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Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

CASE STUDY: This 11th grader stopped binge eating because the math stress was gone

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Is your child consumed by math anxiety, even though they’re “doing everything right?”

These are some of my favorite students to work with, because I used to struggle with the exact same thing.

When this particular Algebra II/Trig student first came to me, she was making decent grades – Cs, Bs and low As – but at enormous psychic cost.

She would spend hours every night perfectionistically slaving over her math homework, but still feel completely unclear about the material and consumed by math anxiety.

Math felt like a collection of shards of broken glass that she was putting massive energy into “keeping together,” but they never actually fit together or added up to a cohesive whole.

How did she shift from perfectionism to mastery?

Let’s break it down!

1. When this student started working with me, one of the things that really stressed her out was her formulas sheet.

A page covered in things she hadn’t yet learned, that she would eventually have to memorize, many involving symbols or terms she’d never heard of yet, all crammed onto one scary page.

OF COURSE this freaked her out!

So we set the formulas sheet aside.

2. And instead, we built the formulas sheet from scratch – one formula at a time.

First, we started with the simplest, most basic formula, and built it from scratch using foundational concepts that this student already knew, like the Pythagorean formula.

And we’d make it super visual, drawing diagrams that explained why it worked.

Then she’d “teach it back to me” and build it from scratch and draw the diagrams herself.

Then the next session, we’d do the same thing again.

And again.

And again.

Until each formula was totally internalized, and she could build almost the entire formulas sheet from scratch, all by herself.

3. This created massive self-trust.

Not only did this student KNOW all the formulas, she knew WHY they worked, AND she could build them on her own.

Also, taking the time to do this so slowly, in the end, created massive speed.

This student became one of the fastest problem-solvers I’ve ever seen at this level …

BECAUSE she had taken the time to understand the fundamental concepts so meticulously.

The end result was that, without trying to be fast, this student breezed through the material, understanding at a deep conceptual level problems that many other students just experience as a random collection of rules or weird answers spit out by their TI-82.

Now this student experienced math as a cohesive whole, where she belonged, instead of a random collection of disconnected shards.

4. So, how did this play out in her classroom?

As a result of our work, this student’s grades hit the roof.

She was awarded the “most improved student” award by her teacher – in front of her whole school.

She was so much less stressed that she stopped binge eating…
…just because the math anxiety was gone.

And she applied for and won a prestigious internship at a European research-based skin care company in Georgetown, DC – being chosen over COLLEGE STUDENTS!!!

(This is an awesome example of how when math is no longer an obstacle, students can really bring their dreams and visions out into the world.)

Do you have a child who is struggling with this kind of math anxiety?

Maybe they’re actually getting good grades, but not really understanding how the pieces fit together.

Or maybe their grades have started to suffer.

Either way, I’d love to connect with you get clear on whether or not my work would be a fit for your child.

Just fill out this application to get started: fill out your application here

I am so excited to connect!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

Related Articles:
Case Study: A 5th grader goes from believing “Math Doesn’t Like Me” to singing and dancing about math while wearing a purple tutu
Afraid Your Math Teacher Will Judge You?
Case Study: A 10th grader goes from feeling like math is a foreign language to becoming the most called-upon student in her class
The Treachery of Invisible Math Anxiety

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

What Parents Of Math-Confident Children Secretly Do (That Typical Parents Don’t) – #4

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

4. Math-masterful parents are focused on the long-term process of mastery.

Typical parents focus on just getting math over with.

Math is so stressful that they just want to help their kids complete their homework assignments as quickly as possible.

But this never gets below the surface to the actual root problems that are causing the math anxiety and stress.

In contrast, math-masterful parents focus on whether their child is deeply understanding and internalizing the material, not just getting their homework done.

As part of this, math-masterful parents are proactive, not reactive.

Instead of being in crisis mode, waiting to see if they have math issues, scheduling support only around tests, or reacting to the artificial rhythms of the school year, these parents put support in place consistently and let their child’s mastery needs set the pace.

Like athletes or performing artists, math-masterful families train consistently.

They still take breaks and vacations, but use holidays and summer breaks as a powerful secret compartment to catch up, get ahead, and stay connected to math—to enjoy math on their own terms.

