Tag Archives: maths tuition

“K” is for Kinaesthetic Learner

Kinaesthetic Learner 3Not everyone learns the same way, and that creates problems in classrooms and at home.

As a generalisation, there are three types of learners: auditory, kinaesthetic, and visual.  These are the main channels of learning.  It’s a generalisation because, a person is more likely to be a combination of two (or more) rather than simply one, as in being purely an auditory learner.  How do you identify a kinaesthetic learner?

Kinaesthetic learners just want to touch and feel everything. As adults, their mates give them plenty of personal space because they just want to playfully thump them all the time.  Their house is a mess because they just want to collect and pull everything apart, just to see how it works.  Putting it together again may be another matter.  Does this sound like someone you married?

It is easy to identify an adult kinaesthetic learner, but how do you identify it in your child?

Well for starters, their teacher will be strongly suggesting you attend Parent Teacher Nights, so they can discuss how disruptive this young pupil is in the classroom.  They fidget, leave their seat to touch things, move things and find it difficult to sit and learn.  They may not even be aware of their movements as they are easily distracted by the movement of others, and want to investigate.

This student needs a hands-on approach to learning so sitting in class and listening, reading from a book, or even taking notes from the whiteboard is not the best way for them to learn.  They will respond better when learning is through participation, such as in chemistry experiments, or building a model. These students do well in sports, drama and live for school lunch breaks.  By the age of seven, they have been categorised as being an under-achiever, or worse still, hyperactive.  But fear not.

Being a kinaesthetic learner is not a problem, as approximately fifteen percent of the population are kinaesthetic learners.  The problem is our education system is geared towards auditory and visual learners, and kinaesthetic learners are the speed bump in our systems road to education.  What can you do?

For starters, accept them for who they are, healthy active children.  Give them down time after an active session, and reward them for the tasks they perform.  These guys may be reward driven.  Kinaesthetic learners do best with images so paint them a picture of what you want from them and give them regular breaks while studying.

Your student is likely to become an actor, dancer, physio-therapist, massage therapist, surgeon, mechanic, carpenter, P.E. teacher, athlete, farmer, etc.

The point is, be patient, give them space and let them grow…

 

XtraMile Tuition Strategies makes learning fun again

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“The Santa Clown” by Sebastian (aged 11)

Santa.jpgOn Christmas Eve, the McDermids decided to go to the shopping centre to buy presents. They already knew what they wanted to buy from watching television. Mr. and Mrs. McDermid saw Santa at the shopping centre and pointed, but the children thought he was a scary clown. They wanted to go straight home and that night, when they should have been asleep, the children got up to wait for Santa. It was the scary clown who came down the chimney with some presents.

Seb, aged 11. 

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“The Karate Master & The Undead Pirates” by Alex (aged 8)

PirateOne stormy night in the heart of the Antarctic Ocean, a Japanese karate master was yelling out “Half-Flesh Pirates!”  Then he boarded the wretched pirate ship and attacked the un-dead scavengers.  Soon the pirates were destroyed and their ship was blown into the Bear Cave where they were eaten by the zombie bear.  The Japanese karate master returned to train his young karate class.

Alex (aged 8)

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“Unicorn Guy” by Emlyn (aged 12)

unicornNow a ragged man in shabby clothes, Daryl, was unlike everyone else because he liked unicorns and loved to put posters of them in his room.  He was intrigued by the world of unicorns and he wanted to show the power of them, until he went bankrupt because he bought a concrete unicorn tiled with bright Fluro colours that was bigger than the Statue of Liberty.  Although he lost everything he owned, had nowhere to live, and only had the unicorn, Darrell was still overjoyed because he found his new home.  He climbed up the unicorn’s mane, swung into the mouth of the statue, and relaxed into the belly of the unicorn.  Now a man in shabby clothes lives in inside a unicorn.

Emlyn (aged 12)

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“J” is Just in Time

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 
 Nelson Mandela

Male Pupil Finding School Exam DifficultIs there a good time to seek out tutoring?  Does your son or daughter display any of these?

  • Lacks confidence with school work
  • Becomes distraught about going to school
  • Struggles with Maths
  • Reads without interest or understanding
  • Reads through punctuation marks or skip lines completely

Of course, these indicators are not the only signs for a cry for help.  Any change in behaviour or mood may be an indicator that moves you to further investigation.

One thing you should not do is shrug off these indicators as, “Oh, it is only a phase they are going through.” because chances are it is a phase they will not get through.  The cause, or trigger, of the change may vary from changing teachers to taking your children out of school for off-season holidays.  The latter has a considerable effect on children in Year 3, 5 and 7.

Years 3, 5 and 7 appear to be the years when new concepts are introduced in Maths, and probably other subjects.  But we, at the tuition room, see these years as the most influential to the student’s development.  Basically, a lot of new stuff is taught in Maths during these years.  Missing one or two weeks during the school period has a lasting and recurring effect on that area of knowledge through the following years.

