Math & Numeracy Teaching Resources

This page has non-routine math problems, lesson plans, math activities, and more! 



A high quality mathematics curriculum for adult learners should:

  • include the concepts of number, data, geometry, and algebra at all levels of learning so that students can develop and connect mathematical ideas.
  • weave together all the elements of mathematical proficiency – not only procedural fluency, but also conceptual understanding, ongoing sense-making, problem solving, and a positive attitude about learning mathematics.
  • feature worthwhile tasks, such as activities that are drawn from the context of real life experience.

Learning Environment

In an adult education learning environment, mathematics instruction should:

  • build on what students already know, valuing the various informal and alternative strategies students use to solve problems.
  • include opportunities for students to question, reason, solve problems, define goals and monitor their own progress by using estimation, mental math, computation, and technology when appropriate.


Open Middle Problems

Open Middle is an incredible source of math problems that can be searched by topic and/or grade level K-12. What makes an "open middle" problem? All the problems on the site have a closed beginning because they start with the same initial problem. Most have a closed ending, because they end with the same answer (though there are some problems here that have more than one answer). They all have an open middle, because there are multiple ways to approach each problem. The problem to the left is an example of a middle school level task. 

Learn more about using Open Middle with adult education students:

Play With Your Math

This website was created by two teachers in Massachusetts, who take problems that they love, and adapt them so that they are accessible to everyone. They design posters and handouts that hook you visually and explain the problem in just enough words. The problems that they pick require trying, struggling, failing, adjusting, and trying again until, finally, a discovery is made.

Math Memos

Adult educators share non-routine math problems, samples of student work, and practical suggestions for bringing the problems to life in your classroom.

Math for Love

Dan Finkel and Katherine Cook are a husband and wife team dedicated to transforming how math is taught. The Math for Love site has a huge collection of Openers, Games, Rich Tasks and lessons.

Click on the image with the multicolored circles.

What do you notice? What do you wonder?


  • CollectEdNY: Find free, quality teaching resources vetted and reviewed by adult education instructors, for adult education instructors. Post comments, share experiences and ask questions and engage with adult educators across the state and country.
  • Open Up Resourcescomprehensive 6-8 and HS math curricula, organized into helpful units with lots of rich problems. Available in both English and Spanish. 
  • OER Commons: OER stands for Open Educational Resources and refers to resources developed by teachers and shared freely. This website is a place for teachers to find (and share!) teaching materials. This link will bring you to the search engine set for "Math" and "Adult Education" materials. 
  • Benchmark Fractions: This interactive and online sequence of activities comes from Connie Rivera's website and allows students to develop a conceptual understanding of benchmark fractions (25%, 75%, 10%, and more) through a series of interactive activities and visuals. 


Check outAlleviate Math Fears with a Math Fair: A How-to-Guide for Organizing an Adult Numeracy Adventure Day 

ANN member Patricia Helmuth received a mini-grant from the NYS Dept of Education to create a how-to-guide that includes everything you need to organize a math fair at your program, including planning, promoting, preparing for the event, and all the activities, games, and problems you'll need. Since Patrica created the guide, there have been at least 8 Student Adventure Days across NYS and in Washington, DC. 

Patricia wrote about the experience in the Math Practitioner: How to Alleviate Math Fears with a Math Fair - Spring 2017


  • The Multiplication Course by Steve Wyborney is a highly interactive multiplication course – free on YouTube – created by the teacher behind SPLAT!  The videos are completely ready for all students, all teachers, all parents, everyone! The course teaches students deep, rich, and important multiplication concepts while they are also learning multiplication facts.  It also puts students in control of their learning, allowing them to pause the think deeply, allowing them time to write, allowing them to discover important math ideas.
  • The Product Game turns students' practice with factors and multiples into a fun two-player game.  

  • Partial Product Finder - The Partial Product Finder allows multiplication combinations (up to 50 x 50) to be represented as a rectangle, or array. This helps students develop the flexibility and conceptual understanding required to build fluency with basic facts and strategies for multiplication of larger numbers. 
  • How Close to 100? - Using 2 dice and arrays students compete to cover as much of a blank 100 grid as they can.
  • Interactive Multiplication Chart simple online interactive tool that gives you a filled in multiplication table and the ability to color it in any way you want.
  • Multiplication Representation Cards - Use these cards to get students into groups by matching cards with different representations of multiplication (area models, word problems, partial products, and distributive property).
  • Bunny Times - a game that uses arrays to help students practice using area models to multiply numbers. 
  • Fizz Buzz Hoot - This game is guaranteed to crack up your class as they have to keep track of the multiples of 3, 4, and 5 as they count in a circle. 
    • Round One: Students count off around the circle, but instead of saying the name of any multiples of 3, they say "Fizz". So it will go something like, "1, 2, Fizz, 4, 5, Fizz, 7, 8, Fizz,..." Once students get the hang of that, you can start Round Two. 
    • In round two, students replace the multiples of 4 with the word, "Buzz" - so "1, 2, 3, Buzz, 5, 6, 7, Buzz...". 
    • Round three is similar, except students are replacing the word, "Hoot" for any multiples of 5 - so "1, 2, 3, 4, Hoot, 6, 7, 8, 9, Hoot,...". 
    • Give your students some time to play each round focused on an individual set of multiples. If and when they are ready, have them try a combination round, where they have to use two of the words (Fizz/Buzz focuses on multiples of 3 and 4, Buzz/Hoot focuses on multiples of 4 and 5, Fizz/Hoot focuses on multiples of 3 and 5. 
    • The biggest challenge is to play "Fizz, Buzz, Hoot," where students have to replace any multiples of 3, 4, and 5 with their corresponding word. It will sound something like this "I, 2, Fizz, Buzz, Hoot, Fizz, 7, Buzz, Fizz, Hoot, 11, Fizz/Buzz (because 12 is a Fizz and a Buzz), 13, 14, Fizz/Hoot,..."


  • Nix the Tricks: This free online book is filled with alternatives to the shortcuts so prevalent in mathematics education and explains why tricks so often become obstacles to understanding math and often contribute to our students believing they are incapable of sense-making.

Do you have any resources for rich problems and/or lessons plans you think should be included on this page? Click HERE to let us know!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software