The Collection - June 2012 - Summer Edition

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To complement and enrich any student’s regular school year studies, Mathnasium offers one-on-one academic support, enrichment and tutoring for students in grades 2 through 12 —year-round or for just the summer months. Jodi Ralston, who co-owns and manages local Mathnasium centers in Chatham Township and downtown Summit with her husband James, describes their centers’ summer programs as a source of continuity between grade levels. “We aim for a mixture of past material reviewed and what’s to come previewed. The exact mix of review and preview is determined by each student’s specific needs through oral and written assessment.” Whether review or preview, regular practice keeps the student’s skills current, staving off autumn amnesia. As Jodi notes, “Mathnasium’s programs help to eliminate the negative effects of what the Johns Hopkins Center for Learning terms the ‘summer slide’ —where kids, without such regular academic exercise, typically lose months of math skills during their summer vacation.” In its programs year-round, Mathnasium values true understanding above memorization of facts and formulas. The staff designs a personalized curriculum for each student, with activities that strengthen core command of math concepts. In the summer, freed from the school year’s short-term pressures, students have a singular opportunity to “catch up, keep up, and get ahead,” as James Ralston puts it. “To succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential


skills. Mathematics provides a foundation for a wide range of careers and fields of study, so a confident command of math lasts far past several tests or a marking period.” Mathnasium does offer academic support throughout the school year. The most comprehensive program, CurriculumPlus, balances the centers’ rich curriculum with homework guidance and test preparation. The TutoringPlus program, which assists high school students with material from Algebra II through Calculus and Statistics, focuses exclusively on each student’s immediate academic needs. Not forgotten, traditional private tutoring is available at all levels by appointment, seven days a week, year-round. Mathnasium’s individualized curriculum overcomes one of the basic pitfalls of group instruction: the need to teach a roomful of learners at the same speed, leaving some perplexed and others bored. James elaborates: “By focusing specifically on each student’s individual knowledge gaps and learning needs, we are able to help students of all abilities. Whether they are advanced, struggling, or in between, our system is designed to challenge and inspire all of them

as individuals.” Reprieved from the constant demands of tonight’s homework and tomorrow’s test, students can use the summer months to focus exclusively on personal learning needs. New to their program lineup for this summer, Jodi and James are offering a “First Steps” program at their Chatham center for students in Pre-K to 1st grade to encourage the development of a child’s mathematical intuition, or “number sense”, by exploring – through games and activities in a small group setting – concepts such as classification, ordering, numeration, spatial relationships and measurement. At Mathnasium, Jodi and James Ralston believe better grades are just a beginning. To learn more about their Mathnasium offerings, whether just for a summer program or year-round academic support and tutoring, give Jodi, James and their excellent staff a call at 973-377-6284.

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