Comments by Students – Elementary
Where I have seen improvement…
I am so so happy that I am in Arrowsmith because it has really, really helped me tonz! I can now do a lot of things that I was never able to do before. The first thing that I have seen improvement in is my handwriting. I can write much neater and it is a lot easier for me to write. I also used to write very slow and now I can write a little bit faster but that is only a little thing. I used to have to have to pronounce each syllable when I read Hebrew but now I can read Hebrew much better. Another really good thing that I have seen improvement in is in my memory. I am really able to remember things much better and if my mother tells me to do something I will maybe forget but I will remember a little later and before Arrowsmith I always forgot everything. I wasn’t able to remember what I learnt in Math but most of all, the thing Arrowsmith has helped me most in is understanding. Before Arrowsmith I never understood anything but now I can understand some things much better! Especially in Math I understand what I learn every day! Last year I never understood anything in class and my mother had to teach me everything that I learned that day and study with me for really long and I still wouldn’t be able to get a good mark and this year for the first time in my life I got a 100 on my Math test and I didn’t study. If there wouldn’t be such a thing as Arrowsmith it would be really bad because Arrowsmith is the BEST thing in the whole world!
Dear Ms. Arrowsmith,
I very much wish I could tell all of this to you in person. But at this moment my family and I are currently all the way in Michigan. I am very grateful for your program. It has helped me more then I ever imagined it would. I have always had… troubles, for the lack of a better word, in math. My mother has found many programs for me to try for math but, none of them have ever worked. Sometimes we thought they were actually going to. ‘Maybe this time’ we would think. When my mom found out about Arrowsmith, we decided that this time it would work. This time, it had to. And, it did. I never thought I would ever get math, ever add in my head. But my dreams came true. I can add in my head now. More things than just math has changed. Spelling has become better, even my writing has become better. My memory has become SCARY, and I see details I always wanted to see, but never could. My handwriting is beautiful, I memorize things, and I don’t even MEAN to. It just happens. I can tell if someone’s telling the truth or not. If s all because of you. I can’t even find the right words, so I suppose Til just say, thank you. Thank you. It sounds pathetic, I know, but that’s all I can say. Thank you.
Elizabeth, age 13, an Arrowsmith student, and proud of it.
My name is Aiden. I am in grade 7 and in my second year of Arrowsmith. I’m going to tell you a bit about my journey with school so far.
In grade 2, half-way through the year, I was home-schooled because my mom thought I needed counseling and speech therapy. I worked with a speech therapist with my spelling, but after 6 months I could only remember one word. We all knew that this wasn’t helping me.
In grade 3 I noticed that school was getting so much harder. Reading was way harder and so was writing. I could never remember how to write words and so I would just give up. During reading I always had to read little kiddie books with pictures because I had trouble reading. I would learn with all the other kids but I couldn’t remember anything. I could never get things done on time because it took me so long. Like in math – even if I did get a whole bunch of math questions done, they were all wrong because I got the steps mixed up. When I got one wrong I didn’t have the confidence to keep going so I would get all mad and I would just put my head down and quit.
There was always a little group of us kids who had the same disabilities and the teacher gave us special spelling and reading help but soon even the other kids in the little group got better and faster than me. That made me feel kind of stupid because they could remember things like a sponge, but I couldn’t. People didn’t think I was trying, but I was. At the end of grade 3 I knew I could do grade 2 work, but was worried that I would be one of those kids who had to stay back a grade.
When I was in grade 4 one of the kids in my special group came with me to a different school because there was a program there for kids with disabilities. The program was better because they introduced us to computer help. I had a program where I could speak into the computer and it would write words for me. I didn’t like it because I could never pronounce the words right and it was a lot like math because it was confusing and had a lot of steps and commands to remember. It wasn’t helpful at all for me.
