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Harry Olenick

October 6, 2015
First Tutoring Reflection (1.5 hours)

Note: At the end of this document, there is a key which defines the subsections of each tutoring

1. This tutoring session began with the Diagnostic Screening Test: Math (DSTM). Dominic, a
homeschooled 4th grader, completed the test rather quickly. I instructed that he was to
complete what he knew. I told him not to stress if he did not know how to complete a
problem; he could simply skip them. In the end, Dominic skipped a majority of the test. He
correctly completed many of the addition and subtraction problems but he did not know any
of the ones focusing on multiplication or division. After the assessment, we worked on a
worksheet in his math workbook. His lesson was on front end rounding and addition. He did
fairly well; he sometimes forgot to carry the one when adding. For example, if adding 29 and
42, he would write an 11 below the 9 and 2 instead of placing a 1 below and carrying the ten
above the 2 and 4. His solution would be 611 instead of 71. He did not do this every time; he
progressively improved and corrected his mistakes by the end of the session.

2. Dominic was very cooperative and enthusiastic during the session. He was excited to show
me his math work and the methods he used to solve the problems. He tried to solve each
problem on his own; if he was confused or unsure of the next step, he always asked for help.
Dominic worked hard and diligently. He did not goof around or become distracted. He was
attentive and on pace. In addition, if I attempted to show him a different strategy, method, or
tip, he was willing to listen and try it.

3. While Dominic did well with the lesson, he did struggle with some of the carrying and
regrouping aspects. I noticed that he is still using a finger counting method for addition and
subtraction. He has not memorized the number facts or basic addition. From memory, he
easily remembers some statements such as 5+5 and 2+2 but he struggles with statements
such as 7+3 or 6+8. Dominic needs to work on memorization and automaticity. Further, I
noticed that Dominic likes to write his math problems out on paper and check the ones he
completed. I believe that Dominic is a visual, concrete learner.

4. For this introductory session, I followed the workbook that Dominic brought. His father, who
serves as his primary math teacher, indicated the page he was to complete. I asked Dominic
what he normally did with each worksheet. He said that his father reads through it with him,
discusses the problems and concepts, and helps him when necessary. I decided it was best to
continue with and implement the strategies with which he was familiar.

5. Dominic demonstrated learning and achievement within this session. He had a little bit of a
rough start but he steadily progressed and worked through the content. He grasped the
concept of frontend estimation and its relation to adding. He practiced word problems in
which he had to decide if an estimate or exact answer was required. While he did well
overall, he is still relying on finger counting to achieve the desired answer. Dominic is a
visual learner who likes to put the problem down on paper and to talk or think aloud as he

6. I will work with Dominic on whichever worksheet, principle, or concept he is currently

studying. I will help Dominic investigate and work through these as I promote a greater
number sense and automaticity. As we work through his workbook, I will suggest different
strategies or methods for remembering number facts quickly.

7. Dominic and I work in one of the open classrooms here at Franciscan. We find an empty
classroom and push a couple desks together to create workspace. We sit a little towards the
back of the room as to avoid any noise or distractions that may occur outside the door. At
first, I was unsure as to how Dominic would react to working in a college classroom. I feared
that he might be overwhelmed or intimidated. However, Dominic likes the classroom. He
becomes excited because he thinks he is a college student. It is as if he is an advanced student
in a big kid classroom. This helps him focus on his work.

8. For this lesson, there was not a great deal of outside planning for instruction or challenging
activities. As the tutor, I organized, became familiar with, and prepared to give the DSTM.
Otherwise, I followed the instructions sent by Dominics father. I am not personally selecting
a standard to cover. Rather, I am following along with his curriculum and typical learning

9. Overall, I would consider this tutoring session a success. He did well with the actual
assignment and math concepts. As the lesson continued, he improved upon his understanding
of front-end estimation and its role in addition. Using word problems, he succeeded in
identifying when it was necessary to estimate and when it was better to be exact. Dominic
just needs to work on moving toward automaticity and away from counting on his fingers.
October 9, 2015
Second Tutoring Reflection (1 hour)

1. For this session, I followed along with the lesson his dad was working on in the last few
days. Dominic showed me that he was working with triple digit subtraction with two
regroupings. An example math problem for this activity is 400-122. Dominic practiced
borrowing from the hundreds then from the tens. He continued thinking aloud through the
steps; he used this strategy to reason why the regroupings needed to occur. I allowed
Dominic to show me how he calculated these problems. I then followed his methods as I
helped him complete his worksheet. He did an excellent job with regrouping and
calculating the correct answer. He answered a majority of the problems correctly without
my help. However, Dominic is still relying on a finger counting method to complete the
subtraction problems.

