From the Conference: Workshop Review
RESEARCH IN PRACTICE:
During this workshop, Leonne shared her passion for teaching, developing practical learning materials, and practitioner research by presenting two recently published Research in Practice projects that she was involved with. The first project, From Concrete to Abstract: The Benefits of Using a Guided Reflective Writing Technique with Adult Literacy Students, directly related to Leonne's teaching of Fundamental/ Intermediate level writing skills. She explained how she was able to involve her students in developing the “Guided Reflective Writing Technique” (GRWT), which she then used as the basis of her in-class individual core writing program and also as the student data of her research project. The stages of conducting and completing this research project as well as the application of the findings as a learning, teaching, and relationship-building tool for the classroom teacher and students were described.
In the second project, Focused on Practice – A Framework for Adult Literacy Research In Canada, Leonne, who was the BC Provincial Team Leader on the National Team described how the Canadian provincial / territorial teams were involved with interviewing, surveying, and researching the existing “state of health” of research in literacy practice. This edited report has brought together the depth and wealth of Canadiana in the Literacy Research and Practice field.
The workshop closed with the participants using the GRWT to write and share their reflections on what they thought about using the GRWT with their students, how they felt about doing research in practice in their classrooms, and what they had learned about research in practice during the session. (Both projects are downloadable from http://ripal.literacy.bc.ca.)
Changing the Way We Teach Math
Submitted by: Kate Nonesuch
What do the experts say about how to teach basic math to adult students? Most people who teach math have heard about most of their recommendations. Yet putting those recommendations into practice is harder than it seems. Over the past year I worked on a project to consult with more than 100 people who teach basic math to adults in BC. I presented some findings from the literature about teaching basic math, and got their reactions. Instructors talked about what changes they would like to make in their teaching practice, and what barriers got in the way of making change. In response to their concerns, I wrote Changing the Way We Teach Math: A Manual for Teaching Basic Math to Adults, as well as a literature review.
At the workshop at the ABEABC, I presented some ideas on several areas identified by the instructors I consulted: using manipulatives to teach math, using group work in the classroom, putting students in charge of their learning, and dealing with student resistance to new ways of teaching math. I also demonstrated several ideas I present in the manual, including human digits, and human fractions, and marking in a positive way.
The project was funded by the National Office of Literacy and Learning (NOLL), Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Both the manual and my literature review are available for downloading free of charge:
http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/mathman/mathman.pdf - Changing the Way We Teach Math: A Manual for Teaching Basic Math to Adults
http://www.nald.ca/library/research/morecomp/morecomp.pdf - More Complicated Than It Seems: A Review of Literature about Teaching Math to Adults
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