How we do it

LABWay Math has developed and borrowed a mix of methodologies that enable a different kind of conversation about Math with your child. We use Lb4P TM (logic before procedure), UCLs TM (universal critical logics), the Socratic Method and CPA (a progression method borrowed from Singaporean math).

Logic b4 ProcedureTM

Many curricula (and many tutors) believe they have discovered the one magic way to explain math procedures. But that’s really not what learning math is about.
It’s not what the curriculum or tutor can explain – it’s what they can get your child to explain. When your child is led to discover the “why” of math – it’s more interesting, it makes more sense and they don’t forget.

Most of the time, math is reduced to remembering. Trying to remember – “if I see a problem like this I do that procedure”.

For some kids this is painfully meaningless.

Some kids don’t mind the senselessness of it, and are reasonably good at matching a procedure to a problem. Or so it seems. Even these learners eventually struggle with higher levels of math when they just can’t remember everything that lead up to Algebra III, Trigonometry and Calculus.

Best case scenario, they don’t struggle too much; but, they just don’t like math and want to stop doing math as soon as school will allow.

 

There is an alternative.

But math curricula simply can’t do it. Neither can math videos. Math classes don’t have small enough ratios to do it. And the vast majority of teachers and tutors have no training in how to do it.

It’s a conversation about math that discusses (not explains) the nature of a problem and guides the learner to draw from that nature the why of math.

When your child can explain to you how they did the procedure and why they did that procedure in this circumstance – then your child demonstrates real understanding of math. Our standard is not right answers – our standard is understanding your child can verbalize.

Small Groups

Most one-on-one tutoring is expensive and stressful for your child. Our Small Groups provide the necessary opportunity for your child to engage in deep conversation with a math coach, and observe their fellow group members do the same. They eliminate the pressure of typical 1 on 1 tutoring sessions. And they make tutoring more affordable.

Universal Critical Logic TM

UCLs are needed to understand and support (seemingly) abstract procedures later in math.

Socratic Discussions

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."
- Socrates
The Socratic method draws understanding out of the learner through discussions focused around questions for the learner to answer. One question, artfully, stems from the last answer until the learner arrives at understanding and feels a sense of accomplishment for their discovery.

We want to truly understand your child. So, your child can truly understand math!

A conversation with Parents

We begin the conversation by listening to parents, who understand their child best, to structure math learning goals and plans that make sense for each individual learner. We continue the conversation with parents, thru short weekly updates and other periodic check-ins, as agreed.

A conversation with Learners

We also begin by getting to know the learner. We don’t think you can have a successful conversation about math without building rapport with, and getting to know each individual learner. Then, every week, in our math conversations, we listen to learners. Frankly, this is the key. For your child to think better mathematically, our Coaches listen to them to see how they already think. From there, it just requires better questions, stories, exercises or visuals – well, conversations – to develop their logio-mathematical thinking.

A Conversation with Peers

Our work has shown that math learning is most effective in small (<10) groups with peers who are at about the same stage of learning math. It can help learners a lot just to overhear the conversation that another learner is having. What are they struggling with? What ah-ha did they just have? Being part of other logical conversations about math plays an important role as well.

Socratic Discussions

Success in math requires - conversations.

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