What did a fellow tutor think of our box? This was a box sent out to another tutor, to get a real life opinion of the box – no friends, no family, just tutors! The second review has come in and we’re again delighted to hear it’s so positive!!
A couple of weeks ago I volunteered to receive a Tutor In A Box trial pack. I’ve been tutoring GCSE level maths and I am keen to assess any resources that will help.
I was suitably excited when the box arrived a week or so later – I had already had a little look at the Tutor In A Box website. The founder and creator is Sophie Parker who is herself a maths tutor but has pulled together this professional looking offering in order to reach a wider audience. The box itself is around the size of a ream of a4 paper and upon opening it, there is a pretty yellow sheet of tissue paper. They’ve tried hard to make the unboxing a fun experience.
Upon cracking the seal, the contents was revealed. Please excuse my kitten in the pictures (every good mathematician needs a cat to help with the hard sums). The box I was sent was for October 2018 and contains a mixture of fun elements and straight forward syllabus related learning aids. The paper in the box is colour coded. There are 2 yellow sheets – one for the parent and one for the child, explaining how the box works and the ethos of the system which I would say is essentially:
a.) Little and often.
b.) Create an encouraging atmosphere.
The focus of the lesson in my box was “Laws of Index” and “Standard Form” and there is a double sided sheet about both, containing key facts that you will need to know for GCSE. I would imagine that if I were to receive this box regularly as a student, these are the two sheets I’d want to ensure that I kept in a folder.
There is also a question and answer sheet, encouraging you to practise what you’ve learnt:
Finally, in terms of printed resources, there is a daily maths calendar, which encourages you to think about a maths problem every day. I can imagine you might stick this on your fridge or on the back of your bathroom door to ponder today’s challenge!
Once the serious bits are out of the ways, we’re on to the fun. The fun does of course have a mathematical bent.
In my October box I had some badges, a pot of pencils and a maths tile game called Numenko which claims to be an “ideal educational game for all ages” – certainly I can imagine it would help practise mental arithmetic – much like trying to do the numbers round whilst watching Countdown!
So in summary, I believe the concept is particularly tailored for supporting students achieving a pass on the foundation level GCSE paper. It’s been put together by a team of knowledgeable experts who are themselves maths tutors and know what needs to be achieved to get the pass. The material is well thought out and can be consumed in bite size portions – for example, stuck to the fridge door or above your desk. Text books seem to be a thing of the past in schools and students don’t have their own reference material unless they’ve gone out and bought it. This is not intended to replace all the good work done in the classroom, but much like a private tutor is intended to encourage that good work to continue at home and help foster parental involvement.
This review was written by Hannah Parker (no connection!), who is a Maths Tutor in Portsmouth. Of course, we wouldn’t dream of paying her to say nice stuff, and all the comments are her own.