13 November 2014

America Reads 2014-2015 November Blog Prompt



ATTN: America Reads Tutors

Tell about a student(s) who you are tutoring that is making progress or a student that is having challenges. (Do not use the student's real name). As an America Reads tutor what strategies are you using to help the student. Do you have ideas for other tutors?


58 comments:

  1. Hi everyone, I am tutoring 1st graders at Whittier Elementary this year. I am pulling students out of the classroom to go over what we call "fry" words. These are words used commonly and depending on the color coding help establish a students ability to read and recognize words. I have one boy student who seems distracted easily, so I have him use a pointer stick (a simple pencil can be used). and he points and eyes on the paper. I try to make it fun for them and make a big deal when they are able to move forward. I also have the students break the words down into chunks so that the words don't seem so difficult.

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    1. Breaking the words down has been helpful for me, as well. Some students can break it down into two parts and easily read it, while others I've noticed, need it letter by letter. The difference in learning styles has been interesting for me figure out.
      And I agree about keeping it fun! Learning should be fun and be a huge deal when they make progress! Sounds like your doing some great work. :)
      -AMDLP

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    2. I like the idea of using a pointer stick. I think that will help my student as well, I think that I will look at getting one (or just using a pencil or pen).
      H.P.

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    3. This post helped me realize that I am using the pencil the wrong way. I usually do the pointing but now I know that if the student does the pointing I know to what extent they are focusing. I also use a piece of paper with a rectangle torn out, (a window) so that the student only sees one word at a time. This seems to be not so intimidating seeing so many words at once. I can move the paper around to different words, or the student can hold it and move it to the next word. The more we encourage them to do the more successful they or we will be. Thank you for your insight.

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    4. I too have a student like this and he is definitely my most challenging of all my students. What you said about making it fun is important. That is definitely an important step to get a student who has trouble paying attention, to pay attention. I know this isn't a cure all, but it is a major factor and I'm glad you pointed it out. I hope people who have similar students, take note.
      Brian H.

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    5. Oh LeeAnn I really liked your idea about using the little window on a piece of paper so the student focuses on only the one word! A couple of my students tend to skip words or blur them because they want to read quickly and then they get confused about where in the book they are. I will have to use that technique. Thanks!

      Karla

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    6. Using the pointer was a great idea. I've noticed that some of the kids that have a hard time staying on task tend to wiggle and fiddle with things. I think that keeping them physically engaged in the learning process was very clever.

      KL

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    7. The students I had at Whittier we kindergarten age and I had one boy who said he did not want to learn. I was given cards and a white board. I said to him how come you do not want to learn. His reply was "its too hard and takes too much time.". This is what his parents had told him. I told him that I had some fun things here and I pulled them out of my bag, they were the cards of numbers and letters as well as the white board. I told him for every card he got right he could write on the white board. So first I had him go through the cards to see what he really did know. He knew quite a bit of the alphabet and numbers as well as the sound of the alphabet. He has improved greatly and now enjoys learning because I told him that learning is fun and may take some time but it is so fun to learn. There is another tutor helping him. I do not know how he is doing with her.

