Why does my child have to draw a bar model (or tape diagram) to solve a simple problem?
Typically "bar models" are used to help students visualize math. In the beginning of math education, bar models might be built with blocks. Later on, bar models might be used to shown numbers that are known and unknown in a word problem. These models are very diverse and can help students understand and visualize math all the way through high school.
Does your child use bar models when doing math?
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Hoffman Tutoring Group is excellent. If you need an online tutor, I highly recommend them.
Thanks Hoffman Tutoring Group for this timely reminder!
Hoffman Tutoring Group
Knowing when your child needs academic help + next steps
Zoie Hoffman from Hoffman Tutoring Group joins the podcast today to talk about goal setting and tips for helping kids with homework without the chaos. If we’ve learned one thing this year it’s that having kids home for virtual school is a challenge. Zoie gives us some tangible ways we can help our kids have a positive experience with homework.
Zoie is also the mother of 7 month old twins so she shares a little bit about what it was like to become a first time Mom to TWO babies at once in the middle of a pandemic.
I hope you all enjoy this conversation with Zoie Hoffman!
You can listen to the episode on any podcast app or through this link: http://sandyboyproductions.com/episode-20-zoie-hoffman-goal-setting-with-kids-and-homework-tips/
In this episode of , we welcome CEO of United Through Reading, Sally Ann Zoll, and Owner of Hoffman Tutoring Group, Zoie Hoffman.
In this round table discussion on leading a virtual organization, co-host Lindsey and Claire talk to our guests about taking care of your team during the ongoing changes of 2020 and the importance of patience.
Listen on your favorite podcast player or tap here👇
*Tips to keep your child on track when doing virtual learning
*How to make the most out of the new in-person learning
*What to do if you feel your child has fallen behind academically during these uncertain times
Register for FREE or give a donation of any amount.
I recommend following Hoffman Tutoring Group -- Zoie has been sharing excellent tips and videos these last few weeks to best help kids & families with home learning.
Whether there are battles to get homework done, tears because it's too hard, or the oh-so-lovely "Mom, you're explaining it wrong," Zoie Hoffman from Hoffman Tutoring Group has the answers -- and shares them in our conversation below.
I guarantee there are pearls in here for everyone!
We provide personalized online tutoring services for students in grades K-8 in all subjects. Call us Feeling stuck this school year? Want to learn more?
At Hoffman Tutoring Group we provide online tutoring services for students in K-8th grade that your child can attend from the comfort of home. We help your student meet their education goals and get the academic help they deserve by matching them with a highly qualified tutor who fits with their needs, personality, and learning style. Our tutors know that learning isn't one size fits all. Your chi
Operating as usual
Why does my child have to draw a bar model (or tape diagram) to solve a simple problem?
Is homework beating you down this semester? We wrote an Ebook just for you...and it's FREE. Check out the link in our profile to download our free "Master Homework" ebook to get easy and actionable steps you can take tonight to make homework time more enjoyable for everyone.
Howdy! There are LOTS of new faces here so I thought I would do a quick re-introduction. I'm so happy to have you all here!
My name is Zoie and I'm a math educator, tutor, mom, and owner of Hoffman Tutoring Group. Here are three facts that got me to this moment in time:
1. I didn't become passionate about math education until my mid-twenties. My whole school career I considered myself "bad" at math. It wasn't until years into my tutoring and teaching career that I learned about how I could have been taught math in a way that worked with my brain and my personality. Now I LOVE mathematics and spend my days spreading that love any way I can.
2. I've lived in 4 states in my adult life and will soon embark on my 5th move. Life as a military family has brought us all over the country making it possible for me to meet super interesting people and educators who have shaped my passion, knowledge, and skills. It's also forced me out of my comfort zone on many occasions.
3. I'm a mom to twins! Becoming a mother further shaped my education philosophy and the way I run everything over here at HTG. Having babies during lockdown made it very apparent to me that more supports are needed for families no matter their stage of life or medical/physical/emotional needs.
What's a fact that's gotten you to where you are today?
Trick or Treat! Tomorrow is the day of the candy. If you want to squeeze a little learning out of the candy obsession, check out our Halloween candy math printable on TPT! It's a great way to get your child doing math with something they're currently OBSESSED with.
