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ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MATH TUTORS
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With Staten Letters’ elementary math tutoring, students are assessed using several researched-based programs, such as the EasyCBM and Go Math. These are great tools that allow us to see if your child is caught up to speed with their elementary math skills (click here to see the skills as broken down per grade level).
What is Multisensory Math?
Multisensory math is a three-dimensional sequential way to learn math. Everyone can benefit from multisensory math particularly those who struggle with math.
The Orton-Gillingham approach is a multisensory approach to teaching literacy. It involves using auditory, visual, sensory, and kinesthetic elements to help elementary math students understand the connection between language and letters or words.
Multisensory math applies the same principles to mathematics instruction. It encourages the use of touch, sight, hearing, and movement–when learning and teaching a new concept. Marilyn Zecher, M.A., CALT, a certified academic language therapist and specialist, speaker, and former classroom and demonstration teacher, expanded and developed this approach further. She applied and combined the Orton-Gillingham Approach with evidence-based practices based on neuro-imaging studies and NCTM and What Works Clearinghouse recommendations.
Zecher emphasizes the language of math, stressing that the language of instruction is crucial during the process of concept formation and developing skills towards application. Multisensory math uses the Concrete, Representational, and Abstract (CRA) instructional sequence and explicit language to help learners grasp elementary math concepts more effectively.
To ensure effective elementary math instruction using the multisensory math approach, learners must be taught explicitly, practice skills consistently, and learn new concepts through CRA.
Concrete (Touch) – This aspect of multisensory math refers to touch. Teachers use tangible objects to represent concepts or numbers, such as breaking apart foam shapes (or using other manipulatives) to demonstrate fractions.
Representational (Drawing) – After concrete or tactile demonstration, teachers can then introduce the representational or drawing aspect. This technique encourages students to create their own visualization of the concept learned. It also aids students to facilitate their own connections and allows them to write down what they are thinking.
Abstract (Symbols) – Once they have fully understood the lesson introduced and built up during Concrete and Representational, the next stage is the abstract or symbols sequence. Traditionally, teachers introduced elementary math lessons using only abstract concepts (numbers and symbols). And while this has worked for some, other learners find it difficult to grasp math ideas without concrete or visual representation.
Elementary Math Concepts that Learners Should Master
According to Zecher, learners must master four conceptual horizons in elementary math that lay down the foundation for higher levels of math. These are:
- Pattern Recognition and Subitizing – Being able to identify quantity instantly or subitizing is a key concept in math and is one of its foundations. The best way to see quantity is through patterns. Having the ability to visualize numbers is crucial in developing a strong number sense. It opens the path to operational fluency and understanding number relationships. An example of subitizing would be recognizing dice patterns: One can visually identify the number or quantity without having to count or tap each dot. Likewise, it is also important to recognize number bonds and understand that numbers can be decomposed or broken down (such as 8 into 3 and 5 or 2 and 6).
- Place Value – Using craft sticks is a great way to teach place value using multisensory math techniques. As the number gets larger, learners can see the quantity change and feel a heavier weight. Likewise, it helps learners visualize the difference between a number’s standard (the number’s name = 125) and expanded form (what it is made of = 100 + 20 + 5).
- Distributive Property – This refers to a learner’s ability to act on larger quantities and understanding that those quantities can be broken apart or decomposed and act on those numbers. To illustrate, consider 15 x 3. Learners must first understand that 15 can be decomposed into 10 and 5. They can then distribute (multiply) 3 and add those quantities to find the product of 15 x 3.
- What is ONE and all its many names – This refers to the concept that any number written over itself is equivalent to one. Hence, multiplying or dividing by some form of one only changes the composition of the quantity and not the quantity itself.
Getting Started on Multisensory Elementary Math Techniques
Multisensory teaching methods were first applied in literacy and reading instruction. But over the years, learning specialists have found that the same multisensory approach can also be effectively used when teaching math. In particular, when it is applied in elementary math using the CRA framework.
To get started with multisensory math, it is important to take advantage of skills that a learner has already mastered. From there, new concepts can be introduced using the CRA method. Using manipulatives is integral in multisensory math, especially in elementary math instruction, but these do not need to be expensive. Some items commonly used are:
- Craft sticks
- Beads and string
- Base ten blocks
- Interlocking cubes
- Color tiles
- Foam stickers
- Flat marbles
- Dice/Dominoes (only up to six)
Here are some multisensory techniques for teaching elementary math:
- Visualizing with manipulatives such as beads, color tiles, or blocks is an excellent technique to teach basic operations like addition and subtraction. By seeing how quantities change, young learners get a better understanding of how math operations work. Visualization also helps children understand amounts and develop number sense.
- Using cubes or tiles to build shapes lets children have a concrete and physical representation of measurements and properties.
- Drawing math problems is an excellent way to reinforce hands-on activities as it lets children illustrate their thinking and the concept they learned.
- Tapping out numbers allows children to “feel” the value of numbers. It helps students better understand and make connections between symbols and actual amounts.
- Using songs to help memorize math rules and introduce new concepts.
