Mentoring means guiding students through learning, making connections with peers and adults and supporting healthy growth and development. This is accomplished through caring interactions. These include greeting the students by name at the beginning of a meeting, asking them about their day or plans for the weekend, and encouraging them to do their best. Mentors share stories about themselves connect with the student’s interests. Laughter, calling students by names, high fives, and pats on the back are all ways mentors can create a caring environment.

When teaching mathematics at UCI, mentors should talk less and ask more, engage students into reasoning, ask meaningful questions, use pictures, and reflect on the process of doing mathematics. It’s not just about the correct answer, but how to push students to grow in terms of understanding. Also, mentors make students work in group, not just individually, and have lots of discussions.

Middle school students look up to mentors and imitate their behavior and attitudes. So mentors should use positive language and treat everyone in the group with equal kindness and respect. If a mentor notices that students are being disrespectful to anyone in the group, a Math CEO leader or assistant must be informed immediately. One of the main goals of Math CEO is to provide a fun, safe and bully-free zone for all. Mentors have the responsibility of setting a positive tone at each meeting.

Suggested Readings for Mentors

Mentor Guide
This guide covers the basic aspects of mentoring during an academic quarter.

Download (PDF)

How can I improve as mentor?

This presentation gives you practical tips and advice on mentoring.

Download (PDF)

The 8 Standards for Mathematical Practice

The Common Core proposes 8 general standards of Mathematical practice, which direct the attention of educators to desirable and meaningful habits of mind that engage students in authentic ways to participate in Mathematical practice. When all these standards are visible during teaching and are integrated together, Math CEO students will be in the best possible environment to learn mathematics.

Download (PDF)

Behavior Matrix

This is the MATH CEO behaviour matrix for students. It can help our student know of their expectations.
Mentors: feel free to share this rubric with students when needed.

Download (PDF)

Rubric for Student Assessment

This rubric will help assess your students during a Math CEO Meeting, so that you can see in which areas they need special attention.
Mentors: use this rubric during every meeting, keeping a record to see the students’ progress.

Download (PDF)

Mathematical Educational Videos for Mentors

These educational videos treat diverse aspects of mathematical teaching and learning in UCI Math CEO, and are aimed to the professional development of our mentors. Feel free to browse these videos and let us know if you would like other topics to be included in the future, emailing

Bienvenidos a Math CEO

Introduction to the program, brief story, goals of the program, responsibilities, Math 192 and frequently asked questions.

General meeting Logistics

In this video we give instructions to check in, provide meeting logistics (materials, name-tags, folders, surveys, etc), crash course, sister tables, whiteboards, career presentations, learning and behavior expectations, teaching buddies, booklet preparation, etc.

Key Aspects of Learning

We describe key aspects that should be present when learning: caring; growth mindset; communication; questions and dialogue; multidimensional classroom; formative assessment.

Your Role as a Mentor

In this video, we review expectations for mentors, and responsibilities inside and outside the meetings.

The Mathematical Nature of Math CEO Meetings

In this video, we describe all the mathematical aspects that should be visible in our meetings and their importance for learning.

The 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice, Part 1

We discuss the 8 Standards of Mathematical practice, which are good ways to know if math is being done in the classroom (part 1).

The 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice, Part 2

We discuss the 8 Standards of Mathematical practice, which are good ways to know if math is being done in the classroom (part 2).

Balancing Concepts and Procedures

We talk about procedural vs relational knowledge, how we can view them as nurturing one another, and we discuss how we can achieve both types in an harmonious way.

Effective Strategies to Lead Mathematical Discussions

We give strategies to lead mathematical discussions in the communication process, going beyond “show and tell”. We describe in depth the use of prompts and cues, with examples.

Communication in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

We look at math as a social activity in which learnings participate, beyond just passing knowledge. We study communication, dialogue and questioning, and give tips such as reflective talk, reasoning expressions, among other.

Reflections in Mathematics

In this video, we describe tools to help students reflect more in mathematics and gain authonomy, using metacognition and self-efficacy, developing habits of mind.

Asking Mathematical Questions

In this video, we discuss the importance of asking good mathematical questions to make students think. We explain the difference between funneling and focusing questions.

Bar Modeling in Problem Solving Part 1

In this video, we use bar models (also known as Tape Diagrams) as a tool to reason algebraically about quantities.

Fraction Addition

In this video, we describe key conceptual aspects of adding fractions, using different visual tools.

Fraction Multiplication

In this video, we describe key conceptual aspects of multiplyiing fractions, using different visual tools.

Strategies for multiplication and division

We give number sense strategies to tackle multiplications and divisions, using flexible methods.

Some problems of proportionality and percentages

We go over some key aspects of proportionality and percentages that can solidify understanding of how linear reasoning is used in mathematics.

Math CEO Behavior Matrix

In this video, we review the Math CEO Behavior matrix which helps mentors have clear expectations from students regarding acceptable behavior.


The Math CEO team and the Project Reach team from the UCI School of Education have put together their expertise on math and youth development to develop a set of digital resources to train mentors on common program concerns of youth development STEM programs. Each video training workshop is accompanied by a downloadable tip sheet

Community Building Practices

Culturally responsive practices

This joint collaboration is based on the work of
Amylene Cabrera, Lucy Dolmadjian, Dr. Alessandra Pantano, Nikolina Petrova,
​Kayla Puente, Dr. Mark Vincent Yu and Dr. Sandra Simpkins,
with generous support from the University-Community Links Network.