2003 Fingerithmatic Newsletter
I traveled to Christchurch, 2 hours north of where I lived in Timaru and met with a family of a 9-year-old boy with Irlen's Syndrome. He was a lovely boy with lots of interests. I taught him his 3 times tables on his hands and he managed to grasp the concept and stay 'on track' with me for 45 minutes, his mother said that normally his concentration span only lasted a few minutes so she was greatly surprised. I left her with a copy of the Elephants Never Forget their Times Tables book so that she could do the follow up teaching herself without me.
Parents of an adorable child with Down Syndrome invited me to their home to teach their youngster how to touch type, as she needed to be able to write, but didn't like to use a pen or pencil to form her letters. She enjoyed the computer and needed to be able to find the keys faster so that she could keep her thoughts in place. I sat at a huge wooden coffee table and taught each of her tiny fingers how to remember the different letters. As each finger learned its new lesson she would squeal with delight "I can do it Mummy Mummy, I can do it!!"
From my home I worked with a lovely 14 year old student who, sadly, had very limited success in the school system. Her father was prepared to do anything to help her overcome her learning disabilities. He told me that she was becoming very withdrawn and lacked the sparkle she once had. We had our first lesson and in a few minutes after showing me her reading skills, learned to spell the word 'admiration' on her fingers. She was elated! Next we did the 3 times table, division, fractions. long multiplication and long division. When her father came to pick her up she had lots to show him and they were both delighted. We worked on the rest of the tables over the next 5 visits and she is no longer needing my help as is able to do all sorts of math problems on her own, much to the delight of her family.
In February I went for a 5 and 1/2 hour drive down south to Gore to teach an entire school how to touch type. This was really amazing as the youngest I had taught so far was 8 years old, so teaching 5-6 year-olds was a real delight. Read about the results of this tuition under the QwertyQwik page of this web site. The following week the principal attended a conference and outlined the benefits of the Fingerithmatic and Qwertyqwik systems to other principals
In March/April I was in Whangarei, where I was desperately needed to teach at some of the schools and several homeschooling homes. The children all picked up on my system along with their parents, and I know that they are still using this method as I keep in touch with their progress. I traveled to Otorohanga where the schools were very receptive to Fingerithmatic. A workshop in Te Kuiti was very successful.
I then traveled to Te Kauwhata by big rig to teach a homeschooling mother and her darling children. She had not attempted to teach any of the times tables yet to her youngest daughter as she was waiting for my visit and also the fact that she was still only 6 years old. I have never taught a table so quickly in my entire life as I did with the 3 times table on her little fingers. 30 seconds to be correct with perfect recall.
On the 15th of June I went to Te Awamutu to catch up on interest generated by a newspaper article written of my teaching in Te Kuiti. I taught the lovely family, including an adult with dyslexia. I tried my spelling techniques with him and I used the scrabble letters first and then after several words learnt this way I tried the Spell Quick method on his fingers.
He found that this way suited him best of all and was excited to be able to learn all the months of the year, days of the week and numbers, all in 1 1/2 hours. His fingers were very quick to pick up the patterns and he diligently went over each pattern until he was sure his fingers had the information stored successfully.
I had 12 families to teach in Otorohanga along with a group of teacher aides from another local school; these were astounded as to how valuable this system was and would be singing its praises to the teachers and principal on their return to school.
While in Christchurch I also taught 2 classes at a Primary School in the center of the city. The teacher had hired me privately, as a gift for her students, so I was very happy that she felt my teaching was so special.
The mother of the darling in the picture above then took me to Manukau City where I was met by another teacher who had a son with specific learning needs. She was becoming desperate for help for him, as they had tried everything and his explanation for this memory loss was that the numbers fell out of his ear and soaked into his pillow as he slept. He would know them when he went to sleep, but when he woke up they were gone again. He was becoming fragile and felt failure and she did not want this to happen. I taught him the 7 times table as I felt it was the most difficult one to learn and if he had success with that, as I know he would then the rest would be easy. It worked and he was amazed that finally he knew how to multiply and divide and could catch up with his peers.
What a relief for his mother! She busily started making phone calls to all her friends and some fellow teachers in other schools and this trip was used to teach them.
On the Saturday morning after my arrival I taught the teachers from Greenmeadows Intermediate. The afternoon was very successful and the teachers were very enthusiastic and as I had a spare day on Monday, I offered to go along to their school and teach for parts of their blocks. Of the 8 classes, 6 were taught their 17 times table and 1 the longest rivers in the world and 1 the Qwertyqwik method. Feedback from all of these classes at the end of the day was wonderful and inspirational.
August saw me back in Otorohanga again, this time teaching parents and children as well as 2 classes at Paterangi School. One of these parents returned for a further lesson with her daughters and told me that when her youngest daughter was tested prior to my last visit by her teacher she was achieving 22%in basic math. After the one teaching lesson which she shared with her older sister, her level jumped up to 67%! I was able to show her another table this trip. I hope she continues to do well.
On my arrival back in Christchurch, I took a taxi to Avondale Primary School to teach a group of teachers my Qwertyqwik Multi Sensory Touch Typing method. Although the teachers were all tired from their day's teaching they enthusiastically learned this method and were each busy talking to their fingers on the way out the door.
In September I traveled to London to meet with a publishing firm. One of the parents who purchased an Elephants Never Forget Book online from my NZ web site had so much success with it that she wanted to help me to market my system over there in the UK. She contacted the Jolly Phonics Publishing firm and after talking with the owner and sending him my books, I was finally able to meet with him and demonstrate my multi sensory method of teaching to his teachers as they were very interested in my concept. One of the teachers promised me that she would trial it in her classroom.
I then flew to Sweden in October and holidayed with friends in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. I taught the children of my friends over there and even learned to count in Swedish in order to be able to do this, saying 77 in Swedish took a bit of doing!! Wherty wwew!! The father of one of these children was so delighted to hear that his daughter learned her 7 times table and for the first time in her life achieved 100% in a math exam. He was so proud!!
In November, I came back to New Zealand, hardly unpacked my bags and I was back in a plane to the North Island to teach at a large college in Tauranga. I stayed with a family and was picked up each day by the deputy principal who was a real sweetie and wanted the best for the students at her school. I was there for 3 days and taught in all of the lower math classrooms and special needs room. Then I taught the staff to touch type in an hour. One of the teachers, after learning my method of typing said to me "I thought that it was stupid that you didn't teach using a keyboard, but it's not stupid at all, it really works!!"