- When the numbers don't add up
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San Mateo Math Tutoring

Reply-to: Anonymous (Use our Reply form)
Date: December 11, 2017 8:05 am
City: Belmont - Half Moon Bay  (California)
Location: San Mateo

Since 1997, The Reading Clinic has offered one-to-one instruction in reading, spelling, writing, language comprehension and math. Using research-based, multi-sensory programs, The Reading Clinic focuses on enhanced academic performance and self-esteem. We provide students with a safe and accepting environment, engaging them in an ongoing process of discovery.

Number Sense

We focus on developing number sense by helping students to discover more efficient counting strategies, identifying patterns, and understanding place value. We help them develop a sense of quantity, encourage approximation, and to assign meaning to the symbolic world of math. We help them to use numbers more flexibly.

Quantity Sense

If you were asked to put up 6 fingers, chances are you could do this automatically. But imagine having to count the number of the fingers on your hand each time you wanted to know how many fingers you were holding up. For students who struggle with quantity, they have a difficult time visualizing numbers. Instead, they tend to represent numbers as a sequence of words. 6 means “one, two, three, four, five, six” and that assumes they are able to count to six accurately. Without a concept of quantity, it is unlikely that a student will develop any number sense or automaticity. At The Reading Clinic we use a variety of manipulatives and symbol imagery that is specifically designed to trigger the use of quantity over counting by ones.


Children with a solid understanding of counting and how numbers increase are hugely successful in academic mathematics. Counting includes work with a number line and hundreds chart. Students work on counting up and down to 100 by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s and may work on other sequences when appropriate. Strong counting skills continue to benefit students as they learn more advanced problem solving strategies.

Basic Fact Strategies

The basic facts include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts from 1 through 12. Addition and subtraction are processed in a different area of the brain from multiplication and division, so it is common to see strengths in one area and not the other. We have several methods to strengthen recall of the basic facts. We focus on developing fast and efficient strategies. For some students this leads to automaticity; for others this provides consistent success and allows them to progress to more difficult, multi-step problems such as long division.

Time and Money Concepts

Students learn how to read an analog clock and basic ideas about time like how many minutes are in an hour. They learn the name and value of coins and how to make change.

Place Value

We help students discover the meaning of place value using manipulatives designed specifically for our number system. Students learn expanded notation and regrouping for addition and subtraction.


Students work on comparing fractions, equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions with common denominators, basic operations on any fraction and how fractions relate to decimals and division using a well designed manipulative.


Students work with money to lay the foundation for understanding decimals. Students compare decimals, learn the basic operations on decimals and compare fractions to decimals.


Fraction and decimal work is tied together to help explain percentages. Real world examples and common percentages are covered.

Basic Algebraic Equations

The rules to the game of Algebra are discovered through a series of simple steps using manipulatives. The concept of a variable and negative numbers are introduced as well.

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