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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Three Ways to Integrate Numeracy into Your Literacy Lesson

Teach maths vocabulary Maths has a language – enough to create its own dictionary. Students need this terminology to make progress with maths. Get familiar with maths vocabulary and jargon so that maths words in your topic jump out and beg to be explored with your students. Teach their pronunciation, meaning and spelling. Put them into context and give practice in using them. It may be only one word in the lesson but that’s OK. Many people have a narrow view of what maths language is. Some ideas for putting this into practice. Opposites that we use in everyday...

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Mindfulness in Adult Literacy Programmes

Mindfulness Mindfulness in Adult Literacy programmes – My Experience, by Elaine Clifford I would like to share my experience of using Mindfulness with some of the groups I work with. I started using Mindfulness after an In-service within Killarney ABE in December 2015 where one of the tutors presented a session about Mindfulness. Her words will always remain with me; ‘We charge our phones but we do not always charge our bodies and minds’. Some of the groups I work with find it challenging to focus and concentrate so I decided to try Mindfulness with them. I discussed with...

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Erasmus + – Trip to Italy

Erasmus Plus Trip to Sicily Our recent Erasmus Plus trip to Sicily was certainly well worth the journey. I found the trip to be a very safe place for us all to discuss and share our ideas. As well as expressing our concerns and resolving some of our challenges as a group, this trip gave us all the opportunity to gel more as a group and also to bring back a lot of new and exciting learning materials. We studied many topics including Motivation, Multiculturalism, Leadership and Professional Challenges, and I would like now to share with you some...

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AONTAS STAR Awards

National Winners of AONTAS STAR Awards Announced A programme supporting refugees to integrate into Irish society; a horticultural training programme supporting socially disadvantaged adults; and a fashion show supporting women at all stages of addiction recovery were just some of the winners at today’s AONTAS STAR Awards. The STAR Awards are organised by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, as part of its annual Adult Learners’ Festival. They recognise outstanding work in adult education and took place today (06.01.2017) in the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Six national winners were announced, including: •SAOL Fashion Show: SAOL Works with women at...

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Storybird – Creative Writing Inspired by Art

Setting out to create a story or poem can be a daunting task for many adult literacy students. They may not have confidence in their ideas or they may simply find it difficult to find inspiration. Fortunately there is a web application to help. Storybird is a an excellent example of social entrepreneurship offering a unique website aimed at inspiring creative writing.

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NALA Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors 2017

NALA National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors 2017 Saturday 28th January I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the NALA conference in the Ashling Hotel last Saturday. It was my first time attending the conference and I was very impressed with all of the speakers, especially Maggie O’Sullivan Graham and Paula Tiller. They did a great presentation on “The Seven Habits Tree”. I will certainly be purchasing “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers” which is available through the Book Depository. I attended the “Cook it” workshop which was presented by Dr. Kate Cassidy, Health Promotion Office and Deirdre Howling, Senior Community Dietitian with the HSE South. The purpose of this workshop was to explore fun, innovative ways of delivering community nutrition. The book they were promoting was called “Cook it”.  I was amazed by the amount of sugar that we consume on a daily basis. Can you believe that one can of Club Orange has fifteen spoons of sugar in it? It is water all the way for me from now on. Each cube of sugar represented a spoonful. They used the powerful imagery of sugar cubes to get their message across. This could be incorporated into a numeracy class with highly effective learning outcomes. Dr. Cassidy spoke of building on the positive. Her theory was, instead of telling us not to consume more sugar, she...

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