Tutor Tips for March, 2024

Each month, Dr. Dodi Hodges, executive director of the Palmetto Literacy Council, hosts “Tutor Talks”, informal get-togethers for volunteer tutors where they can exchange ideas and discuss what does and doesn’t work for their students.


Whether you’ve been a tutor for years, or are just starting, it’s a great way to get to know your peers and share common goals for our students.


We’re going to gather some of these tutor tips and ideas for inclusion in future newsletters in the hopes they will be of use to others:


Tip one from Peggie Anderson:


Should I correct spelling errors and incorrect sentence structure even when my student has written the correct answer to an exercise question?


“Yes! First, I stress to my students that the answer is correct but needs just a little bit of fine-tuning. Next, I point out the words that are misspelled and direct him to the reading to identify the correct spelling. 


Then, I address sentence structure. Often, this can be easily repaired. It’s usually just one or two run-one sentences that proper punctuation can quickly correct. And done!”


Tip two from Bonnie Kelley


“I find that starting with five to six fry (sight) words really does build confidence that continues throughout the remainder of the lesson plan. 


Regarding the frequently long vocabulary list, separating syllables helps the student recognize the word, and then “clapping” the syllables aids the students in remembering the word. The first-grade literature has questions to answer verbally. I usually write the questions on a separate paper and encourage writing the answers in complete sentences.


This is expected of him in his school classroom and I hope it helps him follow through in school.


Lastly, I keep a book in my tote bag and if time allows we take turns reading a page. The student is always excited to do this.”

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