Find out where in the world the Skyping Reading Tutor is. The skyping reading tutor volunteers in classrooms by reading books and motivating them to read. The Skyping Reading Tutor also has her own online reading tutoring company www.theskypingreadingtutor.com

Archive for the ‘Tutoring Sessions’ Category

Student in Australia Responds to Students in San Antonio, Texas

Ask and you shall receive.  That is what happened to me when I asked my student in Australia some questions that students had asked her in San Antonio, Texas.

The students in Texas wanted to know what it was like at Christmas time in Australia.  I didn’t get too much of a response about this, except that it is hot.  It is very, very, very hot.  It is so hot that they go swimming on Christmas day.

Who wants the inside scoop on Santa?  Well, they don’t have chimneys in Ayr, Queensland so santa goes through the front door or through the window.  Santa figures out a way to do his job despite all of the hurdles he has to go through.

Another thing that the students wanted to know about was what kinds of books she likes to read.  On the video below they show us some of their favorite titles.  I noticed that they had The Very Hungary Caterpillar by Eric Carle, which is one of my favorites.  I recognized the Scholastic symbol on the books that they had, so some of the titles were familiar ones and some weren’t.  One of the books that they had raved about was The Wonky Donkey.  It was originally a song that was turned into a favorite book.  You can click on the title to hear the fun song.  This is not well known to us in the U.S., but it is definitely on the favorites list of the family that I work with.  I was in 7th heaven being introduced to books that I had never heard of before.

To see some of the other amazing books that are on my Australian families best loved list, check out the video that I created for my friends in San Antonio, Texas.

Reading Acceleration Star Student

Each month I will be featuring a star student that has made exceptional progress on his or her reading level.  This is Julia and she has definitely made some amazing progress in her reading ability.

Back in October of 2010 Julia’s mom gave me a call because her daughter seemed to not be reading as fast as the other kids in her grade level.  She had mentioned that she had received Reading Recovery instruction in 1st grade, but for whatever reason it didn’t help her get to grade level.  She had mentioned that the teachers thought she was reading at a Kindergarten level in 2nd grade.

As any parent would feel, this is devastating news.  No one wants to hear that their child is performing significantly below grade level.  Julia’s mom found one of my advertisements and gave me a call.

After the call, we set up a time for a free assessment.  I found that Julia was a very confident little girl who enjoyed reading.  Her mom had mentioned that she was usually reluctant to read and was afraid of failing.  Essentially her morale and self-confidence were at stake.  (Which is the case for most students that are struggling with reading).

Julia had a burning desire to read the books that her peers were reading.  She set a wishing goal of being able to read Frog and Toad Books and Junie B. Jones books.  At the time I felt that the Frog and Toad goal could be met by November and that she could meet the Junie B. Jones goal by January.  Some people may have seen this as very tough goals to reach since Julia was only reading with me for one hour a week, but what I do is more than just reading tutoring.  I provide reading accerlation.

You may be asking what the difference is between reading tutoring and reading acceleration.  Reading tutoring can be provided by anyone who has more knowledge in reading.  It could be an older student, a college kid, even a past teacher.  All of these people may be qualified to provide reading tutoring.  This is really helpful if a student is only a few months behind grade level.  However, when a child is 1 or more grade levels behind their peers, then they need reading acceleration.  This is something that is going to help a child move very quickly in a short amount of time.  This entails deliberate teaching with a great foundational knowledge of the reading process.  Reading acceleration can be performed by someone who has knowledge of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary development.  Also, reading acceleration needs to be performed by someone who can build a report with kids quickly.  If a child likes you and trusts you, then he/she will work very hard for you and make significant gains.

So, back to Julia.  Julia met each of her goals.  She was reading Frog and Toad books by November and has just finished her 2nd Junie B. Jones book right on schedule.  She was able to start the first one in January just as planned.

When I started working with Julia she was a very confident little girl.  She has now built on that confidence and her teachers have informed her mom that she is reading on grade level.  Julia was a student that needed acceleration vs. tutoring and she got just that.  She always has a smile on her face and is willing to read whatever is put in front of her.  She is going to continue reading with me over the summer to ensure that she is not effected by summer slide.  When she is in 3rd grade she will be able to read whatever her peers are reading and take the WKCE in November without a problem.  I foresee that this little girl that was pronounced to be reading 2 grade levels below her peers will be proficient on this test.  All of the students that I have worked with have fallen into the proficient range regardless of where they started when I began working with them.

I am so proud of Julia and the amazing progress that has made and will continue to make.  It is because of smiling faces like hers that I continue to do what I love to do best.  Teach kids how to read.

Snowy Day and Kids Still Learn to Read

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Today in Southeastern WI we are in the middle of a snowstorm.  Now snowstorms are usually something that keeps kids indoors and safe.  Many kids will miss out of school and have to make up the school time later on.  When it comes to tutoring, there is no way someone is going to travel in a blizzard so that their child can get better at reading.

Well, all of my students were safe today and had a tutoring session with each of them.  How can that be?  Well as many of you know I do all of my tutoring online using Skype.  Skype allows me to see the students and for the students to see me.  Skype allows my students and I to share a screen and read with one another.  We can work on individual words that kids are struggling with, read books, talk about books, and increase their fluency skills all from the comfort of our homes.

This is a difficult concept for many people to grasp since the technology to do this is very new.  But, the important thing is does it work?  Many people worry about that one on one time not being meaningful or they see the computer as a cold way to work with children.  Do children view it this way?  I think not.  In fact, I am normally able to raise a student’s reading level in the first 3 months a full year.  That is with only 12 hours of instruction.  (Sylvan claims that they can raise reading levels a whole year with 32 hours of instruction).  On the computer, I have been able to raise reading levels a whole year with just 8-12 hours of instruction.  Kids find this kind of learning motivating and any way that is motivating and works is something that we need to continue to do.

Tutoring online is also a much more affordable way for parents to support their children in reading.  With the rise in gas prices, parents no longer need to travel back and forth to a tutoring center.  Also, some tutors offer specials like free evaluations and progress reports that Sylvan will charge heavily for.  If you are serious about getting help for your child in the area of reading, then check out tutoring companies that offer this kind of service.  My company is called Bright IDEA Reading and you can find out more information at http://www.theskypingreadingtutor.com.  Enjoy the weather wherever you are and stay safe!

 

Assignment: Find a Word without a Vowel

My assignment to the world is to find a word without a vowel. Can it be done? Listen to the aha’s that this brilliant child had while engaged in a discussion about the vowels.

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