TIPS FROM TUTORS
Tammy Feely: One thing that
worked well was today, my student and I were working on the short a
sound, a = /a/, and we were using the crying baby motion every time we
heard the word. I decided to expand that notion and for the
sentences, I said, “The crying baby needs a nap. Can you make it
stop crying and spell nap so that it can go to sleep?” She would
spell the word, slowly pronounce it, and then say, “Yep, I think I got
Tammy Feely: Another great
thing that worked well this week was when I gave my student a
comparable list of words, she would have to repeat back the two words
that I said, and create our motion in the one she heard. That
way, I am making sure that she knows what two words I am saying, and I
can see that she understands/hears the correct phoneme. For
example, o = /o/ : Pan or Pot. She would repeat both words,
and make the gesture on pot.
The Letterbox Lesson
Jenn Miranda: I used
something that I learned from Beck’s Making Sense of Phonics. S—
was having trouble distinguishing between men and man as well as wage and wag. I spelled out both words
and stacked them on top of one another. I asked S— which word
said man. She pointed
to the correct word. I asked her why that said man. She replied that the one
she pointed to said man
because a = /a/.
Jenny Duvall: "I was very
excited during one part of our LBL. R— had
struggled with the word brain while I was spelling the words for him to
read. I removed the ai from the word, and he instantly pronounced
correctly. Next, I added the br and he put the entire word together to
say brain. I was so amazed at how well that strategy worked—like
magic! Also, I found that pronouncing what he spelled in the box
it is incorrect) really helps him to see where or what he missed.
soon as I would say what he spelled, he knew what to change (vowel
first body-coda blending!).
Jenny Duvall: One of the most
helpful strategies that I have showed R—
has been to isolate the correspondence and then “build” the word.
strategy really forces him to concentrate on what is making up the word
and he has excelled in doing this. Also, R— has been a big fan of
gestures we used to introduce the new correspondences. Although
shy about doing them at first, he loves to show out now! Today
perhaps the best strategy of all—a harder and more interesting
R— pointed out that The Hungry Toad
was his favorite book so far and
certainly funnier. While reading, he even made up voiced for the
Lizzie Fain: One of the things
that seemed to work well this semester
with Mackenzie was vowel first, body, coda blending. She
with blending her words. I would help her by letting her make the
sound of just the vowel first. Then I would add the body(first
word before the vowel) and get her to sound out that much. Then I
would add the coda(letters after the vowel). This seemed to help
when sounding out the words. If she misspelled a word, I would not
immediately correct her but read aloud the word she had spelled and
then tell her the word I wanted her to spell. She almost always was
able to correctly spell the word after this.
Amy Whitcomb: K— really liked
the sound and motion for the i_e = /I/
correspondence. I had a hard time getting him to stop making the sailor
sound “Aye, Aye”. I have been amazed at how well he remembers all of
the cues for the phonemes. When we review, he always knows the motion
and sound and loves to do it! It is a fun way to review! It also helped
to cover up the pictures until K— was done reading that page. We also
did a picture walk before he read it, he really enjoyed that, and it
made him more excited to read the story.
Heather Lewis: Typically, when
T__ misses a word, she loses focus and motivation, making the rest of
the lesson less beneficial. By giving her simpler words that still
helped her practice the new correspondence, the lesson went more
smoothly, and I genuinely feel she took more away from the lesson. Over
the course of the semester, I can definitely tell that T__ has
improved. Her errors in the books we read have decreased because she
has realized how to use the strategies I have shown her: decoding,
cover-ups, and crosschecking. Any time she comes to a word she is
unfamiliar with, she can, and does, utilize each of these strategies to
Jessie Wiggins: Having M__
read a word list was much more efficient today then spelling each word
for him to read. It took up about a minute compared to the 4-5
it normally takes. Throughout the semester, M__ had greatly
his reading. With the help of his teacher working with him, and
tutoring, M__ is slowly but surely creeping up towards fluency.
strategy that M__ gained from my lessons that has helped him was the
cover-ups. Anytime he struggled, we referred to cover-ups, which
always helped so much! I also always referred to the gesture,
could always remember. These two strategies were implemented
throughout the semester and seemed to have worked the best.
