# Low Level Stories You Can “Bank” On!

The Minnesota Literacy Council ESL Story Bank is a group of stories written specifically for adult ESL learners at the lowest levels. They are part of the Minnesota Literacy Council’s Adult ESL Curriculum with Transition Skills, available here for free. In the ESL Story Bank, there are both pre-beginning and beginning stories in the story bank.  The stories are all relevant and appropriate for adult English Language Learners. The activities are well-scaffolded, and designed to help low level students each step of the way.  The materials can be used as a full curriculum in which you introduce a new story with a theme that builds over the course of a week. Alternatively, teachers can pick and choose stories that support the adult learner themes they are working on. Continue reading Low Level Stories You Can “Bank” On!

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# Number Sense: Helping Adult Numeracy Students Close the Gap

“About 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. lacks the math competence expected of a middle-schooler, meaning they have trouble with those ordinary tasks [calculating a tip, doing fractions to double a recipe, know how much change to expect from a cashier] and aren’t qualified for many of today’s jobs.”

I came across this quote in an article called “Early Number Sense Plays a Role in Later Math Skills“. The author attempts to trace this statistic back to a root cause and comes up with a University of Missouri study done with 7th graders who were given a test to assess a variety of math skills needed to function in the world as an adult. They found that the students who were behind on the seventh-grade test were the same students who had the least number sense or fluency in mathematics in the first grade.

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# Learning through classification: What makes this number (or shape or graph) different from the others?

Which One Doesn’t Belong? (WODB) is a website with a very simple concept. It is “dedicated to providing thought-provoking puzzles for math teachers and students alike”. Basically, it presents four of something and you have to come up with a reason why each one of the four things doesn’t belong. But it is far more than a collection of brain teasers.

One way we can help students develop different ways of thinking in math is to have them work on activities where they have to classify mathematical objects. Continue reading Learning through classification: What makes this number (or shape or graph) different from the others?

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# Inspiring Student Curiosity (or What’s “Real” about Real-world Math?)

“So I’m there on the beach with my friend Ben when we notice a taco cart up the road. Ben wants to walk straight over, but I’m thinking we walk a lot slower in the sand than we do on the street. So I say we walk straight to the street and then down the street to the cart. So we went our separate ways…” Thus begins the first Three-Act math task I ever experienced, courtesy of Dan Meyer.

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# Mental Math to Increase Student Computational Fluency and Number Sense

A Number Talk is a brief activity teachers can do with students to help build their computational fluency, number sense and their mathematical reasoning. They don’t need to be longer than 5-15 minutes and they can be done with students at any level.

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