and manipulation of percents, decimals, fractions, and ratios. These are skills that people need to manage family finances, be in control of a budget in the workplace (a key skill for advancement), or run a home based business.

We have only to look at the statistics of college grads who are deep in credit card trouble - to know that even passing college entrance math and graduating from college - does not necessarily provide learners with the math they need to be successful. I worked for many years as a planner in a major corporation -- and then moved into adult education -- now I am now teaching finanical literacy for a community action agency.

Lack of basic math is at the heart of people's financial difficulties. We have to make sure that people have that ability to convert fractions, decimals, percents.

Some time ago on this listserv, I inquired about the basic dilemma that adult ed teachers have in teaching math -- since so many of us come from a language background rather than a math background. I was concerned about teaching the underlying skills of pattern recognition and relationship logic that were a key part of how I actually used math in the workplace -- Someone kindly referred me to Key Curriculum's Empower series -- which makes great strides in that whole area. I am using a couple of their texts now -- and find the teacher notes very helpful for helping young parents begin to understand how to see the relationships that numbers represent. I also found helpful from that thread -- the experience of someone who described how the accuplacer computer based exams function -- which does not mimic paper-based tests) - and how to coach people to take them.

I know I am all over the place with this comment -- but I'm so tired of these standardized, high stakes math tests that keep getting more difficult and more complex - while ignoring the fact that so perhaps it is a different type of math that people need to be successful.

Gail Bundy
Family Development Advocate (Fiscal Literacy)
Cortland County Community Action Program
Cortland, NY 13045
(Also Board Member, Native American Multicultural Education School, Denver, CO )


-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon Shoemaker
Sent: Jun 15, 2010 3:14 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 383] Re: [SPAM] - Re: Transitioning from GED to Post-Secondary Ed - Email has different SMTP TO: and MIME TO: fields in the email addresses


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