- Incorporating movement into math through play and games
- Using bundling sticks or coffee stirrers to teach regrouping and place value. This can also be done using base ten blocks.
- Using a hundreds chart is an excellent way to teach number relationships to children.
- Cutting pizza into slices to introduce and teach the concept of fractions. By cutting up a paper or cardboard pizza, you allow children to see what fractions look like as they select slices.
Find more multisensory math and elementary math information and resources here:
Our math tutors can help your child with the following:
Number Lines – A number line is the visual representation of numbers such as fractions, integers, and whole numbers. The numbers are laid out evenly on a straight line, which allows students to picture number sequences. Number lines can be used to compare and order numbers as well as to demonstrate techniques for counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.
Addition – As one of the basic arithmetic operations, addition is defined as combining two or more groups of objects into a single group. In math, addition refers to the sum or total of two or more numbers. Learners must also understand the properties of addition in order to work with numbers more effectively.
Subtraction – Subtraction refers to the mathematical operation where an amount is taken away from the total. Like addition, subtraction possesses properties that are key in mastering the operation. Identity property and inverse operations both apply to subtraction. However, it is neither commutative or associative.
Division – This operation refers to the process of sharing a number into smaller groups or distributing into equal parts. It is the inverse operation of multiplication. The commutative and associative properties of real numbers do not apply to division.
Multiplication – In math, multiplication refers to finding the result of two or more numbers by adding the numbers repeatedly. A multiplication sentence contains a multiplicand (the number multiplied by another number), multiplier (the number by which it is multiplied), and the product or result of multiplying. Multiplication possesses the commutative, associative, identity, and distributive properties.
Fractions – Fractions are a way of splitting numbers into equal parts. It consists of a numerator, or the number of equal parts counted, and a denominator that represents the total number of equal parts in one whole. Fractions are classified into three types: proper, improper, and mixed fractions.
Decimals – A decimal is a way to write fractions. It consists of a whole number and a fraction of a whole number (any part less than 1) separated by a dot or decimal point. Decimals are expressed in the scale of tens (tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and so on).
MATH TUTORS IN STATEN ISLAND
Orton Gillingham Trained
Natalie Lombardo is a New York State Licensed Teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and Masters in Literacy from St. John’s University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She has worked with students for over 16 years and has a passion for working with students struggling with math in grades K-6. She has provided instruction using the Go Math and Everyday Math Programs. She specializes in test prep for grades 3-6. She is a part of her school’s instructional team and is involved in curriculum planning and writing.
Natalie believes that ALL children can learn and uses a multisensory approach and individualized instruction to ensure success. She uses her training, evaluation of the student’s needs and experience to develop a curriculum tailored to each child. She keeps her students engaged by using multisensory materials and student interest. Natalie also specializes in Executive Function Coaching. She assists students to focus, develop organizational skills, plan and prioritize, and time management. She also provides enrichment to students who demonstrate advanced abilities and help them reach their full potential. She helps students set individual learning goals and works with the parents to help her students achieve these goals and develop a love for learning.
LOCATION: Staten Island TYPE OF SERVICES: Math intervention, math enrichment & test prep AGES: Pre school through grade 6
NY State Early Childhood and Students with Disabilities (B-2)
Tamara is a veteran early childhood educator with over 25 years of experience in the field. She holds an MST and MsEd from Fordham University, an MBA, and an Ed.D from Johns Hopkins University where she researched the impact adults have on children’s social/emotional development.
Tamara taught kindergarten for over 10 years, with experience in Pre-K, and first grade. She has also worked one-on-one with students from 2 to 20 years old in all areas of literacy acquisition, including phonics, phonemic awareness, writing, fluency and comprehension. She has been trained in Wilson, Fundations, Fountas and Pinnell, the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project, Reading Rescue and Reading Recovery and is currently the Associate Director of Professional Learning for Reading Rescue.
Tamara’s methods of instruction focus on the reading science through a multisensory approach to instruction, as well as on the fun. She prides herself on students LOVING her sessions. She works with students on not only their literacy skills, but also focusing on their self-esteem and comfort level so they are prepared to take their learning back to their classrooms. She has experience working with students with various needs including ADHD, autism, anxiety, behavior disorders, and dyslexia.
Tamara has experience working with pre-K through fifth-grade math curricula. She supports students in developing all aspects of mathematics using a multi-sensory approach. Students use real-world situations and manipulatives to not only learn the HOW of math concepts, but also the WHY. Tamara has experience working with Everyday Math, Go Math, Singapore Math, and state test prep.
In addition to literacy support, Tamara provides test prep, executive functioning skills coaching, as well as study skills.
LOCATION: Brooklyn: Downtown Brooklyn, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights; Manhattan: Upper West Side, Midtown West, Chelsea, The Village, Financial District; Staten Island; Bronx; New Jersey: Bergen and Hudson counties
TYPE OF SERVICES: Individualized reading instruction, test prep, executive functioning, study skills, parent consultation, and coaching
EXPERTISE: Early childhood education, special education, early literacy acquisition, social/emotional development
AGES: birth through elementary school