Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello all,  I am sorry I have not been on in a while.  Will try to post more often.  I am working with a 15 year old that is exhausting me.  He is special needs and expelled from school.  The biggest problem for me is that he needs a high school paper that says he graduated.  He also probably would benefit from the goodwill program when he is old enough to be in it.  The problem is that without the high school paper, he cannot get a job even if he can train for one.  Therefore instead of tutoring which is more productive, we are doing the school paper chase.  By paper chase I mean that we are doing the papers for school that get him a grade.  I will be glad when he is back in school next semester so we can do more tutoring and less paperwork.  We are doing things that he is not understanding or retaining just to get a grade instead of spending the time with activities to improve his reading.
The teacher is trying and working with us so he can get a grade this semester.  Some of the work could be valuable if it was something I teach well.  I am impressed with some of what they have him doing at school.  However, the required mainstreaming is too far over his head and must be modified to the point of being busy work to follow the requirements with little reward.  We should be more thankful for our teachers in the formal school setting and the challenges they face.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Confidence in learner

Saturday, we had an opportunity for a former teacher to come see how the 15 year old is doing.  He came about 30 minutes before the teacher. He really liked this teacher and was so excited before she came that he could not do anything, except try to decide what all to tell her.  She had worked really with him and is an exceptional teacher. 
Just a few minutes before she arrived, I finally convinced him to work on tracking with his eyes.  He has become bored with the way we were doing the ball swinging from the ceiling. He no longer wants to just lie on the floor and follow the ball with his eyes.  He solved the problem by bringing a plastic toy light saber. It lights up and makes sounds as you play with it.  He lies on the pad on the floor and swings it at the ball as he follows the ball with his eyes. This is a fun way to exercise the eyes because he is trying to hit the ball with the saber. The key is still control.  His grandmother had told him to leave that thing at home as he was going to tutoring not to play.  The teacher thought it was such a good idea she is going to try to do this in her special needs classroom to see if it helps some of her students. She was here a little over two hours.         The first thing the teacher said when she walked in was how much confidence this young man has.  This is music to my ears and the young man's ears, too. She also had an idea to help his handwriting that we will try.
I talked to a fellow teacher and this teacher called her to share how confident the young man is. We are sharing other ideas that might help this young man. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Changing the order of tutoring

Saturday, I changed the order of tutoring. Part of this was because I was late getting back and part of this was to see how much progress this young man has made. I had him play dominos with another tutor.  Then when I got here, I had him work in the rocket phonics book on page 274 before using the balance board.
Page 274 is about the vowel and consonant patterns. He cannot tell me the vowels without help. We only did 3 of the 6 sections. I asked him why we only did 3. He said it was because it was too much like school. I laughed and told him, it was because it was boring.  It is boring but still needs to be learned.  We will review the section next time before we go on. He was also not pleased I had something to do before I could tutor. Wonder who he thinks is running this tutoring?  When he was standing on the balance board, several times, he threw two balls at a time back to me instead of doing the correct patterning. I just kept laughing at him and myself when I could not catch them both. Finally he did the patterning correctly. 
He let me know that he comes here because it is fun and not like school.  Thankfully, he does not understand how much school type stuff  I sneak in.
Monday, we reviewed the vowels and he remembered them and did much better. Today, Wednesday, he was complaining about school but is still doing much better than last year. We reviewed the sections 1 to 5 of the vowel and consonant patterning. Then we did section 6. These are small bites but that is how I can get him to do this.
We are working on writing in cursive because the teacher is encouraging him to learn to write in cursive. We only did 4 words and small words at that but it is a start without the pressure.  We also played dominos. I got him to play 4 hands without complaining. We also read in the My Side of the Mountain book. Small successes are adding up.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The August 25 Class

The class went well. We had 7 come.  We had a good time and hopefully learned more about the importance of a child needing to be in balance to learn better.  Two boys that were at the building
told us that they had a friend who struggled to read as we were leaving the building.  It was a joy to see
their concern for a friend. We gave them a card with my phone number.  We will have to see if anyone
calls.  It is such an embarrassment to those who struggle to learn that it is hard to get them to ask for help.
Often, when they do ask for help the money is a problem.  Most people charge in the range of 45 to 55 dollars an hour.  I am asking 20 am hour.  I am working from my home and do not have the rent overhead.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Class on August 25, 2011

On August 25, 2011 at 7 pm, I will have a free class at the Community Center in the library building in the City of Catoosa. Please email me at if you would like to attend.  You may try the balance board and see some of what I do and why.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Child needs help standing on board

