About the Afterschool Training Toolkit and Related Resources
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.

Practice: One-on-One and Small-Group Tutoring

The goal of one-on-one and small group literacy tutoring is to assess and work with students' individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests through fun afterschool activities.
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One-on-One Tutoring: Preparing Early Readers (3:53)

Watch a one-on-one literacy tutoring session at the Delaware Elementary School afterschool program in Evansville, Indiana.

More About the Video
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Afterschool Program
Delaware Elementary School, one of 10 school-based afterschool sites established by the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation: 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Location
Evansville, Indiana

Facilitator
Mary Anne Hartmann, Afterschool Educator and Curriculum Facilitator

Time Allotted
45 minutes

About the Lesson
The objective of this one-on-one tutoring session is to help kindergarten students practice early reading strategies. Ms. Hartman meets with kindergartner Landon's teacher to determine what he needs extra help with, including site word recognition (and distinguishing between uppercase and lower case words), letter recognition, and reading site words in the context of text. Ms. Hartmann uses a combination of games that she creates (a memory game using selected "word wall" site words) and commercial games (alphabet bingo). She also chooses a picture book that contains several of the site words Landon is currently working on in class ("at," "the," "can") to help reinforce word recognition and comprehension.

Materials

  • Index cards with site words (uppercase and lowercase examples)
  • Alphabet bingo
  • Picture book containing selected site words
  • Colored, translucent tape

About the Curriculum
Ms. Hartmann, a veteran teacher of 29 years and curriculum facilitator at the Delaware Elementary School, developed the lesson in consultation with Landon's daytime school teacher based on what he was learning in class and his particular instructional needs.

Practice in Action

What Is It?

One-on-One and Small-Group Tutoring entails working with students on a particular reading or writing skill. It can take the form of one-on-one or small groups, with attention focused on building students' strengths, or helping them improve their skills in areas that challenge them.

What Do I Do?

Connect with school-day teachers to identify tutoring needs. Try to make sure that students meet with the same tutors at the same time, day, and place from week to week. Encourage tutors to incorporate a wide range of literacy activities into the tutoring sessions. For example, discuss with students what they are currently reading, use drawing and writing activities, act out stories, or play literacy games. Recruit a school reading specialist, teacher, or retired teacher to provide tutors with the support they need to reflect on their work with students.

The following PDFs may be helpful in organizing and managing your tutoring program:

    Tutoring Receipt (PDF) records a student's participation in a tutoring activity.
    Tutoring Log (PDF) can be used to record information about a student's work over time.

Why Does It Work?

Tutoring is most effective when it is tied to the school day. This allows students to practice and reinforce what they are learning in the classroom. Students who are behind grade level in reading or other subjects benefit from the focused attention of regular tutoring. Research indicates that one-on-one tutoring may be the most effective afterschool activity for improving academic achievement.

ELL Enhancements

To best support ELL students, tutors should have a general understanding of the factors that influence second language development and make every effort to identify individual students' varying levels of background knowledge and English language proficiency. Because ELLs draw on competencies and experiences in their primary language as they learn English, tutors should also determine whether the primary language has a Roman alphabet and written form, and if the student can fluently speak, read, and write in his or her native language.

Tutors should learn as much about the student's cultural background as possible, and use instructional approaches that actively value students' cultures and home languages. This will help to forge meaningful connections between literacy practices at school, home, and in the community.

Planning Your Lesson

Great afterschool lessons start with having a clear intention about who your students are, what they are learning or need to work on, and crafting activities that engage students while supporting their academic growth. Great afterschool lessons also require planning and preparation, as there is a lot of work involved in successfully managing kids, materials, and time.

Below are suggested questions to consider while preparing your afterschool lessons. The questions are grouped into topics that correspond to the Lesson Planning Template. You can print out the template and use it as a worksheet to plan and refine your afterschool lessons, to share lesson ideas with colleagues, or to help in professional development sessions with staff.

Lesson Planning Template (PDF)

Lesson Planning Template (Word document)

Lesson Planning Template Questions

Grade Level
What grade level(s) is this lesson geared to?

Duration
How long will it take to complete the lesson? One hour? One and a half hours? Will it be divided into two or more parts, over a week, or over several weeks?

Learning Goals
What do you want students to learn or be able to do after completing this activity? What skills do you want students to develop or hone? What tasks do they need to accomplish?

Materials Needed
List all of the materials needed that will be needed to complete the activity. Include materials that each student will need, as well as materials that students may need to share (such as books or a computer). Also include any materials that students or instructors will need for record keeping or evaluation. Will you need to store materials for future sessions? If so, how will you do this?

