Updated: Sep 1
Here at The Learning Room, we believe in celebrating the successes of our students, big and small! Whether a student has achieved a personal or academic goal, student success is at the heart of our work. In our series, Student Spotlight, we will highlight what a partnership with a Learning Room academic coach can do for struggling learners.
As a 6th grader, Mira reported that she was "not good at math", and that she struggled and just "couldn't get it." Going into middle school, Mira's mom worried that her struggles and lack of confidence in math would put her behind. This, of course, is a vicious cycle that affects many struggling learners during the school day. Mira was working below grade level in math and needed an extra boost to get her math skills and confidence back on track!
Enter The Learning Room
Working with Mariah twice a week, Mira went from an early 4th/5th-grade level to a mid-year 6th-grade level and in some areas of math, reaching over a 7th-grade level! After working with Mariah for five months (about 40 sessions), Mira is now able to use the strategies The Learning Room gave her to tackle math problems confidently.
So...how did we do it?
Every student that comes to The Learning Room begins with an assessment. When Mariah assessed Mira, she identified Mira's strength was multiplication and used multiplication as a bridge to other math skills that Mira didn't know. From the beginning, Mira had a good attitude and was obviously a very bright and capable student. So, why was she struggling to keep up in math class? A large part of our job at The Learning Room is to not only identify areas of misunderstanding in content but also provide students with strategies they can apply to their day-to-day learning beyond their session time. This was the key to unlocking Mira's math mind.
What we did
Mariah quickly realized that Mira learned best by example. Mira reported that she simply didn't understand the material when her teachers told her what to do. However, Mira picked up content easily when she was shown how to do it. Working with material Mira was learning in school, Mariah would clearly and concisely model practice problems for Mira, explaining and showing how each step is done. Then, they would complete another problem together, this time Mira would get to 'be the teacher' and walk Mariah through how to solve the problem. Having Mira be the teacher and explain the steps gave her the confidence to solve problems independently using the guidelines that she and her coach worked through in previous problems.
As you can imagine, this approach not only helped fill the math content gaps for Mira in sessions and in the classroom but quickly increased her self-confidence. The effects of this newly grown self-confidence showed not only in Mira's excitement to attend her sessions but also in her test and quiz scores in school. Before sessions with Mariah, Mira consistently got low C's on her math assessments...Mira is now getting consistent A's! Mira's overall outlook on learning changed as her test scores changed. She realized that not only could she do well in math class, but also that she actually good at math itself!
After five months of consistent 1:1 academic coaching, Mira showed steady improvements in school and also had 16% growth from her initial assessment to her "graduation" from The Learning Room. Mira and her parents were thrilled to see her math skills and confidence grow in such a short amount of time. As a team, her parents and academic coach felt that Mira could continue her success on her own with the tools she gained from her time at The Learning Room. We're happy to announce that Mira 'graduated' from our services in January! We are proud of how hard she worked to become a math master!