This week I had an opportunity to show a mom how the balance board works.  Her child struggles with balance so much that I needed to hold both of her hands so she could stand on the board.  After she was more comfortable I had her hold onto the rocking chair with one hand. She held to one of my hands with the other hand.  Before the session was over she could stand on the board with one of her hands laid on top of  one of my hands.  Her mom could see progress in just the one time.  I showed her where to get a board as she is a wonderful teacher and might do this herself. 
I have students stand and balance and catch balls.  With this child, she needed to toss the ball to me with one hand while she held onto the rocking chair or my other hand.
I also had her walk on the balance beam with rockers.  I put this board in a hallway so she can touch the walls to help with balance when she needs. I walked backwards and held her hands until she could use the walls.
It will be exciting to see how this works for this child.  It will also show me other areas to help different children.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

working with an exhausted teen

Monday, the teen that always comes in with an excuse why he is too tired to tutor long was really exhausted.  He had been camping all weekend and looked tired.  I had him lie down and follow the ball with his eyes.  He did not do this well. He usually does this well. On Monday, he was just too tired.  Instead of making things a battle, I chose to do what he had the energy to do.  He also was too tired to stand on the balance board.  He would have been glad to go home and go back to sleep.  I had him play skipbo with me as he needs to remember the order of playing to win.  He also won.  We also read in the book for My side of the Mountain.  I chose activities that took as little physical energy as possible and still had him think. 
This paid off today as he was able to do the regular tutoring and read well for me.  I have some new cards to play word bingo with him. I find these to be very boring for me but they are part of the process for him to develop confidence in his ability to read. He seems to like them. It is fun to say I do not like something so the complaining is on the other side of the tutoring table.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A toddler on the balance board

Dyslexia often runs in families. For this reason, I am encouraging my grandson to stand on the balance board. All the encouragement he needs is access to the board.  At first when he wanted to play on it, I offered my hand for him to hold. Of course, he also needs older children or adults to leave him alone.  Yes, he is too young.  He turned a year old around thanksgiving, so he is 19 to 20 months old now. He likes to play on the balance board. He walks up one side and down the other. For him it is just a toy.  This week, he was balancing on it correctly.  I just stood off to the side and watched him. It was hard not to go see what else he could do on it. We just leave him alone and let him play with it.  We hope he can develop the learning and balancing skills he needs to learn without the learning challenges that run in our family.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The importance of names

Two friends came out to talk about one of them getting her GED. We worked on her math.  She thinks her sister is smarter than she is.  We played frakle.  I told the sister working on her GED that her name was going to be either smart or brilliant.  My name was wonderful and the other sister was going to be loser.  The one I named loser plays on the computer and wins a lot.  As loser she lost.  I was teaching them the importance of what they call themselves. Often when someone has struggled in school they down themselves when they are really smart but just have not had the opportunity to learn easily.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My neck hurts

Today the 15 year old came in and starting telling me his neck was hurting.  This signals me that he is not planning on staying long.  I let him talk for just a minute and then guided him to tutoring.  Since his neck was hurting, I had him lie on a pad and work on his eyes tracking.  I have him follow the ball hanging from the ceiling with his eyes in several different directions.  Then we did the balance board using the scarves.  I constantly say good, look at how well you are balancing.  If he is having a struggle with the balance, I slow down or wait until the board is balanced again.  The entire time I am using encouraging words.  Then I had him work on the balance board while throwing the ball at the number board.  He had good balance and did well staying on task.  Then we read page 226 in the rocket phonics book.  When he hesitated at a word I gave him the vowel sound.  Most of the time he read the word correctly to which I encouraged with the words "good reading".
Next we played word go fish.  When I say no I do not have it he often thinks he has pronounced the word incorrectly.  He is so accustomed to saying the word wrong. I make sentences with the word as I call out the one I want.
We read the second section of My Side of the Mountain.  I compare the things the boy does in the book with the things the 15 year old does in boy scouts. We should start on page 20 tomorrow.  We tutored the entire hour.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

working a child back into tutoring

Today, the 15 year old came back to tutoring.  He went to camp and then we had the 4th of July.  Now how can tutoring be as exciting as firework?.  I knew he would be tired and have to get back into the swing of tutoring.  He was late and did not intend to stay long.  I did not have anyone the next hour so we worked our full hour.  I gently encouraged him. His dad did a great job when he told him he was not swimming if he did not tutor. Go dad.  We started a new book, My Side of the Mountain. When I started reading he followed the words at first.  This is exciting progress.  We mostly reviewed and returned to the structure of tutoring.  I was pleased with the retention he had.  Looking forward to tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is this really reading ?

