Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA)

Directed Thinking Reading Activity (DRTA Thinking is an on-going process and activity. Thinking is a skill that can be learned through practice and use. It is the ability to ask questions, read between the lines, develop problem solving techniques. Why use directed reading thinking activity? • It encourages learners to be active and thoughtful readers. • It activates learners’ prior knowledge. • It teaches learners to monitor their understanding of the text as they’re reading. • It helps strengthen reading and critical thinking skills. How to use directed reading thinking activity Tutors should follow the steps below when creating...

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To Think or not to Think!

To Think or not to Think… by Isabelle Dumont. While teaching the technical skills of reading and writing are important, it is also important that we include thinking skills in our lessons. Included in the NALA definition of literacy is the recognition that ‘…more than the technical skills of communication: it also has personal social and economic dimensions. Literacy increases the opportunity for individuals and communities to reflect on their situation, explore new possibilities and initiate change.’ Thinking critically is not just a ‘nice’ skill to have in the 21st century; it is essential. Thinking critically may be seen...

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The 9/6 Perspective

9/6 Perspective Taken from: www.thejugglestruggle.net Write the figure 9 or 6 on a piece of paper and put it on a desk or on the floor. Have students stand on either side of the piece of paper and ask them what they see. One will say 9 and the other will say 6, Who is right? The discussion will likely go like this: Both sides are right. It depends on where they are standing. How you see things matters and where you are coming from matters. Even though we may differ we are all entitled to our opinions. Perhaps...

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Strategies for Teaching Algebra

Strategies for Teaching Algebra Louise Gaugran Killarney Centre As part of Maths Week last term, NALA recently presented a highly informative and interesting inservice lecture on how to effectively teach algebra to adults. ————————————- Although I am not currently teaching algebra to any of my learners, I welcomed the opportunity that NALA provided for my own professional development by holding this inservice in Tralee and so I was delighted to get a place on the course. I really didn’t know what to expect and certainly questioned my own ability to keep up with the lecture as English is my first love while maths…well, I usually leave that up to my 11 year old in-house mathematician extraordinaire! I needn’t have worried. Presented by Lecturer in Maths Education, Niamh O’Meara, the morning was filled with a little crucial theory and a lot of hands on, fun mathematics. Yes, I said ‘fun’ mathematics!! Niamh had prepared reams of excellent, authentic material for us to work on in pairs and small groups and made the experience for us truly interesting and manageable. She taught us, for example, that the best way to teach Algebra is by demonstrating how it can be used in the real world. We were tasked with creating algebraic expressions and equations using authentic material such as GAA and rugby scores and celebrity ages and were treated to some highly...

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Strategies for Teaching Algebra

Strategies for Teaching Algebra Louise Gaughran Killarney Centre Although I am not currently teaching algebra to any of my learners, I welcomed the opportunity that NALA provided for my own professional development by holding this inservice in Tralee, and so I was delighted to get a place on the course. I really didn’t know what to expect and certainly questioned my own ability to keep up with the lecture as English is my first love while maths…well, I usually leave that up to my 11 year old in-house mathematician extraordinaire! I needn’t have worried. Presented by Lecturer in Maths...

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Sharing Basket

Sharing Basket Louise Gaughran Killarney Centre As tutors we rely on the ethos of sharing best practices and information to continuously improve our teaching methods so that we can give the very best education to each of our students. But, as we all know, and not withstanding the excellent resources we have in our centre resource rooms, it can sometimes be difficult and time consuming to come up with exciting, relevant and authentic learning materials. The good news for our students is that each and every tutor already works tirelessly to achieve this despite the obstacles of time etc....

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NALA Numeracy Conference – Dublin

NALA Numeracy Conference By:  Eileen O’Flaherty Tutor, Tralee Centre   The annual Numeracy Conference was hosted by NALA in Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday, 30th May 2017.  Inez Bailey – CEO of NALA – was the first speaker and she informed us that NALA is aware that there is not enough work being done in the area of Numeracy and this is not all because of a lack of funding.  Learners seem to focus more on Literacy and do not demand Numeracy opportunities.  NALA are concerned that there seems to be little Numeracy going on “on a stand-alone basis” but that there does seem to be more of an integrated approach.  She also said that there is an ongoing review of standards at QQI Levels 2 and 3 and that the content is quite narrow.  NALA is keen to keep it learner-centred by ensuring real world concepts are being embraced through the content at both levels.   Jill Brown, of the Controlled Schools’ Support Council, Belfast spoke on “Promoting learning in mathematics using digital technologies”.  She posed the question “Do we embrace or resist technology?”  She answered by saying that neither approach is correct – instead we need to reflect on what are the most  effective teaching methodologies that promotes effective learning!  She also stressed the importance of encouraging learners to look at different strategies for problem solving.  She...

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NALA Numeracy Conference

NALA Numeracy Conference By:  Eileen O’Flaherty Tutor, Tralee Centre   The annual Numeracy Conference was hosted by NALA in Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday, 30th May 2017.  Inez Bailey – CEO of NALA – was the first speaker and she informed us that NALA is aware that there is not enough work being done in the area of Numeracy and this is not all because of a lack of funding.  Learners seem to focus more on Literacy and do not demand Numeracy opportunities.  NALA are concerned that there seems to be little Numeracy going on “on a stand-alone basis” but that there does seem to be more of an integrated approach.  She also said that there is an ongoing review of standards at QQI Levels 2 and 3 and that the content is quite narrow.  NALA is keen to keep it learner-centred by ensuring real world concepts are being embraced through the content at both levels Jill Brown, of the Controlled Schools’ Support Council, Belfast spoke on “Promoting learning in mathematics using digital technologies”.  She posed the question “Do we embrace or resist technology?”  She answered by saying that neither approach is correct – instead we need to reflect on what are the most  effective teaching methodologies that promotes effective learning!  She also stressed the importance of encouraging learners to look at different strategies for problem solving.  She gave...

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What’s The Story

‘What’s the Story?’ – Galway Adult Basic Education Service by Elaine Clifford at Killarney ABE It all began when I read an article by Alison Jones, Galway ABES, in Literacy Matters – Winter 2015.  My ALO, Mary Concannon, gave me a copy of this article – ‘Making the connection: some ideas for blended learning’. The article was interesting and informative.  I was particularly interested in trying out ‘What’s the Story?’ www.gabes.ie web-based programme in my teaching.  I emailed Alison Jones who provided whatever support I needed to get started on this project. ‘What’s the Story?’ is a web-based programme...

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Word Clouds App

Work together with your learners to make your brainstorms into word clouds Answergarden is a web based app to bring together your learners’ answers into a word cloud – right before your eyes. We are all familiar with the idea of brainstorming, where we pose a question or a topic and jot learners’ answers onto the flipchart, as they come up. AnswerGarden is a new way to do this, online. It puts learners’ answers into a word cloud instantly, as they enter them. If an answer is entered more than once, the text of that answer gets bigger. So...

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