It's the end of October and we're entering the Mental Load Olympics.
It's that time of year when there are a million things to remember, do, and think about. How many gifts will we get for each kid? Remembering the holiday parties at school. Fielding questions about magical beings. Getting the teacher gift. Creating the magic. And on and on and on until January.
The other factor I see that frequently makes it's way into the mental load is school concerns. It's far enough in the year that patterns are becoming apparent. You may be getting communication from the school about academic concerns. Your child may be upset more frequently by the difficulty of their work.
If you don't want one more thing to do when it comes to your child's education, we're here to help. Let us match your child with the right tutor and become a partner for this particularly hard season.
Click the link in our bio or message us to set up a free consultation call today!
Spelling practice can get BORING after the first few spelling tests. Try these ideas to spice up the spelling practice and cut down on the complaining.
Look what I made! These magnetic tile puzzles are made for Pre-K and kindergarten students. Two different versions of each image to cater to any level of skill. Check it out in my TPT store (link in bio)!
Spicy opinion time! I come out with one of these every few months and I love getting your opinions back.
Here it is...homework in K-2 and maybe even K-3 should be completely optional.
Kids learn at school and then they come home and learn in completely different ways. They learn through play and family interaction. Through taking care of animals and household chores.
Being a small human is hard. Raising a small human is also hard. I think the pressure of homework shouldn't be added to after school until at least 3rd grade when kiddos can *sometimes* complete their work without the constant assistance of an adult.
But Zoie! What about making sure kids understand all the concepts?
If we can't get them through the concepts at school, maybe we should change the standards. I understand not all kids learn at the same pace, but working on academics at home should be optional. We should send supports home to parents who want them and remind adults of the ways they can enhance their child's education through conversation, reading, and ensuring enough sleep.
But Zoie! Don't you work with kids in this age range after school?
I sure do. And I know that sometimes it's hard for the kiddo attending after school tutoring. What I will say is that we can pack in way more in an hour of focused tutoring with a highly trained professional than five days of homework could ever do.
What are your thoughts? Should young kids have homework?
Here's a sweet hack for emotional regulation during homework...
If your child (or you) need to regulate during after school homework or activities a simple piece of mint chewing gum could help them stay calm and focus. The risk is small and the reward is great.
Let your child pop a piece of chewing gum the next time you see them getting stressed about homework. The chewing motion, flavor, and texture could give them enough sensory input to help them calm their nervous system.
How did I learn this hack? By trying to survive bedtime routines with twin toddlers IYKYK
One of the best things you can do to help your child build their independent thinking, problem solving, and critical thinking skills is to give them time to think.
What is wait time? This is the period of time you wait after posing a question or presenting a problem before expecting a response. Kids need this time to process and think without feeling rushed.
Implement wait times by:
- Setting a silent timer on your phone to remind you how long to wait before following up (you could start with 2-3 min)
- Completing a short household task before you follow up with your child
- Telling your child you're setting the timer for ___ minutes then you will check in and help (this is great for kids who are scared to get started on their own)
- Sing a song in your head to pace your questions
Today's term is summative assessment. This is what we typically think of when we hear the word "test"!
CAUTION! Step away from your child's grade portal.
I'm serious. If you're checking it every day that's too often.
Obsessively checking anything is bad for your mental state and your relationships...especially when it comes to your kid's grades. If you're wanting to stay in the loop but stop obsessing and fighting with your child, here's what I suggest.
- Pick ONE day of the week that you and your child will sit down together to check grades. Keeping it consistent will give everyone plenty of time to mentally prepare.
- Allow your child the opportunity to fix missing assignments and low grades before you step in and intervene
- If you check grades on your own, avoid bringing it up as soon as you see your child after school
How do I know what my child should be learning this year?
1. You can look up your state's standards for a comprehensive list of everything your child's teacher will be teaching them this school year. If your state or school uses common core you can look up the "I can" statements
2. Your child's teacher or school district may be able to provide you with a scope and sequence for the school year which will tell you exactly what will be taught and when.
When in doubt you can always ask your child's teacher.
Happy first day of fall!
