Tabitha* was one of my very first tutoring students this year. I've been working with her for the past three months. She's the only student who has never canceled on me. She, and her mother and aunt, are awesome.
She started out with a D in math. She's now pulling a B.
She LOVES Twilight.
She was painfully shy at first, but she's opened up once we've gotten to know each other better.
I give her timed multiplication and division tests whenever I can. As a fourth grader, she really should be pulling 20 problems per minute in both. She got really close at one point a month back, 19/min in multiplication. Then her teachers started giving her piles of homework and we couldn't get to the timed test.
This week, she's taking the CSTs, so she has no homework. Yesterday, I gave her the timed tests again and she fell to 14/min in multiplication. She wasn't proud of that. But she went up to 11/min in division, from only 9/min last month.
Which is weird, because division is usually more difficult for students than multiplication.
"Oh yeah," Tabitha said, when I told her about her anomaly, "Since we've been doing the harder stuff in math, I've been forgetting the easy stuff."
Thus, the class Forget-er. Tab does tend to forget - she even forgets what she was talking about mid-sentence sometimes. It's funny until it gets exasperating. Good thing she pulls it back together once she senses I'm losing patience with her. I wish all kids were that perceptive. Hell, I wish all ADULTS were that perceptive.
I do have a question to end on: For this type of forgetting, where does natural, childhood ditziness end and a real learning disability begin? I'm pretty sure Tab won't qualify for special ed, probably never will. But it's definitely something I plan on studying more in depth than that measly six units of Intro to Special Education.
*Not real name