Problem solving,
reasoning, and decision making are three very interconnected
processes that adults engage in continuously. Problem solving
is a process that includes seeking to understand the problem,
then figuring out what information and math skills are important
to use and solve the problem. While problem solving is embedded
in mathematics, there are specific skills and strategies that
help greatly.
Be sure to look
at the different set of resources
listed at the Student/Learner webpage for this topic.
Famous
Problems in the History of Mathematics
As the Math Forum says, "The purpose of this
site is to present a small portion of the history of mathematics
through an investigation of some of the great problems that
have inspired mathematicians throughout the ages." Included
are the Bridges of Konigsberg, the Pythagorean Theorum, Famous
Paradoxes, the Value of Pi, and Prime Numbers. The latter
two problems appear on the learner page of this website; the
other problems are not as selfexplanatory.
Managing Your Money A WebQuest is an online activity in which learners use information gathered from preselected Internet sites to increase their knowledge and skills. WebQuests are typically designed to make the best use of a learner's time spent online by providing guidance and structure. This WebQuest was designed by the Technology Training Special Collection [add this link http://www.altn.org/techtraining/webquests.html] as support material to be used with adult learners within the context of advanced ESL, ABE or GED classes. The Teacher Page of each WebQuest lists the CASAS, SCANS and EFF competencies or skills addressed by the tasks included in the WebQuest and offers strategies for introducing the WebQuest to the class. Each WebQuest includes a vocabulary list and activities to support vocabulary instruction.
Math
in Daily Life
This website explores the ways in which math is used in daily
activities, from playing games (probability), to cooking (ratios),
home decorating (geometry), and issues of savings and credit
(interest rates). There are useful exercises in calculating
compound interest or figuring the better deal in buying or
leasing a car. The text print is small and the vocabulary
is advanced, but this is a useful site. Teachers can get many
good ideas here, and might guide learners to this site directly
if the reading level is appropriate.
Maths
File Game Show
"Even if you don't know who Hypatia is, you're
sure to enjoy trying your hand at these animated math games."
The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse recommends this website
with those words. Divided into four sectionsNumber, Data
Handling, Algebra, and Shape, Space, and Measurea games
wheel offers a variety of interactive math games for students
of different ability levels. There are also printable worksheets
and information for teachers about the mathematics behind
each game. This is a good introduction to British humor, as
well.
National
Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics
This site is still in development, but it includes a wide
range of interactive mathematics tutorials, designed to simulate
the use of manipulatives in mathematics instruction. The five
subjects are Number & Operations; Algebra; Geometry; Measurements;
and Data Analysis & Probability. Most of the manipulatives
rely on JAVA applets.
National
Math Trail
A math trail is a set of problems designed to take a group
of learners on an exploration of their communities. The National
Math Trail is a website that seeks to expand this to a national
network of learnercreated math problems and math trails.
Many math education standards are exercised with a math trail:
problem solving, connections, communication, and number sense.
Learners go into their communities and find examples of math
problems along a route through that community. Many groups
write and illustrate books to present their problems and solutions.
This is an excellent way for adult learners to integrate math
study with their life roles.
Openended
Math Problems
This website, from the Franklin Institute, is designed
to prepare students for openended math problems that lend
themselves to more than one way of solving. Each month there
are problems in each of these classifications: number theory;
measurement; geometry; patterns, algebra, and functions; data,
statistics, and probability. There are three levels of difficulty
for each category.
The
Tower Problem
This project challenges students to construct a "costeffective"
tower that can support a designated load. Students face the
same challenges faced by designers and engineers in the real
world; specific design parameters as well as material, assembly,
and construction cost constraints. This is an activity that
can be explored by all levels of students.