The term of today is partial products! You may see this on your child's homework this year, and though it seems complicated at first, it makes a HUGE difference when it comes to conceptual understanding and mental math skills.
When I started tutoring I was surprised by how many perfectionist kids I saw in my practice. At first it didn't compute..but then it started to make a lot of sense. These kids were so afraid of making mistakes that they often just wouldn't do the work. Because trying hard and still failing was VERY scary to them. If you have a kid that struggles with perfectionism here are six things you can do to help them break the cycle. Pick one or two to implement - don't overwhelm yourself!
1. Let them see you make mistakes and work through them
2. Praise the effort not the outcome
3. Do something completely new together
4. Tell stories about times in your life when perfectionism affected you
5. Don't come out with a big reaction when they make a mistake
6. Ask everyone at the dinner table about one mistake they made that day and what they learned from it
Do you use any of these in your home?
Homework can become BORING within the first few weeks of school. Then what? With months and months of school left, try some of these super simple items to infuse some fun into homework time. Infusing some novelty into the process every now and then can make the after-school routine go a lot smoother!
- white board and dry erase markers
- funky fake glasses
- silly "thinking hats"
- clip board for moving to a novel location
- fun pencils or writing materials
- scented candles
- quiet and non-distracting fidgets
- resistance bands for chairs or legs
- silly pointers for reading
The term of today is lexile levels! Your child's school may use these to help your child choose leveled readers that match their current reading level.
Q: Do you work with homeschoolers?
A: Absolutely! We love working with homeschool students and families. Being a part of the education team is one of our favorite things. We aim to work with all homeschool students in the way that best fits their needs, curriculum, and learning style. This means each tutoring session is highly personalized to meet homeschool families right where they are.
GRADES can be such a hard and emotional topic for parents and students. Depending on what your family's or school's expectations were you might be carrying around some grade baggage. If you're struggling with how to chat about grades with your child, here are some simple do's and don'ts.
- Get clear on your family values and where grades fit in.
- Decide on specific times you will check in about grades and let your child know ahead of time
- Acknowledge that you might not have all the information
- Talk to your child before reaching out to teachers and administrators
- Let grades be the first thing you bring up at the end of the school day
- Name call when discussing grades
- Obsessively check your child's grades
- Talk to others about your child's grades in front of them
The word of today is modifications. Not to be confused with accommodations!
When homework is hard, it can help to think outside the box a little when choosing a location to work. Switching things up can make homework novel enough to reduce the whining and fights. Here are a few fresh ideas on where you can have your child complete homework if the day just isn't going to plan:
- On a picnic blanket in the park or even in your backyard
- The library
- UNDER the desk or table they usually work at
- At a fast food restaurant like chick fil a
- A neighbors house who is willing to take them in for the afternoon
- In a fort or tent
- At a local coffee shop
Where's the weirdest place you've let your child do homework?
Happy library card sign up month!
This is one of the oldest and honestly one of the best tricks in my bag. Some kids have a HARD time keeping their math thoughts organized on their paper. The numbers migrate across the page. Things don't stay lined up. Mistakes ensue.
Enter the grid paper trick. Here it is step by step:
1. Grab a sheet of grid paper with squares roughly the size of your child's handwriting (you can find all different types printable for free online)
2. Teach your child how to write with one number in each square when doing their math.
3. Profit? Or at least give your child a chance to do their math without mistakes that are caused by handwriting and page organization.
Have you ever tried this trick?
Taking the time to connect with your child's teacher on a positive and light note at the beginning of the school year goes a long way when it's time to have hard conversations later on. Email your child's teacher with an email that looks like this TODAY.
I wanted to send you a quick email to tell you how glad I am that (My child) is in your class this year. I love the way that you____(compliment about her class)_______. (My child) told me about _____(positive experience)________. I can't wait to see how much (My child) grows this school year with you as their teacher.
This is how about 30% of my intake conversations go. So if you're wondering the same thing you're definitely not alone.
Why do kids who are great at a subject suddenly start tanking?
Honestly, there's many reasons they could be struggling after being great at a subject. But the most common reason I see kids having a hard time with a subject they used to excel at is mindset.