2. This tutoring session went much better than the first. Dominic was focused and eager to
do his work. I believe he warmed up to me more than he did in our initial meeting; I think
he is growing comfortable with working on math with me in a college classroom. We
took small breaks from the worksheet in which I tried to show him some strategies for
memorizing facts and moving from finger counting to automaticity. While he was more
than willing to listen and try the strategies, the concepts seemed too abstract for him. He
often said that they were confusing and he did not fully understand them. At the end of
the session, Dominic enthusiastically pointed to more triple digit with two regrouping
problems on another worksheet; he said he wanted to save them to do together the next

3. Dominic is doing very well with the actual content of the lessons; he can clearly and
easily explain how to do the problems on the worksheet. Dominic needs help with
mastering math fluency/automaticity. While his finger counting method works, he needs
to develop more abstract, mental math. He will struggle with more advanced math
concepts if he continues to rely on finger counting.

4. As with the previous lesson, I followed the strategies and methods that he indicated. I
want to build a positive, productive relationship with him before I try to use new
strategies and tips with which he may be unfamiliar. We primarily used paper and pencil
as our tools. I did not use any specific manipulatives or technologies for this session.
Although I recognize the need to move away from finger counting, I allowed him to
continue to use this as his primary strategy. I wanted to observe him in order to develop
and plan a session that may benefit his specific needs. I also want to engage him in
conversation as we work to determine his interests; I want to incorporate these into the

5. Dominic is making progress with his math workbook. He showed me the test he took on
front end rounding and addition (the lesson from our first tutoring session). He did well
on this test; if I remember correctly, he earned a high A. Within this session, Dominic
worked independently most of the time. I was more of a supervisor and aid for when he
struggled. He confidently and efficiently completed the worksheet. He demonstrated a
clear understanding of triple digit subtraction with 2 regroupings. During this session, I
did provide a tip that Dominic immediately picked up. I noticed that, if subtracting, he
counts on his fingers twice. For instance, if calculating 15-6, he first starts with 6 then
uses his fingers (starting with his thumb) to count upwards, 6...7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,
15. He then counts how many fingers he has up, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. To speed this
process along, I asked him, How many fingers do you have on one hand. He said five. I
then asked, Well if all your fingers are up, how many is that? He said five. Dominic
then realized that, when counting and if all the fingers of one hand are extended, he can
start with 5 and move on from there. This shortens the second time he counts on his
fingers. It is not a perfect solution but it is a step toward recognizing numbers and
improved automaticity.

6. I will continue to suggest and demonstrate strategies for automaticity and math fact
fluency as we work through his workbook. I want to focus one more lesson on his
workbook alone before I try any manipulatives or technology. I want to further establish
a comfortable rapport with Dominic as I observe his current understandings, abilities, and

7. Dominic continues to enjoy working in a college classroom. He continues to claim that

he is a college student. This environment is conducive to his learning. Dominic is a
bright, lively young boy. He is very imaginative and likes to joke around. For some
reason, he thinks I am Spiderman. He even asked me if I was Spiderman. When I asked
him why he thought that, he said, I dont know. I just think you look like you would be
Spiderman. I gave a nonchalant answer, neither confirming nor denying. I think this
makes him even more excited to come to the tutoring sessions. He often asks questions
aimed at getting me to admit I am Spiderman.

8. Once again, I am not personally selecting or following a standard within the session. I am
merely using his pre-existing curriculum and following his workbook. Before I came to
this session, I reflected on the previous one. I tried to analyze what seemed to work and
what he responded well to.

