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Crowdsourcing Curriculum from ANN Under 10

The Adult Numeracy Network hosted a series of short talks (under 10 minutes) during the COABE Conference this year.  They were filmed, and are up on the website.  For those of you about to tune me out because I said 'Numeracy', you should know that none of these talks are about math even though that is the perspective of the folks who spoke. 

I think that this particular topic, Crowdsourcing Curriculum by Eric Appleton, is important to share here in Teaching and Learning.  ANN would love to have you take up this Call-to-Action to collaborate with other teachers to develop and improve lessons.  Please head over to the website to watch Eric's video and feel free to interact with him in the Comments section.  You can already read a description there with more details and see the example links he shared.


Kathy_Tracey's picture

Hi Connie,

Thanks for sharing this information! We have many new members in our PD group who may not be aware of ANN and what you have to offer. Can you take a minute to share your vision and let our members know how they can become involved with ANN. At the beginning of the year, we are all seeking resources and tools to get us through the year. :-) 


Connie Rivera's picture

Thanks for the opportunity, Kathy!

The Adult Numeracy Network, known as ANN, is an organization of adult educators, researchers, administrators, and professional development providers who connect through the field of Adult Numeracy (math skills important for life).  We’re the adult affiliate of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) as well as a partner to COABE.  You may have seen us sponsoring the Numeracy Strand at the annual conference and holding our annual, full-day professional development as a preconference session for anyone who would like to attend. 

ANN Under 10 hit all aspects of our mission to support each other, encourage collaboration and leadership, and to influence policy and practice.  If you are interested in speaking at ANN Under 10 in 2018, please contact Mark Trushkowsky.  We send our members a newsletter, The Math Practitioner, which includes the latest news and research in adult numeracy and articles on teaching practice, including pages you can use with your students.  If you are interested in writing for The Math Practitioner, please contact Patricia Helmuth.  ANN also supports practitioner research.  Any teacher can submit a question about something they’d like to find out more about and get support from Rebecca Strom and the ANN Board in researching it (as well as a $500 stipend). 

You’ll see us giving a session during the upcoming COABE Virtual Conference.  Many of us give local and national professional development sessions on numeracy and connected fields, coach other teachers, and facilitate on-line classes.  Feel free to contact your regional representative or anyone on the board to ask ANN or numeracy-related questions or make suggestions.  I’d be happy to talk to anyone who’d like to hear more. 

ANN membership is $15 for one year, $25 for two years, or $30 for three years – notice the math there! 


Kathy_Tracey's picture

Hi Connie,

Thanks for sharing. As your mission is to lead initiatives in math education, can you give us a quick idea of some practitioner research projects? I am sure we have many people who would like to learn more about this opportunity to build skills and get questions answered.



Connie Rivera's picture

I can tell you about my practitioner research from years ago.  I was frustrated by hearing other educators say things like, “We can’t teach the students anything if they don’t know their multiplication tables.”  I decided to ask how applying the ANN principles would affect the disposition of my students who weren’t fast with their basic facts.

I gave my students a fact check and my programs’ pre-assessments, as well as a Math Perceptions survey.  Then, I taught as I was learning to teach from great professional development given by ANN founders through programs such as ANI.  I created a class culture of student conversation about strategies that leads to flexible thinking.  I taught algebra concepts to everyone, no matter how their fact assessment had come back. 

Next, I post tested students.  As I had hoped, students’ self-efficacy and productive disposition had increased.  Interestingly, it also showed that everyone was able to be successful (attain diploma or entrance into the next program), but it took the group without automaticity one semester longer.

Rebecca Strom's picture

Hi, Kathy,

Here is a link for the ANN website's link to a few past practitioner research projects.  As a guest, you can see two of them, and as an ANN member, you can see more projects, read past articles, and more.  It's a great place to start, to see what's been done and see the recommended components for the research project.  Teachers who have participated in the past, have commented on how it's helped them to grow professionally in the field.

Here a thread of ideas that were started last month, for possible inspiration.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at


Patricia Helmuth's picture

Hi Kathy,

I worked on a Practitioner Research project in 2014 to answer the question: Would a Student’s Overall Math Proficiency and Problem Solving Skills Be Boosted by Group Work? I was always intrigued by group work but it was something I didn't have much experience implementing in the math classroom. I was somewhat intimidated by it, thinking that it would be hard to do with students being all over the place with their current math skills, 

What I found out is that students at different levels is a plus! It also gives students, who may "test in" at low levels in math, a chance to shine. While working on this project I saw how sometimes the student with the "lowest test score" is the person in the group who was the first to "see" the math, giving that person the opportunity to explain his or her thinking to the group.

Working on this project really helped me to become a better teacher in so many ways because I had to keep track of what students were thinking and the work they were doing, and then reflect on student work. It was a great experience and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who teaches math.


Kathy_Tracey's picture

Thanks for these links and ideas. I hope our community of practice members explore this great opportunity. 



Susan Finn Miller's picture

Hi Connie and all, Thank you for sharing this video. It illustrates how powerful teacher collaboration can be. It is true that many adult educators feel quite isolated. Having the opportunity to collaborate with others to improve lessons is priceless. This makes me think of the Lesson Study process that some of us have been lucky to engage in.

Our LINCS CoPs have also been used for valuable collaboration, and I'd love to see more of that here.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP