We all have individual gifts that we have been given in life.
For Clements/Parsons Elementary School students Emma Duncan and Madelaine Gardner, their gifts are excellent math skills and huge hearts with a desire to help others.
The two third-grade girls approached their teacher Michelle Crabtree within a month of school starting and asked if they could help her with the after-school math tutoring sessions.
“These student volunteers saw this as a way to help peers in their class,” Crabtree said. “Their motivation to help came from their love for math and a belief they could assist (their teacher) in alleviating the frustrations of other third-grade students.”
The peer tutors have developed some of their own strategies in addition to those Crabtree teaches. As the students work with their classmates to help them comprehend math, each peer tutor has expressed a desire to become a classroom teachers when she grows up.
“I come to tutoring because when I help kids it makes me feel like I belong somewhere,” Duncan said.
Students attending the weekly one-hour math tutoring sessions have accepted their peers as truly caring classmates. They are able to work in small groups with their peer tutor or Crabtree and their presence also allows for more one-to-one opportunities for individualized instruction.
“I love helping kids because it makes me feel confident in myself and the kids,” Gardner said.
As Crabtree contacted each parent of the volunteer students to make sure they would be able to stay and assist with the after school tutoring, she received a lot of positive feedback.
“Parents were happy to hear their child offered to help peers,” Crabtree said.
Currently, third-grade students in math class are studying various representations of how multiplication can be solved.
Students are learning to comprehend number lines, array models, and repeated addition.
All skills can be applied to future careers and for personal tasks.
Math tutoring will continue throughout the school year as students continue learning new skills before they take the Standardized Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness in May.