9. In the end, this was a very successful session. Dominic was extremely focused, eager, and
willing to work. He was excited to do the math and was diligently working throughout
the entire session. He was well prepared prior to coming and able to show me what kind
of problems he was learning and how to solve them. Dominic excelled at the procedures
of triple digit subtraction with two regroupings. He needs to continue to develop math
facts and automaticity.
October 13, 2015
Third Tutoring Reflection (1.5 hours)

1. Today was more disorganized than the previous sessions. The majority of the math page
we were working on the last time was completed. All that was left was a small section of
word problems that dealt with triple digit subtraction with two regroupings. After
completing those, he asked me to simply create some problems for him to do.

2. Dominic was less focused today. He was more energetic than normal; he wanted to talk
and make jokes. I believe he was trying to be funny and make the math session fun.
Although he was more distracted, he still completed the activity in his book and any
problem I gave him. I think because he did not have a specific math worksheet full of
problems or a particular activity, he thought today could be more relaxed.

3. After working with and observing Dominic over the last three sessions, I realize that
Dominic is bright, imaginative, energetic, and happy. He is eager to learn and wants to do
well. I realize that Dominic has an interest in soldiers, superheroes, and sports; he has all
the typical interest of a nine-year-old boy. Further, Dominic has a tendency to count on
his fingers when adding and subtracting. I also noticed that he writes down everything on
paper and likes to put a checkmark next to a problem to show he finished it. From these
two observations, I gathered that Dominic is a visual, tactile/concrete learner. He likes to
use physical objects or representations to do math equations. Dominic needs to move
from the concrete to abstract; he needs to improve his mental math abilities and skills.

4. This tutoring session was no different than the previous two. I did not use any specific
manipulatives or technologies beyond paper and pencil. My goal was to observe and
engage Dominic in order to evaluate his abilities, skills, and current needs or areas for
improvement. In order to do this, I allowed Dominic to indicate what he needed to do or
complete. This may have been an error on my part; he nearly finished his current
worksheet and lesson. He only had a small word problem section containing no more
than 6 questions. After completing these, I had two options: create problems for him to
do or begin a new lesson all together. I did not want to begin a new lesson because I am
not sure of his fathers planning or schedule. I did not want to jump too far ahead.
Therefore, I created problems by using equations from his worksheet. For instance, if
number one stated, 506-379 and number two stated, 804-467, I had him calculate
506-467, 804-379, and 804-506. Dominic willing solved the equations however the
disorganization of the lesson may have fueled his desire to be goofy and funny.

5. Dominic is learning. As in previous tutoring meetings, he completed his math work and
demonstrated the ability to solve the given equations. Through his think alouds, I hear
that Dominic can reason as to why two regroupings are necessary. While he continues to
use finger counting, Dominic remembered the method I showed him during the last
meeting. When subtracting, he counts on his fingers twice. However, in the second round
of counting, if one hand has five fingers stretched, he recognizes it as five. He counts
from five onward to reach his answer. Although this is a very small improvement, it
demonstrates that Dominic is listening and trying the concepts or tips presented to him.

6. Now that I have worked with and observed Dominic over three sessions, I discussed his
progress with his mother. I asked if it was all right for me to work with Dominic on
automaticity and math facts rather than his workbook. She was very enthusiastic and
supportive of this. In the next session, I want to try a manipulative. I found a set of
Cuisenaire Rods in my house. It provided examples of how to use the rods for addition
and subtraction. I want to try this in the next tutoring session in order to move Dominic
from counting on his fingers to another physical manipulative.

7. Dominic continues to insinuate that I am Spiderman. I am not sure if he truly believes I

am Spiderman or wants to believe that I am. He still asks questions as if he is fishing for
a confirmation. For instance, at the end of this session, I told him that we will meet again
the following Friday for tutoring. I asked him if that was okay and if he wanted to come.
He excitedly said yes. But then said in a somewhat suspicious tone, I can come to
tutoring on Fridayunless you have to fight crime. Once again, I gave a nonchalant
answer. I think his vivid imagination fuels his desire to come to tutoring and engage the

8. Like the other tutoring hours, I did not choose a specific standard or activity to cover. As
previously stated, I wanted to build a strong rapport with Dominic as I observed his
learning styles, needs, and knowledge. As with previous sessions, I reflected on what
worked and what did not in order to improve my pedagogy and approach. After this
session, I also contacted my sister-in-law, who is a fourth grade teacher in Kentucky. I
asked her if she had any suggestions or tips for working with Dominic and moving
toward math fact fluency. She sent me an email with many helpful resources. One
resource was for timed drills of math facts. I will use these in later sessions; I want to first
work with physical math manipulatives before I move to paper and pencil applications.

