Roots for Success
Welcome to Roots for Success, where your child's success in math is my top priority. I specialize in providing exceptional math enrichment and tutoring services for students in Grades 1-6. My mission is to empower your child to excel in math by making it meaningful, relevant, and FUN! Through personalized one-on-one sessions that are tailored to each student's unique learning style and interests, your child will experience a customized learning journey that builds confidence and fosters a love for math. Whether your child requires remedial support or seeks to explore more advanced topics, I am here to help them achieve their goals and reach their full potential. My expertise is exclusively tailored to the unique needs and challenges that younger students face when learning math. As an experienced elementary math tutor, I have a deep understanding of the curriculum, teaching methods, and common issues that elementary students encounter when learning math.
I understand that many students struggle with math, which can result in feelings of anxiety and frustration. It's not uncommon for math anxiety to show up in students as early as kindergarten or first grade, when they are first introduced to basic math concepts. That's why personalized one-on-one sessions in the nurturing and supportive environment of "the math lab" can make all the difference. By providing your child with the individual attention they need, I can help them master math concepts at their own pace, build confidence in problem-solving, and overcome any math anxiety they may be experiencing.
For students who are passionate about math and wish to deepen their understanding of mathematical concepts, my one-on-one sessions provide an opportunity to go beyond the classroom curriculum. With my math enrichment program, your child will have access to a range of fun and interactive activities, games, and puzzles that encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
Let Roots for Success help your child unlock their full potential and achieve success in math! Together, we will embark on a personalized learning journey that is tailored to your child's unique needs and interests, making math an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation and see the difference personalized attention and expertise can make!
What is it? How does it impact students? How can tutoring help?
What is it?
Math anxiety is a widespread problem for students and adults alike. Even students who are good at math often experience math anxiety, including feelings of tension, apprehension or worry. Math-anxious students frequently endure significant physiological, emotional, and cognitive reactions in situations where they have to manipulate numbers, solve mathematical problems, or take a math test. Math anxiety can begin as early as elementary school with the foundations being laid even before formal schooling.
How does it impact students?
Signs of math anxiety vary but might include rushing through problems, acting out in class, lack of engagement or motivation, proclamations that the student hates math, or homework procrastination. Math anxiety that goes unchecked in the early years can persist throughout students' academic lives. Math-anxious students tend to take fewer advanced math classes and see themselves as less able in not only math, but in science, technology, and engineering as well. Confidence in doing math and mathematical competence can therefore impact students' vocational choices.
How can one-on-one tutoring help?
While math anxiety is very real, it is also fixable. One-on-one tutoring can help! At Roots for Success, a big focal area of my work is building students' confidence. My approach centers on meeting students where they are and taking the time to listen to their ideas and build on their intuitions. During our sessions, I provide students with plenty of opportunities to be successful. I encourage students to think flexibly about numbers and explore alternative approaches to problems. It is more important that they truly understand the concepts we are working on than it is for us to cover a set number of topics in a defined period of time. The more comfortable they become approaching problems in different ways, the deeper and broader their knowledge extends and the more confident they become in doing mathematics.
Helping students believe in their ability to successfully perform in math boosts motivation in learning and lowers math anxiety. As students' confidence grows in the intimate setting of one-on-one tutoring, it begins to move with them into the classroom. Students engage more in math class. They are more willing to raise their hand and ask questions, more willing to consider alternative ways of approaching problems. Greater engagement leads to greater confidence and increased motivation. Students with higher motivation in a subject area invest more time and effort in learning. And so it becomes an upward cycle of growth.
At Roots for Success, in-person tutoring sessions take place in an inviting space we call "the Math Lab." Here, students are immersed in a dynamic learning environment that encourages hands-on exploration of mathematical concepts. Whether we are using cardboard boxes and small foam cubes to explore volume, using an open door to investigate types of angles, ordering fraction cards on a clothesline, or using matchbox cars to engage in a statistical investigation process, we have fun!
The Math Lab is a place where students are encouraged to experiment with different approaches to problem-solving, using a wide range of physical objects and mathematical tools. With rich problem contexts and tasks that promote deep thinking and verbalization of ideas, students are challenged to ponder important mathematical concepts in depth. Our collection of math puzzles foster logical thinking, persistence and creativity, while math games - a definite favorite - encourage strategic mathematical thinking and promote computational fluency.
Ready to get started? Have more questions? Please contact me.
It is easy and fun to meet online!
I look forward to seeing you again soon!
Let's get to know each other! Contact me to set up a free online "meet & greet" session. "Meet & greet" sessions enable us to see each other face-to-face and design the perfect tutoring plan for your child. During this call I am happy to answer any questions you might have and tell you a little more about how I approach online tutoring for elementary students.
