Sophia Ling on Apr 26th 2010
So, after a long hiatus, I am finally back at my school in Brooklyn, except for the fact that I now tutor on Monday afternoons instead of on Friday mornings. I had so much confidence before that I would be able to get to the school in half an hour or in forty-five minutes, but it turned out to be impossible. I ended up arriving there later today than I had originally said I would be there by. But the literacy resource teacher welcomed me nonetheless. She said that every little bit counts. This made me feel a lot better.
Instead of working with second-graders, like I had been doing during this past fall semester, I have been assigned to work with two first-graders this time around. I will admit that I had started off tutoring my new tutees at the level I had done before for my previous ones. I expected them to know as much as my previous tutees did. This did not turn out quite so well. They struggled with the most simple sight words (at least in my mind I thought these were the simple words they should definitely know). Then the fact that these were first-graders started to rub off on me. I realized that I was too tough on them, so I became more patient with them afterwards. They needed some of the words repeated to them several times before they actually started to remember them. Since today was my first day back, the literacy resource teacher felt that I should hold off on reviewing lists of sight words with them until next week. Instead, today, I read a book called “Cooking Dinner” to them. I read to them first and had them identify the different objects in the pictures. I also asked them questions related to the reading. I taught them that the answers to my questions can be directly found in the reading. Afterwards, I had both my students draw pictures of their family members engaging in some activity. Finally, they wrote a couple of sentences about the pictures they drew. I found it interesting that one of them decided to stick with the whole cooking theme from the book I read them. He basically drew his mother and him cooking, and they were cooking basically the same foods that were described and illustrated in the book. At least, this shows that he remembers most of what I read him. The other one decided to stick to the cooking theme as well, but he created his own foods of what his father and him were cooking in the picture.
In general, I would say that my two new students were cooperative. One thing I started to notice when I started tutoring was that one of my two students had a short attention span. It took much more patience to work with him and engage him in the reading. However, things turned out fine in the end, especially since the literacy resource teacher stayed with me in the classroom most of the time throughout.
Renelle Lawrence on Apr 19th 2010
After our talk with Mike Quiznio, things have changed at P.S 160. I have been assigned a new first grade class and specific students to work with. My first day back was very productive. I was able to work an hour each with two children. The first child had trouble sounding out letters so I tried to work with her on that. Then we made flash cards containing the difficult words that we had found in a book we had just read. With the flashcards, I asked her to try and memorize the different words. When the hour was up, she was able to identify and read 95% of the words.
The other child, I was assigned to was able to read and identify the words on the flashcards after 30 minutes, so I decided to try something different with her. I asked her to make a chart and write a list of the different animals she knew that could fly, or swim or jump. This was one of the little activities in the book. Although, she was able to tell me the different animals that could do each of these things, she found it difficult spelling the names of the animals. We worked on this for the remaining of the half hour. For homework, I told each child to study the flashcards each night, so that on Friday when I come back, they should be able to read the cards easily.