Since March, I have had the opportunity to chat several times with the 5th grader from the homework group. (See From Can't to Can) Each time she mentions something positive about math class. I subbed in that class yesterday while the students worked on the final test. Before they got started, I told them that any can'ts in their heads would keep them from thinking and asked her to tell them what they needed to believe. She grinned and said, "I think I can!" After school today, she and I worked on some strategies to help her learn and remember some of the addition and multiplication facts that give her trouble. Although I am a volunteer after school, I was richly rewarded when she said, "Ever since I've been working with you, I am really liking math." She now believes in herself, and it has made a big difference in her attitude and her accomplishments.
Tonight I rediscovered a poem I had forgotten about and am making a copy for her - "It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar Guest.