This consistent training develops their own inner math sanctuary that supports them, once they’re back from vacation, no matter what is going on in their classroom or curriculum.

And because they invest this time and energy in consistent math mastery training, they end up having a much more relaxed and happy school year, because their child is actually confident and prepared.

As a quick example of this, one family came to me towards the end of 5th grade after years of struggling with math and not getting what they needed from typical tutoring.

We worked together throughout the summer between 5th and 6th grade—still taking some breaks, but making sure that this student was really connecting to math and loving it.

Her first day back of 6th grade, this student was the only kid in the room who knew what the commutative property was, and nailed question after question after question until her teacher just started laughing!

More recently, a student and I used her spring break as an opportunity to get ahead and really understand logarithms.

Just a few days ago she told me that she was the only student in her class who actually understood them.

And her mom now experiences her daughter’s school vacations as much more relaxing, because there’s no more math dread.

Do you wish your child could go through this same transformation?

I would love to talk to you.

Just fill out this application here.

As soon as your application is received and reviewed, I’ll reach out to schedule a special appointment for us to connect on the phone and get clear on how I could best support your family.

I can’t wait to connect!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

Related posts:
What Parents Of Math-Confident Children Secretly Do (That Typical Parents Don’t) – #1
What Parents Of Math-Confident Children Secretly Do (That Typical Parents Don’t) – #2
What Parents Of Math-Confident Children Secretly Do (That Typical Parents Don’t) – #3

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

Make Math Magical this summer: Bklyn Heights Wed 6/14

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Making Math Magical: Summer Edition:
How to use the summer to catch up or get ahead (without burning out or going crazy)
for parents (of students 3rd grade through high school)

While summer is the perfect time to catch up on math or get ahead, students typically lose 2.6 months of grade level learning in math each summer.

Many families, even those who enthusiastically embrace summer reading, feel overwhelmed or completely lost when it comes to getting started with doing summer math.

Come learn how you can use the summer so your child can catch up or get ahead with math without having it be a boring, stressful chore, but actually magical, meaningful, fun, and effective, so your child is competent and confident.

You will learn how to:
-create achievable and meaningful summer math goals
-find summer materials that really work for you
-plan, pace and schedule yourself and your child
-fun ways to learn math on the go or on vacation
-access the magic that comes from true math mastery

Everyone will leave with specific tools and strategies to take home and use immediately.

Wednesday 6/14
6-7.30 pm
Brooklyn Heights Interim Branch
109 Remsen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(inside Our Lady of Lebanon Church)

For parents of kids from 3rd-12th grade.

Free and open to the public.

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

Make Math Magical This Summer – Th 6/8 in Millburn, NJ

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

I’m super excited to announce:

Making Math Magical, SUMMER EDITION:
How to use the summer to catch up or get ahead
(without burning out or going crazy)
for parents (of students 4th grade through high school)

While summer is the perfect time to catch up on math or get ahead, students typically lose 2.6 months of grade level learning in math each summer. Many families, even those who enthusiastically embrace summer reading, feel overwhelmed or completely lost when it comes to getting started with doing summer math.

Come learn how you can use the summer so your child can catch up or get ahead with math without having it be a boring, stressful chore, but actually magical, meaningful, fun, and effective, so your child is competent and confident.

You will learn how to:
-create achievable and meaningful summer math goals
-find summer materials that really work for you
-plan, pace and schedule yourself and your child
-fun ways to learn math on the go or on vacation
-access the magic that comes from true math mastery

Everyone will leave with specific tools and strategies to take home and use immediately.

This talk is for: Parents of kids from 3rd through 12th grade.

Where: Millburn Free Public Library
Meeting Room A (auditorium)
200 Glen Avenue
Millburn, NJ 07041
Date: Thurs 6/8/2017
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM

#Millburn #NJ #NewJersey #MillburnFreePublicLibrary #MakingMathMagical #SummerEdition #summermath #mathforparents #stopsummermathloss #mathworkshopforparents

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

Now interviewing candidates for Making Math Magical Summer Mastery Program

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017


I am super excited! I am starting to interview candidates for my very special Making Math Magical Summer Mastery Program!

