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Direct instruction in math strategies may support some adult learners once conceptual understanding is in place. Discussing strategies for solving math problems provides learners with the tools they need to think about problems from different angles, and to flexibly apply these tools during problem solving. To best select strategies, learners need to see beyond the surface structure of the problem to the underlying patterns, in order to match them with the appropriate strategies and procedures to arrive at a solution. This requires a deeper conceptual understanding, which is best developed when learners engage in problem solving and productive failure before direct instruction. Further, using a variety of math strategies to tackle relevant real-world problems makes the concepts meaningful by helping learners make connections to their own lives.
Use It In Your Learning Environment
Adults benefit from learning math in a real-world context, making it relevant to their daily lives. Real-world math can be messy, however, and learners may get frustrated or experience math anxiety when there is not an obvious rule for how to solve the problem. As such, introducing adults to a repertoire of strategies to use when they encounter messy real-world problems helps promote a productive disposition while allowing them to flexibly practice using their strategies. Allowing learners the space to brainstorm strategies, discuss their thinking, and propose alternatives with others promotes learning both inside and outside the classroom.
When considering a direct instruction approach for math strategies, it is important to note that it can lead to rote learning which does not support Metacognition, Reasoning, or Problem Solving - essential to building a solid foundation in math. Conceptual understanding should be established prior to direct instruction in math strategies. Though exposure to a variety of strategies is possible when taught directly, it is important that learners put the strategies to use right away to promote Reasoning.
When instructors ask questions or have learners create questions before introducing a text, they activate interest, increase Motivation, and help them assess what they already know about a given topic.
Learning and studying information across multiple sessions that are spaced, or distributed in time, can promote learning and long-term retention of both basic and conceptually complex facts and concepts.
Instruction and training presented in multiple formats allows learners to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information.
When instructors are able to provide context, and connect math concepts to an adult learner's world, math can be seen as relevant and applicable to their daily lives and work- a core aspect of adult Numeracy.
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Generating summary page
Finding new features
On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Summary" to view your Design Summary Report.
Finding new strategies
On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Report” to view your Design Summary Report.
Generate your report
By selecting "Show Report" you will be taken to the Assessment Summary Page. Once created, you will not be able to edit your report. If you select cancel below, you can continue to edit your factor and strategy selections.
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