“[Students] struggle because we don’t offer them sufficient opportunities in the classroom to develop the cognitive skills and habits of mind that would prepare them to take on more advanced academic tasks.”—Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (Hammond, 2014)

How can we develop these skills and habits in our adult learners? In this two-part online workshop series, we will explore a flexible math unit that uses puzzles and questions with multiple solution paths to engage students in learning about properties of numbers and operations, the meaning of equality, and the power of place value. This unit also builds foundational concepts for algebra: specifically, it lays the groundwork for formal learning about properties, inverse operations, and solving equations. In addition, it can be easily taught in a variety of settings, including corrections programs and/or sites without internet access.


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ABE teachers and administrators at all levels of math ability and comfort
  • Teachers who need the flexibility to teach math with or without internet access, and either in person or at a distance

In the first 90-minute workshop of this series, we will study equality and relational thinking as they relate to math. This will prepare us to support the development of these ideas in students while we teach.

In the second 90-minute workshop, we will experience several activities as learners and then look at those same activities (and student work) from a teacher’s perspective. Together, we will share thoughts on the use of these puzzles in class. You will leave with access to the entire unit of instruction.

Participants will receive access to the entire unit of instruction along with a folder of resources. The files of Open Middle images make it easy to drop the images into your learning management system, a slide show, or a document for printing. Problems that offer options for digital interactions through GeoGebra and Desmos can also be completed using paper and pencil or a provided worksheet.

Please note: 

  • Participants are expected to attend both sessions.
  • About one week before the event, registrants will receive a separate email from sherry_soares@terc.edu from the SABES Math Team at TERC with instructions on how to access the Zoom sessions.
    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Reflect on your experience with parts of this unit through which you can give your students a rigorous mathematical experience and an opportunity to practice high-level reasoning at low levels
  • Discuss relational thinking and equality and have the background to use this unit of instruction with students
  • Access unit materials for teaching properties of operations, equality, the power of place value within an operation, and connections between operations with fractions
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)
04/25/2023 - 1:00 pm to 04/25/2023 - 2:30 pm
04/27/2023 - 1:00 pm to 04/27/2023 - 2:30 pm

United States

PD Center
SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area
CCRSAE (College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education)
Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching
ADEI (anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion)
Digital Literacy
Distance and Blended Learning
ESOL/English Learners
High School Equivalency (HiSET/GED)
Learning Disabilities / Differences
Mathematics and Adult Numeracy
PDP Eligible