[Numeracy 406] 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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Chip Burkitt chip.burkitt at orderingchaos.com
Mon Jun 21 12:12:56 EDT 2010


The main advantage of algebra is that it provides efficient algorithms
for manipulating symbols in such a way as to solve complex problems.
However, it does introduce complexity as well, because the problems
students encounter have to be translated into symbolic form, and then,
once the answer has been obtained, translated back into terms of the
problem. I find that students struggle with all three areas: translating
a problem into symbols, manipulating the symbols, and translating the
symbols back into an answer. Students are more comfortable using direct
calculation and number sense (though they are also often wrong). I think
the main obstacle is the level of abstraction required. Students have a
hard time seeing the value of using abstract symbols to solve
(relatively) concrete problems. Perhaps one way to help would be to
teach the value of abstraction from the get-go. Only, I'm not sure how
to do that.

Chip Burkitt

On 6/21/2010 9:23 AM, CHERYL HAGERTY wrote:

>

> Many of our students first enter the workplace, but with this economy

> they will need further training or education to enter a career, not

> just get a job. So while we will probably focus on what their

> immediate needs are, we should keep the thought that sometime in the

> future, they will enter at least the community college. We can let

> them know that sometime in the future, it will be helpful to know more

> than they know now.

>

> I think that we as teachers sometimes forget that basic algebra is

> all about finding an unknown and we do that type of math in our ever

> day living. But if we haven't been taught the language and symbols of

> algebra, we don't put it in that format.

>

> Cheryl Hagerty

>

> *From:* numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov]

> *On Behalf Of *pacarow at aol.com

> *Sent:* Friday, June 18, 2010 7:54 PM

> *To:* gbundy at rmi.net; numeracy at nifl.gov

> *Subject:* [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

>

> 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

> FTI

> 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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