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Help with Struggling Grade 4 Math Student


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After resisting for 2 years, I finally agreed to help tutor a struggling grade 4 student with her math. I'm not a teacher, the only thing I've been able to do well so far is to help my kids by afterschooling them. Although they attend public school, they really are doing well. The idea is that this young girl joins my two girls twice a week, and I will help tutor her. 


This young girl attends a local public school. Her parents have sent her to after school tutoring, including 2+ years of Kumon tutoring. I'm not sure why the tutors didn't see her struggle, her parents said that the tutors thought she was doing fine but her parents weren't so sure. 


She struggles beyond two digit additions and subtraction, multiplication and division is beyond her. I administered a MUS Alpha placement test and she scored around 70%. I sat and watched her do the test. It was very insightful and painful to watch, she made mistakes even on problems that she was capable of doing, went through the same problems 3-4 times (probably more if I didn't stop her), rubbed out her answers numerous times and relied heavily on finger counting. To me there seems to be a gap in her learning, she's not confident with her numbers or herself.


I started her on MUS Alpha and she's whizzing through that. She can count, add one digit numbers etc. But if you pose a problem out of the ordinary, like you would get with SM or Miquon, she would be stumped. I also have her do Miquon Math Level 1 book to help her get her head around numbers. It's been about 4 weeks now and I like Miquon better than MUS, mainly because I've used it on my two dd's and I know it works - it just needs time to sink in. I also have her read Life of Fred, because I wanted to instill confidence and hopefully reignite a passion for numbers.


Am I on the right path to helping this young girl?

Should I be doing anything else/anything different?



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MistyMountain, thanks for the suggestions. I've been talking to her parents about the possibility of her having dyscalculia after looking at Ronit Bird's site. I see in her all of the same symptoms identified by Ronit Bird.

We're going to try and get a professional assessment done, but it's hard to find help when people are clueless about what you're talking about.

In the meantime, I've ordered some of Ronit's resources to use to help her get a grip on her numbers.

Any suggestions moving forward?

Edited by EngOZ
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