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Math & Numeracy

Numeracy Resource Library

One of the primary numeracy resources offered by ATLAS is the Numeracy Resource Library, which houses a wealth of resources vetted by Minnesota ABE numeracy professionals and organized around the effective numeracy practices that form the foundation of MNI (MN Numeracy Initiative - see below), as well as the math standards outlined in the College & Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRS).

Math Institute

The Math Institute is generally held every other year at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Integrating Language & Numeracy

Integrating math and numeracy into English language classes is part of aligning our programs to the College & Career Readiness Standards. This practice also makes learning more relevant to learners and opens new ways for them to engage in rich and meaningful activities and conversations.

Our Integrating Language & Numeracy Study Circle offers teachers the opportunity to explore the art and science of integrating language and numeracy in the adult classroom, all within the context of a small learning group of practitioners who work together to address questions such as:

  • How do I know which math topics to teach my EL learners? 
  • How do I know when to teach each topic?
  • How do I incorporate math in a way that that will give all of my students a chance to be challenged as well as successful? 
  • How can I apply my teaching experience to teaching math?

This study circle is offered once or twice a year, depending on participant interest.  For details and scheduling information, see the ATLAS Calendar of Events, or check out the study circle facilitator's guide posted under RELATED RESOURCES to the right.

E-quip Math Series

Designed and facilitated by some of our most experienced MNI alumni, E-quip math webinars have the dual purpose of providing 1) a math content refresher for teachers and 2) related teaching strategies. Beyond each webinar, the E-quip series offers “pre-work” – readings and/or web activities that teachers can access in order to build their background knowledge before attending the webinar, as needed. 

View archived webinar recordings >>

Minnesota Numeracy Initiative (MNI)

The mission of MNI is to advance numeracy instruction for ABE learners in MN
MNI emerged from the 2009 ABE Practitioner Survey, which revealed a need for professional development (PD) around numeracy instruction, especially at the advanced and transitions levels. Since that time, additional needs have emerged around teaching lower level math and numeracy for English language learners. To make this initiative accessible to all practitioners statewide, distance learning has been incorporated as a major component.

What is an MNI cohort?

MNI cohort members participate in a multi-year initiative focused on effective numeracy instruction for adult learners. Our focus is on general professional development for all numeracy instructors, whether they are experienced or new to teaching math to adults. Beyond the first-year cohort experience, we offer continued support and PD opportunities to our MNI alumni.

This is an intensive, interactive, hybrid (online + face-to-face) professional development activity.

Objectives include:

  • Improved outcomes for learners through more effective numeracy instruction.
  • Strengthened math content knowledge and self-confidence for practitioners teaching numeracy.
  • Increased awareness of effective instructional strategies for teaching numeracy.
  • Enhanced collegiality and professionalism through collaboration with peers. Shared activities and lessons with MNI peers and colleagues around the state.

MNI Leadership

ATLAS welcomed Rebecca Strom as MNI Project Lead in April 2013. Rebecca, an ABE instructor with Mankato ABE, participated in the pilot year of MNI and serves on the MNI Advisory Team. She works with the ATLAS Director to provide leadership and technical assistance for MNI. Learn more about Rebecca on the ATLAS Associates page.

MNI DATA: To learn more about the design and outcomes of MNI, please see the MNI Overview & Design and the MNI Evaluation Report for 2010-2011 (FY11) posted to the right under RELATED RESOURCES

What does MNI cohort participation involve?

Each cohort is limited to 24-26 teachers. Participants are expected to:

  1. Commit to the following (includes two face-to-face training sessions and one 6-week online course):
    • Early fall – MNI Kickoff at Hamline University in St. Paul. The MNI Kickoff meeting introduces you to your colleagues and this project as you begin your work with MNI.
    • Ongoing. Collaborate with an MNI colleague to improve math instruction.
    • October – December. Complete Foundations of Teaching Adult Numeracy and participate in a webinar with MNI colleagues upon course completion; meet weekly (in person or on the phone) with a partner to discuss & collaborate on course content. (over 8 weeks, approximately 3-5 hours/week
    • January – April. Engage with a facilitated study group around specific math content through monthly virtual meetings, self-study, and online collaboration. These study groups will be shaped by the participants, your contexts, and your particular math content knowledge needs. (commitment of 3-5 hours/week continues)
    • Late spring – MNI Wrap-up at Hamline University in St. Paul.  This may take the form of either attending the Math Institute with ABE teachers from around the state for a day-long conference on ABE math instruction (with the registration fee waived for MNI cohort participants), or a separate MNI cohort wrap-up meeting.
  2. Participate in an online network with MNI colleagues throughout the year for support, sharing of activities and lessons, and feedback and reflection on instruction and your experiences.
  3. Whenever possible, present with MNI colleagues at program staff meetings, ABE regionals, Summer Institute, and/or other conferences to share what you have learned.

What's in it for me?

Among the many benefits of MNI are:

  • Increased confidence and effectiveness as a numeracy instructor
  • $300 stipend
  • CEUs for online course completion and face-to-face training
  • Certificate of completion
  • Links to activities, lessons and other resources developed by colleagues and national numeracy experts

In addition, here is what some of our MNI alumni have said about the initiative:

  • I have appreciated my colleagues and their openness and feel that I have learned as much from them as I have from the reading and our assignments and journals.
  • This course really pushed me to step out of the same old methods for teaching math. … I really love these extended trainings because I have time for all this new information to marinate and I can reflect with other teachers.
  • The main improvement for me was being comfortable presenting in different ways, trying to hit the different ways that people learn math…I vary the way I teach more, I focus more on the “concepts” of each operation instead of just jumping into it. I’m really trying to think of ways to teach so that people can maximize their learning.
  • I’m more comfortable teaching what I teach, in a better way. I don’t open the textbook much now, except to see what we should be working on. Then we start doing puzzles and asking questions and playing with manipulatives to figure out the concepts.

How can I participate?

Anyone who teaches math, from beginning to experienced teachers, could benefit from being part of this numeracy-focused professional development activity.

To participate in an MNI cohort, practitioners must:

  • Currently teach math on a regular basis in an ABE-funded program, since participants will be developing and implementing math activities in the classroom
  • Have at least some experience teaching math
  • Make their supervisors aware of their intention to participate
  • Be prepared to make a commitment for the entire initiative

Although not required, participants are encouraged to apply for MNI with a partner with whom they can collaborate on MNI activities.

Application Process

Note: MNI cohorts are generally offered every other year.

The most recent MNI Cohort application is posted to the right under RELATED RESOURCES, along with the rubric that is used to score the applications.  Watch the MN ABE Connect newsletter* for updates on when the next MNI Cohort will be offered.

* Not receiving MN ABE Connect yet?  Sign up for MN ABE Connect now! >>

PLEASE NOTE: The application process can be extremely competitive because the size of each cohort is limited; therefore, applications with the most comprehensive and thought-out responses are more likely to be chosen. 

Online Course Policies and Requirements

Find out about MNI online course policies and requirements, including the following:

  • Course Communications Policies
  • Course Completion Policies
  • Technology/System Requirements

Lodging and Mileage Reimbursement

If you live 50 miles or more from the face-to-face training location, you are eligible for overnight lodging and mileage reimbursement. Simply fill out an ATLAS Invoice and (posted under Payment & Reimbursement) and submit them to Marisa Squadrito Geisler * at the ATLAS office.


Please contact Rebecca Strom, MNI Project Lead, or Patsy Vinogradov, ATLAS Director.

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