9. Overall, Dominic did not do as well this session. He accurately completed any problems
presented to him but he was not as efficient or focused. Dominic demonstrated learning
the concepts within the math worksheet and incorporation of the tip I showed him from
the previous meeting. However, he did not demonstrate any significant improvement with
automaticity or math fluency.
October 16, 2015
Fourth Tutoring Reflection (1 hour)

1. I decided to approach this tutoring session differently. Dominic brought his math
workbook and a notebook; he was ready to do his normal coursework. However, with his
mothers permission, I deviated from this. We never once looked at his math workbook.
Instead, I prepared an introductory activity for using Cuisenaire Rods and a pair of dice. I
wanted to practice addition and subtraction using these manipulatives; my goal was to
provide another concrete, visual representation for numbers through which Dominic
could calculate equations. My hope was that Dominic would not use his fingers to count
and add. For this lesson, we began by investigating how many each rod represented.
Then, we used the rods to do simple addition statements. Dominic did extremely well
with this activity; he used finger counting only once or twice.

2. When Dominic arrived for tutoring, his mother told him that I had a special activity for
him today. He was visibly excited but a little concerned. I think he was a little confused
as to why we were not working with his math book. However, he quickly caught on to
the point of the Cuisenaire Rods. Within ten minutes, he told me that this activity was fun
and that he really liked it. Throughout the entire lesson he was active, motivated, and
focused. He seemed happy when I suggested that we use the rods for future activities.

3. As stated in previous reflections, Dominic relies on finger counting when adding and
subtracting. He does well with each assignment but is behind in this one aspect. Because
of this, I decided to use our tutoring sessions to move away from his main coursework. I
wanted to provide him with an alternate physical representation for numbers and adding.
I want to transition him from concrete learning to semi-concrete and finally to abstract.
With his parents permission, I will treat each tutoring session as a mini-lesson on back to
basics. Although he is moving on to more complex math equations such as triple digit
subtraction, I want to go back to simple math concepts in order to develop the abstract,
mental math that is essential for future learning and success.

