Dr Samantha Hornery – Supporting Children's Learning

Managing the “after exam” slump

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Tips for Tutors & Teachers | 0 comments

I am always amused when my students come to tutoring and when asked what is happening at school they reply”Nothing”. Further promoting often yields the second part of this answer, “Our exams are finished, there’s nothing else to do this term.”

After I smile, count to 10 and breath deeply … we begin our work.

It takes some selling to keep everyone motivated during the weeks following half year exams and preceding school holidays. As a tutor I know how important this time is for us to work on some areas that we can’t get to when the school curriculum is moving along so quickly. I always work to be as clear and honest with my students as possible and this is how I explain it to them too.

In addition, I use a goal focussed approach, together the student and I identify two areas they would like to master in these few weeks and we use tracking systems and regular tests/checks to keep focussed and maintain momentum.

What strategies do you employ in these tricky weeks?

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Self-Correcting Division Cards Now Available

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Teaching Resources | 0 comments

Self-Correcting Division Cards Now Available

Division facts are often the forgotten operation – and one that students immensely dislike!

I’ve created a fun set of self-correcting division cards to support mastery in learning these. I have attached one set here (Division 3) to download and play. The full set is available for purchase from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

These self-correcting division cards facilitate independent practice of the division facts. Each division fact family (1-12) is prepared as a set of PDF cards to print (double-sided in colour) and cut.

  1. Students place the cards face down on the table and begin by turning over the “Start” card.
  2. Each card has a division fact question on the back. The student locates the matching answer and places on the pile.
  3. If successful, the final card to be turned over says “Well Done”.
  4. If unsuccessful, more cards are remaining on the table and the student can attempt again.
  5. These games can also be extended with the inclusion of a timed practice to build fluency.

 

Students enjoy playing these games and gain much satisfaction and confidence in successful completions. A fun and engaging way to build accuracy and fluency in the final of the four operations – the often forgotten – division facts!

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Reading Jets A to Z

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Tips for Tutors & Teachers | 0 comments

Reading Jets A to Z

A cute app to consolidate alphabetic knowledge and letter-sound correspondence. The plus is that an Australian voice can be selected (hence our vowels are intact) and close to foundation font has been used. Children select a robot as their avatar, a letter to start and are guided through some letter formation (tracing), sound identification (select pictures beginning with sound) and transfer tasks (concentration). Some correction is provided throughout and so the app can be used independently, but also with an adult for consolidation and extension purposes.

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Learning Differences Convention August 2015

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Tips for Tutors & Teachers | 0 comments

Learning Differences Convention August 2015

August 2015, “Practical Strategies to Support Students with Learning Difficulties in Mathematics” @ Learning Difference Convention at Rosehill, Sydney. Click here for copy of slides. Learning Difference Convention 2015

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Perimeter, Area, Volume & Surface Area Resource – try it now!

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Tips for Tutors & Teachers | 0 comments

Perimeter, Area, Volume & Surface Area Resource – try it now!

Thank you for the feedback from the Integers resource I posted a few weeks ago – they are taking some time to produce, but are definitely more manageable than my question database.

These resources will eventually be available as an entire study pack for students or teachers available for sale through this website and TeachersPayTeachers. While in Beta mode, though, you get the goodies for free.

Here is a link to a downloadable package, click here. In the package you will find:

  • Visual Representation: this single slide summarises everything needed for 2D & 3D Measurement, you can print as a single page or play the animated .ppt file for review (2D & 3D Measurement PT without narration .pptx .pdf)
  • Study Sheet: a cloze style review sheet with gaps from the original visual representations (2D & 3D Measurement Study Sheet)
  • Written Quiz: questions for the whole topic (in worded form) and space for answers (2D & 3D Measurement Study Questions Written .docx .pdf)
  • Quiz Slide: these questions are again presented, in random order, on .ppt slides with the answers revealed through click animation (2D & 3D Measurement Study Questions with & without animation .pptx, .pdf).

Enjoy & I welcome continued feedback.

 

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Initial Numeracy Screening

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Tips for Tutors & Teachers | 0 comments

Initial Numeracy Screening

Thank you for your comments about the maths posts of late.

I received quite a few emails from readers wanting to know a little more about how I am assessing maths in the beginning. So, I thought I would share this short screening checklist with you.

I don’t like to give students a big written maths test, I prefer to customise this based on what I am observing.

But, as I also like to be well prepared for anything, I also am armed with everything I need.

So, here is a quick screening checklist I use to ascertain where to start with the four operations.

As time goes on I of course delve into these areas further and look at place value, problem solving skills and beyond (fractions, space, measurement …) but this is definitely my “Step One”.

Just click here and enjoy!

 

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Brainstormer

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in iPad App Reviews | 0 comments

Brainstormer

In previous posts I have recommended apps for writing topic (mainly narrative) generation. Whilst I still like and use these, I feel obliged to also add a caveat. The resulting narrative from these apps are often very silly because of the random nature of the app where places, people and events that would not ever be logically connected are artificially constructed into a story. These often remind me of phonics-based word family texts – “the fat cat sat on a mat for a pat from a rat”.

I have found myself more and more using these apps as a prompt for students to select just one aspect from the random generation as the prompt for their writing.

I have recently come across another of these apps, Brainstormer, that lends itself to vocabulary instruction as well. Touching the dice icon spins the three wheels and three words or phrases appear. In the first iteration I simply ask for meaning. We then utilise internet resources to find out more if required. A word bank is created whereby students need to identify an opportunity where this word may help their writing rather than record the definition or place it in a sentence.

For example …

Sojourn – this would be a great word to use in a story about a journey or discovery where the main character needs to stay somewhere overnight to regain strength or recover from an injury.

We regularly revisit this list before writing tasks as a prompt for great vocabulary.

Of course this app can also be used as a writing prompt app …

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