Friday, April 20, 2012

help I do not like math, math game, addition help

I tutor several children with math struggles.  One 16 year old can do addition with a number line. In my opinion a number line teaches people that math is hard when used beyond showing why math works. This is slow and he makes a lot of mistakes.  He is working on multiplication.  As he learns multiplication he forgets his addition facts.  Math does not seem to connect to itself.  Good multiplication often builds on good addition.  For him each fact seems to stand alone.
We are playing a war or battle game with cards.  Each face card and the 10 are worth 10 points.  The numbers are worth their number.  Instead of playing one card, we play two and the total of the two is compared to the other players two cards. The highest number wins.   This works well because he can count the hearts or spades on the smaller cards and he is learning to add while playing.
If someone with reading problems is struggling with math, a tutor needs to check to see if it is word problems causing the confusion. If it is word problems, reading may be the problem. If  reading is the problem read the problem aloud to the student to build math confidence as you work to raise the reading level.  As a learner reads better have him read the word problems aloud to you instead of you reading to him. As he gets more confidence have him read part and you read part and then as he reads better have him read to himself while you listen and encourage and help with any words so he does not stumble and lose the meaning of what he is reading.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Success stories from tutoring

Today, I was able to see two children I have worked with in the past.  The oldest will be a senior next year.  She struggled with geometry and my husband worked with her more than I did.  She was putting herself down because her ACT score was not as high as she wants it to be.  I told her that her ACT score qualified her to be a millionaire.  I am reading the Millionaire Mind and many of the millionaires did not have an ACT score as high as hers.  She is planning on going to college.  I was telling her about taking the CLEP tests and she does not have the confidence to think she is smart enough to pass them.  I hope to talk to her parent and encourage the testing.  She is so much smarter than she thinks she is. Her comment today was something about who would have dreamed she would be doing so well. She was comparing her Algebra success with her struggle in geometry.
The other child was really struggling to read and is now reading on grade level.  There are several positive things going on in his life now.  I do not know how much the tutoring helped. It is exciting to see him succeed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Irlen, Dyslexia, struggling learners, vision problems in learning

I was at soccer practice with my grandson.  This is the only time I have been all season.  Another mother was there with a young child.  She is homeschooling for the first time this year.  We were comparing ideas on schooling and she has a child who is struggling in school.  I told her about my child having Irlen dyslexia.  She and I planned a time for her to come see how I tutor.   When she looked up the Irlen online, her daughter said her words moved like the third example.  She went to an educational store, Mardel's, and allowed the child to pick out a plastic color sheet to place over her school work.  On one of the store end caps there was a magnifying glass with pink and black zebra stripes.  Her daughter asked to have one.  When her daughter put it on her paper to read her comment was, "This cages the letters so they cannot escape."   In three weeks, reading was on level.
Her mom had said many times, "I do not understand why you cannot get this," when she was teaching this child.
How many children would benefit from being able to see correctly?  How many are we labeling learning disabled or teaching ineffectively because they cannot see or cannot see correctly?