Numeracy Conference – Thursday 13 June

May 10, 2013

NALA and Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) are hosting a Numeracy conference on Thursday 13 June in ITT. The focus of the conference will be supporting adult numeracy practitioners in delivering maths provision.

Helping to meet the challenges of delivering maths provision: Supporting adult numeracy practitioners

Institute of Technology Tallaght

Thursday 13 June – 9.30 am to 4.30 pm


9.30     Registration and coffee/tea

10.00   Welcome and opening remarks: John O’Donoghue, Director, National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL), University of Limerick

10.10   Maths eyes and Maths ears: Terry Maguire, Head of Lifelong Learning, Institute of Technology Tallaght

10.40   Overview of national standards – process and assessment: Peter Cullen, Framework Standards and Guidance, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

11.00   Research on training needs of adult numeracy tutors: Tina Byrne, Research Officer, NALA

11.15 – 11.30 Questions and Answers

11.40   Workshops

Note: Each workshop will be run three times throughout the day, except for workshop H which will be run twice only (see below for details). Workshop times are from:

  • 11.40 to 12.50
  • 2.00 to 3.15
  • 3.20 to 4.30

Participants will be able to attend 3 different workshops

Cost: The cost to attend this event is €30 to NALA members and €55 to non-members.

Non-members will receive complimentary individual NALA membership for one year.



A: Maths accreditation at Levels 2 and 3: The way is a free website where learners can achieve FETAC accreditation at levels 2 and 3.  In this workshop participants will get (1) an in depth understanding of the structure of the site (2) a chance to work on the site and (3) ideas about how to best use it in their learning situation.

B. Tips for teaching algebra at levels 3 and 4

This workshop will focus on methodologies for teaching algebra at levels 3 and 4. The workshop aims to enhance tutor’s confidence and competence in teaching algebra, through providing a wide range of alternative approaches and resources which link the topic to everyday life.

C: Teaching significant figures, negative numbers, understanding rounding and maths modelling at level 3

This workshop will demonstrate practical examples of everyday situations to show how the teaching of significant figures, rounding off and negative numbers can be fun.  Examples will include: showing significant figures linked with rounding off and to what degree of accuracy in measurement – for instance measuring a room; looking at negative numbers and the weather.  The workshop will highlight how Maths can be used to model the real world and provide a number of examples suitable for FETAC learners.

D: Using GeoGebra to meet the learning outcomes of FETAC modules

GeoGebra is a free suite of software which can be used to explore the mathematics of the real world. It is particularly powerful as it makes it easy to link visual geometry with the algebraic representations of things – hence the hybrid name ‘Geo’ from geometry and ‘Gebra’ from algebra. Geogebra is a wonderful tool for the adult numeracy classroom. It is easy for learners to use and can be used to support the achievement of learning outcomes of FETAC components.

E: ‘Drogheda counts’: Using your local newspaper and your maths eyes as a numeracy resource

Drogheda Adult Learning Service, in conjunction with the Local Education Committee, developed a booklet, ‘Drogheda Counts’, to encourage parents and children to use the local newspaper as a numeracy resource. This workshop will be interactive and hands-on and will give participants the chance to look for everyday Maths in a newspaper for example, car adverts and place value, budgeting for a meal out and so on. Ideas from this workshop could be adapted to help fulfil learning outcomes for the FETAC Level 2 Mathematics module.

F: Introducing indices and logs at level 4

Many tutors of adult numeracy struggle with ways to help learners understand indices and logarithms and how they are used in the real world.  This workshop will outline a teaching strategy that links teaching indices and logarithms to aid learner understanding.  Real world examples of logarithms in use will be discussed.

G: Fractions in action  

Using the best visual and practical approaches, this workshop will demonstrate fractions in a fun and practical way. It will also help you to help your students become fluent in all expressions of the same number, by linking fractions to their decimal and percentage expression. (Level 3)

H: Teaching strategies for dyscalculia

This workshop will give an appreciation of what dyscalculia is and ideas on how to approach the teaching of adults with dyscalculia. It will look at the specific problems in acquiring Maths skills and suggest a range of resources.

I: Using craft and design to engage learners in maths learning and to prepare them for further learning and accreditation

This workshop will explore the use of basic craft and design, including jewellery and textile making, to equip learners with maths skills and enthuse them about further learning.


If you would like to attend please contact Fergus Dolan in NALA on

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