Ella slouched in, accompanied by her mother and younger sister. Her face and body language communicated the message ‘I don’t want to be here!’ As her new math tutor, I had witnessed this many times – parents insisting that the child get help, while the kids showed every sign of rebellion.
“I’m just not good at math.”
As a math tutor, I hear it pretty often, from parents and from kids: “I’m just not good at math.”
A lack of confidence in math can hinder achievement and learning. And because math is ‘The Jenga’ subject, problems mastering the fundamentals early on can make your tower topple as the more advanced concepts get tougher.
People naturally gravitate toward doing things they are good at. Ella loves history, golf, swimming and hunting for frogs. She avoided math because she was ‘not good at it.’
So what’s the solution?
At Calculating Minds Math Learning Center, we know what is being taught at every grade level. We take the time to understand each individual student, where they are performing in math, and we develop personalized plans to help close any learning gaps.
How does it work?
We ensure children have a solid foundation by identifying gaps, understanding your child’s learning needs, meeting them where they are, and taking them where they need to go. More often than not, students get frustrated in math because they have not yet mastered a fundamental math concept or can’t grasp how the current topic is being taught. We assess the situation and use a unique path for each student.
We’ll teach each student how to approach mathematics and avoid frustration. Learning how to learn is often the key to success. We teach our students how to approach lessons so they don’t become overwhelmed or frustrated.
What is the secret to our success?
We make math fun! Calculating Minds keeps students excited about math. Incorporating fun, movement-based activities and math games can increase student understanding and achievement and decrease math negativity. Taking students away from frustrated, unsuccessful feelings leads to a positive, happy, “I can do math!” confident approach.
Unlike some tutoring centers, we don’t just plop students down in front of a computer or tablet to have them work on math. Our sessions include taking notes, discussing topics, working on problems together and math activities. Our tutors are truly teaching math.
Why get a math tutor?
Calculating Minds Math tutors are experts in their field, which means that they know the topics and strategies your child is learning and will help them work through hair tugging and groan-worthy classwork and homework problems.
Having a math tutor is a great stepping-stone. Your child develops a rapport with the tutor and can turn to them with their questions. They are comfortable knowing that it’s okay to seek help and can ask questions in a safe place.
It is exciting to know there is a way to shift the paradigm and start hearing students say they are good at math!
“My favorite subjects are math and history. I especially like long division.”
After four sessions with her tutor, Ella began to enjoy coming to Calculating Minds. She told her mom, “I can’t wait to show Miss Morgan my long division problems!” She came in each week smiling and eager to learn, and her pride in her math ability was apparent to everyone!
Prior to her school year beginning, her new classroom teacher collected an interest survey. On the survey, she asked students for their favorite subjects. Ella wrote that her favorites were math and history, and she especially likes long division!
About the Owners:
Dee Morgan, one of the owners of Calculating Minds Math Learning Center, has been in education for 38 year as a teacher, an administrator, coach and mentor in both public and private schools. Retiring from public school, Dee wants to continue learning and teaching math. Working with kids from grades pre-K to high school has given her perspective into what motivates students, as well as insight into their frustrations.
Dee graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Education. She furthered her education with a degree in Educational Administration from the University of Redlands in California. Outside of teaching and learning, Dee enjoys reading, board games, old movies and swimming.
Amy Finch is a co-owner of Calculating Minds of Knoxville, your neighborhood math learning center. She has been an educator for many years, having taught Pre-K through High School Math.
Amy has spent her life learning and teaching math at all levels. She enjoys working with kids, and has a deep understanding of the struggles and challenges kids face with math and applying those skills to real world situations.
Amy knows what motivates students and what will make them feel successful. Having heard many times that students “hate” math, she wants to help these students. The goal at Calculating Minds is to create a love of learning math to help students feel confident and to develop a sense of accomplishment as they continue on their own learning path.
Amy’s highest level of degree is Educational Specialist and Administration. She received her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and did my graduate studies at Lincoln Memorial University. She is married to her husband Dave, and has three sons. She enjoys spending time with family and watching them all grow and realize their dreams.