Insights from a Mathnasium of Tracy Instructor

May 24, 2023 | Tracy

1. What is the most common thing you see in new students coming to Mathnasium for the first time?

A: We noticed some students have a misunderstanding about how some basic facts work, and that leads them to create shortcuts or methods that aren't always sound. For some students, math frustrates them, and they sometimes struggle to connect related topics in math - some have a fair understanding, but lack confidence.

2. If there was one thing you could tell parents before they bring their student to Mathnasium what would it be?

A: Make sure your child is onboard. We will help in making math fun and enjoyable, and supporting them along the way, but a closed mind that isn't ready to receive will not make gains. Also please be patient and have a persistent attendance. Progress is made everyday but overnight transformations do not occur.

3. What things do the most successful students have in common?

A: The most successful students come multiple times per week, are always paying attention, and ask questions. They never rush to get the answer, they always take their time and show their work properly.

4. What are some of the ways you teach math to your students?

A: We like to establish a visual intuition for what’s going on in a math problem. We draw pictures, models, graphs to help them understand a question, and also use real world analogies and examples to which students can relate to. With younger students we use manipulatives like base ten blocks, coins, fraction tiles, and more. Overall, a combination of both verbal teaching and modeling. Basically, we try to adapt to the students' learning style.

5. What do you think is the coolest thing about Mathnasium?

A: Seeing students grow through the grades, and their confidence and skill growing along with them. It's rewarding to see their attitude change from hating math and its confusing problems to loving math and asking for more questions. Some kids who never understood basic number facts are now becoming fluent in geometry and algebra. That is the best!