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Tutoring Older Students: 12 Tips for Success

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Feb 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM

haggardThis is part two of a three-part series on tutoring by guest blogger Geraldine Haggard, author of our Kaleidoscope Series books Helpers, Four Seasons, Seeds, and What Is a Friend? To see her other posts, click here!

12 Tips for Tutoring Older Students

1) Use independent level reading material to help student focus on the comprehension strategy.

2) Always include vocabulary modeling and released responsibility activity (context clues, base/root word, affixes, multi-meaning word, figurative language, etc.). Use a dictionary and/or thesaurus when needed. Teach the student how to use these tools.

3) Before reading nonfiction, ask the child to share what he knows about the topic. Remind him that he may have to use some of that knowledge to understand the text and make inferences.

4) Begin the session's reading by asking the child to read the first and last paragraphs, scan the sub-headings, and study any graphics. The child can then predict what he or she will probably learn from the story or nonfiction selection. This will help the student monitor his or her reading.

5) Include some oral and some silent reading. This will help you define any special needs of the student—fluency, rate, structural analysis, syntax, etc.

6) Emphasize only one or two comprehension strategies per session. Modeling by you and then released responsibility to the student are keys to success. You talk through the strategy, telling the child how to use the strategy. The child then uses what you modeled as he or she reads further.

7) Include fiction and nonfiction. Poetry and plays can also be included. The last two genres are now part of many states' testing programs.

8) Use subtopics to model and help student search for answers and work with sequence, details, and main idea.

9) Rereading parts of the text to check comprehension and/or look for special information is important. Help the student see when this is important and how to scan.

10) As you conclude the session, select one strategy that you modeled and then use it to guide the student later in the session. Ask the student to put into his or her own words how the strategy was used.

11) Gradually increase the reading level of the passages as the student demonstrates an ability to successfully use the strategies of comprehension.

12) Massive amounts of private reading by the child at the independent level are still needed. This time spent with reading can increase the rate and fluency of the student's reading. Both are essential to success as a successful reader.

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Dr. Geraldine Haggard is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent thirty-seven years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

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To learn more about the Kaleidoscope Collection series of books, which includes four titles written by Geraldine Haggard, click here to visit the Kaleidoscope page of our website, or click the image below to download an information sheet with highlights of the series.

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Topics: Struggling Students, Struggling Readers, Striving Readers, Tutoring, Geraldine Haggard

Tutoring Young Readers

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Jan 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM

haggardThis is part two of a three-part series on tutoring by guest blogger Geraldine Haggard, author of our Kaleidoscope Series books Helpers, Four Seasons, Seeds, and What Is a Friend? To see her other posts, click here!

Tutoring Young Readers

SELECTING WHAT TO READ

The first selection should be something the child has already read with some success. There should be no more than five errors out of a hundred words for this reading. This can help motivate the child and let you see how the child approaches the task. The new reading comes last. Study the book being considered, and ask yourself the following questions:

* What is the readability level of the book?

* Is there a core of sight words in the book that the child has read in other books and recognizes?

* Are there words with phonetic patterns that the child knows from other book?

* Does the book provide opportunities for the child to practice a needed phonetic pattern?

* Are there opportunities to practice, on his level, phonetic patterns used in previous books?

* What verb forms are used in the book? Be sure you introduce the book using the verb tense from the book.

* Determine the readability level of the book.

* Study the language of the book. Are there words you feel the child is not able to use in his expressive language? (Nonsense words, etc.)

child adult school Monkey Business Images 200INTRODUCING A NEW BOOK

Suggest that the child look through the book and ask questions. Invite him to predict what may happen. Plant new vocabulary word in his mind and ask him to find and frame the word. Use correct tense of verbs in book.

HINTS FOR LISTENING TO THE READING

Always wait before giving the child an unknown word. The child needs to accept the responsibility for a new word. The following questions may help:

* What do you know about that word?

* What is the beginning sound? Move your finger across the word and give it a try.

* Use the beginning sound and try something. Did what you tried make sense?

* Can you cover part of the word that you recognize? (Saying that word part may help the child read the word.)

Make a note of words that you give the child or that are read unsuccessfully; these are possible teaching points.

WHAT IF READING IS UNSUCCESSFUL?

