Click here  to see the original conference call announcement for more information.
What do we do with students to keep them engaged once they’ve finished and mastered their grade level lesson plan? “One of the pillars of the Mathnasium program,” Larry says, “is to get the right material in front of students. Sometimes that material is not necessarily work for the next grade level up.” The problem with taking advanced kids into work for the next grade level, he adds, “is the incredible potential that we’re going to get the kids so well versed in what they’re doing next year, that when they go to class… they’re going to be bored.” The American mathematics curriculum has been described over the years as being “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Larry discussed how we can add depth to advanced students’ learning plans to give them a more comprehensive understanding of the many concepts they’re expected to know at their grade level as well as suggested resources and curriculum documents. Then, David Peddie (Lake Forest, CA) shared his experience working with a very gifted child who first came to Mathnasium when he was 3.5 years old (he’s now 7) and how he managed this child’s learning plan to meet his unique needs.
To get an idea of appropriate topics to cover per grade level (up to 8th grade), Larry suggests checking out www.ixl.com . Also, the document below (PDF format, click to download) includes a list of recommended Focus Ons and Prescriptives that may not have landed on your radar. These can be used to expand on grade-level appropriate topics for kids in grades 2 to 8—check them out!
Listen to part 1 of the call here:
Next, Melanie Staus (West Roswell, GA) tells us how she educates parents on the Mathnasium program—the unique way our program is structured—and answers frequently asked questions she’s received from other Mathnasium center owners. Points addressed include successfully implementing the half-and-half model across all grade levels, managing parents’ expectations regarding the homework policy, and how to properly handle special requests from parents.
Listen to part 2 of the call here:
Finally, Jeff Pudewell (Folsom and El Dorado, CA) expands on the issue of helping parents understand the Mathnasium program as you set instructional priorities and objectives for their students. When discussing Mathnasium in the context of a parent’s specific requests and a student’s unique situation, he advises center owners to show their confidence—”put your faith in the program and stand firm.”
Listen to part 3 of the call here:
This file contains documents (one visual with pie charts and two letters) that can help you as you explain our program and the Mathnasium Hour to parents:
These resources are also available on M2. To find the zipped file on M2:
From the Content Tab, select ‘Business’ from the Search in drop down menu, type ‘hour’ in the search field and click ‘Go!’. In addition to this zipped file, in the search results you will also find both versions of the MN Hour letter that are to be included in the Parent Pack, along with the ‘standard’ MN Hour visuals.
The call recordings are also available on the FTP site under Conference Calls > 2011 Calls > August 19: Meeting the Needs of Very Bright, Younger Students; and The Initial Conversation: Helping Parents Understand the Mathnasium Program (click here  for instructions on downloading a file from the FTP site). If you have questions or problems accessing the site, please contact Mathnasium Support at email@example.com .