In Mathletes, 3rd-5th graders who love math and are great role models each mentor a 1st-3rd grader at their school who needs help or an extra challenge with math skills by playing games and doing teacher- or instructor-selected math activities. This builds the mentor's own math skills while teaching the value of helping others. Small program (maximum of 12 mentors and 12 mentees). Adult-supervised and held on-site at local schools
Sessions are 45 minutes a week and run for seven-eight weeks, including one training session for mentors.
Mentees are nominated by classroom teachers and enrolled with parent permission. Mentors are selected based on application and teacher recommendation. We look for mentors who have a helpful spirit and a desire to teach others, as well as those who love math.
It’s fun! And it’s crucial to develop math confidence and skill in the early grades so that students don’t fall so far behind that they can’t catch up. Research shows that peer tutoring programs are successful at improving skills in targeted areas, especially in math. Plus, research indicates that mentors benefit as much or more from peer tutoring programs as the students receiving the instruction. They benefit in terms of empathy, confidence, and even a deepening knowledge of the subject itself (it may make them better at math by teaching it!).
Our program moves rapidly through activities to keep student attention. Each session we have short discussion questions to build mentor-mentee relationship, math facts with cards or dice, teacher-selected folder activities and games, a "snack problem," a mentor-planned section called Mentor Moments, and even occasional science experiments!