Preparation
What do you need to do to prepare for this activity? Will you need to gather materials? Will the materials need to be sorted for students or will you assign students to be "materials managers"? Are there any books or instructions that you need to read in order to prepare? Do you need a refresher in a content area? Are there questions you need to develop to help students explore or discuss the activity? Are there props that you need to have assembled in advance of the activity? Do you need to enlist another adult to help run the activity?

Think about how you might divide up groups―who works well together? Which students could assist other peers? What roles will you assign to different members of the group so that each student participates?

Now, think about the Practice that you are basing your lesson on. Reread the Practice. Are there ways in which you need to amend your lesson plan to better address the key goal(s) of the Practice? If this is your first time doing the activity, consider doing a "run through" with friends or colleagues to see what works and what you may need to change. Alternatively, you could ask a colleague to read over your lesson plan and give you feedback and suggestions for revisions.

What to Do
Think about the progression of the activity from start to finish. One model that might be useful—and which was originally developed for science education—is the 5E's instructional model. Each phrase of the learning sequence can be described using five words that begin with "E": engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate. For more information, see the 5E's Instructional Model.

Outcomes to Look For
How will you know that students learned what you intended them to learn through this activity? What will be your signs or benchmarks of learning? What questions might you ask to assess their understanding? What, if any, product will they produce?

Self-Evaluation
After you conduct the activity, take a few minutes to reflect on what took place. How do you think the lesson went? Are there things that you wish you had done differently? What will you change next time? Would you do this activity again?

Sample Lessons

Analyzing Textbook Formats (9-12)
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Students learn how to recognize different structures and formats for nonfiction; use common features to find information; read graphs, charts, and illustrations; and navigate through several texts to locate information on one focused topic.

Analyzing Textbook Formats (9-12)

Duration: One to three 15- to 30-minute sessions

Learning Goals
  • Learn strategies for comprehending textbooks and other nonfiction texts
  • Analyze characteristics of various nonfiction formats
  • Understand the functions of headings, subheadings, graphs, illustrations, etc.
  • Learn how to locate and use specific features (index, glossary, table of contents)
  • Formulate questions and develop strategies for seeking specific information in nonfiction texts

Materials Needed

Preparation
  • Ask your tutee about upcoming themes or topics in science, social studies, or math in his or her school classes.
  • Work together to identify one topic, and establish a question or focus that captures the tutee's interest (for example, Why did it take so long for the U.S. to allow women to vote?).
  • Assemble the school textbook and three or four additional nonfiction books on this topic (look for exciting formats with pictures, graphs, and illustrations).
What to Do
  • Conduct a "guided tour" of each book, pointing out different features and asking the student to describe their purposes.
  • Review each table of contents to determine how ideas are organized (compare/contrast, sequence of events, problem/solution, process, cause/effect, random).
  • Identify and practice using other features that locate information (index, headings and subheadings, pictures and graphs, glossaries).
  • Coach the student in ways to interpret illustrations, graphs, and other visual displays, working with an appropriate graphic organizer to track important information.
  • Fill out three categories of the K-W-H-L chart with the student—what the studernt knows about the topic, what he or she wants to know, and how he or she will learn it (using many texts).
  • Carry out the K-W-H plan and complete the "L" column with the information the student learned.
Outcomes to Look For
  • Student identifies organizing principles of nonfiction
  • Student uses organizing features of nonfiction to find information
  • Student reads and interprets visual displays
  • Student designs and carries out a research plan using a range of nonfiction texts
One-on-One Tutoring (K-2)
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Students receive one-on-one tutoring that targets areas of reading and writing where they need support, or enrichment activities to enhance their strengths.

One-on-One Tutoring (K-2)

Duration: 15- to 20-minute sessions

Learning Goals (may include any of the following)
  • Practice decoding specific letters and their sounds
  • Practice reading aloud, either sight words or guided reading
  • Practice reading for comprehension
  • Practice making letters and writing words

Materials Needed
  • Checklist/form for school-day teachers to identify specific texts, skills, and activities
  • Books or other text materials as needed
  • Letter tiles
  • Literacy games
  • Blank paper for writing and drawing
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, or markers

Preparation
  • Meet with school-day teachers to find out which students can benefit from tutoring during the afterschool hours, the specific support students need, and how tutoring can support school-day learning.
  • Develop a diagnostic checklist or needs assessment form to highlight students' specific needs and skills (decoding, word fluency, sight words, comprehension, language experience, etc.).
  • Plan activities for each student based on his or her needs.
What to Do
  • Ask the school-day teacher to fill out the needs assessment form to help you identify each student's needs and relevant activities.
  • Schedule 15- to 20-minute tutoring sessions for each student.
  • Use games and fun activities to engage students and maintain a sense of play during the afterschool hours.
  • Encourage students in each activity, and praise them for their accomplishments.
  • Communicate students' progress with the school-day teacher, regularly updating the diagnostic checklist.
Outcomes to Look For
  • Student engagement and interest in reading and writing activities
  • Gradual improvement in specific skill areas such as sight word recognition, decoding letters, reading fluency, and comprehension
  • General improvement in reading and writing activities
Small-Group Tutoring (K-2)
view lesson

Students receive tutoring that targets areas of reading and writing where students need support, or enrichment activities to enhance their strengths.

