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Using Visuals to Develop Conceptual Understanding: Number Line Concepts is a half-day, face-to-face workshop designed to help adult numeracy teachers appreciate how number lines are important visual representations, spanning levels and domains in the College and Career Ready Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE). In addition, teachers will look at student work and discuss ways to integrate number lines into the classroom.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Adult numeracy teachers at all levels of math experience and confidence

Number lines are an important visual representation of foundational number concepts. They show up at every level and across mathematical domains. According to the National Research Council in Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics (2001), "because it can serve as a tool for simultaneously representing whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers, teachers and researchers should explore effective uses of the number line representation when students learn about operations with numbers, relations among number systems, and more formal symbolic representations of numbers" (p. 418). [1]

In this half-day, face-to-face workshop, we will look at how number lines can help students develop these basic concepts and how they can be applied to real world, career, and mathematical contexts. You will have the opportunity to examine and discuss student work and explore number line activities that could be used in the classroom.

According to Boaler et al. in Seeing as Understanding: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning (2016), “It seems possible that visual mathematics may contribute to equity, in valuing students’ thinking in different ways, as well as encouraging deep engagement, as we have found all students to be excited to see math ideas, and from there they have developed higher levels of understanding and performance.” (p. 10). Not only does her team suggest that visualizing math helps all students (including LD students) to better understand math concepts, they also found when teachers were given visual experiences they gain insights into mathematical concepts as well. [2]

To receive a certificate of completion, participants must attend the entire face-to-face-session. For more information, please contact Sherry Soares (



Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the math concepts associated with number lines
  • Give examples of how number lines can be used to develop number and operation sense
  • Find relevant applications for number lines in measurement
  • Connect basic number line concepts to coordinate planes and axes
  • Appreciate number lines as a visual representation that spans mathematical domains and levels
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 


03/22/2019 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
PD Center: 

Math and Numeracy

SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
College and Career Readiness
College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE)
High School Equivalency (HiSET/GED)
Learning Disabilities
Mathematics and Adult Numeracy
PDP Eligible: 
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