      Boo

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  2. I am currently working with a large amount of students. However, with that being said, there is one in particular that makes this job worth it more than I imagined. I will give her a fictive name of Jane.
    Jane is a very insecure individual when it comes to reading-- she has a hard time opening up to others for help as well as learning the 4th grade material. I have been tutoring for a little over a month, now, and we are finally making progress (I only have the privilege of working with her once a week.) She has now opened up to me and actually gets excited when I come to teach her to read, telling me I'm her favorite and doesn't want to go back to class when the tutoring session is over-- which makes me so happy to know she's enjoying learning!
    With Jane, I make sure to keep an upbeat demeanor. She gets frustrated very easily and she feeds off of my emotions. The happier and more energy I have, the more willing she is to stick through the hard parts of learning. I also am very encouraging. Anyone can teach someone to read, but not everyone can place that sense of worth within a student-- which I believe is the most important part of learning. I am always telling her she's doing so well, improving. I tell her that it's okay to "struggle through it," that struggling is a part of the learning process, everyone goes through it. I explain that no matter what, she just needs to keep at it and persevere.
    She has actually been improving by simple comments of encouragement. She just needs to believe that she can do it, instead of getting embarrassed that she is making some mistakes. The more comfortable she becomes with me, the more open she is to my ideas and ways of teaching-- much more receptive and willing to fail in front of me and to let me help her figure out better ways of approaching her reading.
    Other measures I use are the materials the teacher has given me. I cut out a bunch of combinations and words and we go through those each time I'm with her. We also do a timed reading (a cold read and a hot read) and work through these together.
    Jane is getting more confident (which was my first goal with her) and is now beginning to move a little faster with her timed readings. I'm very proud of her and look forward to seeing where she goes. I love this job.

    AMDLP

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    1. That is awesome that you are making such progress with "Jane". I think us as tutors are not the only ones rewarded when our students make progress, the students are as well. Especially, with the encouragement that you are giving that sometimes is the only encouragement they receive. Good work!
      H.P.

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    2. I love how you are working with “Jane”. Hopefully each of us will be able to experience success to a certain degree with our students. I agree that it is very important to stay positive, even if we are having an off day. We all like to be told that we are doing a good job! The more positive words we share with our students the more positive they will feel toward reading. Keep up the good work. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

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  3. I am working at Whittier Elementary in 1st-5th grade classes. I work with several different small groups and one on one with a few children as well. There are 2 boys in 5th grade that I have recently started working with on understanding syllables and how to break them apart. I have found this to be a fun diversion from my regular duties, because it has given immediate results and I really enjoy it.
    With one of the boys, he has a hard time hearing the breaks in the words and understanding where they should be if he doesn't hear them. I never thought I would need the experience I gained with syllabic work in another after school tutoring job, but it has been exactly what is needed to help him. Basically, I work with him to say the words as he normally would and then tell me how many syllables there are and where they break. Once he has done this, we go over all the words and reinforce or correct his estimations. There have been several times where the light has come on and he understands better how to break up some of the words he was having problems with. The other boy that I do syllabic work with, thinks that he know where the syllables are. When we work together I have given him the strategies of saying the word quickly to hear what consonants "stand out" or are said stronger. Then I point out that these are where the syllable breaks are and that it makes it easier to know how many syllables there are and what letters are in each syllable. I have been able to watch him make an error, but then go back over it and realize on his own that it is wrong according to what I have taught him. I am teaching him that learning about syllables will make him better at spelling the words when he listens to all the sounds that are in each syllable. An example of this was the word "literature". When he said it fast it sounds like "litrature", which is incorrect syllables and spelling. When he clapped out the syllables and broke up the word in spelling, he got "li-ter-ra-ture", which is correct and makes spelling it easier. So yes, I am pumped that I could make such an immediate change for these boys!
    In general, my advice to other tutors is to take what the teacher assigns you to do and make it your own! This means that you need to understand why you are doing it, how you can best do it and how to make it fun for you and the students. With the syllable work, I used clapping the syllables to make it more interactive. And talked as if it was a challenge to see how many words they could get right the first time. With my other reading groups, I have done my best to figure out the different personalities and address them according to what helps the groups work progress (an active child- use more structured rules and turns, shy child- I ask more questions and give options for participating at their comfort level). I also, use the school "dollars" as rewards for students that do their best and put forth effort when they work with me. This helps keep them focused and shows them that they are in control what I give them by how they behave. All my students teach me a lot about how to be a better teacher and I enjoy helping them, even if they don't always want to work. Some of the best moments are when a difficult child suddenly changes their attitude, because they see I'm not going to give up just because they are misbehaving.
    CLS


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    1. I like the "clapping" technique, I may have to use that with my student as well. It is nice that you are able to reward your students progress with "dollars", so that they know that they are doing something worth while.
      H.P.

