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March 30, 2004, Extra Credit
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March 30, 2004

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Free Guide Provides Tips For Reading Tutors

Reading is the basis for learning and school success. While reading is learned primarily in the classroom, many students need extra time and help. Research shows that tutoring is a great way for individuals and groups outside school to support learning. Effective tutoring requires appropriate training and careful planning. The following are 11 tips for reading tutors from the U.S. Department of Education's free brochure, Tips for Reading Tutors:

  1. Be positive. Praise goes a long way with learners who struggle in reading. Provide positive feedback when correct responses are made ("Great! The word is Sequoia.").

  2. Be attentive. Stop learners immediately after an error. Show them what to do and provide them an opportunity to do it correctly ("That word is 'trouble.' What word is this?"). Try not to use the word "no."

  3. Be precise. Provide clear and direct instructions ("Say this word" rather than "Would you say it?").

  4. Be mindful of mistakes made during the session. Record learner performance. Review anything that is missed. Remember, learners "should say it like they know it."

  5. Be diligent. Work from the beginning to the end of the tutoring session.

  6. Be innovative. Keep tutoring sessions lively and dynamic.

  7. Be focused. Try to ignore minor misbehavior. Only recognize good behavior.

  8. Be patient. Show learners that you care about them through your commitment and encouragement.

  9. Be on time. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the tutoring session begins. Make sure plans for the session and materials are ready so the session may begin as soon as the student arrives.

  10. Be committed. Once you have begun to tutor a student, remain with that student throughout the year.

  11. Be results-oriented. Gather learner performance data on a daily basis, and chart the data (using graphs, stars, etc.) to allow a visual display of improvements made in the program.

Individuals and community groups interested in ordering copies of Tips for Reading Tutors can do so by:

  • Calling the U.S. Department of Education's Publications Center (ED Pubs) toll-free at 1-877-4-ED-PUBS (1-877-433-7827); TTY/TDD: 1-877-576-7734; FAX: 1-301-470-1244;

  • Ordering online at: www.edpubs.org; or

  • Writing to request a copy: ED Pubs, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398.

Tips for Reading Tutors can also be downloaded from the U.S. Department of Education's Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/read/tutors.html?exp=0

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 03/30/2004