I am now officially a math teacher…I know…it’s scary!
One of the foreign hire special education teachers decided not to stay here in Honduras so the special ed. department is stretched a little thin. Because of my light class load, the principal asked me to help out and I now teach math to two eighth grade students, five periods per week. It’s been a week so far and is proving to be quite the task.
Both students are very nice kids, but struggle in some basic math skills. From looking online I would place them around a third or fourth grade level. Our current unit is counting money and making change in their heads. This is a little tougher here in Honduras since the Lempira is almost 20:1 with the U.S. dollar. That means the students need to know well into the hundreds and thousands. I’m finding that counting by tens and hundreds can be difficult for them which then makes this task even harder.
After the first week I have come to the realization that I’m okay at the tutoring level, but know nothing about teaching math! I am trying my best to make the activities we do interesting instead of just problems out of the book, but even then I feel like we are doing the same thing every day. I just do not have the arsenal of ideas that I’m sure most general education teachers do! It’s a good thing I’m a whiz at google! I don’t want the kids to get bored, but they also seem to need a ton of practice in order to understand a concept. So far we have photocopied money that we are working with, a menu from a restaurant, place value crossword puzzles, and some online place value games. If anyone has other ideas they could offer up I would love some help!