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    2. Nice! That's the kind of stuff that makes a good tutor. So good job on that! I have done this with my own daughter who is in 1st grade with the syllables or breaking down the words. It makes a world of difference! It's something so simple to implement, yet it is so effective.
      Brian H.

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    3. Thats great! I'm glad you stuck with it, it can be hard trying to find a learning style to fit a child's needs. Clapping is a great way to straighten out tricky words. Thats one I used when I was learning.

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  4. It really is very gratifying to see that children are unaware and every day I go up stairs three students from different grades and each will change the day to day activities, I have seen such love to see that activity will have the next day, in each activity learn something, expect rewards and that encourages them to do better. I stimulus every time they do the activities well, it is gratifying to see a girl and knowing how to write their names and numbers and this progress has been a month ago. The application of different tactics, plays, short readings, sharing writing simultaneously reading helps a lot. Just as repeating every day the same thing in different ways and encouraging games is excellent.

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  5. A student that I am working with started out having many challenges. He is now slowly progressing. It was so awesome to work with him this week, he had made a complete 360 degree change from the week before. When I first started working with this child (who is in 3rd grade), I came to realize pretty quickly that he was not on level and would need to go back to the very basics. His other problem was that he could not stay on task for the life of him. I tried my hardest to help him and keep him on task, and nothing was working. I talked to his other tutor to see if she had any suggestions and she was having the same problems. I also talked to our supervisor, and she didn't know what more we could do that we had already been doing. After two weeks of having these issues, I went and spoke to his teacher. I explained what was going on and she said she would handle it and get the issues fixed. Which brings us to this week, when I went and got him I could already tell a difference in him. When we got back to the tutoring room, we got right to work, we utilized the white board, he did everything asked of him and more, and the best part he stayed on task and worked hard. He even earned a pencil and asked me if I could tell his teacher what a great job he did. I walked him back to his class and let his teacher know how good he did, and she let me know since the issues were address last week he has been doing better for his other tutor, in class, and now for me. The main idea that I have for other tutors after this issue is; don't be afraid to go to the teacher for help too. They can be a great asset as well, since they are with them more than we are.

    H.P.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit with his teacher. I am noticing an improvement also. I think I am beginning to figure out how to help him and keep him on task. I agree with H.P., don’t be afraid to ask the teachers for help. Whenever I pick up one of my students, I ask the teacher if there is anything specific they would like me to work on with the student. Trust the teachers suggestion! Also listen to advice from other tutors. We all have the same goals!

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    2. Thanks for your story and the advice about going to the teacher. I have been contemplating speaking with the teacher of a new student that I acquired that seems to be a challenge as far as reading level and attitude. I will speak with her soon and get a better insight on what this student needs help on and what she's seen his capabilities of.
      KL

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    3. It's important to remember that you are not alone in this endeavor. It takes a village. :)

      AS

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  6. I am now tutoring 8 students. I am working with 4-3rd graders, 2-2nd graders and 2-1st graders. Several of my students are moving up to the next level of books while several are still struggling to move on. I know I need to just be patient as I have just started working with them but sometimes I wonder, especially with the 3rd graders why they are so behind on their skills. One thing I have noticed with the 3rd graders is how difficult spelling is for them. I have been focusing more on helping them learn their weekly spelling words. I feel that it is not only important for our students to be able to read the words of others but they also need to know how to write and express themselves with their own words. I have them writing their weekly spelling words on the white board. They seem to enjoy that. I also have a little 1st grader that does not know the alphabet. She can identify all the letters and knows the sound for each one but she cannot say them in order. I didn’t know if this would be a problem or not since she had the skills to sound out words. After discussing this with Sherrie and Sherrie discussing it with the teacher we have decided that I need to focus on her learning the ABCs. We start each session reciting the alphabet. Time will only tell if what I am doing is working. So far I’m not seeing much improvement. Ideas for other students would be to just be patient, work on different skills for awhile, give them time to work, but don’t keep doing something over and over if you aren’t seeing the benefits of it. Hang in there! We are more successful than we may feel.

