When Easthampton was shutting down, Tuesday night, with snow and Winter Advisory notices – I had this wonderful group of students at the Math Resource Center, working with each other. Senior through Freshman level students, scaffolding in action.
I wound up with 11 students that night, more busy than average, significantly, no one was studying for assessments, just review and clarifications.
My name is Mrs. Hill, and this year I am coordinating the Mathematics Resource Center. We now have a whole gang of wonderfully helpful, articulate, and supportive math tutors who are ready and willing to help you in the MRC! In fact, we have so many tutors this year that we will be able to offer expanded hours, so that hopefully everyone can make use of this facility. If you have a bunch of questions before a test, or if you just want to feel like you have some support while you get your math assignment done, these are the perfect people to ask.
Also, this year, I will be spending time in the Math Resource Center helping out as well, In fact if you look at the schedule, you’ll see that I will be at the MRC a number of times over the two week cycle. So if you are a little nervous about asking another student for help, you can come find me instead!
The Math Resource Center is located at the end of the hall on the second floor of the Schoolhouse (room 28), so come by soon,
The Math Resource Center tutors not only commit to being available once a week all year as math tutors, but they also take time out of their busy schedules to meet and discuss how to increase the number of students taking advantage of this great resource as well as how to improve their tutoring skills. The group met after classes on Friday, 1/15 and brain-stormed ideas regarding how they and the faculty could entice students to take the first step and come in for help.
After sharing several suggestions, the tutors moved into an activity that was designed to help them ‘practice’ tutoring, particularly targeting the skill of what to do when the tutor gets stuck! Each group was presented with a challenge problem. It was inspiring to watch the tutors discuss, debate, and search out resources such as textbooks and the internet, to help them understand and do their best to solve the problem. These 19 students are dedicated to helping others improve their understanding of mathematical concepts, and they truly hope that more students will start to take advantage of this fabulous resource.
The Math Resource Center (MRC) is run by math teacher Ms. Libby Anderson. The MRC offers peer tutoring with math faculty oversight throughout the academic day and on two evenings a week. The tutors meet with students on a drop in basis for help with homework, to review a concept or prepare for a test. We are fortunate to have an entire classroom on the math floor devoted to the MRC. It is a welcoming environment with three large tables and three whiteboards. It is not uncommon to walk by the MRC and find a student and tutor or student and math teacher working engaged in problem-solving at the whiteboard.
Libby has worked tirelessly to make this center operational. At the beginning of the year, she held meetings and trainings to make sure the tutors were prepared to begin working with students. She meets with and solicits feedback frequently and continuously adjusts the schedule to meet the needs of students. She sends out a weekly update early each week to the entire student body reminding them of math tutor availability. She has added tutors throughout the year using a thorough application process. There are now 19 tutors taking shifts each week. All of us in the math department care deeply about providing our students with support and appreciate Libby’s dedication to the MRC. An exciting development this year has been the coordination between the MRC and Arete, a subject wide peer tutoring program run by language teacher Karen Ram. Arete helps students connect with an individual tutor with whom that student may meet on a regular basis. Libby and Karen have been in close contact in order to streamline the process for connecting students with tutors.
I am thrilled to report that the Math Resource Center officially opens tomorrow! The student tutors are VERY excited to help you with your math questions, and to help you learn how to use your resources to help yourself with your own math questions!! The schedule is attached, but here are some very key details for all of you to know:
This is a student-run drop-in tutoring center. No appointment is necessary.
You can arrive any time during the period and stay as long as you need.
The Math Resource Center is room #28 in the Schoolhouse. Tutoring takes place in the center during the class day. On Tuesday evenings tutoring is offered in the Stu Bop from 8pm to 9pm.
Right now tutoring is available Every period (A through F), once a week, and on Tuesday evenings.
If at all possible, PLEASE BRING YOUR TEXTBOOK. We are working on getting a set of student editions for the resource room but are still waiting on this.
I hope that many of you discover this fantastic support system and take advantage of the service these tutors are offering.
See you on the math floor!
Ms. Anderson, the Math Department, and the math tutors extraordinaire!