Tutoring

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mathmagic, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 10, 2013

    I'm starting to tutor an upper elementary student in math soon and was wondering if anyone had any additional tips? Partially thanks to the self-confidence issues, but also in general, I feel very nervous going into this (because I want to make such a big difference, not because I don't feel confident with the material)

    I've already written up a bunch of simple pre-assessment questions that will cover all the major strands of the initial topic we are going to be working with, and am just finishing up jotting up general plans for how to cover each of those strands given the pre-assessment shows they need work.

    My goal for the first day will be to get to know them & the parent (also hopefully gathering any additional goals for the tutoring sessions), introduce myself (they've seen me before when subbing, but only a couple times), then dive right into the pre-assessments, and beginning to work with them in whatever strands they need the most work with based on those.

    I have a few basic materials I'll be using (I'll have notebook paper, some notecards in case we make cards for fraction war, etc.., possibly a white board if I find one, maybe some coins to use as different kinds of objects in a group), but I feel like it's going to be too bland. Should I be bringing a wider variety of worksheets, manipulatives, and games?
     
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  3. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2013

    When I tutor, I bring a bag with me that includes the following items:
    - whiteboard
    - colored dry erase markers
    - markers or colored pencils
    - pencils
    - index cards
    - number cards (0-10)
    - dice (six sided, 12-sided)
    - transparent counters (for games)
    - scissors
    - paper clips, rubber bands
    - some sample higher order think questions to investigate (e.g. copies from the book "Good Questions for Math Teaching," etc.)

    and a few other things.

    In the trunk of my car, I often have on hand base-10 blocks, pattern blocks, fraction bars, and a few other manipulatives that I don't bring with me to each session. (As you might imagine, I tutor a few students, of varying age levels.)

    For each session that doesn't involve homework help, I try to think of one or two big ideas, and then bring varied resources (including games) to address that topic. An example of a big idea would be "regrouping when adding fractions," not "fractions." It depends on how frequently you see the student.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 10, 2013

    That's my goal - this initial session I'm not 100% sure where they are at, hence why I'm going in with a decent sized list of pre-assessments and ideas for a large number of strands. Once I've determined the areas of weakness though, I plan on addressing one or more of the big ideas/strands each time we meet (for example, within fractions, I have a very brief write-up for the meaning, equivalent fractions, comparing, flexibility between forms, adding/subtracting, multiplying, dividing, etc...)

    I'm just afraid that I'm setting things up / will structure things / provide activities completely differently than would be expected from a tutor
     
  5. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 10, 2013

    Are you going to be tutoring at the students school, house, or someplace else? I have been tutoring for year. I started at a tutoring center. Their research and statistics showed that students who are behind/already do not like the school setting, do not improve as well if they tutor at the school. Their home has too many distractions. The learning center I worked for showed, statistically, hands-down that there was a significant improvement difference between the students who tutored at school and those who did so at the center itself. I know a center probably isn't an option, but a library is even better then keeping the kid in a classroom for another hour.- if that's at all possible; obviously tutoring anywhere is better than not at all.

    Games!!!
    Walmart has mini bowling sets every once in a while - those are GREAT for tutoring. - I number the pins, will write 10 problems on the board and when they knock that pin down they do that problem -keep score: have to get the problem without help to get the pin-point. You can play, too and have them write problems for you.
    Playing cards - you can play ALL KINDS of math games with these: multiplication war (ea. flip 2cards, bigger product wins); build problems with given cards, etc.
    foam sheets - dollar tree has them all the time. -play memory with them (i cut them in half): write a problem on one and the answer in another - that's a match. (Hint- make sure the colors are random or they cheat)
    -homemade "board game" this will adapt to just about any problems.
    beach ball or one of those big balls in the giant bin at Walmart - write problems on it, play catch. Where their right/left thumb lands is the problem they solve -you, too to be fair!
    dice straight up computation games, or use them in combination with other games. I have one that is foam, about the size of a baseball. For some reason, kids love that thing!
    Oh, I'm drawing a blank right now, but I'm sure I have more!
     
  6. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 10, 2013

    Oh, if you can afford it. Prizes for when they beat you in a given game. That seems to work to motivate them, too! :)
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 11, 2013

    Auter - it will be in a home setting and this is a passive learner from what I have heard.

    As for the games - should that be making up a significant part of the time / should those be considered over rich activities? I'd feel very strange playing lots of games during the time tutoring. It feels like a stretch trying to connect some games in with the work we are doing. Perhaps this is all just me worried about my appearance as the tutor.
     
  8. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2013

    My typical tutoring schedule (for an hour) looked something like this - lesson template provided by the tutoring center:
    Introduction -5-10 min max (quick simple game: speed with flash cards, war, just something touring their minds into "thinking mode"
    homework (if they have it) 20 min. If no hw, then always be prepared with an activity.
    snack 5 min max. the center provided this. You could just go with a bathroom break or even a snack if there's something easy he/she can grab.
    Learning Activity 20 min. This is where all the games I had mentioned come in.
    Review/Closing 5min wrap up game touch again on anything that was lacking
    We then had a diagnostic section at the bottom of the lesson template, basically stating our goal(s) for the lesson and a 1-5 scale of if that was met and a comment box -this was helpful for planning next lesson.
    The games are just a medium to teach the lesson in a fun way. If sitting down and listeningto/watching somebody teach and doing worksheets was working, he/she wouldn't need a tutor.

    Assesing their learning style on day 1 is important, too. Most students who need tutoring, in my experience, are kinesthetic learners, and therefore NEED the movement of games/activities. They don't get that in school. You don't want to completely go with their strongest learning style, but it should be the bigger focus so you can incorporate the other, more traditional/school styles in with it.
     

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