This week I was helping a student with algebra. She wrote the problem and then the answer. She was getting them wrong. I told her she needed to show her work and this was not welcome advice.
When she worked on the balance boards, she struggled. I realized she was stuck on "This is too hard," I realized she needed a mouse story. I told her about the mice eating the math test and that they must be eating the work she was putting down between the problem and the answer. This allowed her to laugh and then she could put her work down. With the help of the balance boards and the ability to laugh, she is able to do the math and get the problems correct. I have a happy student.
It is so much fun to see someone like math.