spring break closes- preparing students for next step

Now is a good time for parents to start thinking about getting math back on track ready for the next math ‘chapter’… and it is a good time to take stock of where we are. To use the next 12 weeks up to summer to firm up some essentials, particularly Times Tables as they feed in to so much, is a great idea . I am so happy the book is helping so many….. and in such a wide variety of learning needs/reasons/styles/scenarios.

One parent fed back this week that they found it useful to have the short videos (I am so proud of them- raw as they are!), and also to read the suggested first session guidance in the book introduction, as they said getting started was a big thing.

I am excited to say that in addition to the Langley and Kelowna Education Conferences (where I am     delighted to be a speaker and vendor at both), I am now also going to be at the BC CPAC conference in  May!! So exciting for me in this next stage of Bridge the Gap Math.

Deep breath for parents, students and new math book authors!

spring break reflections

Spring break and exactly 9 weeks since launch.

Working with my math students 1:1 still whilst the book has been ‘shared out there’ has felt rather odd- like as I am (still) saying the same things to teach concepts, others are doing it at the same time, reading my book!

I know this program WORKS!! I see children leaving, punching the air; their chests are expanded and their heads are high… with pride and RELIEF.

Feedback from mainstream, homelearning and special education has been coming to me via various mediums- Facebook and other social media, personal messages, repeat orders, telephone conversations and oral feedback locally. I am definitely feeling that it is more versatile than I first imagined it to be: the simplicity (short, snappy, comforting, to-the-point, no-big-deal-feel) is hitting the spot for children wanting to get ahead, those wanting to back track with dignity and those needing a different approach to what is already out there; several adults have taken it for their own use! And that is what it is… a collection of ONLY the main fundamentals arranged in a way to FEEL do-able in and amongst the other zillion aspects to a day.

I now need to find the best and most appropriate way to share big time with mainstream, homeschool and Special Education, via conferences, speaking publically about my passion for Intermediate math essentials being in place, workshops, social media, emailing and networking. I continue to worry about being weak in social media understanding, but am working on it. Andy and I are hoping to have some simple videos on the website ASAP as many parents have said they would like it.

Next steps for me now are BC CHEC speaker, speaking to Lonsdale Home Learner Group, speaking at North Van City Library, Langley Home School Conference, and making a plan of how to go about this next chapter.

Wonderful feedback and testimonials keep coming- so thank you to all.

Reaching special education and learning differences... including autism, ADHD and anxiety

This week has taken my mind, my energies and the book in a wonderfully new direction, where I have realized how the program is helping children with special needs, individual education plans and learning differences… but who are able to access and work on math covered in the Intermediate stage of mainstream math- children with a desire to work on math but in small portions, math pages with a simple layout and a not-overwhelming feel… helpful and comforting stepping stones for learners with autism, ADHD, math anxiety... or for children who just need a program which feels do-able, one small step at a time.

This is from a parent and teacher of children with Individual education plans:

“What a great resource this is- full of short and sweet, easy to implement mini-lessons that cover everything from grades 4-7. A much needed resource for all learners to make sure the bases are covered for a strong start in high school.” March 2019 

My brain is buzzing with how versatile the program is proving to be… so much so, that I am feeling I need to get straight in my mind which direction to go in first, and realizing I need to think through a strategy of how to go about this next phase…………… and in addition to the audiences I already had in mind, I have had it suggested, and do feel that it could maybe be an INTERVENTION PROGRAM for mainstream G6/7 ??? and a special education staple??? Having these put to me has made me realize that I have a lot of thinking to do…

I have indeed found myself talking a lot to individuals about HOW best to use it for DIFFERENT scenarios. From mainstream fast track and backtrack, from older teens wanting to find something to help them firm up without feeling a failure, from children with learning differences who find it comforting and manageable… to adults wanting to firm up math to help THEM feel better equipped to be able to help their children. I feel that making people aware that I am here to TALK about individual situations might be something I need to put on the website, so I need to think this through this coming week. Happy spring break all.

Accepting POs (Purchase Orders) from Home Schooling Groups

A little step further along the right lines- with the help of a patient husband and very helpful people in Home Learning Groups, I found out how to be able to accept POs as payment for the book. Only registered with Heritage Christian Online School right now, but have been able to add to the BUY NOW page, that if people let me know their group, I will process an application so POs can be used. Hopefully a step in the right direction to connecting with Home Learning Groups.