4. Before this session, I talked with my sister-in-law, who teaches fourth grade, about
strategies and methodologies to help Dominic. She gave me many helpful tips,
suggestions, and resources to use. She emailed me links for worksheets, math games, and
teacher resources. While I plan to use each of these, I first want to work on more basic
concepts; some of the online math games are timed. One has to be quick and ready to
correctly answer an equation in order to win the game. While Dominic will love these
games, he does not have enough math fluency or automaticity yet. My sister-in-law also
suggested using Dominoes as a manipulative for recognizing numbers and adding. While
looking for our set of Dominoes, I stumbled upon a set of Cuisenaire Rods that my
parents bought me when I was a little kid. I forgot all about them. After reading the back
of the box and some online websites, I decided to give them a try. I decided to follow the
simple instructions for addition that appeared on the back of the box.
5. Without a doubt, Dominic demonstrated learning. We began the Cuisenaire Rod activity
by discovering how many each rod represented. For example, one tan cube represents the
number one. We then used the small tan cubes to find out what each represented; we
placed as many tan cubes along the bottom of a larger rod as were required to equal the
length of that rod. For instance, we discovered red equals two by placing two tan cubes
along the bottom of a red rod. Dominic quickly figured out each rod:
1 Tan=1
1 Red=2
1 Light Green=3
1 Purple=4
1 Yellow=5
1 Dark Green=6
1 Black=7
1 Brown=8
1 Blue=9
1 Orange=10
Once we figured out the number representation of each rod, we made some simple math
problems. I placed two rods together and asked Dominic to solve. For example, I placed a
red and light green rod side by side and asked Dominic how much it equaled. I instructed
Dominic to read the statement aloud (I hoped the repetition of saying the equations would
support automaticity). In this case, he would say, 2 (red) plus 3 (light green) equals 5
(yellow). Dominic said the numbers, not the colors. Often, Dominic did not know the
sum. This was not surprising as he relied on finger counting and did not have advanced
automaticity. Most often, Dominic looked at the rods and counted in his head instead of
on his fingers. This method was remarkably quicker than finger counting. I also
encouraged Dominic to do a guess and check. He was often right or off by one. Pretend
that in the above example Dominic said, 2 plus 3 equals 6, instead of the correct
answer. I encouraged Dominic to check by placing the dark green (6) rod along the light
green (3) and red (2). In this way, Dominic saw that the dark green rod was too long. He
often recognized that it was longer by one because one more tan cube could fit alongside
the light green and red. Dominic then knew that the yellow rod (5) was the correct
I also used such equations to show that the rod order could be reversed and the same sum
reached (commutative property). Continuing with the same scenario: I showed that a red
(2) and light green (3) equaled yellow (5) in the same way that a light green (3) and red
(2) also equaled yellow (5). Through this, I showed Dominic that 2+3=5 and 3+2=5.
After completing these facts, I verbally drilled Dominic. I rapidly stated an equation and
its reverse many times as Dominic quickly answered. As we covered more and more
equations, I switched which addition statement I wanted him to answer.
Further, every time Dominic answered an equation, I asked him to check his answer,
even if I knew he was right. My goal was for him to repeatedly state the equations as he
worked through the problems. This also supported his habit of thinking aloud. Dominic
talked through the process. He reasoned as to why an answer is correct.
Eventually, I placed two cubes side by side and Dominic would almost immediately
answer. Each time I asked him how he knew the answer. I asked, Did you count in your
head? At times, he said, Im not sure. I think I did. This may be an early sign of
increased math fluency. There are three possibilities: A) Dominic is counting in his head
so fast that he did not realize he did it B) He is memorizing the colors and the
combinations needed to make another color (light green and red make yellow) C) He is
starting to have an automatic recall in which he looks at light green and red and
immediately thinks 3+2=5. Each and every time, I had Dominic check to see if his
answer was correct.
Finally, toward the end of the session and after we worked through many combinations of
rods, I took out a pair of dice. First, I had Dominic roll one die and say the number that
appeared. He did this very well and stated that he quickly counted the pips to know which
number he rolled. I then had Dominic roll two dice and use the results to create an
addition problem. For instance, Dominic rolled a 6 and 1. I had Dominic read the
statement and say the answer (6+1=7). Almost every time, Dominic said the correct
answer right away. We then used the Cuisenaire Rods to check our answer.

6. I am going to continue this activity in the next session. First, I want to verbally quiz
Dominic in order to see if he recalls any of the math facts. I then want to use the rods like
we did in this session. However, this time, I want him to write the statements on a sheet
of paper. For instance, if the light green and red rod are placed side by side, I want him to
write down 3+2=. Then, Dominic will solve. We will continue to randomize the
equations by using the dice.
In future lessons (after using the rods and writing on paper), I want to use flashcards,
worksheets (timed drills), and online games.

7. I tried my best to make this activity seem like a fun game. I wanted Dominic to be
comfortable and relaxed. I encouraged him to guess and check and not be afraid if he was
wrong. As we worked, I asked Dominic about himself. I attempted to incorporate his
interests and listen attentively when he spoke. I want to support Dominic in any way I
After this session, I purchased a set of flashcards to use in the future. I actually found a
set of flashcards that are Spiderman themed. Dominic loves superheroes and villains; I
hope that this will make him excited to do flashcards and work toward automaticity.

8. Because I am creating and conducting each session according to Dominics needs and his
parents requests, I am working with a variety of math concepts. After talking with
Dominics mother, my new focus with these sessions is to increase math fact
fluency/recall. While I am willing to do any worksheet his parents send, I want to help
Dominic increase his math knowledge and skills. I am focusing on a third grade Common
Core Standard. I am using the following standard under the number and operations in
base ten domain: 3.2 Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and
algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship
between addition and subtraction.

