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Geometric Subitizing: A Different Kind of Number Talk

The discussion cards posted on this site can be used to discuss counting and grouping strategies with students. This could be a great way to engage students using vocabulary around numbers and shapes. 

The Story of Two Words and One Simple Tweak to Get Students Talking

Teacher Sarah Van Der Werf shares some observations about attending to vocabulary in math instruction and shares a strategy for helping students access unfamiliar vocabulary in math class.

Thinking Routines

A variety of instructional strategies that can be used with various levels of math instruction. Prepared by Minnesota teacher Joe Cole.

Tweet Me, Maybe

Max Ray-Reik of the Math Forum suggests using Twitter for personalized professional development in this 5-minute talk.

Visual Patterns

A gallery of visual patterns can be used with students exploring algebra. Fawn Nguyen, the teacher behind the site, also documents her students' discussion of the patterns at You can also read about how ABE teachers are using the patterns.

Rethinking How We See Mistakes

Math teacher Audrey McLaren writes about encouraging students to make and learn from mistakes. She recommends specific strategies for changing a classroom's culture around mistakes.

Progression of Early Number and Counting

What is an instructional progression that leads to conceptual understanding of counting and numbers? This 8-minute video lays out a progression for children learning these concepts, but ABE teachers of students with beginning numeracy will find useful ideas here.

Purposeful Numberless Word Problems

In these blog posts, Brian Bushart addresses types of word problems and a strategy for instruction.

One Formula to Rule Them All

Before you teach another formula for area of a 2-D shape, check out the "applets" on this page. Teachers who do not have access to internet in their classroom can learn from the animations and do a similar demonstration with paper.

Playing Uno: The “Combine Like Terms” Version

Instructions and printables for a "combine like terms" UNO game.

Problem Strings

Problem Strings are an instructional strategy where the teacher facilitates students working through and thinking aloud about a set of math problems (for example: 5 x 6, then 5 x 60, and so on...) as a method for students to learn from each other about math strategies. The strategy offers a way to pack significant math learning into a short time in class.

Math Visuals

Imagine that a math teacher made simple, attractive visuals to spark student discussion around counting and basic operations. Berkeley Everett did - and here it is!

Instructional Strategies for Counting

These three blog posts from an elementary math coach describe instructional strategies around basic counting that may be useful for some ABE teachers addressing very basic numeracy.

Introducing the Orangamallow

A quick reading about a quick strategy a teacher uses to make "like terms" meaningful to her students.

Linear Matching

A printable matching activity for matching graphs to equations.

How much did the temperature drop? Absolute Value

Robert Kaplinsky describes the lesson this way: "This lesson uses a time lapse thermometer video as a context for discussing integer operations and absolute value. The video should provide some added meaning to the classic temperature drop problem."

If Graphing Linear Inequalities Is Aspirin, Then How Do You Create the Headache?

Brief blog post by Dan Meyer that addresses teaching students not just the procedure for how to graph linear inequalities, but providing the opportunity for them to consider why the conventional representation (graph) is an efficient way to go.

Ignite Videos – Math Forum

Ignite is a presentation format where each presenter speaks for 5 minutes. This site has some excellent talks from the Math Forum at Drexel.

Fraction Talk (and Pie)

Math teacher Chase Orton lays out the instruction he used, starting with pictures of pies, in order to get students to use benchmark fractions.

Geometric Subitizing: Counting Discussion Cards

The discussion cards posted on this site can be used to discuss counting and grouping strategies with students. This could be a great way to engage students using vocabulary around numbers and shapes. 

New Resources

What Caused the Tiger Salamanders to Disappear

This unit focuses on the disappearance of tiger salamanders from a vernal pool (where salamanders breed). This curriculum, originally adapted for EL learners at a 5th grade reading level, has nine weeks of life science curriculum material. The curriculum was developed by the NYU SAIL research lab, who was awarded a design badge by the Next Generation Science Standards for high quality curricula. It has activities that are designed to cultivate scientific literacy skills alongside building content.

MN Building Success – An Overview of Establishing a HiSET Test Center

In this webinar, led by HiSET Adult Education Manager Tess Yuirk on February 12, 2024, participants looked at testing modalities for student testing, discussed the reasons for test center set-up, looked at the types of test centers, and walked through the process of setting up a test center.

HiSET Practice Exam – Science

HiSET is joining the GED as an alternative pathway to a K12 degree in Minnesota. This link provides students with an opportunity to assess their science knowledge prior to taking the HiSET exam.

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Presenter Information

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MN ABE YouTube Channel

The MN ABE YouTube Channel is a free online PD resource that you can use to explore teaching techniques and classroom ideas in action! Find out more in this MN ABE Connect newsletter article.

Upcoming ABE Events

February 26, 2024 6:30 pm–8:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota

Volunteer Core Training Module 4: Instructional Best Practices: Working with Materials


Registration Deadline: MON. 2/26/24 Participants will engage in a couple of classroom activities to experience scaffolding, checking comprehension and the gradual release of responsibility. These aspects of teaching and tutoring are then defined, explained further and participants get opportunities to practice them. Learn More

February 27, 2024 12:30 pm–1:15 pm
Burlington English

Burlington English Lunch and Learn: Xue’s Office Hour


Registration Deadline: TUE. 2/27/24 You will be able to join Xue’s open office hour to come with any questions or issues that you have. If you need help with a technical issue,… Learn More

February 27, 2024 1:30 pm–2:30 pm
Minnesota Department of Education

HSE Testing Coffee Talk Series


Registration Deadline: Register up to the date of each Coffee Talk. This past year, we have added a new option to our testing services, making us a two-test state. We have had and continue to need help with connectivity issues, online proctoring, scheduling availability, student identifications, accommodation issues,… Learn More