Ask the child to read with you, or to follow as you read. The book is probably at the wrong level. Use the book again later, but do not use as a familiar book for rereading. If reading is word by word, read a page showing the child how to read with expression. Ask the child to read the page in that way.

If there are characters who speak, you can read the story as a play and work on fluency and expression. If the child has trouble reading a word that he has read in another book, use the other book to point to that word and then ask him to read the phrase or sentence containing the word.

WAYS TO USE THE CHILD'S ORAL READING TO HELP CHILD AS HE OR SHE READS

You can read a page or paragraph and he or she reads the rest. Whoever reads answers a question asked by the one being tutored. Use the pictures to give clues about what the story will be about. Encourage the child to start a sentence again and try an unknown word using meaning, what sounds right, and what looks right. Work with fluency by modeling fluency and read a story as a play.

HINTS FOR WRITING SESSION

Ask the child to write a sentence/sentences about something the child would like to write about. Ask the child to orally rehearse one sentence at a time. If a child writes about a story he or she read, show him or her how to use the book to check spellings. Ask the child to read what he or she wrote. Invite child to share what he or she feels is not correct.

Use a practice page to practice letter formations, sound boxes, and sight words. Date each writing sample and study the samples to look for growth and special needs. Use special writing techniques such as language experience and shared writing. Using two colors of pens can show the child the difference between what the child wrote and what the tutor wrote.

Asking the child what he or she learned during a session can help you and the child evaluate a session.

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Dr. Geraldine Haggard is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent thirty-seven years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To learn more about the Kaleidoscope Collection series of books, which includes four titles written by Geraldine Haggard, click here to visit the Kaleidoscope page of our website, or click the image below to download an information sheet with highlights of the series.

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Topics: Struggling Students, Struggling Readers, Striving Readers, Tutoring, Geraldine Haggard

Keys To Successful Tutoring

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Dec 9, 2013 8:00:00 AM

haggardThis is Part One of a three-part series on tutoring by guest blogger Geraldine Haggard, author of our Kaleidoscope Series books Helpers, Four Seasons, Seeds, and What Is a Friend? Check back soon for the later posts in the series!

Keys To Successful Tutoring

A good tutor has the following characteristics:

* a positive attitude
* a desire to help others
* empathy
* patience and gentleness
* an open mind
* enthusiasm
* the ability to recognize and solve problems
* willingness to talk less than the tutee
* the ability to communicate with the student
* reliability (time, study, preparing)

tutorEach tutoring session should build on the previous one. The purpose of tutoring is to help the student help him- or herself. A student being tutored reaps many benefits:

* improved performance and personal growth
* improved attitude toward the subject matter
* improved questioning and thinking strategies
* improved self-respect, esteem and self-directed learning
* opportunities for intensive practice of skills


Tutoring is a two-way learning experience. To prepare for the first tutoring session with a student, you should do these things:

* learn about the student (home, school contacts)
* prepare a basket or tote tray of materials
* collect record keeping materials, writing materials, plastic letters, etc.
* study the list of essential elements for the child's previous grade level
* collect a group of books on at least three levels

It is important to practice careful record-keeping of your tutoring sessions. Here are some examples of the kinds of data you may need to record:

* dates and lists of books read previously and teaching follow-ups
* dated writing samples from sessions and reactions of you and student
* running records
* examples of child's successes and demonstrated needs
* notes of what to revisit in next session

Writing is an important part of the tutoring process. Including writing allows the student to practice reading and spelling high-frequency words. It also helps the student learn syntax and the flow of language, and aids in understanding that words the child writes can be read. You can use writing exercises to show how the text can be used to check spelling of a word, and to give your students practice using complete sentences and mechanics of writing. Writing can be used to demonstrate the understanding of a comprehension strategy (replacing black-line sheets). You can use graphic organizers to support comprehension strategies.

~~~

Dr. Geraldine Haggard is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent thirty-seven years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To learn more about the Kaleidoscope Collection series of books, which includes four titles written by Geraldine Haggard, click here to visit the Kaleidoscope page of our website, or click the image below to download an information sheet with highlights of the series.

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Read More

Topics: Struggling Students, Struggling Readers, Striving Readers, Tutoring, Geraldine Haggard

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