Book tutoring sessions for the days/times that work best for you. I recommend 2 sessions/week and ask that you schedule sessions out one month in advance. Continuity in sessions enables me to develop a relationship with your child and craft sessions that are specifically tailored to their needs.
All tutoring sessions are conducted using Zoom. Once you have scheduled your sessions, you will receive a Zoom link via email. On the day and time of your scheduled session, simply click on that link. I provide all of the content your child will need for the session.
All tutoring sessions are individually designed to meet your child's needs. Because I do not use a prepackaged curriculum, I can be very flexible in adding a little more of this or a little less of that. I will reach out to you periodically to check in and I encourage you to contact me with with any ideas, feedback, or questions you may have.
Sherry Booth Freeman, Ph.D.
Roots for Success grew out of my passion for actively engaging elementary students in learning mathematics. I enjoy working with students to deepen their understanding of math and to make it meaningful, relevant, and fun. With over 35 years of experience in the field of education - as a teacher, researcher, curriculum developer, and instructional designer - I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to each session. Each student is unique and comes to me with their own learning style. I find great joy in figuring out how content can be creatively developed and delivered to support their range of learning styles.
I hold a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from North Carolina State University, a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University, and a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Sweet Briar College. My passion for education has led me to a range of innovative work in the field. In addition to being a middle school math teacher, I have taught online classes for NCSU, developed and researched MOOC-Eds (Massive Open Education Courses for Educators), created and led online learning communities, developed online math curricula and interactive tools for elementary students, and designed professional development courses for elementary math teachers in both online and in-person formats. My extensive collaboration with a variety of educational organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, Education Development Center, Harvard University, Boston Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, North Carolina Public Schools, North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, The Jason Foundation for Education, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton-Mifflin, has allowed me to develop indepth knowledge and experience of teaching and learning that I bring to each session with my students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do tutoring sessions take place?
In-person sessions are in Cary, NC.
Virtual sessions are conducted via Zoom.
How do I book sessions?
Contact me directly to discuss your child's needs and set up a tutoring schedule. I recommend 1-2 sessions/week. Continuity in sessions enables me to develop a relationship with your child and craft sessions that are specifically tailored to their needs.
What is the cost of tutoring sessions?
$60/45-minute virtual session
$70/60-minute face-to-face session
How do I pay for sessions?
I accept payment through Zelle, Venmo, and PayPal.
What is your cancellation policy?
You may re-schedule any booked session up to 24 hours before its start time. No-shows or sessions not rescheduled 24 hours in advance must be paid for in full. Exemptions may be granted for special circumstances.
Do you provide tutoring materials and/or a curriculum?
I provide all of the materials your child needs for tutoring sessions. While the skills and concepts covered during tutoring sessions follow a coherent order and align with the Common Core Math Standards, we mix it up with stories, puzzles, rich tasks, games, apps, and more. Math stories draw students in and bring math concepts to life. Math puzzles foster logical thinking, persistence, and creativity. Rich problem contexts and tasks invite students to ponder important mathematical ideas in depth and verbalize their thinking. Math games (a favorite) encourage strategic mathematical thinking and support the development of computational fluency. And math apps (digital math tools) make math more interactive. In short, we use a lot of different ingredients to make math meaningful and FUN! Much of the content I use are materials I developed through the above mentioned projects. Other materials are freely available online. Examples of online content and tools can be found at the following sites: The Math Learning Center, Geogebra, Desmos, Illustrative Mathematics, and Open-Up Resources.
What are tutoring sessions like?
Each tutoring session is customized to meet your child’s needs -- bespoke tutoring! Prior to the session I develop a series of activities for your child that will actively engage them in mathematics appropriate for their grade level. I frequently use math games, puzzles, stories, rich tasks, and math apps to help students develop confidence and skill in a fun and engaging way. If you would like for me to go over a specific homework assignment with your child, I ask that you send it to me the night before the session. A pdf or screen shot of the lesson works best but you can also just snap a picture of the lesson with your phone and text it to me.
What technology do I need for online tutoring?
For online tutoring sessions, your child will need a device (computer or tablet) and a good internet connection. In addition to Zoom, we will be using a shared online white board. Most students find it easiest to use the combination of Zoom and the online white board when they have a computer with a mouse and/or stylus and a large screen monitor with a camera (so they can see me and I can see them!).
How can I best prepare my child for tutoring sessions?
Make sure your child has had a snack and an opportunity to use the bathroom before tutoring. I ask that students do not bring a snack to face-to-face sessions or online sessions.
For virtual sessions, make sure your child is comfortable with Zoom. They will need to know how to share their screen, open a new browser window, link to an external site, and be able to switch back to camera mode (so we can see each other).
Math anxiety is a widespread problem for people of all ages. Even if you (as a parent) feel a little anxious about math, make sure you are conveying a positive attitude about math to your child. Positive math input at home is an important predictor of children's mathematical success.
Roots for Success