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Tutor Tips

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Tutor Tips
Tutors often get into a groove with their students after they develop rapport and a feeling for their students’ strengths and weaknesses, so we don't field a tremendous volume of questions. But, even amidst successes, please feel comfortable asking me or Joy (or any teacher you know) for helpful hints. In the spring, we will offer a bookish event for all of you to exchange ideas and questions.  In addition, here's a tip that some of you might enjoy: Find time to read aloud to your student every time you meet. Through conversation, discover what your student might enjoy hearing/reading - the idea of reading for enjoyment is often a new one for our students or just a faint, unfulfilled hope - or even a source of maddening frustration. Discovering what your student would enjoy might mean following a lead, like your student's mentioning that his/her sister once read from the Foxfire books, and that s/he's never forgotten the stories - that would be good reason to bring a Foxfire book to your sessions to read aloud. Jim Trelease, in his book Hey, Listen to This, writes that a good storybook is like a Whitman's chocolate box that you can dip into at random. We can add that all of us children - well 99% of us - love chocolates! Wouldn't it be glorious if we all loved books, too? In fact, I have a zillion books for you to sample with your student (novels, nonfiction, children's books, history, art, etc). Call me about this, if you so desire, at 591-3620. Of course, perusing the public library's book shelves with your student is also an educational precursor to reading for fun. Some tutors say, "But my student needs practical application - reading for fun will interfere with our time to learn from the assigned book and our car manuals or job applications."  And that's true - reading for pleasure will take away from practical application - but enjoying reading will invest time into both quality of life and reading and writing tasks without fear later. Studies consistently show that overloading students anywhere with only the drudgery of reading creates a stockpile of dread, and thus, far less reading. Other tutors ask, "But isn't it too late to read aloud, and won't an adult be insulted by my reading aloud to him?" Jim Trelease (obviously one of my favorite authorities on reading) says that no one is ever too old. He adds, in The Read-Aloud Handbook, that professors at prestigious graduate schools, like Oxford University in England, read aloud to their students - and no one is insulted, just buoyed up! (There are plenty of stats about improved test scores, reasoning skills, and all that jazz, in relation to reading aloud, too). And one more thing: audiotapes are a great idea - and who better to create them for your students but you? We are embarking on a 100-books audio campaign in April. Will you help us by reading at least one book aloud on tape? Your student could keep the cassette(s) or s/he could eventually donate it to our audio library. We will provide the audio cassettes, unless you'd like to donate one (or more). Let me know if you're interested. Here's to being like a little literate kid! Enjoy your reading!

 

 
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