LINCS 101: Inside the Correctional and Reentry Education Community


It’s time that you learned about the incredible resources and tools available to those working in the correctional and reentry education filed. Join us for LINCS 101! This event will bring to light all the amazing tools and resources available through the LINCS system.  We will explore the LINCS Resource Collection, State Resources, Courses, and the incredible events that are available to the correctional and reentry education community. Bring a colleague, a friend, or someone in your professional network to join our Correctional & Reentry Education Community of Practice. This will be an event of you will not soon forget.

Presenter: Jeffrey Abramowitz, LINCS Correctional and Reentry Education Group Moderator


Hello -

I really need ideas for making math interesting to adult men who operate at level 1-3 of math.  All of my existing books have page after page of math problems to solve, and they get really bored (as do I).  Are there games, or group activities they can be doing?  I've never taught math before, and it was my worst subject.  Help!!!

I teach math classes to level 1 students in a maximum security men's prison.  Most books are at a level to high for  my students to read.  

The Empower Series has good ideas and can be adapted for most levels.  

SABES is the Professional Development System of the Public Adult Education system of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  They have a wide variety or resources for  students and professional development activities.  The BeCALM series is specifically designed for students and teachers for NRS levels 2 - 4.  It has teacher guides that includes important information for teachers to understand for the concept.  The periodically put on a webinar about teaching math for non-math teachers.

Some games I like to play with my students:


This is a counting game.  The students and teacher stand in a circle.  Someone starts counting either one number or two.  The next person continues the counting, counting either one number or two.  This continues around the circle until someone has to say 10.  That person is out.  The next person starts again by either saying 1 or 1, 2.  The next person says the next one or two numbers and this continues until someone again reaches 10.  Continue until there is only one person left.  My students love this game.

Spoiler Alert:  You can win against anyone 1:1 if you let them go first.  Just make sure the total number of numbers is 3.  I always win.  I do not tell my students this.  I challenge them to figure out why this is.  I have a few students come out with the fact that when you divide 10 by 3, you get a remainder of 1.


Snowball Fight 

Have each student write a math word problem or equation (whatever you are focusing on at the time) on a blank sheet of white paper.  Have the students crumple up their paper.  have everyone form a circle with their back to the middle.  have students throw their papers into the middle.  Everyone gets a paper.  You cannot take your own.  Find the answer to the question on the paper.



There are many computer templates out there to play Jeopardy.  You can find preset questions or you can make your own.  I like to play a divisibility Jeopardy.  I have random numbers I use and the categories are the numbers divisibly by I use 2, 3, 5, 5, 6, 9,  and 10 as the categories.  I have buzzers I use to see who is first.  I have also had students stand when they have the answer.  For final Jeopardy I use a number and they have to tell which of the numbers it is divisible by.



The students really like it when I pull out the board game payday.  It gives them practice adding and subtracting numbers.  If the students do not have that skill, I let them use a calculator.  It helps them get comfortable using a calculator


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I have index cards with key words for operations.  I have teams sort them into operations.  The team that is done first with the words in correct operation, wins.  You don't have to use all the operations at once.  Many times I just use addition and subtraction or multiplication and division.


There are tons of internet resources out there. has creative commons books at all levels

Openstax has creative commons books as well.  These tend to be higher level.

National Library of Virtual Manipulative has tons of online free to use online manipulative for almost every math subject.

Geogebra is a free to download, and use online and offline math program.  You can use a premade applet by other teachers or make your own.


Hope this helps.