9. Overall, this lesson was a huge success. Dominic was very active and engaged. He stated
that he loved the Cuisenaire Rods and thought the session was fun. I noticed a shift away
from relying on finger counting. He only used it a handful of times when we tried an
addition statement with a solution over ten. However, I tried to stick to smaller equations.
Dominic did count in his head but this mental math was quicker than his finger counting.
Moreover, I believe Dominic showed early signs of automaticity toward the end of the
lesson. Dominic needs to continue to practice his math facts and fluency. Cuisenaire
Rods will be used in future tutoring sessions.
October 20, 2015
Fifth Tutoring Reflection (1 hour)

1. This tutoring session was a continuation of the previous lesson in which we used
Cuisenaire Rods to practice simple addition and subtraction facts. Dominic began by
reviewing the value of each rod by placing them in a sequential staircase. We then
continued forming and solving simple addition statements using the rods. To facilitate
and randomize the formation of the equations, dice were used. Dominic would roll one
die while I rolled the other. We would then use the result to form an addition statement.
My goal and hope is that Dominic would move away from finger counting and toward
automaticity. Dominic was focused and attentive to the lesson and activity. While he
occasionally used finger counting, he widely stayed away from it. He focused on using
the rods to calculate the answers.

2. Dominic was extremely enthusiastic and willing to work and use the Cuisenaire Rods. In
fact, as we walked to the classroom, he excitedly asked if I brought the rods with me. He
said he wanted to use them again because they were super fun. Dominic was motivated,
focused, and actively participating throughout the session. He did not want to stop. He
asked to do another hours worth of tutoring. I was not able to stay for another hour. In
addition, his mother told him he had language arts tutoring with someone else within the
hour. He immediately slumped his shoulders and complained he was too tired; he simply
could not tutor any more.

3. Dominic is still behind with adding and subtracting automaticity. He does not have his
facts memorized; he relies on a finger counting method that is no longer developmentally
appropriate. In the previous tutoring write-up, I mentioned that I want to move Dominic
from concrete to semi-concrete and finally to the abstract standard algorithm. At the time
of this tutoring session, Dominic is not ready to make a complete transition to the
abstract. I decided to continue using the rods for this session. Dominic is a very animated,
energetic boy. He likes to imagine and pretend during the sessions. Dominic seems to like
the rods because he can visually see and manipulate a physical representation of the
equation. He sometimes makes up stories or phrases for using the rods.
Unlike the last session, I provided a sheet of paper and instructed Dominic to record most
of the statements and subsequent answers. I want him to write the numbers associated
with each prompt, roll of the dice, or use of the rods in order to familiarize him with the
structure of the standard algorithm.

4. Before this session, I reflected on the previous meeting in which I introduced Dominic to
the purpose and function of Cuisenaire Rods. Dominic was immediately drawn to them. I
knew I wanted to continue to use this manipulative. I also reflected on the use of the dice
as a facilitator and randomizer for creating equations. Dominic liked rolling the dice; I
think he saw it as a game instead of rigorous math work. Overall, this lesson will be
conducted in the same way as the previous.
5. Dominic is clearly learning. In this session, he continued to answer correctly with
relatively little prompting. There were very few instances in which he asked to use finger
counting instead of mental math or the use of the Cuisenaire Rods. To begin, I made a
series of equations using the rods; when Dominic calculates and solves, I have him read
the statement and answer aloud. My goal is to involve him in repetitive readings of the
numbers and operation to increase automaticity. For example, I verbally asked Dominic,
What is two plus seven? If he did not immediately provide the answer or he made a
guess, I encouraged him to use the rods to check for correctness. In this case, Dominic
chose the red rod and the black rod, placed them side-by-side in a train, and compared it
to the orange rod (he guessed ten as the answer). Once he saw that the orange rod was too
long, he selected the next smallest rod. He then saw that the correct answer was nine.
After a few more problems, I repeated this equation. I again asked, What is two plus
seven? Dominic immediately answered nine. When I asked how he knew that so
quickly, he replied that he remembered from a few moments before.
Dominic is also demonstrating automaticity through his doubles fact. He immediately
provides the answers for any doubles that are presented in the lesson. In fact, Dominic
gets excited when a double comes up. He proudly answers and then rings of a list of his
known facts. For instance, if 5+5 was asked, he exclaims, Ten! And 6+6=12, 7+7=14,
Finally, like the previous tutoring meeting, I used dice to add a variety to the
mathematical statements. Dominic liked rolling the dice, selecting the appropriate rods,
and completing the math problems. After so many rolls, Dominic did not need to use the
rods to provide the correct answer.

6. In our next meeting, I want to begin by using the flashcards. I want to see if Dominic
recognizes any of the addition facts from this session. After doing this bell ringer type of
activity, I want to continue using the Cuisenaire Rods and dice. Dominic responds so well
to them that I believe their continuation will be beneficial to his learning and progression
toward automaticity. I also want to introduce subtraction via the manipulatives.
In future lessons, I will use timed drills and online games.

7. Although this is the same lesson content and structure from the previous session, I tried to
make it upbeat, interactive, engaging, and fun. I have grown to have a fun friendship with
Dominic. I can tell that he enjoys our tutoring sessions. He smiles, laughs, and listens
intently when I say something. We have a stream of jokes that we continue and build
upon session after session. We talk about super heroes, super villains, and soldiers (three
of his interests).

8. Because this lesson is a continuation of a previous tutoring session, the same standard
will be used. This standard is the following from Common Core: 3.2 Fluently add and
subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of
operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction. My current goal is
to move Dominic toward automaticity. After mastering this standard, we will move on to
more advanced operations and equations.
9. Overall, this lesson was successful. Dominic is steadily improving in his automaticity as
he shifts away from finger counting. The use of the Cuisenaire Rods seems appropriate
because Dominic is a visual learner who is creative, imaginative, and likes manipulatives.
In order to keep the activity relevant and exciting, I will introduce the concept of
subtraction via the Cuisenaire Rods. In addition, in the next session, I will use the
flashcards that feature Spiderman and corresponding villains. I hope Dominic will find
this fun and stimulating.
October 23, 2015
Sixth Tutoring Reflection (1 hour)

1. Like the previous two tutoring sessions, the main activity centered on Cuisenaire Rods.
However, this activity differed in that I began with the flashcards as way of drilling and
assessing Dominics progress and learning. As with most of these tutoring sessions, the
goal is to move Dominic toward automatic recall for addition and subtraction facts. After
using the flashcards, we formed and solved many addition statements using the
Cuisenaire Rods and dice. We then used these tools to do simple subtraction problems.
Finally, we finished with the flashcards as a closing activity and assessment of the

2. Dominic was ecstatic about using the Cuisenaire Rods again. He asked about them as
soon as we sat down to begin tutoring. Dominic was also pleasantly surprised by the
Spiderman themed flashcards. He was focused on the problems and drawn to the pictures
of the heroes and villains. Dominic was willing to work; he again asked to extend our
time together after the hour was over.

3. While Dominic has no yet mastered automaticity for addition or subtraction, he has made
small and steady improvements. He does not use finger counting in our sessions
anymore. Instead, he utilizes the Cuisenaire Rods and does mental math and counting.
Through the use of the flashcards and by writing the math problems, Dominic is slowly
associating the verbally stated math equations with the standard, written algorithm. After
showing Dominic how to solve a subtraction problem using the Cuisenaire Rods, he
actively created his own problems and incorporated the dice. Dominic continues to
benefit from the visual, hands-on nature of the Cuisenaire Rods.

4. I utilized the flashcards I bought many days before this lesson. I specifically bought the
themed flashcards to tutor Dominic. I wanted to use them as an informal introductory and
concluding activity. Prior to the main activity, I wanted to gauge Dominics current level
of automaticity. I wanted to see if he improved from the previous sessions. I planned to
use the flashcards again at the end of the lesson to gauge his new level of knowledge and

5. Dominic continues to make distinctive advances in his automatic recall. When I drilled
him with the flashcards, Dominic got many of the answers right. He clearly memorized
his doubles and uses them to calculate the answer to many questions. For instance, if
presented with 6+7, Dominic would say the answer of 13. When asked how he got the
answer, he explained, Well, I know 6 and 6 make 12. And 7 is one more than 6 so the
answer is one more than 12. That means the answer is 13. He used similar thinking for
calculating subtraction problems using the dice and Cuisenaire Rods.
For subtraction via the dice, Dominic rolled one die while I rolled the other. Dominic
then subtracted the two numbers (always subtracting the smaller number from the
bigger). I also asked Dominic to add the two numbers before rerolling the dice. To make
this into more of a game, Dominic selected his answer from the selection of rods. For
example, if subtracting 9 and 5, Dominic picked the 4 (purple) rod to show his answer. In
this way, Dominic demonstrated the ability to compute both addition and subtraction
statements. If Dominic was unsure of an answer or wanted to guess, we used the rods as a
Finally, Dominic ended the session with another drill. I shuffled the flashcards and
presented both addition and subtraction problems. Dominic quickly answered many of
the problems. When I asked how he knew the answers, he said that they were doubles,
easy problems (for example, 1+2), or he simply remembered. It was this last explanation
that was desired. Dominic is beginning to develop automatic recall for his addition and
subtraction facts.

6. In our next meeting, I want to continue this activity and set-up. I want to continue to use
the dice, rods, and flashcards to build upon automaticity. However, I do not want to
overuse these manipulatives and tools. Soon, I will transition from the rods to another
activity. I want to try timed worksheets and some online games. In this way, Dominic
will not be reliant on the rods and may demonstrate his knowledge through different
mediums. I think Dominic will be excited to play some online games.

7. In this lesson, I attempted to foster Dominics interests and vivid imagination. Dominic
loved the flashcards. I nonchalantly took them out and showed him our new tool. He
immediately noticed the Spiderman theme. He asked if I bought Spiderman ones on
purpose; I pretended to have no idea what he was talking about. While using the
flashcards, Dominic pointed out all the villains and characters he recognized and loved.
He was very focused on the flashcards.
Further, Dominic likes to make the rods into a challenging game for the two of us. As
explained above, Dominic likes to choose the rod that represents his answer. For instance,
he selects the black (7) rod for 3+4 or the orange (10) and red (2) rods for 6+6. He
demands that I close my eyes so I do not know the choices he makes. Dominic then
closes his eyes and tells me to answer the question. We then reveal our choices at the
same time. Sometimes, I purposefully answer incorrectly in order that Dominic can
explain to me why I am wrong and he is right.

8. As with many of the previous tutoring sessions, the same third grade Common Core
standard is being used. This standard is the following: 3.2 Fluently add and subtract
within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of
operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction. My continuing
goal is to master this standard before moving on to different operations and more
complex equations.

9. Overall, this lesson was another success. Dominic made noticeable improvements since
the last tutoring session. He was focused, actively engaged, and enthusiastic the entire
time. Dominic did well with the content; he never used finger counting in this lesson.
Instead, he used the rods, mental math, and think-aloud reasoning to solve the equations
and provide the correct solutions. He is showing signs of automaticity for addition and
uses his addition facts, skills, and strategies to solve subtraction problems. The flashcards
appeared to be effective as a warm-up to get him ready for the main activity and as a
cool-down to wrap up the days work. Dominic is transitioning to the semi-concrete
1. Submit detailed write-ups tutoring sessions based upon the strengths and
weaknesses identified in the DST: Math.
2. Indicate the willingness and cooperation of the student in developing math
3. Know and understand childrens characteristics and needs in mathematics.
4. Develop and plan actual tutoring sessions that include manipulative,
technology based upon the childs math knowledge.
5. Analyze if the child is learning and how he/she is learning, related to his/her
characteristics and needs.
6. Provide suggestions and ways to assist the student for further sessions.
7. Develop a healthy, respectful, and supportive learning environment.
8. Using learning standards, design, implement, and evaluate meaningful,
challenging tutoring sessions.
9. Indicate the overall success of each session and if the students learned the
math concept(s).