Back to our original question, is there a good time to seek out tutoring assistance?

You would think Year 1 students would not require tutoring assistance, after all they have just started school and what have they learned?  Unfortunately, Prep is used to prepare children for Year 1 and it is at this stage they learn the simple things like singing the alphabet, counting to ten or twenty and spatial skills such as left, right, in front, under, first, second, last and inside and outside.  Even colouring in pictures helps to develop the fine motor skills required to hold a pencil to form letters while learning to write.  Sometimes children miss some concepts and this puts them behind during the first year because there is assumed knowledge in Year 1.  Yes, tuition does help to restore confidence to a Year 1 student.

It is always easier to help students who are in Year 2, 4 or 6 because these are the years before the next knowledge jump.  Catching them up in these years aligns their Maths knowledge for the next year jump in concept learning.  We have noticed the most distressed students who come to us are in Years 3, 5 and 7.

When is the best time to bring a student for tuition?  When you notice a change in behaviour that continues for more than two weeks.  There is generally a reason for that change and if it is related to learning then tuition may be your answer.  Having said that, it is never too late to seek out tuition.  We have had students in Year 8 that have received tuition to cover knowledge short falls from Year 5.  No, it is never too late to help a student who wants to be helped.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 
 Confucius

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“The Job” by Gabby (aged 13)

baboonA baboon woke up in his gold-covered bed and thought to himself, “I think I will become a nurse.”  Gregory went to the internet, searched www.getajob.com and found his dream job.  Two weeks later he got a call from a man with bad news. “We don’t employ baboons,” the man said.   “I say, that’s discrimination,” said Gregory in his gold-covered bed.

Gabby (aged 13)

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“The Red Belly Black” by Alex W (aged 8)

red-bellied-blackYesterday in the spooky forest, the snake catcher tried to catch the giant Red Belly Black but it bit him. He shrank to the ground and slithered into the bush. Now that he was a snake he was very happy because he never had to do his job ever again. Now that he was a snake he could bit his family so they could become snakes too and they wouldn’t accidentally kill him. Yesterday the snake catcher caught a great new life.

Alex W (aged 8)

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Hard Work Pays Off

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WHILE OTHERS ARE AT PLAY

School is well and truly under way and while some students had trouble adjusting to the new year a small group of them took it in their stride with new confidence.

This group of students was invited to attend a two week intensive tuition catch-up session during the Christmas break.  Initially they were not too happy about attending, after all it was the holidays, but we thought they would benefit from the intensive program designed to better prepare them for the new year.

Each of the students needed to move closer to being aligned to the school curriculum as they were moving into secondary education.  As it turned out most of them covered the equivalent of one year of school maths during those two weeks and all were happy to be at school understanding the maths they are being taught this year.

Every student who attended deserves a huge pat on the back for their efforts.  It never ceases to amaze me what a child will achieve when given the correct environment and opportunity.

 

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The Nice Teacher at the Fete – Jemima (aged 8)

TeacherWhen the last sounds of the Children’s laughter for the good chapel service faded away, Miss Lenet cleaned up her classroom for the toy shop at the fete.  She was the kindest teacher in the school and every kid liked her.  That night a robber stole all the toys in the class room.  The next morning she didn’t know what to do.  The older kids that were in her class a long time ago heard about it and they made toys which they took to their old teacher for the shop.  At the fete the kids laughed all day.

By Jemima (Aged 8)

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Tuition Tips – When they look at the work and don’t understand what is going on!

Eye Tracking“Why am I the only person in this class who doesn’t get this?” 

Eventually they begin to believe “I must be a real dummy I just don’t understand why I keep getting this wrong!”  Their self-confidence disintegrates and at times their behaviour will follow.  After all “What is the point of turning up every day if I can’t learn this?”

What is happening with this student?  What would happen if you saw the number zero as a one? For one thing sometimes five plus one will equal six and other times it will equal five.  If you are in primary school and just learning about numbers and maths these things will make it confusing.  You won’t understand why sometimes ten is ten and sometimes it is eleven. Everything will become an exercise in guess-work for you.

These students will also have trouble seeing decimal points, and fractions are just another language when your eyes skip over the line between the numerator and denominator.

That’s just maths.  When they read “was” it becomes “saw” and whole lines are skipped because the eyes didn’t see the line to read it.  By the time they are in Year 7 their reading comprehension is extremely low and there are gaps in their mathematics because fractions and decimals don’t exist.

Eye Tracking issues occur when the two eyes do not move smoothly and accurately across a line or from word to word.  The student will often lose their place while reading, skip lines, misread short words as in “was” and “saw” and cut off the beginnings and endings of words.

Eye tracking issues are usually corrected by visiting a Behavioural Optometrist who tests for the condition and prescribes glasses that are worn until the condition is corrected.  Normal optometrists do not usually check or test for this condition so if your student has glasses and their school work has not improved it may be time to visit the specialist.

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