Lauren Rockwell: At first my
student was very insecure about her reading skills. Now we have
to cover up the pictures on the page while she reads, which greatly
improves her reading. After she reads the page, she gets to look
the picture. She has really expressed a joy for reading. I
excited to see this transformation from insecurity to confidence in
Allison Nall: We practiced the
“talk before you turn” rule. I think
this definitely slowed him down and he began to think more about what
was going on in the story.
Amy Berger: One thing that I
did that worked really well was repeated
reading. The first time she read, it was very choppy and she
couldn’t get the full meaning of the text. T— read it again, this
with more expression. Then she read it for a third time and it
full of expression and she improved by leaps and bounds on her fluency.
One of the most helpful strategies that I taught her was cross checking
and rereading. At the beginning of tutoring, T— would miss a word
not be able to pronounce it and just move on without thinking anything
of it. She was not able to gain any meaning from the text.
course of the semester, she quickly caught on to the concept of cross
checking and rereading; she is not able to understand and better
comprehend what she has read.
Trinity Dyess: When looking
back over the semester K-- seemed to
learn a lot from the different tongue twisters and hand gestures.
best strategy that I taught K-- this semester was cross checking.
taught him how to finish the sentence when he came to an unfamiliar
word and see if what he read made since.
Barret Freeman: J— really
liked the cover-up method. She thought it
was fun and loved to use it to help her decode her words. She loved
moving the basketball on her board. She also loved adding the
that she read to our “books I have read” section of the board.
hand gestures and funny vocals really helped her to remember her new
correspondences (she really like chuga, chuga, chuga, chuga, choo
choo..for ch = /ch/). J— finally learned to use crosschecking on
own (with no reminders!).
Liz Hooper: Over this
semester, B__ has really made progress. I have
seen him really begin to develop into a more fluent reader. One of the
strategies B__ still uses is the cover-ups method. In the beginning B__
was using the cover-up method for almost every word and I have only
seen him use it a few times with unfamiliar words recently. Another
thing we used throughout the semester was the vowel first blending. A
few times B__ had trouble reading words, so we would work on sounding
out the vowel first. I witnessed him actually do that a few times
himself when trying to read the challenger words in the LBL.
Elizabeth Bush: I think that
if I were meeting with him again, I would have a couple of different
message topics and my student would get to draw one out of a bag. This
way it would make it a little more fun, more like a game.
Elizabeth Zorn: My message
topic this week was “What did you do for the fourth of July?” I talked
with my student about his weekend and what he did before I let him read
his message. This worked really well because it gave him a lot of ideas
about what to write.
Meredith Willis: J— has always
enjoyed completing the message writing portion of our lesson. I
tried to come up with topics that pertain to the book or events
happening in her life. I would often ask her to put herself into
position of a character in our books. She would have to tell me
she would handle situations the character faced in the story. I
asked her about her birthday plans for one of the lessons. I
the book talks went well also. I felt like I really got her
about reading a new book. By giving her clues and asking her to
predictions about the book helped to keep her engaged with the story.
Leslie Downer: I am
incorporating new vocabulary words such as dine, mane, and roam into
our walks out to the car. I use it in a sentence, then he does.
really helps him remember what they mean and he likes to tell his mom
Abby Smith: One thing that
worked well today was that last week I was strict about not letting my
student move his football when he was not cooperating, and this week I
had no problems getting him to cooperate and pay attention throughout
the lesson. (Note: Enforcing a mild consequence encourages long
Maggie Saye: "One thing that
worked well this week was emphasizing her token system. She was much
more enthusiastic about completing each task when I began the task by
explaining that at the completion of it she could add to her flower.
For example, before reading the familiar book, I said, “Now we are
going to reread the book we read last week. When we finish, you will be
able to put up the first petal of your flower!” and so on for each
step. This seemed to really motivate her. We also had enough time to
play memory for review and she loved it. She didn’t realize she was
reviewing and just thought of it as a fun reward."