Small-Group Tutoring (K-2)

Duration: 15- to 20-minute sessions

Learning Goals (may include any of the following)
  • Practice decoding specific letters and their sounds
  • Practice reading aloud, either sight words or guided reading
  • Practice reading for comprehension
  • Practice making letters and writing words

Materials Needed
  • Checklist/form for school-day teachers to identify specific texts, skills, and activities
  • Books or other text materials as needed
  • Letter tiles
  • Literacy games
  • Blank paper for writing and drawing
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, or markers

Preparation
  • Meet with school-day teachers to find out which students can benefit from tutoring during the afterschool hours, the specific support students need, and how tutoring can support school-day learning.
  • Develop a diagnostic checklist or needs assessment form to highlight students' specific needs and skills (decoding, word fluency, sight words, comprehension, language experience, etc.).
  • Develop a grouping plan based on reading levels and needs.
  • Plan activities for each small group based on students' needs.
What to Do
  • Ask the school-day teacher to fill out the needs assessment form to help you identify each student's needs and relevant activities.
  • Schedule 15- to 20-minute tutoring sessions for each student.
  • Use games and fun activities to engage students and maintain a sense of play during the afterschool hours.
  • Encourage students in each activity, and praise them for their accomplishments.
  • Communicate students' progress with the school-day teacher, regularly updating the diagnostic checklist.
Outcomes to Look For
  • Student engagement and participation
  • Increased interest in reading and writing activities
  • Gradual improvement in specific skill areas such as sight word recognition, decoding letters, reading fluency, and comprehension
  • General improvement in language-related activities

Resources

Technology Tip for this practice
If your afterschool program has access to a computer lab, remember that the Internet offers a variety of free, interactive games and activities that help students practice specific reading and writing skills. See the activities and resources at the site below. Add a projector and an interactive whiteboard so that a small group of students can work on their spelling, phonics, and other literacy skills with their tutor.

Online Literacy Activities http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/student-activities

Web Resources
Text Resources

Abt Associates Inc. (2001). AmeriCorps tutoring outcomes study. Washington, DC: Corporation for National Service.

Elbaum, B., Vaughn, S., Hughes, M.T., & Moody, S.M. (2000). How effective are one-to-one tutoring programs in reading for elementary students at risk for reading failure? A meta-analysis of the intervention research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(4), 605-619.

Fashola, O.S. (1998). Review of extended-day and after-school programs and their effectiveness. Report 24. Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk, Johns Hopkins University.

Lauer, P.A., Akiba, M., Wilkerson, S.B., Apthorp, H.A., Snow, D., and Martin-Glenn, M. (2003). The effectiveness of out-of-school-time strategies in assisting low-achieving students in reading and mathematics. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

General Literacy Web Resources
General Literacy Text Resources
  • Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G. (1996). Guided reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. A comprehensive resource for implementation of guided reading activities
  • National Research Council. (2000). Starting out right: A guide to promoting reading success. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
  • Braunger, J. & Lewis, J.P. (1997). Building a knowledge base in reading. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. This synthesis of research on how children learn how to read provides a baseline for educators and policymakers to consider in helping all children to meet higher standards.
  • Novick, R. (2002). Many paths to literacy: Language learning and literacy in the primary classroom. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. This resource provides guidance on selecting children's books, and specific strategies to build comprehension from emergent literacy to independent reading.
  • Curtis, M. & Longo, A. (1990). When adolescents can't read: Methods and materials that work. Cambridge, MA, Brookline Books.
  • RMC Research Corp. (2001). Put reading first: Helping your child learn to read. A parent guide. Preschool through grade 3. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy.
    Describes the kinds of early literacy activities that should take place at school and at home to help children learn to read successfully. Designed for parents, based on the findings of the National Reading Panel.
  • Armbruster, B.B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2001). Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read, kindergarten through grade 3. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy. Summarizes what researchers have discovered about how to teach children to read successfully. It describes the findings of the National Reading Panel Report and provides analysis and discussion in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.



 

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