Blogs About Reading
Sound It Out
Dr. Joanne Meier
Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.
Summer tutoring: How's it going? Four considerations.
Is your son or daughter working with a tutor this summer? Now that July has begun, it's a great time to evaluate your tutoring situation. It's not too late to make a few simple changes that can make a real difference in the remaining tutoring sessions.
First, did your tutor gather baseline assessment information about your child's performance? It may have been a spelling inventory, a running record, a timed reading, or a word list inventory. Hopefully your tutor gathered enough good information to help him or her design each tutoring session to target specific needs. If you haven't seen the assessment information, ask for it!
Second, is there consistency across tutoring sessions? It's often helpful if your tutor uses a lesson plan with the same components each time they come. For example, lots of lesson plans start with a warm up activity (maybe re-reading), some assisted reading and writing, some word study or word-level work, and then end with the introduction of new text or a reinforcing game. Consistency helps your child know what's coming, and can help the tutor develop some long-range plans.
Third, how's it going? Does your tutor continue to gather information about your child's progress? This is often called progress monitoring. You can and should expect to see some changes in performance based on tutoring. A simple timed-repeated reading graph will provide information about words correct per minute. Watching the bars go up each time is reinforcing to your child. If your tutor is not seeing growth or change in your child's performance, she needs to change what she’s doing. This is no time for flat growth curves!
Last, how are you supporting your tutor? Are there books you can read in-between sessions? Maybe there's a word study game you can play together, or a field trip you can go on to support the vocabulary learning.
Working together as a team can really help your child understand how much you value and appreciate the hard work they're doing with the tutor.