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Oprah Wants You to Watch This 7-Minute Video and Learn About Coherent Progressions

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.” Oprah Winfrey

Are we preparing our students for the next numeracy opportunity?

When a person has an easier time learning a complex idea or task, s/he may feel smart or lucky, but the truth is, s/he is able to grasp the new idea, because s/he is building on previous learning.

Graham Fletcher has created a series of 7-minute videos that help teachers improve our ability to provide this preparation to our students learning math.

For numeracy instruction, a challenge in providing instruction that truly prepares students for future learning is that as instructors, we may not have a clear vision of what the math is building to. We may also be unsure of how to sequence content or activities in a way to best help students develop a strong foundation for what comes next. We may wonder what we can do with our students, at their current level, to best set them up for success in future learning.

One way the Career & College Readiness Standards (CCRS) address this is through the shift of Coherence. Our Math standards were developed based on the idea of progressions.

Progressions describe the development of a mathematical idea or topic. Understanding the conceptual chunks helps us make them explicit when useful to our students and helps us manipulate and sequence them for instruction. Understanding these progressions will enhance our ability to know what to emphasize in our students’ learning.

You can find progressions in detailed documents like these; however, some may find them boring to read. Enter Graham Fletcher!

Engaging Math Videos

Educator Graham Fletcher has created short (less than 8 minutes), engaging videos that explore some of the progressions within the math that many ABE teachers teach:

And more videos are coming soon! Fletcher’s videos may be of interest to:

Teachers of foundational numeracy who are seeking effective, meaningful ways to present basic operations or build toward them. The videos present a rich variety of ways to use visuals and manipulatives to help students make sense.

Teachers who teach math beyond this topic, and want to enrich their understanding of how to support students with gaps in previous learning.

Staff preparing math related professional development. For example, we might watch the video and discuss:

In this progressions video, Fletcher is referencing an ideal K-5 progression, and he does reference grade levels as he talks about the sequence. Certainly, as Adult Basic Education teachers, we will need to look at the wealth of strategies he outlines and select those that will best fit in our own instruction.

  • What sequence will best position our students for success? What strategy in the video might an ABE teacher incorporate in their class? What can we let go of?
  • What would it look like to conceptually understand addition and subtraction?
  • What skills develop into the content you are teaching now?
  • What strategies would support our students developing more efficient approaches to the math they understand?

So follow Oprah’s (indirect) advice and check out this fabulous resource to prepare your students for the next numeracy opportunity!

Check out the ATLAS Numeracy Resource Library, where you will find these videos and other resources related to coherent progressions among many, many other great resources for teaching math (and we’re still adding more!). Whether you are looking for an instructional idea for tomorrow’s lesson, a resource to help you better understand certain math content, or information about the math content standards, you will find a wealth of helpful resources that are worth a look.

Abby Roza, Hennepin County Corrections / ATLAS MNI A-Team ATLAS