Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Literacy Volunteers Bringing the Community Into Schools

Literacy Volunteers is a program that we cultivated as a means to bring community members into our classrooms. Participants are thoroughly trained and matched with students who would benefit from one to one coaching. Tutors are scheduled to come one time per week for 30 to 40 minutes each session. The following is a description of each facet of a tutoring session. 

Read Old Favorites
(5 minutes)

What you need:

ü Two – three familiar, easy to read books (these are books that the student has read before). 

What you do:

1.   Let the student make a choice.  Place the books in front of the student so a selection can be made.

2.  Student reads aloud. Ask the student to read the story to you. 

ü  Sometimes children confuse or forget words. When this happens simply begin reading with them to help them regain the flow of the story.

ü  Other times, offer support for a forgotten word by saying:

o    “Does that make sense?”

o    “What’s the story about?”

o   “Can the picture help you get the word?”

Read Together
(10 minutes)
What you need:
Three – four unfamiliar texts or passages should be available.
o  Predictable books that have rhyme, rhythm, and repetition are very helpful for K-2 grade students. 
What you do:
1.     Let the student make a choice place the books in front of the student
2.  Review the title and leaf through the book looking at pictures.  Talk about what might happen in the book.  Ways to build interest are to talk about the book: 
o  “Let’s look at the title and cover and try to predict what this story will be about” 
3.  You read the book aloud to the child using appropriate expression & fluent rhythm. While reading, stop and ask:
o  What do you think will happen next?”
o  “If you were in this story, what would you do?”
4.  Ask open ended questions after you’re done reading:
o  “Which part of the story did you like best?”
o  “Which part of the story didn’t you like?”  and/or "What information did you already know?
5. Read together read the story a second time and invite the child to join in the reading, say: “I know you can help me read this.”  As you read, encourage the child to chime in when the words and language patterns are predictable.  Books often use rhyme or repetition and children can naturally fill in the words.  Pause for the child to fill in the predictable words

6. Discuss the story again.  After the second reading, briefly discuss the story by leafing through the pages.  Read aloud any troublesome phrases pointing out the features of individual words such as beginning letters or rhymes.

7.Student reads alone. One the third reading of the story, ask the child to read independently.  You can read along with the child or use prompting strategies as needed

Write Together
(5-10 minutes)

What you need: two writing journals one for your student and one for you, pencils and crayons
  What you do:
ü  Focus on the meaning. You do this when you ask: “What are you trying to say in your writing?”
ü  Accept the child’s attempts even though spelling may not always be accurate.
ü  Select a special piece of writing. This can be something that the child likes in particular.  Work on editing for spelling and punctuation. 
Activities for writing …
(Choose one of the following)
Writing side by side: you both write your own ideas.  You are each  writing “side by side”. You do this for  three to four minutes and then share your writing.
  What you do:
1.   Tell each other what you want to write about.  You will each have your own notebook called a journal.
2.  Brainstorm ideas to write about in your journals as you sit side by side.
3.  If the child says he/she can’t write, tell student to pretend to write, write a letter to represent an entire word, or draw a picture& label it.
4.  After 3-4 minutes share what you have written with each other.
5.  Review your writing take the time to point out and discuss patterns in writing, such as all the words that have letter “b” in them, or words that end with letter patterns such as “an" or “at”.
I write, you write: This is a shared  writing experience.  This type of writing could take the form of a story or report. You and your student write something together, deciding on a topic and alternatively writing sentences.  By writing after a specified time each alternately continues the development of the writing.
 What you do:
1.      Together select a topic of interest
2.     Brainstorm ideas
3.     Begin to write in the child’s journal.  You begin by writing for one minute. Use words the child can read.
4.     Read what you wrote and then talk about what might come next.
5.     Pass the journal to the child who then writes for one minute.  If the child can’t spell a word, encourage him/her to write just one letter for a word.  After the child is finished ask him/her to read back what has been written.
6.     Together read what has been written.  You write again for a minute.
7.     Continue exchanging the notebook for a few more minutes or until completed.
8.     Use your judgment as to how long and how many times the book can be passed according to the ability and attention of the child.
9.     Read the story when the story is completely written.
10.  Revise any parts as necessary.
Written Dialogue:  Have a conversation through writing.  In this activity, you use one journal and write to the student.  This can be a comment or a short question.  The child writes a response to you.  This written conversation continues for several minutes.  Then you discuss your “conversation.”
What you do:
1.      Write a comment or question (use familiar words)
2.     The child reads what you wrote and writes an answer or response.
3.     You read the child’s response then write a comment about what the child wrote.
4.     The journal is passed to the child who then writes a response.  If the child can’t spell a word encourage him/her to write one letter for a word.  When the child is finished ask him/her to read back what was written.
5.     Use your judgment as to how many times the book is passed based on the child’s ability/attention span.

Read for Enjoyment
(5-10 minutes)

  What you need: A variety of texts and some time to read them. The more students read the more fluent they become.  Often times reading for pleasure is put aside in school.  At all sessions it is
  important to set aside some time to read for enjoyment.

  What you do:
1.   Select a book for yourself and ask the child to make a book selection.  Go to the reading area in the room; find a nice spot to sit comfortably. 
2.  Show each other the books you will be reading.
3.  Take turns talking about the book (predictions). Read silently for three – four minutes. 
4.  Take turns talking about what you read.

Talk About Words
(5 minutes)

What you need: Think about… What’s in a word?  You will use reading materials to select interesting words encountered during reading.  You may use: your journal, chart paper, markers, white boards, dry erase markers, magnetic letters.

  What you do:
1.     Select a word each of you will select one word either from the reading, or a word the classroom teacher is emphasizing
2.    Each of you will write your words in journals, white boards, so on. 
3.    Talk about why you chose that word. The child follows your lead and talks about the word he/she has chosen.
4.    Talk about the features of a word, such as the letters that make up the word, patterns found in the word, and other words that rhyme with it.  The child follows your lead and describes the features of hi/her own word.
5.    Explain the meaning of the word and use it in a sentence, then the child follows the same procedure.

Summarize Success
(5 minutes)

What you need: a positive outlook that helps young readers to think about all they were able to do. This helps children talk about what they did well while motivating them to continue working towards goals. 

What you do:
1.     Talk about the activities carried out during the session. Together fill out the “Look What I Did!” questionnaire. Use the following questions to record the child’s answer in your journal:
o   Which part of our session today did you like the best? Why?
o   What parts of reading and writing are you best at?
o   What parts of reading and writing do you think you need help with?
o   What new things should we do?
2.    Review the old favorites you read & write down the names on the form.
3.    Review the new book or passage you read and write down the name on the form provided.
4.    Discuss you writing together. Have the child record what he or she liked best.
5.    List the book(s) or book chapter that your child read for enjoyment.
6.    Ask the child to write what he/she did well that day.
7.    Ask the child to write down what he/she might like to do next time.