Tutoring & Mentoring Packs
Tutoring & Mentoring Packs provide volunteer tutors with developmentally appropriate resources that address a child's specific learning needs.
Convenient, well-organized, and educationally sound packs supply teachers, parents, tutors, and tutor coordinators with effective reading strategies and an extensive collection of printable, research-based materials in six instructional categories: alphabet, phonological awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, fluency, and comprehension. Simply download, print, and assemble the resources to create ready-to-use tutor packs.
Each category addresses skills and strategies that reading experts have defined as keys to developing successful readers.
Why Use Tutoring & Mentoring Packs
Volunteer tutors are valuable in schools with programs for struggling readers. Tutors guide students' reading practice and encourage them to improve their reading skills.
However, tutors can't replace the professional instruction provided by reading specialists. Students with serious reading problems still need the assistance of reading specialists.
The role of tutors is to provide practice with oral reading, meaningful discussions on book content, simple reading instruction, and confidence-building motivation.
How To Use
A successful tutoring/mentoring program includes mechanisms to recruit, screen, train, supervise, retain, and recognize tutors.
- Tutors should have a basic understanding of the reading process and be good readers.
- They also need coaching in the use of the tutoring & mentoring packs.
Provide tutors with a sample pack from each of the six categories. Go through the pack contents item by item.
Give tutors the opportunity to pair up and role-play—one in the role of the student, the other as the tutor.
Tutor handouts specific to each category can also be found in the More About sections on each category's landing page.
After identifying students who will participate in your tutoring program and analyzing each student's needs, determine which packets you will use. Go to the appropriate category, select the desired packets, and download and print the packet contents. Generally you will need only one of each packet, unless your program is offered at a number of different sites. In that case, you will need a separate set of resources for each tutoring site.
It is probably best to print, assemble, organize, and store a complete set of tutor packets for your program. Retrieve a packet as needed, give it to the tutor, and return it to its storage device after the session.
An alternative is to assign tutors the lesson packets they will use in their tutoring sessions. Then have them access the packets from the Web site, print, and assemble them on their own. This will require some training to ensure they know how to access and assemble the materials.
Once the packets have been printed and assembled and tutors have been trained, the use of each packet is self-explanatory. The easy-to-understand instructions contained in each packet have been written specifically for tutors.
Estimated time allotments are provided for each lesson step. Specific resources used for each step are identified next to the instructions. Tutors should simply follow the lesson sequence laid out in the Tips for Tutors pages in each packet. Tutors can adjust the pace of instruction as needed. Repetition of various steps can be beneficial, while too fast a pace might inhibit progress. Time allotments are only recommendations.
The decision to allow children to keep the companion books is the choice of each program coordinator. If companion books are given out to each child, you will need to replace books in each packet after each tutoring session. It is a good idea initially to print extra copies of the books and file them, along with the packet, in your storage device. This way you can replace the book when the packet is returned. And the packet will be ready to use for the next tutoring session.
If you are a private tutor, a parent, or a classroom teacher using the tutoring resources with parents or other classroom volunteers, you can make up the packets as needed. If you plan to reuse the resources with other children, you will want to devise a system for storing and retrieving.
More information on Assembling & Storing Packs.
Identify Student Needs
Every school has children who are challenged readers. These are the children who can benefit most from the additional instruction, support, and encouragement given by tutors. Finding those students who have the greatest needs and assessing their weaknesses can be accomplished by analyzing student performance on various inventories and by consulting with teachers. When students report for their tutoring sessions, they should receive instruction that addresses their weaknesses.
Reading A-Z provides a collection of quick-check assessments to diagnose a child's needs and determine the appropriate packets for each tutoring session. For example, a child who does not recognize most uppercase and lowercase letters in the alphabet assessment should be tutored using the alphabet packets. A child unable to decode simple CVC nonsense words should be tutored using consonant and short-vowel tutor packets.
While the assessments are easy to administer, they are not intended for tutor use. Classroom teachers or trained professionals are best suited to administer and interpret these assessments.
Evidence of Effectiveness
Since the 2003-2004 school year, Reading A-Z resources have been the instructional component for Project MORE, a reading-mentoring program used in nearly 300 schools throughout Ohio. For the past decade, data related to Project MORE's effectiveness has been collected, analyzed, and reported by Bowling Green State University. The following conclusions have been reported on Project MORE and the associated Reading A-Z resources.
With almost over a decade of data collection, results indicate that Project MORE has been found to be:
Project MORE is one of the few reading programs in the country that has evaluated whether their program works exclusively for students with disabilities and Title 1 students. For almost a decade, the evaluation results indicate the Project MORE students make significantly more reading gains than similar students that do not receive this intensive one-on-one reading-mentoring intervention. These results have been found across grade levels (2-4), disability status, and Title 1 status.
Through cost analysis, it has been found that Project MORE costs less than $1.00 per volunteer mentoring hour.
Beginning with just 15 schools in 1999, Project MORE is now in over 290 schools across Ohio.
Due to the low cost of the project and the consistent results for students with disabilities and students at-risk for reading failure, schools are able to sustain their projects with funding.
The Center for Evaluation Services, Bowling Green State University, Updated 11/2013
For more information on Project MORE, go to: www.ohioprojectmore.org.
Visit our research page to learn more about how Reading A'Z resources support current educational trends and practices.