Students of the Month – September 2015
Region 3 – Westside
– Lilly, 5th Grade. Lilly is truly a shining star! I met Lilly at the tail end of the 1st grade, and now she has recently entered the 5th grade. We have gone from stuffed animals to an iPad, from Princess Cowgirl to songwriter, from tears to laughter, with many great adventures along the way. At every session, whether helping with homework or using tutorial materials from the SOW website, I am constantly called to be innovative and speak to Lilly’s native intelligence and her often experiential learning style. We have used an imaginary restaurant setting to learn math and money skills, used card games such as “21” for math and strategy skills, created games involving blocks, action figures and Lilly’s huge imagination to help with estimating measurements and creating logical narratives, created similes and metaphors that speak to Lilly, written a song about Tennessee and used a good old fashioned map to trace Lilly’s day. Lilly loves to sing and has performed for me quite frequently. And she has natural drawing talent that seems to creep into every lesson. Lilly also loves to eat and cook – recipe books have roamed into our lesson plans. Sometimes I question whether Lilly is understanding a math concept, and then several weeks later, I find she has mastered it. She is a “stealth learner”. Sometimes Lilly can get overwhelmed when presented with unfamiliar material, so I have learned not to pressure her. Lilly has taught me the value of being spontaneous in teaching, incorporating real life examples and not to sweat the small stuff. My favorite moments of tutoring are when Lilly quietly says, “Can I tell you something?” I know she is really asking me a life skills question, and it is important for her to be heard. The funniest moment was when I had a lot of stubble on my face one session (thinking to grow a beard) and she said, “What is wrong with your face!?” I shaved that same night.
Peter Westermayer, Tutor
Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park
– Andres, 2nd Grade. Andres is seven years old and an enthusiastic second grader! Andres has been working with Daisy since the beginning of this year. They have tackled math, reading and writing during their tutoring sessions. Andres is a great student who is working to improve his math skills and is making great progress. He continually shows that he is able to work hard and try his best. We are very proud to recognize Andres as the Student of the Month for September! Keep up the great work!
Lancella Hunter, Regional Coordinator
Region 6 – Inland Empire
– Dontavion, 10th Grade. I nominated Dontavion for Student of the Month because he is an energetic and motivated student who always comes to our sessions with a smile on his face. He’s funny, ambitious, and brings new perspectives to every discussion we hold. His dream is to become an actor, and his hard working nature and positive attitude will definitely help him achieve his dream!
Mathangi Suresh, Tutor
Region 8 – Ventura County
– Ruby, 9th Grade. Ruby, besides being a Raiders fan, is a consummate organizer. Despite being the youngest in the house, she is the first to jump into a project, pull out her homework, do more than was asked, and be the one helping someone else. She is a positive and energizing student!
Eileen Vocke, Tutor
Region 10 – South Orange County
– Shaury and Zizzy. I have been working with Zizzy and Shaury on math over the summer. They are sisters and both understand math concepts very well. I was surprised that they would often come to incorrect solutions to problems. As we reviewed their work step by step, we figured out they were lacking some of the basic fundamentals that they missed during one of their moves to a new school. Once we reviewed these basics, they caught on very quickly and their problem solving abilities were tremendously improved. It has been a pleasure working with Zizzy and Shaury, and I am proud of their efforts during the summer.
Tsuyoshi Johnson, Tutor
Region 12 – North Orange County
– Jonathan, 1st Grade. I have had the privilege of tutoring my learning partner, Jonathan, this summer and am excited that he is being recognized as Student of the Month for being an active participant in our tutoring sessions. Each week Jonathan is eager to learn and engage in any activity that I bring for him. It is evident that Jonathan truly enjoys learning.
Although he was hesitant about mathematics at first, Jonathan’s attitude towards the content changed from apprehensive to positive. I quickly learned that he has a strong interest in drawing and coloring. Incorporating his interest in visual art into the mathematics lessons became an effective instructional tool. I know that Jonathan will have continued success in first grade because of his eagerness to learn and commitment to education!
Naomi Sunshine, Tutor
– Railene, 6th Grade. When we had our first session with Railene, she was very shy. After many more sessions, she has bloomed into this funny, outgoing girl. Over the past several months, we’ve taught Railene how to multiply and divide big numbers, and she has improved so much since our first session together. However, it wasn’t always easy! One time we were writing down problems for Railene to do. When she saw them, she said, “NO, NOT DIVISION!” and we all laughed. Now she is a lot more comfortable with math. We also read together from time to time to improve her reading skills. We’re so happy to be able to catch Railene up with some of the skills she needs to help her thrive this next school year, and we’re even happier to continue tutoring Railene for as long as we possibly can.
Sophia Batalha & Natasha Batalha, Sisters & Online Tutors