MATH TUTORING SERVICES
MATH AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING
Executive functioning is a buzzy word for organization. It's an umbrella term that includes having a realistic sense of time, sequencing, and cause and effect. I like to look at it in both macro-scale and micro-scale terms.
On the macro-scale, students with good cognitive control are able to get all their materials together to sit down and do their homework independently with enough time to complete the evening’s tasks. They don’t forget the resources they need at school or at home, and they are able to quickly find assignments, folders, and notebooks. They are able to set up and follow action plans over extended periods of time for bigger projects such as writing a lab report or studying for a test, and they don’t leave things until the last minute. They are able to keep track of assignment due dates, and hand things in on time.
On the micro-scale, students with good cognitive control are able to work clearly and sequentially through multi-step problems that require many operations or rules. They use the space on the page appropriately. They don’t skip steps in problem solving, superimpose numbers on top of each other, or forget to write things down. They have good hand eye coordination, and the size of their writing stays fairly consistent size across the page.
Sometimes a messy backpack is just a messy backpack. Every kid is different. However, if you're noticing that you child is having a tricky time with any of the above skills, they need some coaching and organizational support. Strong executive functioning doesn't just build happier more confident math learners, it ensures that students have a good framework in place to better handle increased workloads when more challenging science and math courses come along in high school.
HOW I HELP WITH EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING
WHY LEARNING MATH IS IMPORTANT
If you’ve read my science tutoring page, you know I firmly believe that every subject you study in school equips you with different approaches to problem solving that you carry with you for life. Organizing your thinking for math processing is the cornerstone to successfully acquiring these skills. When you learn math, you’re learning how to manage multi-step processes in what is essentially another language, and it’s not always easy.
Students often ask the question “but when am I ever going to use this?”. We’ve probably all experienced The Pythagorean Theorem, The Quadratic Equation, or some other random discreet piece of math knowledge popping into our heads at random times in our adult lives. While the equations themselves aren’t helpful or practical on the surface, there was more going on than you may have given yourself credit for when you learned them. When you learned the Pythagorean Theorem, you learned how to work with proportional pieces of information in groups, to see the relationships between them, and how they function together. When you learned the Quadratic Equation, you learned how to solve previously unsolvable factoring problems. The list goes on. For every discreet piece of information you learn in math, there’s a network of connections in your brain that developed along with it. Parents often call me for upper school science tutoring and tell me that their child is having a hard time “because of the math”. Sometimes they are. Missing pieces is a real thing. However, more often than not, what they’re really having a hard time with is the math thinking and not so much the math doing. I like to think of math as a brain gym and enjoy building math muscle memory that doesn't go away.
WHY CHOOSE MARQUIS TUTORING TO SUPPORT MATH DEVELOPMENT
Math is one of the only subjects that starts in kindergarten and continues throughout senior year. I’ve been a math tutor for students as young as 4th grade up through pre-calculus in 11th grade. Additionally, I've been tutoring upper school biology, chemistry, and physics for over 10 years. This means that I know how learners develop each year, what skills build at which levels, and the spectrum of ability at different grade levels. Most importantly, I know how foundational math and executive functioning skills affect learning outcomes in high school, and what needs to be done to fill in the blanks. My math sweet spot is catching and remediating processing glitches that start to present in Algebra. When your child works with me as their math tutor, I concentrate on who they are, and understand what fundamentals they lack that may hold them back. I use this information to teach them what they need to learn in the way they learn best. When math skills become life skills, students are set up for a successful cross divisional high school career.
WHY DOES AN NYC MATH TUTOR MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The NYC private school system is one of the most academically rigorous and competitive in the world, and some of our public schools’ graduate students with college credit already under their belts. New Yorkers are a different breed. Our goals can be a little more ambitious, our courses can be a little more advanced, and our students are often aiming for top tier universities. While there are thousands of great tutors out there, only a New York City tutor understands this unique landscape and how to accommodate student’s social emotional well-being in this environment. I work with students across the country via Zoom. Believe it or not, most high school students prefer this. But for those that don’t, being based in NYC means I can come to your home in select areas of Manhattan or Brooklyn for in-person sessions.
