Middle school and tutoring

I have connected with X Middle School and a teacher of English, language arts from the seventh-grade.  Thanks to the school and this teacher, I have started tutoring!  I decided to work with a small group of four students twice a week for about a half an hour, in addition to tutoring my one student.  I will work with Kim (I’m not using her real name), who is twelve years old and in the seventh-grade, two to three times a week.  I will work with her, and three of her classmates (all boys) twice a week and hope to meet with Kim to work on her individual interests once a week.

I not only wanted to tutor a student through their interests, but also work with them on their curricular and class requirements to make the best use of our time for both the student, the teacher and fulfillment of my course requirements.  I did not want to take class time away from my tutee to fulfill my course requirements, and not directly supplement the student’s current academic demands.  The literacy block on Kim’s team allowed me to do both – teach to her interests and work with her needs that directly relate to her English class requirements.

Kim’s literacy block meets about three times a week for forty-five minutes.  The first twenty minutes are used for silently reading a book of choice and the remaining time is used to read and discuss the book, The Graveyard Book as a whole group.  I will meet with Kim and the three boys twice a week, where we will use the silent reading time to meet quietly as a group and discuss any ‘burning’ questions or thoughts about, The Graveyard Book and then we will continue to the whole group setting, where I will then help the students in a whole-group setting.

In addition to, The Graveyard Book, I will be working with Kim one-on-one during the silent reading block to break away from the required text, and dive into some literature of her choice – which I am very excited about! 

When I talked about reading and topics of choice with Kim she revealed that she really doesn’t like reading much.  She described The Graveyard Book with the statement, “It’s just not really my type of book.  I’m not really interested in it.”  Thankfully Kim did share that she loves Anne Frank and she talked about her with great passion!  I will meet with Kim next week adorned with a new, blank journal and a chapter book (geared for older elementary grades) on Anne Frank.  I’ll continue to help the group unthread the many themes of The Graveyard Book, but I’m mostly looking forward to working with Kim and getting her stared on her own journal of all that she loves, wonders and finds connected with Anne Frank as she begins reading for the fun of it with her new Anne Frank chapter book and journal.

X Middle School has given every student a chrome book this year.  I hope to work a bit with digital reading skills with Kim as we search for answers to questions that are fueled from the chapter book.  Most of all, I hope to show Kim a way into reading that is full of wonder and enjoyment!  I’m excited to work with her and I hope I can help her find the joy of literacy!  If anything, a glimpse at another time, another world through Anne Frank may provide some comfort for Kim along her own journey through school and home life.

Kim’s Quick Assessment of Reading Ability put her at a grade 5 independent reading level (a great match for the Anne Frank chapter book) and her Star Reading Test Results scored her at a 4.1 independent reading level.  Despite the scores in black and white, what concerns me most is her lack of interest in reading and lack of pleasure in reading.  I hope to inspire Kim and lead her to the many reasons we read!  I will begin by discussing the books we read and making connections that are of personal interest and meaning to Kim.  I will continue to value and show interest in all that she has to offer, so as to connect and learn with her as much as I can!  Looking forward to the journey….

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2 thoughts on “Middle school and tutoring

  1. It sounds as if you are off to a good start. As you indicated, establishing a relationship is critical as it develops trust and as trust grows, students are more willing to follow your lead. Do ask what your student wants from school. As for the group, we will discussing Literature Circles shortly.

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  2. I am so happy to see your excitement as this tutoring projects unfolds. How fortuitous that Kim has an interest in Anne Frank. You are certainly working hard to connect Kim to the world of reading.I look forward to learning how this experience develops.

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