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    1. LeeAnn - That is really interesting about the ABC reciting. I think it's a great idea and glad to see that it is helping. But what I wanted to comment on is that I like that you communicate with Sherrie and that she communicates with the teacher. Communication is key and vital in preparing a plan that works and that is effective for each of these kids that we tutor. Fantastic work!
      Brian H.

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    2. I can understand the concern that you have for your first grader. I just acquired a student form another tutor that ran out of hours. I couldn't get him to read at all. It seemed like he was trying at first, but I couldn't tell if he can't read or just didn't want to. I look forward to finding out just where his reading level is and helping him progress. I have considered that even though he is in 2nd grade, I may have to start with the basics.
      KL

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  7. I have a student right now who is struggling with concentration to a point that I have rarely seen in any student. I myself struggled with this as a kid and a bit as an adult as well, as I had ADD and struggled to concentrate well enough to get something accomplished in school. So I know how it must feel for him. I've been there. But he is struggling at a level even higher then I've had to deal with in my own life. It doesn't end there though. If he doesn't get a word correct on the first try when we are doing sight words, he immediately gets down on himself so much so, that he wants to call it a day and puts his head down. I'm at a loss right now of what will work and will gladly take suggestions. I also plan to sit down with Sherrie this week and get her opinion on what she thinks I should do. I'm also going to talk to his teacher and ask her what she finds effective in helping him overcome this obstacle. My post isn't one about a situation in which I have overcome a big obstacle, but rather an obstacle that has stumped me pretty good thus far. I do want to reiterate not to ever give up or think you can't be effective with kids like this. I know I can. I just have to find out how.
    Brian H.

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    1. I am sorry that you are stumped. I'm not sure I can think of any suggestions to help. However, from the sound of it, you have been very patient with your student. He is lucky to have a tutor that can not only relate but is dedicated to finding a solution.

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  8. This day 17 I am really happy I have a very pretty girl, you know all the lyrics also write your name, and know how to write and read the numbers to 5 when we started she did not know any English and so little time has achieved a very great learning. The point was to give a prize when she learned something new and has been this way as she has greatly advanced in their knowledge. In addition to use as learning methods different games, that has stimulated much to learn and not get bored.

















    This day 17 I am really happy I have a very pretty girl, you know all the lyrics also write your name, and know how to write and read the numbers to 5 when we started she did not know any English and so little time has achieved a very great learning. The point was to give a prize when she learned something new and has been this way as she has greatly advanced in their knowledge. In addition to use as learning methods different games, that has stimulated much to learn and not get bored.




















    This day 17 I am really happy I have a very pretty girl, you know all the lyrics also write your name, and know how to write and read the numbers to 5 when we started she did not know any English and so little time has achieved a very great learning. The point was to give a prize when she learned something new and has been this way as she has greatly advanced in their knowledge. In addition to use as learning methods different games, that has stimulated much to learn and not get bored.





















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  9. We are already half-way through the school year! With my students I see again and again that kids learn at different paces. I have two second grade students, actually in the same class, which I found out needed help identifying short and long vowel sounds. I spent two tutoring sessions going over this with one student while the second student is still struggling and forgets that long sounds usually sound like their name. I use a white board in just about every session because I find that it is easier for my students when I break up the words into syllables. With the older students that are struggling with comprehension I usually stop them after a few sentences or at the end of a page to ask them about what we just read, who did we meet, what did we learn about the character, why do you think he/she said that , what does it mean? At the end of the book I ask them to tell me what they thought the book was about hoping that they are able to remember what we just read. It is sometimes difficult but really it just takes practice and more practice!

