Today I am feeling victorious as I had some time to figure out my summer tutoring plans. As I mentioned in Angela’s post earlier in the month, I do not want a crazy summer like I had last year! I didn’t get to do much that was spontaneous with my own children. Angela had great success with the format of her tutoring and I am going to be doing a rendition of something similar. My approach is to be much more flexible for families so we can all enjoy summer a little more.
Currently, I have three reading students. One fast approaching fifth grade, another going into fourth grade, and then a brand new student going into second grade. We have made so much progress this school year and I would be sad to have any type of regression over the summer. My biggest concern is their commitment to getting reading time in each day. Some of my students have parents that work and are watched by older siblings or others have a parent at home that can work with them. With that being said, I don’t want to tutor more than once a week which means I’ll have to do a blended approach and incorporate some technology into tutoring.
Tutoring will happen once a week, most likely on Tuesdays to avoid any holidays or teacher training I am attending. Then it will be up to families to read daily and do an online component. After a lot of research, I’ve settled on two options for my students. I’ll let families select which one would work best for their child.
Reading Assistant Program by Scientific Learning
This program is researched based and has been around for quite some time. The Reading Assistant program is computer software loaded with all kinds of books from nonfiction with science, social students, and history that are all leveled for you. This software helps build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension which are skills my two older reading students need to keep practicing. I love the vocabulary piece as my students have missed a lot of vocabulary over the years while they struggled to grasp reading.
I would want students to use this program at least four times a week. The software includes teacher reports so I can see if students are working on books and also so I can see what words they are consistently struggling with while reading which will in turn help my planning for my tutor session early in the week.
In order to gain access to this program, you have to sign up for training via their website on using their software. The training takes two hours to complete and you’ll be certified by them as a provider and in their data base for interested families to contact you. Pretty cool! Use of the software is $175 per child, which I plan to pass this cost onto parents. Be sure to watch the video about this program.
Reading Edge by Let’s Go Learn
I’ve been using Reading Edge this year to supplement my reading students who could not attend tutoring more than once a week. This program works on phonics, prefixes, suffixes, word attack skills, reading strategies, and so much more. My students love Reading Edge as it is not “baby-ish” and delivers lessons via a game like environment. The program also comes with an initial assessment for the student to help place them in the program before using it. If you’ve been reading at The Tutor House for a while now, you know it is no secret that I adore Let’s Go Learn assessments and products.
Same applies to math students who need more coaching, they can have once a week help and the option to work on a math program. I did think about creating a math problem solving competition like Angela, but I asked my students about it and none of them seemed very interested in that format. I also asked parents about it and didn’t get a overwhelming response that was something they wanted to do. If my math student is more than a grade level behind, I will recommend that they also do Math Edge by Let’s Go Learn to get caught up. It has an assessment to place them in the program and then delivers the lessons in a super fun way.
What did surprise me when I emailed families about summer tutor interest, was how many of my middle school students were interested in doing a summer day camp. Both parents and kids liked this idea and want to invite friends to come as well. Who can blame them, right? By the time summer rolls around, most kids are ready to change it up and do something other than solve problems.
Math is Real Life: Summer Day Camp for Middle School Girls
After making this discovery, I set out to make a lot of hands-on, real life math experiences for my middle school students. Right now, all of them are girls which is great! It makes planning much easier. The camp will meet once a week for four weeks. During our two hours together, we’ll work on the following real life math experiences:
1. Baking (unit measure conversions)
I plan on using my Lil’ Baker Summer Day camp lesson for chocolate cookies and add the extra challenge of using smaller units of measure which they’ll have to convert to make the cookies.
2. Duct tape craft (scaling up measurements)
We will work on ratios and creating larger scale items from a set of duct tape craft instructions. We’ll discuss the effects of doubling, tripling, or quadrupling measurements and also what happens when we scale the other way by using fractions.
3. Interior Design (geometry, estimation, and measurement)
On this day, we’ll have a blast as we design our dream bedrooms. We’ll talk about scale, formula for area, perimeter, measurement, and comparing our estimations to actual measurements. For example, is having a 20′ x 40′ bedroom a good idea? We’ll compare their measurements with actual room measurements.
4. Mini Golf (angles, slope, and geometry)
This is by far my favorite! We’ll wrap things up with a lesson about how angles work while you are playing mini golf. I have plans to show them how it would work with aiming their golf club to get the right angle and bounce it off the side of a wall to aim for a hole in one! Too bad I don’t have a billiards table at my house as it would be a great tool for teaching about angles, slope, and geometry. We’ll practice here at my house to get technique down and then go to the mini golf course to apply what we’ve learned. This final camp would be a longer time frame as well. Here is a peek at the flyer I put together. Click on the image to enlarge it.
I love the plan I came up with as it gives me a lot of flexibility so I can do my main calling in life which is to be a mom.
What about you? What plans have you made for summer tutoring? Share them in the comments below!