When kids are really great at a subject they're put in the unique position of not having to reach or try too hard to keep up with their peers. The subject comes easily to them and that's amazing! They get A's without trying much. They get praise from their teachers. And they get to feel "smart".
But as they progress, the subject might get more challenging. They might run into a concept they don't get right away. Their confidence dips because they're supposed to be the kid that's good at it. They're supposed to be "smart" but they feel like they're losing that title when they struggle with the material.
So these kids sometimes lean out when things start to get hard. They pretend to be uninterested, lazy or irritated when asked about their dip in grades. Because when it comes down to it it's easier to pretend you don't care than for someone to know you're struggling and lose your status as the "smart kid".
They may fall behind because they haven't ever learned the skills to study and push through when things get hard. If it's always come easily to them, they probably didn't have a reason to figure these things out when their peers did.
These feelings of shame and sadness when they finally run into that concept that confuses them are VALID and worth working through. And that's what we do here in tutoring. We help kids learn how to learn and how to push through those hard moments. We teach kids that their efforts and gains are what make them smart - not what they know how to do right away.
I have worked as both an in-person and online tutor for the past 8 years. Online tutoring has always resulted in WAY less cancellations which is great for consistency and student progress.
“In order to help children make the most of their education, parents must begin to relinquish control and focus on three goals: embracing opportunities to fail, finding ways to learn from that failure, and creating positive home-school relationships.”
Q: "I'm worried about my child's attention span and online tutoring. How do you handle this?"
A: Many parents come to us with the concern that their child won't be able to focus and learn during an online tutoring session. There are a few things we do to try to help your child have a great online tutoring experience. First, we make sure to use engaging activities and topics that cater to your child's interest. Second, we can adjust the tutoring schedule to two 30-minute tutoring sessions instead of one 60 minute session per week. This schedule works well for students who have trouble with attention or are in younger grades. A free trial is a great way to see how well your child can focus during an online session. Contact us to get one set up.
Is homework already haunting you? This school year can be different. Check out our FREE Master Homework ebook at the link in our profile today. Arm yourself with small tips and tricks that will help your child be more successful with homework this school year while avoiding the fights and late nights.
This may be a bit of a spicy opinion but here it goes. Taking away recess SHOULD NOT be used as a regular punishment. *Unless the behavior directly relates to recess privileges.*
- Body movement and outdoor time are essential for young brains and bodies to function properly
- Taking away opportunities to move can make kids more antsy and "problematic" in the classroom
- Kids who have trouble focusing will have EVEN MORE trouble focusing while their peers are outside playing and when recess is over.
- Taking away students' opportunities to practice social skills can lead to more behavior and academic problems.
- Students with certain sensory needs use recess to recharge and regulate.
Are your worried about your child's recess being taken away? Here's what to do:
- Email the teacher at the beginning of the school year after a few positive interactions. Explain that you've heard that recess being taken away is a possible punishment and that you would like to explore having alternate options for your child to give them consequences without missing their time to regulate and recharge. Insert a few ideas you have for possible consequences such as staying after school, completing something on the weekend.
Does your child's school take away recess? How do you feel about it?
Understood describes executive functioning as "a set of mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control." These skills are needed for every day tasks as well as academic work. Students who struggle with executive functioning may struggle to pay attention, complete tasks, follow directions, remember information, keep track of their belongings, manage assignments and much more.
Executive functioning skills are learned and developed during childhood and teen years. Differences in learning and brain development may make executive functioning more difficult for some children than others.
Supports from adults and practice can help improve students' executive function skills. "Like" this post if you would like to see another post with ways to support your child in their executive function.
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Learning isn’t one size fits all, even though mainstream education systems try to force students to follow the same education track. At Hoffman Tutoring Group, we work with students who don’t fit the mold. Your child’s education should work for them, respecting and celebrating what makes them unique, not the other way around. Our goal for your family is experiencing less stress when it comes to your child’s education. Our goals for your child are to experience less fear and fewer limitations in learning, and instead experience freedom and inspiration in their school days. Want more information? Visit www.hoffmantutoringgroup.com or reach out via Facebook message. We can’t wait to help your child get the education they deserve!
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