    Karla

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  10. I tutor several students at Nibley. I love working with my students and they seem to really enjoy coming to tutoring. I missed a day a couple of weeks ago because my son was sick and Sheri told me that the girl I tutor in the morning cried because I wasn't there. It broke my heart and also helped me realize just how much these kids love that we are there for them. I ran into another one of my students in October at a Halloween event. She spotted me out of a very large crowd of people and had to come say Hi and show me her Halloween costume. The next week when I saw her at tutoring she was still excited that she had seen me and I was thrilled that it meant so much to her. As tutors, we really have an impact in these kids lives. I wish this was something that I could do full time. I love the difference that we are making and impact that we have on these kids.
    One thing that I have done to help my kids stay on task is change up the routine a little and add new games or activities to our tutoring session. For the students that have a hard time focusing, I make the activities short so we move fast enough to keep them engaged.

    KL

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  11. This week has been very good for the two girls who am teaching to the smallest loves prizes can print his name, mom, dad, brother, sister and tells me he is going to study and learn more for the week after thanksgiving to win more gifts. The other girl is very smart quickly learns loves doing various activities in the little time we have every day we first write, then read and finally we played a little hanged on the board. Unlike the child who is very advanced degree but is a little distracted when I send it to take a book to read grips having read less. Is very difficult to be able to concentrate and read well. But you change the methodology and I put crossword various activities, role games have helped me then resume the reading and less distracted.

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    1. Yes the treats are definitely a big motivator for the kids to read and behave well. It is also a tool that we tutors can use to help us tutor them better, if all they want to do is play not read, and don't behave we can use it as an advantage for us to help them behave.
      -sy

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  12. I work with several students at the Y. I just sit with the student and see if they need the help or start working with the student. I just talk with the student to find out what their interest is, and work with them on their homework.

    km

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    1. A little compassion and empathy can really open a student up to learning. Fine work!

      AS

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    2. I enjoy working at the Y. I work with all age and group levels from pre-K to 6th grade. With these children they do not have the support of Mom or dad and so it becomes our responsibility to help them out with their homework and reading. Many of the parents may not understand how to do the work or may not understand English. They children do but the parents may not. I look around for someone who is alone and looking like they are lost. this is the child I will be helping. For all people we need to have compassion and understanding if we are going to go far in this world and help these children understand these concepts as well.

      Boo

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  13. I work with the YMCA in Taylorsville. Many of the children have a hard time focusing during homework time. I like to go around and ask them what they are working on and see how well they can explain it to me. It really seems to help them when they show someone else and have the opportunity to vocalize their work. It also keeps them on task and focused on their homework.

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    1. Having them explain what they are doing is an excellent way to determine which areas they are struggling with. Nice work!

      AS

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    2. I like it when you have them explain because you can then see if they understood the concept. Also teaching someone else helps them to understand more deeply what the teacher was trying to teach.

      Boo

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  14. For me it was very important and wonderful to help these children who are learning, I'm very satisfied with a girl who knew nothing of English and knows a lot so little time is very smart, and also always willing to learn. The magical way to achieve this interest were the games and penalties because if you lose you off prizes and that is very important to her than her remove prizes in this way is more interested in learning and puts more attention to what they taught you daily. It's wonderful. I love to see the results of all the work we do every week on it.

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  15. I have a kid who started late in the year and is struggling in every aspect of his schooling. When we began, he would hardly say anything out loud and barely moved at all.
    My method to overcoming this was persistence and patience. The student is now enthusiastic about reading books and is making an effort during our sessions. Perseverance was key to this transition.

    AS

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    1. Helping someone be able to read really gives them so many opportunities. They need someone to give them a chance, and to give them some time.

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  16. There is a girl since i started with her her she started at A and now is reading at J. I just followed the basic format that they give us at Nibley and worked with her twice a week for one and a half semesters. Every week I see her progress a little more. I have one little boy who never wants to try. he just wants to play. So I talked to every one but I did not give up on him. I am learning myself how to work with him differently all the time. He has not made much progress but he and I just keep going. When he will not listen I tell him he must work with me or I might take him back to his room but I have never had to do that yet. Follow the basic rules but know each child is different and do not give up on them. FH

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    1. I agree that it is very important to work with the basics for each kid, and especially to not give up on them. Giving up on a child can be so easy, but then the child is not getting the help that he/she needs...and will struggle later in life. We are there to help these children to learn and to grow, and each child learns at a different pace, and in different way. Awesome advice here!