When I was in grade 5 Reading Buddies was embarrassing. I was reading with grade 3 kids and I couldn’t help the little kid with the word he was stuck on because I couldn’t read it either. In Grade 5 I heard about Arrowsmith and I heard it would help me. I didn’t want to go because I thought it would just be another school, another program, and it wouldn’t help. You see – I was only in grade 5 and I had already given up on myself. The only thing I liked about school was my friends and I didn’t even have many friends. Because nothing was helping me I felt like I had nothing to work towards because nothing was getting any better.
SO – we decided that I would come to GCCS and try the Arrowsmith program. The first day here I thought everything was going to be fun. We had to do a lot of strange things but the teachers would explain how it would help us. Everything looked really easy at first, but it actually takes a lot of time to master something. The work is difficult because every exercise in Arrowsmith is working on something we are weak at. Imagine working all day doing something you are not good at. It can be frustrating and overwhelming. BUT – for the first time ever I started to remember stuff! In about 2 months I already felt like “I can do this!” and I had never felt that way before. For example, whenever I used to write stuff, my teacher would have to pretend to read it or say “Aaron can you read this to me?”, but the problem was I couldn’t even read what I had written.
After one year in Arrowsmith I can write a whole page in cursive writing in about 25 minutes, which is really good for me. My spelling still need a whole lot of work, but me teacher can actually read everything I write now. My reading is a lot better and I can read faster and sound out words better. For the first time I have enough confidence to read out loud.
I play the cello. In the past I would have to write down every single note because I would keep forgetting the note names and sequences. My dad is my cello teacher and he has noticed that I am able to remember my notes a lot better now. I can also play the drums now because I feel more coordinated and I can do 3 things at once instead of just one.
My future is looking brighter. I am able to dream bigger about what I’ll be doing in the future.
…and that’s my story so far.
St. Theresa Shrine Elementary
I am better at math. I usually understand it the first time, before I had to ask a few times to get it. It helped me pick up my speed in reading. I can pick out the main idea easier.
I can sound out and remember more in reading so it is becoming easier to read. Math is easier and I don’t have to ask for help as many times. I am more organized.
I get better marks in the projects in my classes. My marks are considerably higher.
In math I used to always use my fingers but now I only use my fingers sometimes. In reading I used to skip words and now I don’t. It is easier to remember things now.
I understand easier. My handwriting has gotten better. I am taking instructions better.
Spelling and math are easier. I did not know my times tables and now I know some. I can spell a lot better. It is easier to tell time. My reading and writing have improved and I like to write stories.
I read easier. There are big words that smarter kids can’t get and I can get them and people are surprised. If I am watching Jeopardy I get the answer cause I now get the little clue in the question. It is easier to remember things I have to do.
In math I am able to figure out things easier and I answer a lot quicker. I read quicker and understand easier. I am remembering easier.
It has helped with my handwriting. It is readable. I can read my work now.
Where I have seen improvements…
My family has noticed some changes. Even my piano teacher or neighbours can tell that I have changed. Like now I am more friendly and I’m a lot more confident with myself. I can hold a conversation and listen better. When I am reading a book I don’t get lost because I follow the words. Also my mom has noticed that I am very organized because when I come home from school I get a quick snack and then I go do my homework. I know where I keep all my stuff. All my pens, and eye patch are in my pencil case. Either in my homework binder pencil case or at home in my other pencil case. Now I just have to make sure that my room isn’t so messy. I wonder if there is an exercise that will help me make my room more cleaner.
Now I can memorize my iPod songs, people’s names, and I can remember other words. I think that’s what object Rec has helped me with. Also when I’m writing slower my parents can see that my writing got neater and word has made me write faster. If I’m listening to a really good song and if I heard the name I can write it down really fast or remember the name. Just a few weeks ago I was at UBC Thunder Birds Basketball game. There was these basketball players who had the coolest last names. Three guys last name was: Kool, Dyck and Bath. When I got home I wrote it down on a piece of paper and then looked them up on Google. I don’t know why but I did, but I actually remembered their names for a while and still haven’t forgotten the last names.
