Here’s a simple example of how an online maths tutorial works – showing the tutor and the tutees’s actions on the iPad and how they interact with each other.
Learning fractions addition and subtraction visually is a great way to secure fractions numeracy
Fractions lend themselves to be taught online very well, enabling both tutor and tutee to colour in boxes, rub them out, add them up and simplify the answers.
Below is a screenshot from a recent tutorial I had with a Y3 child who has just begun to learn about fractions.
It is great to see a child suddenly understand that four eighths is the same as a half.
Often a couple of fractions tutorials BEFORE a child starts to learn fractions at school gives them a HUGE advantage in understanding the basics which will enable them to not only keep up with the class, but often to lead the class and the homework.
In the UK the beginning of Secondary School is Year 7 when children are typically 11 years old. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare over the summer holiday before starting.
Read a lot
A visit online or to your favourite book store is useful to start reading books which are a notch more difficult than what your child may have been used to. Of extra value are non-fiction books such as encyclopaedias covering subjects such as Geography and History.
Following on from the point above, listening to audio books (fiction and non-fiction) aimed at early teens is a useful way to help increase vocabulary and the complexity of sentence structure.
Yes I hate to say, but buying a few Year 7 / KS3 workbooks is a good idea – not to finish but at least to have a go and to understand some of the key concepts especially in Maths. Always useful is to start working on more complex algebra and geometry.
It almost doesn’t matter what a child wants to write about, but it is worth a child spending a good amount of time every week over the summer holiday writing about anything. It’s useful to mix this 50/50 writing by hand and writing on a computer. This is also a useful time to build vocabulary and practice more complex sentence structures.
Compared to Primary School there’ll be a lot more work at school and home work, so you’ll need to figure our what works best for your child in terms of keeping track of everything. I’m a fan of using post-it notes on the wall above a child’s desk to keep track of Mon-Fri and also Sat & Sun for the homework schedule. A whiteboard is also a great idea which enables the child to draw out their own organisation.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils. Often referred to as the concrete, representational, abstract framework, CPA was developed by American psychologist Jerome Bruner. It is an essential technique within the Singapore method of teaching maths for mastery.
The approach to maths education in Primary Schools used in Singapore since 1981 is based on the work of Jerome Bruner – an American psychologist.
Bruner developed a technique called “CPA” which stands for Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract”.
This means that children are first introduced to maths using concrete objects such as cubes, balls and the wonderful Cuisenaire rods developed in the 1950’s.
Once children have established a mathematical understanding of shapes, sizes and their relation with each other they can move on to Pictorial, which means drawings such as geometric shapes used in workbooks.
The pictorial phase also includes the ability to read charts and understand fractions and ratio’s visually.
The final stage is abstract, which means that maths is reduced to symbols which represent numbers, shapes and operators etc. This includes algebra but also includes things like degrees of a circle, fractions and percentages etc.
All this reinforces the case for visual learning which is delivered very well by online tutoring.
Still not convinced?
In the fifteen years since Singapore adopted Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach it has topped the global Maths achievement tests in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007 and in all other years come very close to the top.
When a child draws on their touch-screen their mind lights up connecting visuals with maths and understanding.
More useful even than writing on paper, a drawing on a touch-screen can be erased and redrawn lots of times with clarity.
If a child makes a mistake it is easy for the tutor to draw over it, correct it, then rub it out and ask the child to redraw and explain it as they go.
I have observed many times that by drawing a fraction, a percentage or a chart makes a huge difference in the child’s ability to not only understand a concept but to also recall it later.
Email the Tutor Dragon to secure a free twenty minute maths tutorial session which will be online using a shared whiteboard.
Before the session you should email an example of school work or home study with which your child may be struggling and need help. This will give purpose to the free session and make it of use to you.
All you need is a touch-screen laptop, iPad or similar and ideally a stylus so the child can interact with the whiteboard.
Very pleased to announce we’re starting online maths tutorials with clients in Hong Kong.
Sessions are run out of London starting at 6AM London time which is currently 1PM in Hong Kong.
We accept payment in HKD via a PayPal link.
Please get in contact if you are interested in booking a free introductory session, which will help check the technology works for you.
As a reminder, you need a touch-screen device like an iPad or laptop with a touch screen, and a stylus which is easier to use than trying to do maths with your finger.
We are switching to Whiteboard Fox which is proving to be an easier shared whiteboard platform to use in conjunction with an internet call – e.g. Skype or WhatsApp.
To make sure this works for you please try clicking here (no registration or login required).
We’re very pleased to announce our Excel and Money tutorials for Year 6.
The tutorials begin with a refresher about money – e.g. units, calculations etc which transfer into looking at saving, spending, discounts (percentages), as well as how to set saving goals and what interest is.
The tutorials also include some Excel work such as that shown in the picture above.
The tutorials are flexible so if the child wants to focus on the money or Excel aspects we can cater for that. For example if the child wants to focus entirely on Excel we can run tutorials for example on data, formulas and charts, up to and including Visual Basic (similar to Python).
No prior experience of Excel is required, although you should have it installed on your laptop at home (we recommend a Chromebook if your child does not already have a laptop).
Please contact us for a free introductory session:
Schools are increasingly adopting Python as the programming language of choice. As well as online maths tuition, Tutor Dragon offers Python tutoring and support.
Python is called an “interpreted” language so you can run it over a browser if you don’t want to install a full IDE (Integrated Development Environment). For example:
x = 1
print “x = ” + str(x)
x = x + 100
print “Now x = ” + str(x)
Python should work using a browser on Windows, Apple and Chrome – to get off the ground try pasting the above few lines of code into pythonfiddle.com and click “Run”:
Python is a high-level language and is very easy to learn form scratch which is probably why many schools globally use it as the standard language to learn in the classroom rather than say Java, C++ or Visual Basic (VB).
If your child needs any help with python please contact us for a free introductory session: