"Can you do addition?" the White Queen asked. "What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?"
"I don't know," said Alice. "I lost count."
Through the Looking Glass.
This quote always makes me smile. Poor Alice! Of course, she is capable of doing the work. The problem? Too much information, too quick. A simple problem quickly becomes confusing and complex. Judging from my experience in the classroom, both as a student and as a teacher, this is often the case. For many reasons, today’s classrooms are driven by pacing charts and tests. It is a challenge for teachers to deliver the content to the students before the next bell or by the time they are expected to have scores available. Many students are taught new and abstract concepts by listening and memorizing the steps of what an instructor tells them. As a retired teacher, I wanted to help teachers, parents and students by providing instruction that would complement the instruction students receive in the classroom but would not impact their busy schedule.
My philosophy is that students, even the most problematic, want to understand new material and want the feeling of independence they experience from being able to solve problems successfully. Just like teaching a baby to walk, a student needs someone to slowly guide them to the point where they can take off running. They need someone to be there when they fall to dust them off and put them on the right track. However, just like a good parent, a good teacher gets to the point where they are no longer needed and their student is just fine without them. I knew that when a student did not need me to check or support their learning, they were a proud, happy and independent learner and I had done my job. That was always my goal.
With the encouragement and support of family, friends and colleagues, this website was created which features the same lessons I used to teach mathematics to hundreds of students. I hope these lessons guide you to become independent learners too.
Good luck in your personal journey through mathematics!
Camila (Torres Rivera) Bertrand, received her
Bachelors of Science in Biology, single-subject, and multi-subject teaching credentials from the
University of California,
Riverside. Known to her students as Ms. Torres, she taught various grades in public schools in East Riverside, California. In addition to her classroom duties, she mentored student teachers and helped to develop CRA teaching methodologies used district-wide. For her dedication to the community, Ms. Torres was selected as one of the recipients of the “Women Who Make a Difference?Award in 1997 by the
Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of
Women. Following the death of her father in 2004, she left her classroom in order to dedicate herself to her family. Ms. Torres still resides in Riverside
where she tutors student athletes and acts as Director of Curriculum Design for Apple Pi, Inc.
Engagements, Educational Consultations >