Once I heard a word and then I can remember it for a while. When I’m doing piano I learn a scale and my teacher was like: “Wow how do you do that?” I just tell her I’m not sure because I could never do that before. Now my piano teacher is really impressed and I’m not so shy anymore. Before I didn’t really speak that much because I was so nervous, but now I talk a lot and it is impossible to shut me up. So I have seen tons of improvements so I think this school is actually helping me now!!
Where I have seen improvements….
I think I have improved in reading, writing more, remembering easier, I can focus more than I use to, I can read clocks much faster, I got a little better typing faster than I use to. I just feel more confidence in myself. I even think I am more smart because I can remember more. I can remember more what I need to so I am doing better in class. I don’t talk as much in class. I can remember more instructions better and more at a time. I can read better. I can get my work done faster in class so at my other school I don’t have any homework like I use to. I use to have so much. I can remember what I read now. I use to be able to remember anything that I read. Now the books are more interesting so I definitely read more than I use to. I just like school better. I even have more friends because I have more confidence to ask people if I can play with them. It even helps me in gymnastics because I take risks more so I just go for it. I even like it more because I don’t get in trouble for not going for it. I even take risks for doing really hard things if I have never done them before and they end up a little scary but way more fun than scary and we just got a new thing. It’s not bouncy yet so it’s really fun but sort of hard to do skills on it because you hardly bounce on them. We have to work really hard because we have a competition not this week but the next week after that. I can’t wait but I sort of can because we are so not ready. It’s going to be so hard this is my first year doing tramp and tumbling. I even transferred into tramp and tumbling not that long ago so I had to re-learn all the skills so it is so hard for me. I am not going to do very well. I don’t think but I do think I will do good at the same time, so yeah.
Where I have seen improvements….
I have seen improvement in my reading, writing, Math, English, friendships, understanding and remembering where I put my stuff. My reading has improved so much! At first I would never even touch a book, now I can’t stop reading and “have to finish this chapter!”, then I read three more chapters after that! My writing, as you can see, has also gone a long way. The only problem I have is my best writing is written with pencil. I find it much smoother than these pens. I’ll do some pencil writing on the back for an example.
My math has gotten to my best efforts in my entire life! So far, I remember the steps to all the formulas and I can multiply easily at the math destractors in phrases.
English I found that I can write down fast enough to keep up with the teachers and jot down the right information needed. I can read out loud in class with only a few hesitations.
For friendships, I can understand immediately when, what, why and how something is wrong. I help the girls get over big problems as much as possible! In understanding everything, it does make me work better.
Where I have seen improvements
I have seen many improvements since I have started the Arrowsmith Program. I have seen improvements in my writing skills like neatness and tidiness! I also think that all this homework will get me ready for high school so that I won’t be behind in school. I have noticed and so have my parents that I’m not getting headaches as much when I’m reading or writing. I think that word and tracing helped me with that. My math has improved a bit I think. Because now when I do mental math I can remember my numbers unlike before I started Arrowsmith. Before I started Arrowsmith I was very confused all the time and my teacher would take five extra minutes to explain things to me! It made me feel excluded. I use to fail horribly on math test but my last one I got 97%. I was very impressed by myself.
I think my life without Arrowsmith would be harder than it is! I wouldn’t be ready for high school or anything. My teacher at my other school said she saw improvements too! I was very surprised when I saw my writing at the beginning of the year and how it has improved. The thing that has helped me the most in Arrowsmith would probably be word or tracing. Those are my favorite subjects too!! I have seen my percentage on spelling tests go up! I use to get like 50% now I get 80% or higher! I have improved so much I just can’t believe it! I think it’s weird because I have so much fun but we are at school. I love it at Arrowsmith. I have so much fun but I’m working. It’s unbelievable how much some people have improved. And watching people master stuff all the time I’m very proud of myself. I have mastered so much stuff mostly word and tracing. Some of my masters are clocks and some broca but no R Think. I’m so proud of myself!