Next job…  we need to learn how to reach out to a larger network of Home Schooling Groups and Schools!

Every week there is another little piece of the jigsaw in place… I bumped into a friend in my local store today who asked how long it took me to write the book- I told her it took 6 weeks to write and then three years to reach publication ha ha! One step at a time Laurie… I always did want everything to happen YESTERDAY!!

I have such faith in Bridge the Gap Math™- but my tech and social media skills are still in the Dark Ages… sigh. Ah well- onwards and upwards.

First presentation!!

Thank you to all the people who came to my very first talk/presentation on Intermediate Math (Mar 5th), and for kind feedback!!- I relaxed into it after a few minutes and actually enjoyed it very much! I am now preparing for my next 5 talks between now and May… and venturing into Vancouver further afield… and hoping to do lots more if I can  get the word out there. The part I felt was most valuable was the sharing of some of the tricks and techniques I use with students to keep the learning fun and alive!! Intermediate math is an opportunity to build confidence and watch self esteem soar!!!!! 

Sharing a new testimonial/email which made me feel very happy... and a teeny bit tearful if I'm honest

Her book, Bridge the Gap Math was introduced to us and we were able to complete perfectly formed, bite-sized pieces of math that were easy to do and tick off. 'Tick off' being the key here - it wasn't this laborious, never-ending slog of complicated math that would result in glazed eyes and "I'm tired" within 2 minutes. My son will now motivate himself  to complete whatever 'homework' is set. It is painless, he gets it, I can see his mind thinking to learn and understand the math and then complete the tests given over the page. Done, understood, ticked off. Satisfaction achieved.

My son, who only a few months ago had all but given up on school, is now helping other classmates during math. His self-esteem has bounced back. He is applying himself better in other subjects too, not just math. No longer feeling behind and overwhelmed he's confident and positive about his educational future, even talking about pre-calculus!   Zoe, BC Feb 2019

…the pleasure in reading this has made me feel so warm that the program can have this effect on a child… thank you Zoe for taking time to write and send this gem.

Friday 22 February 2019

Is it possible to think about Times Tables when the snow-keeps-a-coming?!

Interesting addition to my ‘Intermediate math’ presentation agenda- (first ‘talk’ is in 11 days, and then pretty much one per week into May, so for BICS talk on 5th March- wish me luck my first goes well!)… THE MOST ASKED QUESTION of me as teacher EVER, is: How do I get my child to learn their Times Tables? Well, I plan to talk about some of the methods I use, but feel so thrilled that have worked on a ‘program’ that is proving to work… and FAST.  A recent ‘new’ student claimed to know (well, count up in) every Times Table after only 3 weeks of us working on them- and that has been just 20 mins per week. But why are the blooming things SO vital? Well, here are some math concepts which rely on having a grip on Times Tables:

·        Column multiplication

·        Worded problems

·        Averages

·        Division (big time)

·        Doubling

·        Addition, subtraction, multiplication & division of fractions

·        Decimals

·        Percentages

·        Ratio

·        Common denominators

·        Simplifying fractions

·        Converting fractions to decimals and percentages

·        Circles degrees and angles

·        Perimeter

·        Area

·        Volume

·        Square/cube numbers

·        Square root

·        Exponents

·        BEDMAS

·        Integers

·        Algebra

·        Prime numbers

·        Equations

·        Time/distance/speed

·        Mass

…. and that is just for starters. Quite amazing. So they are worth knowing FOR SURE.


Week 4 since book launch and excited for presentation sooooon! on Bowen Island on March 5th at local elementary school. And 5 more presentations in the diary.
Starting to see progress on places the book is reaching, orders and delivery system seems to be working (phew) and generally all feeling exciting and upbeat! Loved being part of the Canadian Online Homeschoolers Conference 6-11 Feb, and now time to ensure I am ready for the local talks.

Today: Can I share a pearl of advice re Times Tables... use the 'pop-up-finger-method' so count up in the chosen Times Table steps whilst popping up a finger for each step (but just nod for 11x and 12x)... and then vary it by touching the ...nose with the finger for each step. Best way I know for Times Table progress.... ALSO: do the 9x Table 'tucking in the finger trick'- it is pure magic! E.g. for 4 x 9, put hands on table and tuck in finger 4... then there are 3 fingers to left and 6 to right... 36! You may know these already but it never fails to amaze me just how many ‘tricks’ there are to learn Times Tables. The most asked question of me as a teacher has been, ‘How can I get my child to know their Times Tables??!!’