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  17. Last semester I worked with a little boy that seemed to never make progress. No matter what I did it stayed the same. I asked other tutors and Sherrie. I worked with him starting over going through the alphabet showing him how each letter had a different sound. So he got better slowly. Then in January he read books faster. I must always remember to go slow with him or he shuts down. I play alot of games him that require him to read. I need to really try things differently with him each time. He is a challenge but I reward him with each thing he does get right. he really needs to have his self esteem boosted. I am there for him weekly he knows i am not leaving him. Another boy seemed very sad. The more i work with him the more he is opening up. One thing Nibley Park needs is alot more tutors. We have a great team but there are many children that need more of our time then we have tutors. MC

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    1. I love how you are continuing trying with your kid that is struggling, and not giving up. It is very important that us tutors are there everyday with the kids that we tutor, and I do also agree that we need more tutors at Nibley, because there are still many children that need the extra help.

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  18. I haven't been tutoring long enough to see any progress, but I do see a few kids that are a handful. where the teacher is tired of the same issues everyday with this "problem child" I am grateful to be a fresh newbie! I still have the energy to try to connect with this youngster. Learning has to be fun for kids! when it's not they don't want to do it. I like to make it fun by making up songs, rhyming and making a game of it. The smartie-pants kids tell me they play lots of learning computer games, reinforcing the fun part of learning.

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    1. I agree that learning does indeed need to be fun for the kids, otherwise if they are not having fun, then they will stop trying to learn. When I can see improvement, even if it is just something small, I give the kid a high five and tell them how awesome they did! And if I can see that they have been working hard for a few tutoring session, I will through in a few extra minutes to play a game with them. This always helps them to want to try more. And it's a great feeling.

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  19. One of my favorite students is one I'll call Matt. I met Matt on my first day tutoring at the YMCA. We had 5 children in all playing a game with pencils and dice. I'll spare you the details but they do not matter much since Matt refused to play anyway. He was sullen and insisted that I call him Matthew Junior. I was a little disappointed. I had not accomplished much on my first day and I would not see Matt again for a week because I was working at multiple sites. To my surprise when I returned the following week I heard a loud whoop as I entered the room and Matt ran across the room (a no no) and stood in front of me with his hands on his hips and said, "Can we choose a better game this time?" Matt has a challenging background but he is very intelligent. All he requires from his America Reads tutor is that it not be a different tutor every time. He is no longer Matthew Junior. He is Matt now.
    Another child, we’ll call her Karla, responded well from the very first visit. She was cooperative with me and she helped the other children without needing to be the center of attention. I thought she was one of the easiest children to work with but the staff told me that she is defiant and sarcastic with anyone but me. My theory is that it is because I am a man. The staff tell me that it would be nice to have more men involved in the program.

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    1. I agree that certain types of personalities get along better with a certain gender. For me personally third grade girls were the hardest to work with because they are just learning to be a little sarcastic and because I seem a lot younger then a lot of the other tutors they try and take advantage of that. I've found the best method with defiant kids is to let them choose from some pre-picked options, that way they still feel like they have some "control".

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  20. Since this is my first semester back, after taking a year off, I have not seen a whole lot of improvement, but I have seen some challenges with the kids that I work with. Some of them are having a hard time with vocabulary, and it seems to be the same kind of words over and over again.
    What I do to try and help them with their vocabulary is try and have them sound it out, and then we will go over words from the packets that Mrs. Sherrie gives each tutor at the first meeting with her. This I think is helping the kids out, even if all I can do with them for 30 mins is read one book and then spend the rest of the time sounding out words and working on vocabulary. So far, this seems to be what the kids need.

