1. Our favorite “aha!” moment with a student.
A: We had a high school student who was really struggling in his Algebra class at school. His actual math skills were 2-3 years behind which is part of the reason for his school struggles. Anyhow, we added some of Mathnasium's Algebra material into his learning plan. When we used our material to help him understand what he was learning in class, he was like "wow, why don't they just teach it that way in school". From that point on, his pace of catching up at Mathnasium doubled, and he had a strong school year. Once, he personally saw the value in what he was learning at Mathnasium that he fully bought into the program and changed his future.
2. A time when a student earned a reward.
A: It is not uncommon to have more than one student working towards and saving up for a big prize. There was one time when we had a student who was very vocal about saving for a particular reward. I remember it was a large and expensive arts and crafts kit. It was worth 150 cards and that required a lot of math. She was 2 cards away from buying it when another student got it. Oh, it was heart breaking, but only for a moment, as our center director found another one and added it to the reward case!
3. Positive parent experience.
A: We love it when parents take the time to send us letters of thanks. One of my most cherished is from a parent that was also an administrator here in NISD. Her letter was great and made the team feel all warm, fuzzy and appreciated. But at the time, it was early on and it really validated the work we were doing! It added proof that we had a place that traditional educators could feel comfortable sending their students for supplemental support.
4. Favorite ways to teach concepts.
A: Mathnasium makes math fun and easy. Our favorite is Bannapples. 2 Bananas + 2 apples do not make 4 Banapples. But it does make 4 fruits. This is a great intro to understanding fractions and adding like things. It allows us an opportunity to bring in vocabulary - denomination (de-name) of the fraction. To add unlike fractions, change the name. We do it all the time in real life. 1 Dime + 1 Nickel is 15 cents or 2 coins.
5. A time when a student scored well on a test.
A: We had a long-time student who had an older brother that did not need math help. Then, in his junior year of high school, he asked for our help to boost his SAT score. Mission accomplished! But the story does not end there. He was so impressed that he asked to be an instructor, and we hired him in his senior year! He went on to be an instructor at a center near the college he was attending in DFW.