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I have a student who has really begun to understand math and has mastered much of Algebra I since we began tutoring. About 2 weeks ago, the student had a midterm whereby the teacher placed both 7th and 8th grade tests, side-by-side on a table for students to pick up. My student inadvertently picked up the wrong test and it was 40 minutes into the test before the error was discovered leaving 20 minutes to complete the correct test. I am an avid believer in fairness and compassion as goals for anyone in leadership, in fact I teach this course to teachers, pastors, and corporate leaders. The fact that the student was not allowed additional time to complete led to a failing grade, after all of the hard work we put into preparation. I let my student know that recovery is possible, but it takes a commitment to achieve an A average in homework and acing daily quizzes. What do you believe that teachers in this position should do and why?

I had one opportunity to tutor with Jason on a course he is taking that is very new to Texas public schools. As a matter of fact, the concept of Math Models with Geometric Application was developed at the University of Texas at Austin only a couple of years ago. It is a math that focuses on the applications of math to financial, business and statistical uses, among others. Traditionally, we are taught math concepts then where to apply them. Math models is just the opposite. It takes an application, such as finding future value of a company and learning the math method used to determine the answer. It took a lot of research on my part to locate objectives, concepts used, resources and lesson plans that would allow me to see where students are in the course of the year so that I may help them catch up, prepare for current examination, and get ahead, but its how I operate. I had so many students as of that week, I only had 2 hrs the night before his test to help him prepare for... read more

Two of my senior math students have worked for the last 3 weeks to prepare for the S.A.T. When students have struggled so tremendously on S.A.T. Math, they sometimes get discouraged. However, for the last 3 weeks, we have worked on algebraic fundamentals, key rules and principles, a variety of problem types, and S.A.T. practice questions. They worked very hard, did not get everything, but I am confident that each will improve their scores 50+ points. We set this number as a goal for tomorrow's test. Both plan to take the test again December 3, 2011. The goal for this test is 50+ more points than tomorrow's scores for an overall total increase of 100+. If these guys can achieve 60% on the Math test, this is a job well done. Good luck tomorrow, guys. You should be feeling much more confident in your ability to do these tests. Make Mom and Dad (and me) proud!

It is students like Trey who keeps me tutoring no matter how busy I get. I was so very excited when he came to tutoring today. He says, "Ms. Sandy, I can practice SAT questions because I do not have anything to cover today. I have already had my quiz this week and I made a 100!" I nearly jumped out of my shoes. Trey reminds me of my sons - very smart and hard working, so if he is not getting it in the classroom, there is most definitely some sort of disconnect there. I feel the pride of a parent when my students are successful. There is no limit to what our children can accomplish with the right tools. Exceptional work, Trey!

Nayve is a wonderful little girl who loves to read. I have never seen a student who struggles in reading love the very thing she struggles with. I believe if her mother asked her where she would like to go, it would be the library. She gets two books everytime she goes. Usually she checks out Junie B. Jones which are not short books to read. These are great chapter books that will really help her get better at her age. We relearned phonics, blends, reading rules, etc. Now we have built up to 5 and 6 syllable words. She now understands that larger words are just smaller words put together. She is also increasing her vocabulary as we learn the meanings of these larger words. To say the least, she was amazed that she could read these words. She can also use these words in sentences. I'm really proud of the improvements that Nayve has made. Keep up the good work, Nayve! Thanks, mom, for letting me help.

This young man really made my day. When you see a kid who is taking advantage of every opportunity available to him to get better at math, to me, is very exciting. Trey goes to math everyday, he goes to other math teachers when doesn't understand, and he goes to in-school tutoring. On top of that, he and his father are not accepting defeat. Trey has elected to seek out private tutoring each week from me. He is determined to conquer math and with this kind of determination, he will succeed. Many times parents seek out tutors for students and the student is not always that interested because it was not his or her idea. Well, I'm pretty sure it was Trey's decision by the way he approaches tutoring. He came prepared with homework, past tests, notes from school tutoring, and an eagerness to learn. He worked from the time he sat down until the very last minute. If I were a parent, I would like to know that my money is spent wisely. For Trey's parents, it is money well spent. His... read more

Ashley finished school in 2010, but has consistently had trouble passing the TAKS Math for her diploma. Many students are going through what she has gone through, but Ashley has done everything possible to make her dreams come true. Actually, she has inspired me. She is taking preparation classes, but determined she needed one-on-one help as she was still only getting about 50% of the practice tests correct. She and I worked very hard last night and we will again on Tuesday. I will let you know the outcome. I wanted to write about her today, because she said to me, "You make it so easy to understand." This is what I believe is different about my style. Make is simple, make no assumptions about what the student knows or doesn't know, give them a easy steps they can remember, and all of the encouragement in the world! Thanks, Ashley, you made my day! C

Shaye is a returning student who was constantly telling me she could not do the class, but felt that she needed a developmental class. She lacked confidence. She is busy with a full-time job, husband and children. I so felt her pain. She took her first lesson alone and earned a 10% on Ouiz 1. I tutored her for Quiz 2 and she earned a 60%. She was still down, but I explained to her that it was a lot better than her Quiz 1 and that it was significant improvement and not to give up. Encouragement and belief in a student goes a long way. We met a couple of days later reviewed, retook the Quiz, and she made 100% on the same Quiz 2 retake. Congratulations, Shaye.

Jay is pretty young to be entering college, but boy has he come a long way. He and I made a commitment together to practice the simple format I gave to him with any topic, and he came through with flying colors.

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