Thursday, June 24, 2010

Help! I Can't Pass the GED Math Test

Have you heard these words! Or perhaps you have voiced your own concern.

I hear "Help, I can't pass the GED Math test" alot! I recently had a young lady come to our Adult Learning Center desperate for help to pass the GED Math test. She had taken it twice and failed it both times.

When I began to talk to her, I realized that her challenge was more than a lack of math understanding. She told me that she is a single mom responsible for a 6 year old child. Also, she is soon going to loose her job and didn't know what she was going to do when that happens. She has ALOT on her mind.

In addition, she works full-time and she can only come once in a while to work with an instructor.

But she REALLY wants to take and pass the GED math test!

If you are a student who has a similar circumstance or are a teacher who has students like this, you are very familiar with the emotions that go with needing/wanting to complete the GED.

What I did in this situation was to find a good GED math book which I lent to her. I also encouraged her to take time, even a little time, each day to work on math. Finally, she should find a friend who she can lean on to help with math.... or even child care so she could come to the Lab.

We'll see what happens. We are now on our summer schedule and will only be open one day a week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GED Math and Adding Integers

Does adding numbers give you trouble? When you see a problem like 5 + (-3), do you want to run away! You are not alone.

Adding negative numbers can be challenging.... that is until you put it in terms of money. Let me give you an example.

If I take a problem like 5 + (-3), I start with the first number... and that is the amount in my checkbook. Granted, $5 is not alot. But in today's economy, I will take what I can get:)

So, if I start with $5 in my account and then I write a check for $3 (thus the -3).... I now only have $2 left in my account!

Simple enough, isn't it.

Let's try one more.

-15 + 25

Let's say I checked my account this morning and found out that I am over drawn by $15 (thus the -15). But I was able to scrape together $25 and deposit it into my account (+25). I now have $15 in my account.

Hope this helps you with adding positive and negative numbers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

GED and Learning to Read- Word Famililies

It is now that time of year when you find yourself wondering what 2010 will bring. Will it be better than 2009 and will you find a job. Perhaps getting your GED is your goal and you are wondering if you will EVER finish it. Remember to keep thinking positive. The power of positive thinking is amazing and the worst thing you can do is fall into depression. If you think you are in a state of depression, seek help. Call your family doctor or a friend. Depression affects men and women of all ages, races, and economic levels.

Using word families is a great way to teach spelling, reading, and writing. Word families are words which have the same ending. This ending, such as “at” forms a chunk and learners learn the chunk and then add other sounds to it forming additional words.

One activity that I will often use involves starting with the base word family such as “at”. I write the word on a piece of paper or on a white board and have the learner say it. I then write it again and this time put a line in front of it for another word, one line for each missing letter. at, _ at

I then ask the learner to spell cat. As I say the word cat, I carefully pronounce the “c” and “at” sounds. The learner then says the word “cat” and writes it. Learners could also spell it orally to you. It is important that the learner reads, writes, and spells the words. You will be amazed at how fast they learn new words.

The learner will quickly catch on to this activity and I have found that they LOVE it.