### made my day

Nov. 2nd, 2012 07:44 amIt really made my day.

I can't take all the credit. He's a bright lad and I only see him for an hour a week. I don't even work closely to the syllabus, just aim in the general direction of it. What I try and do is find the points where he's failing to understand something and keep working backwards until we hit the point where he's comfortable and start forward from there. When he's comfortable moving forward, we'll move pretty fast and take it in lots of directions and try and make it fun and slightly competitive.

I've found that boys respond a lot better to simple algebra problems if you let them roll dice to help generate random problems... It gives them control of the process and dice (especially lots of D4, D10, D20, etc) are fun.

And we always take a break mid-lesson to play dice poker for five mins. (because his attention span will be flagging by then and he always comes back better after the break)

The other thing that helped a lot is that his parents had drilled his tables perfectly into him. This means that he has a good intuitive sense for a lot of things. One thing I'm very keen on is making pupils estimate an answer before they start working on the question. (In C's case, we both estimate an answer, work out the question and then win a bead for whoever came closest). It's useful. Often now, he'll work it out, look at his estimate and - without me prompting him - go back and look to see where he went wrong.

Without that process, I find children will present totally crazy answers (out by several orders of magnitude) without really looking at them in relation to the original problem. It's a bit like working out how far someone walks to go to school and getting a result of 3cm and not considering that odd.