One child I work with is going into 3rd grade.  She has already failed once and would have probably failed this year had she not already failed a grade.  I have worked for a year to get her excited about even opening a book.
Today at the library she looked through many books and wrote them down as having read them.  She has already read the 20 required to finish the summer reading program.  I read them with her, to her or had her read them to me. When she was telling me  "Look how many I have read." Someone else said, "Yes, and I saw how you were reading them, too."  Where does reading start?  It is certainly not by leaving the book on the shelf.  I went over some of the books she had read. Some of the books she did not understand and possibly had not read or not understood. Instead of telling her I was not sure she had read them, I told her I wanted to see if she understood what she had read. I was pleased at how much she had understood.  Turning the pages and looking at the pictures and words you can read is certainly to be praised in my opinion.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I do not feel well today

Today, the 15 year old I tutor was not feeling well.  This is often the case when he comes.  He uses this as an excuse to cut tutoring short.  His grandmother and I are working on getting him to stay the entire hour.  Today he really did not want to come.  I told him that it was not my fault if he stayed up too late. I could tell he did not have the energy for me to push him.
I started out giving him a drink of water to sip on while I made him some tea.  He takes medicine that makes him feel ill.  I also offered him some chips which seemed to help.
We started out reading the book I am reading aloud to him.  He insisted he felt too ill to stand on the balance board. Then I had him play word go fish to encourage him.  He did well at that and it gives him the confidence to continue learning.  It is so much fun to see him forget he is not supposed to know how to read the word.  He has to build his confidence as well as his ability to read.  I also had him do some memory work.
I told him tomorrow hopefully he will feel better and he hopes so too.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slow down, I am too tired to learn your way

 Yesterday, I worked with an 8 year old and was excited because I knew what I wanted to do.  Enter the 8 year old. This child was tired and needed permission to regroup.  He came in and asked to play a game. He chose Rummy-O. This teaches the same thing my set- making game does.  It also takes longer.  Instead of drawing one tile each play we drew two each time. Children like to draw tiles.  The object is supposed to be to Win by getting rid of all your tiles first. The child needed to learn how to play and learn grouping of numbers.  You are also not supposed to let the other player see what tiles you have.  We set the tiles up and then helped each other.  Before the game was over he was showing me what I had to play a couple of times.  What a confidence builder for him to find my move before I did.
Then we worked on the balance board and he did well.  I began tutoring by reading every other sentence while the student reads the opposite ones.  This prevents the negative, "You forgot to stop for the period."
It also helps understanding by stopping at each complete thought. I am working for this child to read every other paragraph. He likes the every other sentence better. The reading selections are also longer. He is resisting the longer as it looks harder so we stopped in the middle of the selection.
I hope today goes as well.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Slow down and listen

     Thursday's tutoring was interesting.  This means I am not sure I can explain what happened.  First, the kids dog managed to get sprayed by a skunk.  How can this possibly affect tutoring? First, there is a smell that comes with the dog and the kid felt sorry for the dog and let him come with him.  This means we cannot read outside with the dog there. Next, the dog rubs on the boy's pants so a slight smell comes in the house with the boy. This smell causes the kids allergies to act up so there is coughing and sneezing.  
     Now add a tutor who is excited about how well the boy did on Wednesday at tutoring and does not notice the warning signs that she needs to slow down. The boy still did well on the more difficult balance board. At this point the tutor should have had the boy work in the rocket phonics book.  Instead, I tried the second lesson in Hooked on Phonics and the boy struggled. As a result, we did not read or listen to the tape in the house..  He nor I felt as good when he went home as the day before. Thankfully, I stopped before we undid the trust he has in me.
     Today on Friday, I had to take a step back and allow the boy to step back also.  The balance board went well and I had him do the one long division problem.. I had him decide which number we should chose to divide with so he could regain the control he needs to learn. He chose 9.  Then I drew the division symbol and let him chose the numbers to divide the 9 into.  I realize I will need to use colored pencils to write the numbers to teach him math. Then we went back to the rocket phonics book and he did well.  He likes the computer so he was willing to try the hooked on phonics again. I had him go back and do lesson one again. I controlled the computer so he could get more out of it and also have to tell me what he was doing verbally. This way he used more of the senses to learn with.  Monday is a holiday, so we will see on Tuesday how things go.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Keeping up with success in student learning