Here are the details:

This summer, Rebecca Zook, Math Mastery Mentor and Joyful Learning Expert, and founder of Purple Tutu Math Tutoring, is offering a very special
Making Math Magical Summer Mastery Program:
a private, one-on-one, live, math summer camp
completely customized in every single nanosecond to your child’s unique, magnificent mind.

Do you feel totally lost when it comes to setting up your child to be successful with summer math?

Are you worried about the 2.6 months of grade level math learning that are typically lost each summer?

Your child can use the summer to catch up or get ahead with math without having it be a boring, stressful chore, but actually magical, meaningful, fun, and effective, so your child is competent and confident.

This camp is especially suitable for creative, passionate, unique, visionary kids,

whether they are in crisis (freaking out, failing, or secretly crying themselves to sleep about math, even though they’re trying their best),

or if they are in “math-preventative” or “math-acceleration” mode and want to use the summer to get ahead or bump up a level.

Making Math Magical: Summer Mastery Program is the equivalent of private training with an elite athlete or performing artist, nurturing your child to achieve math mastery and experience math as a source of joy and strength.

For students from rising 4th through 12th grade.

Does this sound like something you’d like to explore?

Just fill out this special application.

Once your application is received, I’ll reach out to schedule a special interview appointment for us to talk on the phone and get clear on whether this program would be a fit for your child.

I am so looking forward to connecting with you so we can make math magical this summer!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

UPDATE: Enrollment for my summer programs is now closed. Click here to apply for my magical fall programs!

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

What Parents Of Math-Confident Children Secretly Do (That Typical Parents Don’t) – #3

Friday, May 5th, 2017

There’s a very specific set of PARENT beliefs and behaviors that allows a child to actually go through this life-changing transformation from math freakout to math mastery.

But most parents don’t know about these beliefs and behaviors – and don’t fully understand what a child in math crisis actually needs to become math-confident.

So I am on a mission to educate parents about this!

In my first article in this series, I shared how math-masterful parents see high-level support as normal and desirable, both for their child and for themselves. (Full article here.)

Second, parents of Math Masters are no longer willing to suffer or wait. (Read the full post here.)

And third…

3. Math-masterful parents recognize when it’s time to bring in outside support.

Typical parents do not recognize when their help is no longer moving their child forward.

They tend to deny it, or overcompensate for it.

They tell themselves things like, “Well, even though my daughter’s telling me she never understands my explanations, I’ll just get better at explaining it to her somehow.”

Other typical parents will just continue to acquire more and more information, believing that if they just get the right workbook or alternate curriculum, somehow it will mean they’re suddenly able to connect with their kid.

They tell themselves that, even though they’re completely exhausted,
“I just need to find more energy” (out of nowhere)
or “I just need to be more positive” (even though they’re completely discouraged).

In contrast, math-masterful parents recognize when it’s time to bring in outside support.

For example, a parent came to me because she was locked in a toxic math dynamic with her daughter.

Her daughter refused to do her math homework unless she was sitting next to her mom, but was so anxious that she would trigger her mom’s frustration, and then, massive guilt.

Even though they were working super hard, the daughter’s math grades continued to slide, and she wasn’t truly mastering the material.

This mom recognized that she was not the one to help her daughter, and chose to bring me in to break the pattern.

Now her daughter happily does her math homework independently, and her mom can literally relax and read a book in another room.

Their toxic mother-daughter math dynamic has been totally healed.

Would you like to experience this same transformation, from math freakout to math mastery and confidence?

I would love to connect with you and explore how I could best support your child to truly love math and experience it as master-able and magical.

Just fill out this application here.

Once your application is received, I’ll reach out to schedule a special time for us to talk on the phone and get clear on if my work would make sense for your family.

I can’t wait to connect!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

Related posts:
How to know when it’s time to stop tutoring your own kid
What to do when your kid’s math fills you with dread
Do you wish your kid could feel like Albert Einstein?

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

What parents of math-confident children secretly do (that typical parents don’t) – #2

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

I’ve come to understand that many parents tend to misunderstand what is actually needed for a child in math crisis to become math-confident.

Did you know that parents of math-confident children have a very specific set of beliefs and behaviors that set them apart?

I’m on a mission to educate parents about this.

