Adult Numeracy Initiative (ANI)


The Adult Numeracy Initiative (ANI), works to increase Adult Education teachers’ complete knowledge of mathematics. ANI is an eleven month, interactive, hybrid (online and face-to-face) professional development initiative that focuses on effective numeracy instruction for adult learners. Adult Education teachers have an opportunity to participate in a proven and effective national initiative. In 2015-16 ANI will include a series of self-paced online Standards In Action (SIA) learning modules participants will complete to connect their ANI learning with the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for Adult Education.

Benefits of participating in ANI include:

  • Increasing your math content knowledge, improved quality and effectiveness of instructional strategies, and improved confidence and comfort in teaching numeracy to adult learners.
  • Improved outcomes for your learners through more effective instruction.
  • Connecting evidence-based math instruction you use in your classroom with the CCRS for Adult Education.
  • Opportunities to network, share resources, and collaborate in an ongoing online community of peers.
  • Earning a certificate of completion which can be used for 70 Professional Growth Points.

To learn more about participating in the 2015-16 ANI Cohort, please read the informational handout here.

2015-16 Participants

Applications for this initiative are now closed. We're excited to welcome this year's participating teachers:

Course Schedule

Want to check out some of the ANI activities?

ANI was developed using materials and resources from TIAN (Teacher Investigating Adult Numeracy). One of the results of the TIAN Project are bundles of resources which adult educators can use to run local professional development:

TIAN Bundle #1: Number Sense: Flexibility & Fluency

Number Sense has been described as the common sense of numbers, a kind of mathematical literacy. A person with number sense knows what numbers mean and understands how to use them.

This first TIAN Math Bundle focuses on the idea that people who have good number sense are flexible and fluent with numbers. By flexible, we mean they can solve problems and calculations in a variety of ways; by fluent, we mean they know when and how to use appropriate methods. They use computational strategies suited to the situation and purpose, including paper and pencil, calculators, mental math, and estimation.

The bundle begins with four activities that ask teachers to call upon and expand their own estimation abilities and mental math skills, and then to think of ways to integrate activities into their classrooms which purposefully provide opportunities for students to call upon and expand their estimation and mental math skills.

TIAN Bundle #2: Operation & Symbol Sense

In our work with adult learners—and in our lives—we help others “do math” and do it ourselves. Doing the math is much more than merely cranking out the answer to a calculation. Reasoning and understanding are critical aspects of doing math.

“Operation and symbol sense” includes understanding the meanings and models of operations, the real world situations they connect with, and the symbols that represent them. Understanding the operations then is a three-way street that connects visual models, symbols, and situations. In the activities in this Bundle you will connect operations and visual models to consider the four basic operations, odd and even numbers, and the symbol for equality.

TIAN Bundle #3: Number Sense: Integers

The activities and resources in this bundle center around the operations with integers, or signed numbers, a topic that is often hard for students to comprehend. In the past, school lessons with positive and negative numbers often consisted of learning a set of rules. These rules are easy to learn, but even easier to forget, mix up or misapply.

TIAN Bundle #4: Algebraic Thinking

Most adults remember “taking algebra” as learning how to manipulate symbols, but the definition of school algebra and pre-algebra has expanded considerably over past years, and what we see in good contemporary middle school and high school classrooms looks very different from what was taught even a few decades ago.

While the how and why of the transformation of symbols (e.g. transforming [x +5] [x + 6] to x 2 + 11x + 30) is still very important, there is also a strong emphasis on understanding patterns, relations, and functions; on representing and analyzing mathematical situations using multiple representations (algebraic symbols, tables, graphs, and diagrams); and on creating and using mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.

We believe adult education teachers and their students who attended high schools where the emphasis was on symbol transformation will benefit from more opportunities to explore patterns, make generalizations, link the pattern to a function, and create multiple representations for any function.

TIAN Bundle #5: Geometric Thinking

All of us live in a three-dimensional world full of angle, shape, and dimension. How can we use that world—rich with geometry—in our classrooms to shore up more formal understanding of geometric relationships? How do we build on adults’ wealth of informal knowledge and move beyond it?

The first step may be to get everyone noticing, acknowledging, and discussing the geometry they experience. The second step then is to connect the authentic experiences and materials of real life with geometric ideas. All along the way, teachers need to think seriously about how geometric thinking develops and how instruction can support that development.

With our adult education students, we need to be sure that we are not trying to teach concepts at a level out of their reach. As teachers, we need to make sure that students can define what makes a triangle a triangle and not a rectangle, what makes a circle a circle, etc. We need to be sure they can do this well before we ask them to solve geometry problems similar to those on standardized assessments. The activities in this Bundle are intended to provide students with opportunities to explore geometric thinking within levels 1 – 3.

Adults Reaching Algebra Readiness (AR)²

Adults Reaching Algebra Readiness (AR)² is designed as the sequel training to the ANI (Adult Numeracy Instruction) PD. Like ANI, (AR)² is an extended, cohort-style, hybrid (online and face-to-face) training.

(AR)² picks up where ANI Institute #3 concludes, extending ANI principles and techniques to higher levels of mathematics learning. Participants begin with a review of linear functions, progress to systems of equations, and then move to nonlinear functions and exponents. Throughout the sessions, participants continue to connect back to basic number properties and other core ideas introduced in ANI.

Information on the next (AR)² cohort coming soon!


Any questions about ANI can be directed to the Adult Education PD at