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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of materials and technology will I need?
    I customize each student’s curriculum based on the student’s needs. All resources used will be no cost to the student. All sessions will be conducted online over zoom. We will set up a shared GoogleDrive Folder and store GoogleJamboards in it, which are free virtual whiteboards that we can both write on simultaneously. Since these Google products work best with Google accounts, I request that the student sign up for a free Gmail account. One technique that works well is to use a phone to run the video conferencing, and use a laptop, computer or tablet to do our work on. A touch screen and/or stylus are great tools if you have access to them, but the mouse or a fingerpad on phone will work too.
  • What might you do in the very first session with a client?
    During the first session the student and I will put some intention into getting to know each other, in and out of school. I would like to learn about how the student feels about math and other courses. I will be asking about what has worked well in past math classes, strengths, challenges, and goals for our time together. We will develop a strategy for the topics we plan to cover. I will share about me, my teaching style, and my interests. We will try some sample problems using Zoom and GoogleJamboard, and gear up for our second session where we will dive deeper into the math content. It is helpful if the student has a GMail account set up in advance.
  • What are typical online sessions like with Infinite [R]evolution Tutoring?
    I like a light-hearted atmosphere, math doesn't always have to be so heavy. Our minds absorb more and process more when we are feeling relaxed. The mathematics content chosen for each session is personalized for each student, very fluid in nature, and paced at a level that is comfortable for the student. Since learning is infinitely evolving and revolving, I cycle in past concepts and foreshadow with future concepts. We typically have a review of the mathematics that we covered in a previous session, and I might have them work out a few problems as an informal assessment of content recollection and mastery level. When we are ready to move on to the next topic, problems are inspired by where our conversations have taken us, the student’s mastery level and misconceptions, and by what the student is learning in class if applicable. I sprinkle in positive feedback in the form of compliments, smiles, and praise throughout the entire session, to build confidence and help students feel good about the effort they are exerting.
  • How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
    I am constantly assessing the student’s needs throughout every moment of every session. The next problem is selected based on the mastery level and/or misconceptions of the previous one. I believe that in order to learn math, students have to SEE math, TALK math, and DO math. The more avenues that we can tap our brains, the better the chance for mastering the material. For example, to activate a visual learning style, I might have the student sketch a picture of the situation using colorful electronic pens. To activate a kinesthetic learning strength, I might have the student write out the steps to problems with words and symbols, or show with their hands the direction of a trend, slope or concavity, or move their bodies when they are feeling sluggish. I strengthen auditory learning by having students talk out the steps to their solution process, and I engage them by asking guiding questions without giving away answers, and we role play as if they are teaching the concept to a friend. Each student is different, so I try to invent a variety of creative and enjoyable ways for students to take account of their own learning.
  • If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?"
    At the heart of Infinite [R]evolution Tutoring is the belief that learning is infinitely evolving and revolving. I expect that a student will at times experience difficulty in learning a skill, I expect there will be forgetting. Therefore we will back up, review, and re-process the concept in a new light. I can provide simpler examples to warm-up to the challenging problem, and guide the student into uncovering the similarities and differences in the solving techniques between the two problems. I don't give required homework, unless a parent asks me to, because I want the student to take initiative in how deeply they want to dive into their own learning. We work at the student’s pace and revisit as often as necessary. Once the student achieves his/her “a-ha!” moment, I have them demonstrate and explain some more problems without my input so I can assess their level of mastery. Smile. Praise. Congratulate.
  • How would you help a student stay motivated?
    Through many years of experimentation with instructional approaches I found that best way to motivate students is to keep the learning environment interactive and fun. My teaching style can only be defined as “lecture” some of the time. Instead, I develop activities for the student such as incorporating virtual manipulatives to gain a tangible understanding, or having the student make a digital poster to summarize concepts before an assessment, or to have him/her role-play as the “teacher” when mastery is attained. Throughout all sessions, building a trusting relationship with good humor, positive atmosphere, and constructive feedback are all super important. I encourage the student to reward themselves for working hard with an activity that they enjoy. I discourage parents from rewarding with candy or money, as these are examples of extrinsic motivators, rather than the intrinsic reward of feeling good about getting better at math.
  • How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
    A student’s confidence in math always bolstered by the intrinsic reward of getting better at math. I put some intention into checking-in with the student at the start of our sessions so we can catch up on life in general and discuss a current or past math skill we have worked on. A metacognition practice we could incorporate is having the student rate their own feelings, confidence, mastery level and a world of other things on a scale of -100 to +100, and we can talk about it. While I will let a student know the mastery level I perceive they have on a skill, I will not be keeping grades or scores of any kind. Instead, I will provide honest feedback, tips, and suggestions. Since learning is infinitely evolving and revolving, we will cycle in past concepts and foreshadow with future ones. This will help the student take note of their own improvement. There lies a hidden treasure beneath the surface of initial perception, and we will uncover it together.
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