Katie really, really struggles with math. And I totally understand. She is me in a smaller package. I never understood math, I got left behind somewhere in the early years and always struggled to catch up. Math is just a foreign language to some of us. We can make the translation, but it takes a long time.
I still don't know my times tables. I'm sharing this with you and no one else.
Katie really doesn't retain information from math unless she has performed the same function 318 times. For the past several weeks she's been learning how to multiply fractions. Every day we have the same conversations over and over because she can not remember how this process works. She can never remember if she's supposed to cross multiply or multiply straight across. She can never remember how to reduce an improper fraction or how to turn a mixed number into an improper fraction. She had recently mastered long division, but learning to multiply fractions knocked all the division out of her head. Now, when she gets a problem involving fractions correct, she will invariably completely mess up her division problems.
Because this is such a frustration for her, she will need to eat, pee, poop, walk the dog, get something out of her room, eat again, sharpen her pencil, go see what Ben is laughing at, ask me a question about the moon, and pee again during her math lesson. Anything to keep from moving on to the next problem.
Today, after struggling with the first half of her math lesson, something clicked and she suddenly raced through the rest of her math sheet, didn't miss one single problem, and stayed focused the entire time.
"Wow!" I exclaimed in delight. "What happened to you?"
"I don't know," she replied with a grin. "All the sudden my brain went POP! •*¨*•.¸¸ Fizz!¸¸.•*¨*• Turn, turn, turn, and I just understood it!"