First (as I shared in my last article about this), math-masterful parents see high-level support as normal and desirable, both for their child and for themselves. (Full details here.)

Second, parents of Math Masters are no longer willing to suffer or wait.

Typical parents tend to respond to a child’s persistent math struggles by waiting and hoping that their math issues will just magically go away by themselves.

They will tell themselves things like, “Let’s just wait and see what happens,”
“Let’s see how my child does between now and the end of the year,”
or “It will start clicking for my child eventually.”

But almost always, what happens is, in the best case scenario, the child barely manages to keep their head above water.

Or, worst case scenario, the child’s math understanding spirals downward…and the situation just keeps getting worse.

In contrast, math-masterful parents face reality and take control.

They understand on a deep level that if they continue to do the same things that aren’t working, they’ll just continue to get the same results.

Their child will struggle and suffer, and so will the parent.

So math-masterful parents choose to take a different action to create a different result.

When faced with an opportunity to receive support that will actually help their kid, they say yes and move forward.

As a quick example, one family was referred to me by a colleague at the child’s school. The student was tired of struggling and went to the math department head with her mom to ask for a referral to a math tutor.

This department head knew that the student loves to sing and dance, so she told her and her mom, “You should call Rebecca, because she sings about math.”

When the daughter told her mom, “Let’s call Rebecca right away,” they ACTUALLY called.

And we started working together almost immediately.

After our very first session, the mom emailed me that a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

And the mom’s relief only increased as her daughter continued to receive this aligned support and get consistently great grades.

Did I just describe *your* mindset? Do you see high-level math mentoring support as normal and desirable? Are you no longer willing to wait while your child continues to suffer from math challenges?

I would love to connect and explore how I could best support your family.

To take the first step, just fill out this application here:

Once your application is received, I’ll reach out to schedule a special appointment time for us to connect and get clear on what’s not working, what you want instead, and whether my work would be a fit.

I’m totally excited to hear from you!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

Related Posts:
What parents of math-confident children secretly do (that typical parents don’t) – #1
The secret ingredients of true math mastery
When doing your math homework just isn’t cutting it

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

What parents of math-confident children secretly do (that typical parents don’t) – #1

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

I recently had an epiphany.

I’ve come to understand that in my case studies and articles, I’ve been focused primarily on student behavior and student results.

Yet each of these transformations was only possible because of their parent’s behavior and beliefs.

Just like a Wimbleton champion works out differently than a typical person, or a billionaire invests differently than a typical investor, parents who set their kids up to be math masters (whether or not they’re involved in their child’s day-to-day learning) have a very specific set of beliefs and behaviors that set them apart.

Let’s look at exactly how you can choose to adapt these beliefs and behaviors to create this transformation into math mastery for your child.

1. Math-masterful parents see high-level support as normal and desirable, both for their child and for themselves.

A “typical parent” mindset is usually something like,

“If my child has a math tutor, it means that they are in some way ‘less than’ or ‘not smart,’ because smart kids don’t need help.”

And then they focus on getting away with as little support as possible, or ‘weaning’ their child off of the support they have in place, because they’re concerned their child will be dependent.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to truly be a master.

Masters receive the highest-level support available.

And they do so consistently.

You wouldn’t quit singing lessons after winning the lead in a musical.

You wouldn’t fire your personal trainer after qualifying for the Olympics.

You wouldn’t get elected President of the United States and then not have a cabinet.

Just like that, math-masterful parents understand that having high-level math support is normal AND desirable, and they set their kids up with the highest support available.

As a quick example, one mom came to me because her daughter was joyful about everything in her life except math, which made her miserable and anxious. And then the mom was also miserable and anxious.

Her approach was to set her daughter up with math support just like singing lessons and dance classes—as just another important piece in the big picture of her daughter’s life.

Now her daughter is happy and confident about math, and the mom is relaxed because her daughter is relaxed.

Did I just describe *your* mindset?

Do you see high-level math mentoring support as normal and desirable?

Are you no longer willing to wait while your child continues to suffer from math challenges?

I would love to connect and explore how I could best support your family.

To take the first step, just fill out this application here.

Once your application is received, I’ll reach out to schedule a special appointment time for us to connect and get clear on what’s not working, what you want instead, and whether my work would be a fit.

