Author Archives: michele

Math Storybooks If you’re looking for a creative project that involves math, here’s an idea. One of the little girls in my Saturday math group enjoys writing stories. So this past weekend, we decided to write our own math story. Our plan is to work on it for 10 or 15 minutes every week, until […]

Mnemonics Can Be Good … or Not The use of mnemonics dates back at least to the time of Plato and Aristotle, and some people seem to think they have outlived their usefulness. While there is the potential for overuse, and they should never take the place of teaching conceptual understanding, a good mnemonic can […]

M&M Math

Candy is a Great Incentive In my experience there are two things that will get the attention of even the most bored student: money and candy. The only time I bring money to a tutoring session is when I’m planning to teach how to count money. And all of it returns home with me. Candy […]

The Common Core Blues So, you thought you knew how to multiply one number by another. You even thought multiplication was easy. Then your kid comes home with “arrays” or “lattices,” and wants you to help him, but you can’t make sense of the new methods. You’ve got the Common Core blues. These days, you […]

Get a Glyph!

What’s a Glyph? If you don’t know about glyphs, you’re in for a treat and your kids with love them! Glyphs are pictures that represent specific pieces of information. They are a fantastic way to introduce students to graphical representation of data. The glyphs you see at the top of this post are what I […]

We All Lose Focus Sometimes It happens to all parents, tutors, and teachers. You’re working with a child in reading or math, and you think things are going pretty well. You’re even feeling proud of yourself … you are inspiring a child to learn! Then your intrepid student says something like, “I think Sponge Bob […]

You remember the Twister game. Someone spins and a player places his right foot on a blue circle. The person spins again and the next player places her left hand on a red circle. This continues until … everybody gets twisted. Math Twister puts a new twist, or if you prefer, a new spin, on […]

We’ve all been there. We’re trying our best to help a child with math homework and we just can’t seem to capture his attention. The lesson needs to be taught, or the homework needs to be done, but the one who is supposed to be learning and doing is interested in everything but that paper […]

1 x 1 = FUN

When was the last time you ran across a math problem that looked fun, or amazing? I’ll bet it’s been a while … or maybe you’ve never encountered one. Most of the math textbooks present problems that I’m sure are meant to be interesting, but I rarely find them so, and neither do my students. […]

I began working with Mark last summer, after he had failed the state end-of-grade (EOG) test, along with several of his classmates. Then we continued our weekly sessions after school started. Mark’s math skills and test grades have improved but I’m concerned that he may perform poorly on the standardized test again this year. I […]