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    1. I found that one of the best methods for me was to have a game with flash cards right before we read the story so that they could get focused and prepared to read. It even made them excited to find the word in the book because now they know the word and felt confident in reading it. -B.F

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  21. The students I work with are at two different school and the YMCA. I get to see children have their HA HA moment and feel pleased when they understand Math or reading. I work with many children of different races and ethnic backgrounds. It is fun to see how much they have grown and how much they are learning from tutoring. There is one little girl who does not speak or read english very well. So I give her time to figure out the words on her math paper as well as in her book she has been assigned to read. She really does want someone there with her to assure her she is reading well and good. That is what I am there for. I help her with simple math operations and explain it to her. She has come a long ways.

    Boo

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    1. I love whenever the children have that "HA HA" moment. It's the most uplifting feeling! It encourages me to keep going as well. Having different races and ethnic backgrounds is one of the reasons why I love going to YMCA. It's so fun seeing how these children, especially those like how you mentioned don't know english very well. Try their hardest. You can tell these children are actually willing to learn and its even better knowing that we are here watching them see this. :)

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  22. I could honestly say that all of my students are progressing. I have moved about 3 students to the next level, I usually read a book with them in class and if they have no mistakes I make them take a book home that is in that level. When they return and we read the book and they have no mistakes again, I move them up a level. It has honestly made such a difference with not only my students but myself. I am making a difference in these children’s life, I feel so blessed. I also have one student who is having challenges with believing in herself, when she tries to sound out a word and she’s having troubles she usually always throws a fit and starts to almost cry. I use strategies like encouragement; this ALWAYS helps my student who is having challenges. “You just read the first half with no mistakes, and you said that word all by yourself. YOU CAN DO IT, come one we’re almost done!” ☺ Words that usually do the trick!

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    1. encouragement is big with a lot of students. I find that encouraging them when they're uncertain that they can read a book, encouragement helps. Even if that means reading every 4th page etc. Let them know that you're there to support them and you know that they will be able to get through the book. When a student jumps to a new letter (Nibley Park), they may be reluctant to read the book. However, our approach does work. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. All of my students at Nibley are making good progress. I have a first grader who is below all my other first graders. What I like to do is have him read the flash cards, and I would make it fun by timing him and seeing if he could do it faster the next time. I also like to have them write the words that they have trouble with on a white board, and have them sound it out while writing it. Another one I have been doing is have them construct a sentence with the word. Having great encouragement and support is also a great way to keep them going.
    -sy

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    1. That's fabulous. I love using the white boards. I will often remember what words the student was struggling with during the weeks prior weeks and test them by writing down those words. After a few weeks, they're typically able to know the word and its meaning.

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  24. In my experience, I find that every student has multiple ways of learning. When I see a student struggling, I will try several different tactics to help reach the desired goals of the day. For instance, I will utilize humor to get students to respond to the material. It helps to put a smile on their face while they read. Also, it's a balance because you don't want the student to think it's all games. Rather, get the student interested in the book that he/she is reading by reading a page with an accent. Other tactics that helped me are to have the students explain to me what (if any) the pictures are reveling about the book.

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    1. I do think that it takes a lot of trial and error depending on the age and grade of the student your teaching. I find that of course some things work better on older kids then younger kids. When I'm reading with kids I like to ask them a lot of questions like what they think will happen next or what they think about the pictures which helps with both concentration and reading. -B.F

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  25. I used to work with a second grade girl that was Russian and came to school in kindergarten not knowing english. I'd have to say that she is one of the smartest girls I've been able to tutor. She has made tremendous progress within those couple of years and is almost caught up to her grade level. Before I began tutoring her, her teacher pulled me aside and said that she needs more encouragement that anything else because her parents are not impressed with her progress and she gets down on herself and doesn't want to read. When I began to really notice her efforts and acknowledge all her hard work the excitement she had for reading just grew and grew. It's amazing the difference a simple good job or high five can do for someone. She has since moved to different reading group because she had advanced past my reading group. -B.F

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