Rebecca Zook - Math Tutoring Online

Get your free copy of 5 Tips You Must Know to Stop Freaking Out About Math!

Call me free of charge to discuss your situation, and we'll see if I can help.


Triangle Suitcase: Rebecca Zook's Blog About Learning rssfeed

Posts Tagged as "ADHD"

Regain your Sleeping Powers!!

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

When I had to choose a “health problem” to do a presentation on in high school, I chose Sleep Deprivation as my topic. In middle school and high school, I struggled almost every night with falling asleep, and during the school year I would battle with my Mom about getting out of bed on time almost every morning.

But in college, I somehow stumbled on a midnight to 8 am sleep schedule that worked amazingly. I could fall asleep almost every night and frequently woke up right before my alarm. I was notorious for the regularity of my sleep schedule, which my friends called “Zook Time.”

But going to grad school really jacked up my sleep schedule. There were a few months in there were I really didn’t sleep more than 2-4 hours a night, and it wasn’t because I didn’t try! Now that I’ve finished grad school, I’m trying to regain my formerly excellent healthy sleeping powers.

I stumbled across this great article on tips for how to get kids to sleep more (or how to help yourself sleep more) by Ashley Merryman. What surprised me most of all in the article was learning that as many as 25% of people with ADHD have an underlying sleep disorder, and that addressing the sleep disorder would make their ADHD completely disappear.

I can attest that these tips work. I’ve been turning down the temperature in my apartment before going to bed. I’ve also been using low light before bedtime and not using the computer for two hours before bed. I started using the stove hood light in my kitchen instead of the overhead track lighting, a little table lamp in my living area instead of three big floor lamps, and my bedside lamp instead of my overhead light. I even put a little lamp in my bathroom so I can have low light when I brush my teeth before bed!

I know that many students struggle with sleep and wakefulness, so I’m excited to pass these tips on to everyone.

Related Posts:
Why Sleep Is Awesome
Meet Your Pineal Gland
Entrain Your Brain

Posts Tagged as "ADHD"

Case Study: An ADHD student raises her math grade from a D to an A

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Each ADHD student I’ve worked with has been totally unique from any other, so I always adjust my approach accordingly for each individual. But since this is a case study, here are some things that really helped this particular student.

This student first came to me the summer before ninth grade. The previous year she had struggled with focus, especially in math, and at the end of eighth grade, her math teacher had encouraged her to use the summer to review. So we started tutoring over the summer, which was perfect: tons of time, without the pressure of classroom tests or other school-year commitments.

Find the missing gaps and fill them in. Math is so cumulative that missing a single class or even spacing out for a few minutes can make a student feel totally lost! So a big part of our initial work together was retracing my student’s steps and seeing what skills were missing. Once those prerequisite skills were identified, she could master them and move forward.

Focus on conceptual understanding. A lot of students prefer to learn how to do something before learning why it works that way. However, this student craved conceptual understanding. Frequently, once the big picture became clear to her, her face would light up, and she’d exclaim excitedly. Off and running, she’d dive right into the problem, knowing exactly what to do even if I hadn’t told her first. Because this student thrived on big-picture teaching, we focused on that first in each session.

Adjust the curriculum. A easy but helpful psychological “trick”: when we started working together during the summer, we used the textbook for the upcoming year instead of using her old textbook. The material at the end of 8th grade and the beginning of 9th grade is usually the same. But she could start the year confidently, knowing that she’d already mastered the exact material that would be covered in the first few weeks of school. Also, after the school year began, when appropriate, we’d consult an alternative textbook for explanations better suited to her learning style.

In addition to our summer meetings, we continued to meet periodically during the year. After barely four months working together, I was thrilled to learn that my student earned a grade of 108 on her algebra test: 100 plus the 8 point extra credit problem. The highest grade in the class!

Related Posts:
Case Study: Confused by Math Instruction in a Foreign Language
Case Study: Regaining Love of Math
Case Study: Learning Geometry with a Spatial Disability