One of the highest impact things I can do as a teacher, tutor, mentor or dad is help people "learn how to learn". Learning specific math, science, English or other skills are great, but learning how to learn not only enables a student to perform better in school, but enables the student to learn anything.
I didn't really understand how to learn until getting out of college and working as a consultant. I had to quickly learn new industries, companies, organizations and business processes very quickly...sometimes over the weekend! Working as a consultant taught me how to learn quickly and at a greater level of depth than most students in school ever learn.
Going to graduate business school helped me to understand how graduate students apply more advanced techniques to the learning process than undergraduates or high school students.
Over the past three years as I have worked with students at all levels from fourth grade through high school through college, graduate...
I have been working with a few students who are ready to learn math much, MUCH faster than allowed by the traditional classroom model in which math is taught over 6 to 8 years. Based on this experience I believe that many students as young as 4th grade and as old as 8th grade (when starting in the program) can master math in 2 years from simple addition through the first semester of Calculus, with Arithmetic, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, Probability, Statistics, and Trigonometry in between.
This is significantly faster than the traditional approach and is enabled by a combination of one-on-one teaching and coaching and a variety of media that I assign to students to complete in between our sessions. This is a "leveraged blended learning" approach that makes use of online software, selected games, and selected videos with guided notes that I have created that ensure that students pick up the key points of the videos, and which we discuss later. The result...
Over the summer I worked with a High School senior that wanted to join the Marines. We focused on increasing his score in each of the four core tests. I began by diagnosing his strengths and weaknesses and we developed a plan to substantially increase his score.
I assigned an aggressive amount of work for the student to complete on his own and met periodically to review progress and "target teach" specific areas of math that he did not understand.
I assigned the student 5-20 hours of work between sessions using a mix of online math and verbal development tools that I use with students and paper-based tools.
Surprisingly even to myself he increased his score from the 30s (if I am remembering correctly) to 70s percentilewise.
He was offered a reasonable number of choices of career paths in the Marines which is my personal goal in working with students and recent high school graduates interested in military service. I believe that if someone is going to commit...
After seeing yet another student use paper and pen to figure out what the product of 10 and another number is I knew it was time to develop training to help students work out more math in their head, or "Mental Math".
I have developed a two session training product that introduces students to the benefits and advantages of Mental Math, specific techniques for what I consider to be the fundamental techniques EVERYONE should have available to them, and a quick game for solidifying the understanding of the concepts so that students can migrate to adoption of the techniques. Each session is either 2 hours or in the case of younger students about 1 to 1.5 hours depending upon the student's attention span (and the variability of a student's attention span on any given day) over three sessions. After the initial training parents and/or students can increase their Mental Math proficiency through recommended activities and challenges provided at the end of the training or with...
I just finished working with a freshman college student home from school after her first semester in a university engineering program. The student took Calculus in the fall and did not do as well as she would have liked, even though she had AP Calculus in High School. In a three week period I worked with her to identify her Calculus strengths, weaknesses and gaps. I then developed a customer development plan which we implemented over the course of her winter break that taught her what she did not already know and strengthen what she "sort of understood."
We worked through her school's practice final exam, ensuring that she not only understood how to do the work, but also understood the fundamentals in all of the areas that her school thought was important enough to include on the final exam. I introduced her to techniques that were not covered in her Fall class that will provide her with the ability to solve certain Calculus problems in a straightforward, repeatable manner...
I worked with an international student to increase her GMAT score enough to gain acceptance to the Business School of her choice. Our collaborative approach to increasing her score included proprietary approaches and techniques I developed in my own preparation for taking the GMAT in which I scored a 720, even though I had been out of school for more than 15 years.
I worked with a high school graduate to increase her core ASVAB score by 25% in six weeks. The improved score enabled her to swear into the Navy AND have a choice of more than 20 positions. My approach was to work collaboratively with the student and to take into account the way of preparing that worked best for her.
I worked with a graduate student to turnaround a failing grade to a B- by training the student in the use of Excel to graph Applied Behavioral Analysis data into graphs and following the guidelines and standards required by a leading Journal in the field.