I’m totally excited to hear from you!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

PS. More secrets of math-masterful parents will be posted here – this is just #1 of 6!

Related posts:
Does having a math tutor make you a “loser”?
What to do when your kid’s math terrifies you
How to know when it’s time to stop tutoring your own kid

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

The crucial difference between perfectionism and mastery

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

I recently asked one of my students what the most important thing was that I could share with you.

She said, “You have to tell them about the difference between perfectionism and mastery.”

This is something I’ve started sharing with my students, and I want you to know about it too!

Here’s what I’ve realized.

Perfectionism doesn’t create perfection.

It creates rigidity and stress.

True perfection comes from a willingness to take risks

and a commitment to the process of mastery.

The deepest accomplishment, the deepest achievement,

it doesn’t come when we’re looking over our shoulder,

wondering if we’re doing it right,

or we’re good enough.

It comes when we’re just really engaged with what we’re doing,

and open about what we don’t understand and what doesn’t make sense yet,

and committed to practicing until those parts that are strange or uncomfortable

become automatic and internalized and pleasurable.

Do you see your child taking a perfectionistic approach to their struggles with math… and it’s just not working?

Do you wish that there was someone you could send them to where they could be supported in actually cultivating true mastery of math, instead of just looking like they’ve got their act together?

Just click here to get started with your special application for my one-on-one math tutoring programs. Once your application is received, we’ll set up a special phone call to get clear if my approach would be a good fit for your child.

I’m here for you, and I’m so glad we’re connected!

Sending you love,
REBECCA

Posts Tagged as "math mastery"

Five Steps to True Mastery

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Have you ever taken a math test you felt completely confident about, only to find out that you bombed it and you weren’t prepared at all?

Trust me, you’re not alone. But why does this happen so frequently?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And this is what I’ve realized.

True mastery takes more than one step. But I’ve never seen these steps discussed before like this.

And I definitely didn’t hear about this when I was in math classes growing up!

This is what I had to figure out all by myself, and now do in all of my one-on-one work with my own clients.

Let me break it down for you:

1. The first level of mastery: you can follow along passively when someone else is explaining a concept to you or demonstrating how to do a technique.

You aren’t actively participating, you’re just observing and listening, and what they’re saying makes sense.

2. The second level of mastery: you can do problems interactively with someone else.

You are actively participating as they walk you through the steps of the problem and you do it together.

3. The third level of mastery: you successfully complete a similar problem type completely independently and get the answer correct – and you understand why – without any guidance or corrections from someone else.

4. The fourth level of mastery:
you consistently get the answer right on enough similar problems that the concepts get internalized and the process becomes automated.

You have the track record that shows you that you really are prepared to go in and do this successfully on a quiz, test, or exam.

5. BONUS: The fifth level of mastery: you understand the concept and technique so well that you can easily and confidently teach someone else how to do it. When you get to this level, you know that you’ve REALLY got it!

Until you get to the point where you have at least “level four mastery” and consistently get the answer correct on problems of a similar type (and understand why), you aren’t really prepared.

For example, a student will passively understand someone else’s demonstration and think, “Great! I got it! I am ready to rock this test!” However, that is only level 1 mastery. Just because you can follow along with someone’s demonstration of how to bake muffins from scratch doesn’t mean your own muffins will taste good. Watching someone else do it is ONLY the first step.

Another place where major problems can happen is when students think, “Great! I did two of these problem types correctly and I understand them. I am ready to get an A!” That is like getting the basketball in the net twice and thinking that you’re ready to win the next game. It takes consistent training and practice to get consistent results.

Do you wish you knew exactly to do to get consistently awesome results in math?

Are you tired of doing everything you know to help your daughter or son prepare for math tests, only to experience soul-crushing defeat time after time?

Are you ready to invest in high-level, one-on-one, super-customized support that is not typical tutoring?

Then click here to get started with your special application for my one-on-one math tutoring programs. Once your application is received, we’ll set up a special phone call to explore whether or not the way I work would be a good fit for you!

I can’t wait to connect!

Related posts:
On Optimal Challenge
Need to remember something important? Breaking news!
“It’s eraser time!” (And other math mantras)
“Interesting,” not “Complicated” (Math Mantras Part 2)