I have a long history of working as an organizational tutor, and coaching kids with alternative thinking patterns to develop lasting pathways to learning. Any math tutor should be able to teach content, and this alone is better than nothing. That said, unless scaffolding is built simultaneously, the chances of the material sticking enough for students to work problems independently will be low. It’s like dumping a bunch of scrabble tiles onto a table with no rules, no personal tiles, and no board to play on, and then saying “ok, now go win the game!”.
On the macro-scale, I collaborate with students to create a system of note-taking, scheduling, and information storage (tests, quizzes, homework, etc.) that works for them. On the micro-scale, one of my favorite skills to build with neurodivergent students is an awareness of when their thinking might start to run ahead of them, and re-set. For most of us, this is usually as simple as taking a deep breath, but for kids that have executive functioning challenges, and especially those with co-existing ADHD, fine motor, or sensory processing symptoms, that doesn’t always do the trick. I use the awareness of these moments to teach students skills to head off confusion or frustration at the pass so they can self-regulate, stay organized in their thoughts, and keep the momentum to be productive in their work.
AVAILABILITY AND SERVICE AREAS
Monday – Thursday 4:00p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (E.S.T.)
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (E.S.T.)
Sunday 10:00 a.m.- 8 p.m. (E.S.T.)
I work with students in their homes in Manhattan below 86th street and in central Brooklyn, but I don't choose neighborhoods, they choose me. This means I travel to you or Zoom based on bookings, and the early bird gets the worm. Priority for in-person sessions is given to students that need an Algebra tutor to help develop stronger executive functioning skills.
I provide detailed feedback at the end of every month with your invoice, but that doesn’t mean I’m not available for chats in the interim if need be. Email me anytime! Sometimes, Im able to call you back right away, but if I'm not, I will always get back to you by the end of the day to set up a time to speak.
For support teams:
For students that have an IEP, 504, accommodation based on a neuropsych evaluation, etc., it's important for their team to be on the same page. I'm happy to include school learning specialists or other professionals involved in your child's learning on progress reports if that's your choice. Additional meetings at the school or phone calls with support teams are charged at your session rate.
I don’t work with students per se, but rather with families supporting the long term science and math needs of all siblings in the household. Each families' circumstances are unique, so rates reflect that. Your rate depends on a lot of factors: how many kids, what grade level, in person vs online, and if in-person, which neighborhood? However, to give you a ballpark, my rate will never be less than $120 or more than $220 for 1-on-1 sessions.
MATH TUTORING FOR KIDS SWITCHING SCHOOL SYSTEMS
Freshman year is a year of transition for students. The volume of the work load is heavier. The type of work is more challenging ... and that's for kids that are staying in their same K-12 for high school. For a lot of students this year also means switching schools. Sometimes this just means acclimating to a new social circle at another private school, and sometimes it means switching school systems entirely. There are lots of pros and cons to both the public and private school systems in NYC, but there are a couple of important things to consider when switching schools.
Moving to a private school or specialized public school
In general, the math curriculum in private schools and specialized public high schools is a year ahead of the general public system. This means that students in public schools often take Algebra in 9th grade, but this course is usually already completed in 8th (or sometimes even 7th) grade in private schools. If you have a smarty pants on your hands that got a place in a specialized public high school (Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, etc.), or you have decided to move into the private system for high school, they will need to fill in the Algebra gap with tutoring.
Moving from a private school to a specialized public school
Classroom sizes are smaller in private schools. There is more opportunity for students to get individual attention, and for parents to have access to teachers. Even so, there are lots of reasons a private school isn't always the best fit. If your student is moving out of the private system into public school, they will now be in classrooms with 34 students as opposed to 12-18, and courses move quickly . They may need help getting used to working more quickly and independently.
Transitioning out of homeschooling
While nothing can tailor your child's education to their needs as personally as homeschooling can, not all parents or micro-school communities have the resources to teach higher level science and math. Even if they do, some kids decide they just want a more typical high school experience. There are lots of reason why homeschooling works great, and also lots of reasons why families sometimes choose to transition out of it. If you are homeschooling and wondering if all the boxes are checked moving into a public or private high school, you may need someone to help you get up to speed.