Beyond The Book Tutor Panel: Focus on BAL Tutoring

June 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM | Posted in Basic Literacy, Training, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Educators often talk about creating a community of learners. In such a community, teachers and students learn from one another’s challenges and successes, trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, this community is very difficult to build in a tutoring model. Difficult, not impossible.

On June 8th, five tutors from both tutoring programs presented to a small crowd of fellow tutors. Tutor presenters from the Basic Literacy Tutoring program were Anne Spear and Amy Spencer. This space is far too small to applaud all of their great ideas, so I’ll just include some of the highlights.

Anne uses a variety of materials with her lucky student, including the Washington Post Express, student and tutor created dictionaries and many word games generated by http://www.edhelper.com ($25/year). She emphasized the need to know your student so every lesson can be tailored to his or her needs. She also stressed the need to circle back to material to be sure students are retaining information and to give them practice in multiple contexts.

 Amy shared many valuable and creative materials she developed for one of her lucky students to meet her goals. Rather than simply stick to Laubach 1, as she and her student were assigned, Amy created exercises that integrated the basic reading skills of Laubach 1 into relevant, practical tools, specifically, a visit to the doctor’s office. Amy used pictures and keywords to build functional vocabulary with her student so the student could independently fill out forms and advocate for herself.

Anne and Amy are just two examples of the excellent tutors we have in our community of learners at LCNV. It was inspiring to hear their ideas and even more inspiring to hear the discussion that ensued with all of the tutors present. In-service events like June 8th’s tutor panel are valuable for every tutor who attends and for each of their students. Be on the lookout for our next in-service and please let us know if you have any ideas or needs for any tutoring support – chances are you aren’t alone!

-Molly Chilton, Basic Literacy Tutoring Specialist

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