Wish me luck in this next phase.  I am needing to think about the bigger picture now, so have some serious thinking to do! I need to find appropriate ways to share this program and book, and so many people have helped me so far. Thank you to you all. Roll on bridging the winter gap to spring.

Want to get going with Times Tables? Start with ‘pop-up-finger-method’ for 2x, 5x, 10x, 11x (beware 11 x 11 and 12 x 11 as they catch us out, so put them onto cards) and then explore 9x trick! Already in place?- move to 3x.

Math priorities?

Time to share a conversation I had with some people when we were talking about the program… they asked me a great question: ‘If you had only 3 hours with a Grade 6 or 7 student who wanted to catch up on some math fundamentals, which concepts would you choose to focus in on?’

Hmmm- well I guess I would check that all the 4 basic mechanics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are in place to a level where the basics are in place- e.g. the column versions or basic box division, and that the student could count up in 2s and 5s… and then work on one or two other times tables. I would also check basic understanding of 2D and 3D shapes and also perimeter and area. Then I would… if time, move on to adding and subtracting of fractions! Three hours only huh??

Also, I have been working on putting together a very basic short video on how to use the book- it is a bit raw, but people have said it would be helpful. It shows close ups of the book pages, and talks you through how it works. Hope to have this on the website very soon!

Cart now up and running… so books have been going across Canada… but still encouraging local people to connect via email so I can hand deliver for free. Also I have reached the stage of having my presentation/talks outline done, so now just need to work on the delivery! But what will I wear?….

13 days after launch... lots been happening!! Soooo exciting to see the book 'out there' and helping.

So, just about 2 weeks in and what a time I’ve had… between the actual teaching of the math, of course.

Lots of local deliveries of the book (nice when here on Bowen as free hand delivery and often 1:1 chat with parents about how to make it happen!), but also posted out to Calgary, Guelph and enquiries from Australia and New Zealand!! ‘Walk-throughs’ over the phone have also been happening, so have been busy there.

HOPING to have proper ‘grown up’ cart in place this weekend!! ready for the Feb conference 6-11th. Also, we have made progress in finding out the most cost effective postage methods for customers for whom hand delivery is impossible (well, not impossible, but I can’t nip to Australia or even Calgary and be back in time for dinner…)

Feedback from parents and students has been overwhelming (see a few comments below)

Now have several presentations and talks in the diary for Feb, March, April and May and am SLOWLY (very slowly) making progress using Facebook, Twitter and Blogging… all new to me. I was never a techy…

I do need help with how to connect with ‘groups’… home schooling FB groups, education groups, tutors etc… but slowly, slowly.

So a few days to go: Next week: 6-11th Feb, Bridge the Gap Math™ is part of BC Canadian Online Homeschool Conference 2019. Open to all. I will be live chatting via phone and Skype. See their website if interested in taking part: (https://canadianhomeschoolconference.com/).


Also now you can see sample pages from the book on this website as a few people said this would be helpful. Look under ‘USING THE BOOK’

Meanwhile... some utterly lovely feedback comments to share. Happy mom:

...She has created this resource which I really believe will be a game changer for you guys...(sent to sister in Alberta)

It REALLY, REALLY is helping already (me, for starters. It is amazing how little I recall and how challenging it is having my own math struggles but needing to help my kids! That is what I didn't count on so much - how much it helped ME!)

Seriously! We've worked while waiting on the ferry, waiting for a siblings guitar lesson to end, and at home. All three. One page at a time. My 15 year old said ,'Wow, I can't believe that I didn't know that I was always mixing up the definition for Product....etc. So this is going to be a critical aspect in terms of math reparations!

#bridgethegapmath #gamechanger

My BLOG is born today!

Bridge the Gap Math™ was launched in Canada on Jan 19th 2019.

Laurie is excited to share the book and the program, and is now entering into a previously unknown and unfamiliar (to her) world of social media and blogging!! Yey!

So this is number one blog… and will be a regular feature to contain hot ‘Intermediate’ math issues, tips, listicles, advice and updates.

Watch this space… and thank you for your support!


#bridgethegapmath    #intermediatemath    #mathsupport