Sep 1

## Ask A Tutor Tuesday! – 9/1/2015

Question: I have an 8th grade student with difficulty memorizing the multiplication table. What would be a good strategy to ask a student to keep practicing after the session?

Thanks,
Dan

Hi Dan,

What often happens with students is that they understand the concept of multiplication, but they have trouble recalling multiplication facts quickly. To help your student improve his multiplication speed, encourage him to practice every day. If you see him once a week, then give him flash cards so that someone can test him or he can test himself. You can make these cards together in one of your sessions. Encourage him to mix the flash cards so he can see if he truly know his facts.

When you have a session with your student, have him practice memorizing the multiples of each number. For example, if he needs to memorize the 3’s, then have him remember 3, 6, 9, and so on. Then help him make the association that if he needs to know a question such as 3×5, then he simply has to remember 3, 6, 9, 12, and finally 15. Your student can also practice memorizing these multiples on his own.

Another strategy is to have your student use addition or subtraction to figure out the answer of a multiplication fact. For example if he needs to know 3×9 and he already knows the answer of 3×10, then all he has to do is subtract (30-3) rather than remembering the multiples. Below, you will find some multiples worksheets I made for my elementary school students which have helped them to memorize their multiplication facts.

Last, be patient with your student and offer lots of encouragement. It may take some time before he learns all of his multiplication facts. Good luck!

Best,
Natalie

About the Tutor: Natalie Platon possesses seven years of experience working with K-12th grade students in different capacities and is currently finishing her multiple subjects teaching program with CSU Los Angeles. She has a deep passion for working in diverse and underserved communities and has worked in after-school programs, tutoring organizations, shelters, and schools.

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Aug 25

## Ask A Tutor Tuesday! – 8/25/2015

Question: I’m a new tutor and I’m nervous about attending my first session. I’ve never tutored before and I’m not sure what to expect. My student is 15 and is starting 10th grade. Do you have any tips for breaking the ice?

-Nervous in Region 4

Hi, Nervous in Region 4!

First sessions are always the toughest. I’d suggest doing an activity with your new student that allows him/her to feel comfortable and, at the same time, allows the two of you to get to know each other. In the past, I brought an inexpensive composition book and told my student that this would be her tutor notebook. Along with the notebook, I brought two old magazines from home, scissors and glue. At our first session, I told her we’d personalize the outside cover of the notebook with words, phrases or pictures from the magazines. It only took about 15 or 20 minutes, but I really got to know a lot about her based on what she chose to put on the cover. We were also able to have a comfortable conversation about what should or shouldn’t go on the notebook, which really broke the ice. During future sessions, she used it as a writing journal; other times we’d use it as scratch paper, and sometimes she used it to to write example problems in case she got stuck when I wasn’t there. The tutor notebook became a really practical tool for my student and personalizing it together helped us both feel more comfortable right from the start.

Good luck!

Jackie

About the tutor: Jackie Romo has been a School in Wheels tutor for nearly 9 years. Aside from tutoring, she teaches first grade in Rowland Heights and recently earned a Master of Science in reading. She is happy to help in any way she can to make your tutoring sessions successful!