Math Resources

I work in a maximum security state prison and  I teach basic math to students with a NRS math level of 1or 2.    Unfortunately many students have reading levels that correspond with their math levels. 

What resources have you found helpful in teaching these students.  Many of the resources that I have encountered either have either to high a reading level or are too "kiddish" for adults. 

The other problem I have is the bulk of my resources need to be print based as students have no internet access.  I have a small number (3) of stand-alone computers in my classroom that are running Window 98.  These do not have internet access.  They do have CD drives, USB ports and 2-1/2"  floppy drive (yes floppy drive).


You could try these resources for worksheets:

  • Math Aids -
  • Common Core Sheets -

For cool project ideas, check out this website:

You could also try this amazing warehouse of free ideas:

     Dorothea Steinke who sometimes reads this list has some excellent print materials for folks who are at that "basic number sense" place.  has an article about it.  We put together a course based on it but sequenced more like our Pre-Algebra ... and this minute all we can find is the print copy but I would be glad to send it your way once we find or reconstruct  the digital ;)   Ours are  all OER (open educational resources) so you can do anything with it you like, copy, share, adapt.... our teacher made up all the practice problems about her family 'cause the students liked it.   Chapter one *is* online -- it's positive and negatives BUT it basically assumes you're coming into it with no background knowledge.   is the first one -- 

I also did a thing on exponents   

I'm trying to make my own (would love to collaborate!)  using technology -- it wouldn't have to be on the internet to just do it if you download the files - I made them OER too and learned enough javascript to make some things with pictures... I've got a thing for times tables here   
Are you on twitter?  I'm @geonz  ... 

The resources are nice.  However, I am working with students who are just learning to add and subtract and to name basic shapes.  The multiplication table is a good resource that I might have occasion to use.  I am not currently on twitter.  Thank you so much for your help.

Hi Christine,

First off, NRS 1 & 2 students are incredibly underserved in our field, and I think it is amazing that you are doing that work.

Here are a few resources off the top of my head...

Splat! is an interactive number sense strategy that is accessible to all students. The materials and routine were developed by Steven Wyborney. His site has a brief video to help introduce the routine to teachers. For more ideas on using SPLAT! with adult students, watch Some Numbers Walk into a Language Class: Splat!

Berkeley Everett is an K-5 math coach out in California. He has a great website - - full of videos that unfortunately you can't use, but if you sign up for his email list, you can download his complete collection of Math Flips which you can print out and are great for addition and subtraction (and multiplication) concepts.

The fresh ideas page on Graham Fletcher's website - - has some routines for building geometry skills and number flexibility that were designed for young kids, but there is nothing childish about them. They are also very visual with no text. 

Marilyn Burns is an amazing K-8 math educator. If you are not familiar with her work, her book About Teaching Mathematics is filled with activities. Here is an example of one called the value of your name

I'm not sure if bringing cards in is an option, but Tiny Polka Dot Cards have multiple representations of the numbers 1 through 10 and come with great suggested activities.

yours in productive struggle, 


Hi Christine, 

I just learned from a member of the SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum & Instruction PD Center's team (in Massachusetts) about two learning packets they created for beginning math students: 

The packets both say remote learning because they can be used remotely, but they can also be used in person instruction and don't require tech. 

yours in productive struggle,