Professional Development

EMPower Professional Development Workshops are an exciting opportunity for adult numeracy teachers interested in maximizing the quality of mathematics instruction for adults and out of school youth. EMPower workshops are designed to make math accessible to teachers at all levels of "math comfort"—from the skittish to the confident. Together, teachers will expand their ideas of what it means to do math, focusing on reasoning, communication, and problem solving (in adult contexts) with a variety of approaches and strategies, not just rote memorization of procedures.

Workshop Features:

  • Multi-day intensive sessions
  • Hands-on, minds-on mathematical investigations
  • Reflection on practice
  • Connection with current math education research and standards
  • Suitable for ABE, preGED and GED classrooms
  • Can be customized to other populations (e.g., alternative high schools, college developmental programs, workplace, or corrections)

Workshop Offerings

Algebraic Thinking
Participants use a variety of representational tools—diagrams, words, tables, graphs, and equations—to understand linear patterns and functions. They connect the rate of change with the slope of a line and compare linear with nonlinear relationships. They also gain facility with and comprehension of basic algebraic notation.

Data and Graphs
Participants collect, organize, and represent data using frequency, bar, and circle graphs. They use line graphs to describe change over time. They use benchmark fractions and percents and the three measures of central tendency—mode, median, and mean—to describe sets of data.

Geometry and Measurement
Participants explore the features and measures of basic shapes. They describe shapes verbally using informal language and gradually acquiring more formal terminology. They use spatial reasoning to solve problems. Perimeter and area of two-dimensional shapes and volume of rectangular solids provide focus.

Proportional Reasoning
Participants use various tools—objects, diagrams, tables, graphs, and equations—to understand proportional and nonproportional relationships and learn which tools are most useful in particular situations. Participants have opportunities to explore situations when direct proportion is applicable and those when it is not.

Fractions, Decimals, & Percents
Participants focus on the concept of fractions as representations of part/whole relationships. This opens the door for them to compare fractional quantities and make useful estimations about the size of amounts in a wide array of real-world situations.

Number & Operation Sense
Participants are introduced to research on how students develop facility with rational numbers and how to develop visual models for operations with fractions, decimals, and percents.

EMPower is part of the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC.
Developed and field tested by the Educational Research Collaborative at TERC with support from the National Science Foundation.