Starfish Story

By Tamar Carr, Team Leader at Mifflin High School


Throughout the time that I spent with Shawn in algebra, I noticed that he was knowledgeable of the material but seemed to wander his attention elsewhere due to the non-conducive environment for learning. I also noticed that he counted on his fingers to add the simplest numbers, for example 15 and 6, and when multiplying single digit numbers. From that point on I began to diligently and persistently work with him to improve is computational fluency. As of right now he has memorized his multiples of 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s and is on his way to memorizing the remaining single digit multiples. Shawn went from failing 9th grade algebra as a sophomore, to earning the second highest grade in geometry. My student has truly exemplified the very essence of success. Our progress has led him to become more efficient in completing assignments in a timely manner, which gives us even more time to improve his computational fluency so that he can become self-sufficient.

Our focus has not only been academics, but life skills too. Sharing values and idealism to him has broadened his perspective of life and how others’ perspectives affect him. His understanding of math and life has truly allowed him to grow as a person. Connecting with him over the past 7 months has truly been a joy. He has always been respectful and appreciative of my service to him and I know that the skills and knowledge that I have shared will carry with him throughout his high school career.


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