Simple Tools that Make Fractions and Decimals More Accessible to Adult Learners
Let me guess? Most of your adult learners struggle with fractions and decimals; and you want to help them because you are a good teacher. But… you are not sure how to go about this. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading.
As a learning coach, let me share a secret with you. There are two easy steps or teaching strategies that will immediately make fractions and decimals more accessible to your learners. Really?
Yes, indeed. Let’s go over them one by one.
Strategy # 1- Using visual math to help students understand fractions and decimals better
Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education, argued, “Visual mathematics is an important part of mathematics for its own sake and new brain research tells us that visual mathematics even helps students learn numerical mathematics.” And she added, “Some of the world’s top mathematicians engage almost entirely with visual mathematics.”
That being said, using lots of visual support when teaching fractions and decimals is the way to go. And it’s even better when you offer learners the opportunity to draw a visual representation of what they are working on.
Strategy # 2- Making adult students think about math content so they can remember pattern and structure
Math is everywhere and in everything your learners do. As Shakuntala Devi puts it, “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”
But the question is: Do your learners think deeply about math structure, concepts, and application?
Dr. Daniel Willingham a cognitive psychologist puts it this way: “There is one factor that trumps most others in determining what is remembered: what you think about when you encounter the material.” Therefore, asking questions and using tasks that make learners think deeply about how fractions and decimals work might help understand and remember the content better.
Before you ask what type of materials you should use, below is a list I’ve put together for you and your learners.
Tools for teaching fractions and decimals in adult-ed
5- The Set of Education Math Stacks Fraction Equivalence
9- Education Fraction and Decimal Line-Up Cards
10- The Education Decimals FlashCard Set
11- Education Rounding Flashcards
Please do me a favor. Share these tools with adult-ed math teachers in your network. And go change your learners for the better!