Allison Nall: Today B— was
tired and he was being lazy. He was all slouched over, holding his book
far away from him, and his reading definitely showed his lack of
attention. I made him stop reading, sit up straight, and hold his book
properly. It was amazing at how his reading improved just by having him
sit like a reader should. I told him he was doing such a good job after
he corrected the way he was sitting. His behavior is very good. He
didn’t whine or complain when I got him to sit up straight.
Cassie Simpson: One thing that
I think has gone really well this
semester with Q— is really encouraging her each step of the way.
is very shy and the first couple of weeks, she seemed very uninterested
and got discouraged easily. I’ve found that if I praise her when
does something right or even try to find something positive in a
mistake that she has made, she is more excited and enthusiastic about
learning. Another strategy that has worked well has been the
first, body, coda blending. I still usually have to scaffold that
technique but when Q— uses it, she is able to figure out the word
without me telling her most of the time. That gives her a sense
accomplishment that she needs, too.
Maggie Saye: Over the course
of the semester, K__ responded very well to our token system. I feel
that this was a great motivator in the beginning and continued to be.
She constantly got excited about being able to add petals to complete
her flower by the end. When K__ had trouble, cover-ups and
crosschecking worked the best. We had a bookmark that she used for
cover-ups and it worked wonders in helping her decode words. I also
feel that the pictures and motions I made for the correspondences that
we worked with were very helpful to her. She often would review the
motions she had learned for previous correspondences when we learned
new ones (without being asked to do so). When we read books, discussing
the story before turning the page was very effective for her. This
strategy kept K__ involved in the story and she often didn’t even
realize she was reading words with a new correspondence, but that she
was finding out what was happening with our characters. She has shown
so much progress over the semester and I am very pleased.
Heather Lewis: For a review
game for my ea = /E/ lesson I would like to play a version of “Go
Fish,” using fish shaped cards with words matching the correspondence
for the lesson. For example, T— might ask, “Do you have any “clean’s?”
Chelsi Simmons: One thing that
has worked really well is telling L— that if he works hard and finished
the lesson, then we could play a game or read a book of his
choice. L— really likes playing concentration and reading
baseball books, so he tries really hard during the lessons so that he
can do something fun in the end. I have even adapted
concentration to work on L—’s confusion of the letters b and d.
This has really helped him to stop mixing up the two letters.
Audrey Stockdale: One way that
I really kept S-- motivated to try his hardest during our lesson was
our review game. S-- really enjoyed the Go Fish for Words review game.
He was reviewing correspondences while having fun and playing a game.
This helped keep S-- motivated to spell all of his words and read his
book each week. He knew the only way to play the review game was to
behave well and finish our lesson. He continued to succeed every week,
and almost each week we made it to the fish game. Another thing that
worked really for S-- was having a tongue twister, a mouth movement,
and a hand gesture to illustrate the correspondences each week. When I
modeled how to use our mouth moves and hand gestures to really stretch
out the correspondence sounds in the words each week. If the
correspondence was a_e=/A/, our tongue twister might be Amy’s ape ate
the acorns. I would sound out the ape like this AAAAAA-pppppppppppp so
S-- would know exactly how to sound out the long A sound. Then, I would
give S-- a hand gesture, such as Fonzie’s thumb up A to give him a fun
way to remember this strategy. This helped when it was time for the
letterbox lesson. S-- used the mouth moves and hand gestures to really
help him spell and sound out his words. S-- became really successful
with the letterbox lesson by using these techniques.
Emily Young: Over the course
of the semester, B__ has made progress during our tutoring sessions.
One thing that worked very well, was the implementation of the review
activity as a reward for working hard during our lesson. This helped
B__ to focus on the lesson, put effort into the activities and to move
at a faster pace. The vowel body coda blending strategy was also a
great success with B__. After observing me read a word during the
letterbox lesson, B__ caught onto the strategy and started to use it
himself. When I noticed this, I took the time at the beginning of a
lesson to explain how exactly it was done.
to the Reading Genie index.