Thank you for inventing all of the brain exercises, they are helping me with so much> I can write faster and I can do more math in my head. I am more confident in class and I can get my work done sooner. I think that my memory is getting better because I am starting to remember my times tables and I can remember spelling rules too.
My name is Ada and I am in Grade six and go to the Arrowsmith program. Arrowsmith changed my life and here are a few things I want to share with you.
I tried tons of programs since Grade One. They all worked some parts of the brain but not all of it. I tried another but they put me a year behind. I learned old material again but I knew it. My class was only six kids and had three teachers. I liked being in a big class better than a small class. Being in a small class did not help me learn better.
I was in special ed in other schools but they focus on being in a small group. They did not realize that this was not the way that I needed to learn.
Arrowsmith is a hundred per cent different. My brain now actually focuses and I bring those skills to my real class.
In Chumash, they used to teach you the meaning of the words that repeat themselves a lot in the psukim. I used to write them down but would forget by the next pasuk. Now, I remember them. I actually understand what I am reading. Hebrew is not a mystery to me anymore. Reading Rashi is easier now. I used to have a hard time reading the rashi script, it looked like a jumble to me. The letters are now clear to me. I can now see the relationship between Rashi and Chumash.
Before Arrowsmith, when I tried to read Hebrew, I had to break it down to all its parts and syllables and could not blend it. I still practice Kriah now nightly but if anyone hears me last year and last night they will hear how different I read. Now I can read a pasuk straight through without breaking up a word into its parts.
There has been a big change for me in English subjects too.
In Math, I couldn’t do multiplication tables, I used to stare into space. There were some units I was really good at and some that I was really bad at. Because I was good at some units, they thought I should try harder. I have a different learning style. If I didn’t know how, I just didn’t do it.
This year, I ask for help and I don’t give up. Now instead of learning something in a week, I can learn it in a night. My learning style is still different but I learn and get things much faster.
I have less units that I don’t understand and I hope that after another year of Arrowsmith it will lessen even more. I know I can do it now and I know if I try I can succeed.
I used to be a troubled reader. I could read, but if I lost my spot, I would have to start the chapter over again or the book over again. Now, over Pesach I read 14 books. I read one book that was five hundred pages. Now I want to make sure the books I read are interesting because before it was all one big blah.
My handwriting before was sloppy and it looked like I was writing with the wrong hand. Now, my handwriting looks decent and everybody can read it. Some teachers actually compliment me on it. My friends actually can now read my notes. For the first time ever, people actually want to borrow my notes.
In the beginning of the year, I needed the teacher to slow down or repeat something because they were going too fast for me to take notes and understand. Sometimes I had to peek at the girl next to me to see what she wrote. Now, I can keep up with the teacher and take great notes.
Before Arrowsmith I was disorganized. If I lost something, I would never see it again. My papers and my things were everywhere. Now, I am organized and I know where everything is. I can find things that I misplace because I can now think back and remember where I may have left it.
My biggest change is that I don’t misunderstand people when they speak to me. For example, my once told mother told me to bring her down a towel. I went upstairs and brought down a shaitel. When my mother then told me that that is not what she wanted, i went up and got a snood. This type of thing never happens to me anymore. Imagine how hard it is for a kid to not hear things properly.
My memory now is much better. I used to be forgetful. If I borrowed money for a kid in school she would tell me five times, bring back the money tomorrow. When I got home, I knew I had to bring her back something so I brought a snack. Now I hardly ever forget things. Life is so much easier.
I like being in charge of things now. I used to be embarrassed to participate in things. Now I am in charge of dance in my class. We taught each other a dance a few days ago and I still remember it now. This is big change since when I took dance classes because even after so much practice I still had to rely on following the girl in front of me. Now I remember it on my own.
In Neshama, I was one of the main characters and I forgot my cue at the actual performance and I forgot tons of my lines and one of the dances to my songs. Now, I am a big character and I remember my lines and I can say it on the spot and know them off by heart. I don’t miss my cues because I remember when they are coming.
I want to say thank you to Arrowsmith and hope that you all learn something about the program tonight.