## Base-ten Blocks Improve Online Math Learning

Kirk’s Tutoring stands out among math tutoring programs for a variety of reasons, but two are primary. First, I teach using a technique called multisensory math. Multisensory math uses visual aids and manipulatives to help students understand mathematical concepts. Secondarily, I adhere to the methods of Dr. Maria Montessori, whose beliefs support my techniques. Dr. Montessori believed that children learn math best through manipulating objects. I prefer to use base-ten blocks in my work with students. Blocks make math kinesthetic, visually...

read more## Why Multisensory Math

Not everyone understands what I mean when I say I am a “multisensory tutor” so I thought I would explain what that means to me. Foremost is the use of Mortensen Math base ten blocks to build math problems. Building problems with your hands activates more areas of your brain. In very simple terms, the more senses you use when learning something, the more likely you are to remember and understand what you learned. Maria Montessori hit upon this idea more than 100 years ago. During the 1960s, Jerry Mortensen spent a year in Italy, studying...

read more## Not What You Might Expect

What do you imagine when you think of your child receiving math tutoring? Are student and tutor sitting alongside each other with a textbook open? Are both heads down, diligently working through the assigned problems? Perhaps, you envision a corporate chain where six to eight students are at a circular table around one tutor? Kirk’s Tutoring is something different. In all honesty, it probably isn’t like anything you have ever seen before. Foremost, during our first session, I conduct an interview with each client to learn their interests,...

read more## Tutoring

My tutoring is different from school in several ways. I customize each session to the student and what they enjoy. The components that are in the sessions are based on the student’s needs. When a student works with me, they will be getting a multisensory experience. My tutoring almost always involves movement. I travel to clients homes, or meet them in public spaces such as parks or libraries. Students learn better outside (when they are not distracted) and my tutoring is frequently boisterous. Librarians hate it when I tutor in their...

read more## Academic Coaching and Educational Consulting

I work really hard to be a problem solver when academic coaching or educational consulting. I want to make those relationships short-term. Academic Coaching can be anything from a phone consultation to observing a classroom and generating a report for the parents and school to use. Stopping homework battles is one of the most frequent inquiries to Kirk’s Tutoring. I go to client’s homes to observe the “homework situation” and make recommendations. Educational Consulting consists of anything from helping families find the right person to...

read more## Mortensen Math

I use Mortensen Math with all of my math students. The base-ten blocks make everything visual and gives students a chance to build the problems with their hands. It is remarkably effective. Mortensen Math Principles: (From Instructor’s Manual) No mathematical concept is beyond the grasp of a child if the teacher is willing to present it on the plane of the child. Mathematics is a VISUAL form. Understanding math comes from the ability to SEE the concepts and not in working with abstract numbers and mechanical processes. Math is HIGHLY...

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