 Yesterday I moved the difficulty level for the balance board for the 15 year old. We start at level 50 which is the easiest level and parallel to the board. This student had struggled at first to stay on the board and even fallen off several times.  He was succeeding at level 45. I made a decision to see if he could succeed at level 25. Level 25 puts the rockers under the board at halfway between parallel and perpendicular to the board.
He succeeded better than I dreamed he would.  After working on this level for 10 minutes, I offered to add an activity. He told me his feet hurt.  I immediately praised him and stopped working on the board.  He did not offer an excuse or tell me felt bad. This is such an exciting improvement both with the balance on the board and in his confidence to say my feet hurt when he had used all the energy he had for working on the board.
This gave me the confidence to try using the Hooked on Phonics program I have. He could not have used this program when we started. He liked the Hooked on Phonics and did well with it.
When it was time to listen to the book we are working on reading, I teased him and said I was not sure where it was.  He smiled and said, "I guess I will just have to go home then."
I laughed and said, "Oh, no you won't."
I found the book quickly and we listened to almost an entire chapter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The son, who was struggling that I wrote about earlier, finished his semester and received his grades.  He made 1 A, 2 B's and 1 C. I would have been pleased with 4 C's.  Keep on going son and mom will try to keep up.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Confidence building for a learning challenged child

      A young man I almost did not have the confidence to tutor appears to be going to learn to read.  It is slow and sometimes I push too hard. Sometimes he can stay 20 minutes, sometimes 40 minutes and often an hour.  He is doing well enough that it is time to show him what he can do and build his confidence.  We are listening to a Louis L'Amour book.  We have already listened to a short story by him and a Hank the Cow Dog book.  This young man is interested in hunting and fishing, so I look for books that he will like and understand.  
     We are doing  To The Far Blue Mountains. I have this book on Cassette tapes and checked out the book from the library.  I let him just listen to the first chapter to see if he has interest in the book. For chapter two, I copied the first page of almost four paragraphs and enlarged the print from 100 percent to 200 percent.  Then I underline the words he can read in his favorite color.  Color is important to this.  Out of about 120 words in the first two paragraphs, he could read 83 of the words.  When he appears  to hesitate I give him the vowel sound from the rocket phonics we are using. Then we listened to the chapter.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My reading has improved

One child I am working with has improved his reading level by a year.  He still needs to improve to be on grade level but he is seeing success.  Therefore he does not think he should keep doing the balance board and the exercises that go with it.  He just wants to get on with his success and learn to read better.
I asked him if I made cupcakes and iced them if he would eat them.  He laughed and replied, "Of course I would."  I asked him if I iced a piece of cardboard cupcake, if he would eat that.  He replied, "I would lick the icing off."
I told him that the reading is the icing on the cake and that if he did not keep working on the balance board it would be like icing the cardboard instead of the cake.  He might keep getting better with the reading but it would take longer.  He did better working with me but he is only half way convinced.  I also realized the board was getting too easy, so I moved it up a level.  I learn more than the students.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Balametrics equipment

This program is based on the balance board.  I did not understand the importance of the other equipment.
First the balance board is a special design.  More information is available at for pictures and cost.  The design is important because some will think it is just a rocking board.  The importance is the rockers and the centering grid.  The grid allows the person using the board and the person tutoring or teaching to see that balance is achieved.  When the person using the board feels off balance they will move their feet and not have the body and brain balance.  Often when working with someone, they will drop the bean bag and when they start again they will have moved their feel. The balance board is a good place to begin.
The Pendulum Ball is harder to use because it needs have a large enough area to be able to swing and followed with the eyes.  This helps people to focus and use their eyes individually and together.  I saw one of these used at the Brain Workout Center in Denver.  The child laid on the floor and followed the ball with his eyes together.  Then he held on hand over one eye and did each eye individually.  Mom watched so she could have him practice at home.  I am finding that it only takes a few times to see much improvement with a child who has trouble focusing.  Also the child can stand on the balance board and follow the ball with the eyes.  Next have him or her use the Visual Motor Control Stick to hit the ball to the left, middle, and right. If you think this is easy I challenge you to try it yourself and make sure your feet are balanced when you are finished watching the ball. Remember to make it fun.  I tell my students that I know they are strong but can they control the ball.  That is stronger and tougher than being just strong.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Balametrics Class in St Louis on 1-28-11

On January 28, my husband and I went to St Louis for this class.  See earlier post for classes coming up.
The first information I want to share is the testing we did to show how the Balametrics improves ability to learn.  The tests we did were oral reading, visual acuity, binocular teaming, handwriting, walk a tape line, visual field, balance of visual space, distance perception and size perception, and rate of motion perception. 
I am usually not impressed with tests or test results.  I think these tests should be used to show the parents how much this training helps.  Maybe older students needing help would benefit from this testing also.
We took each test individually moving around the room to the different testing stations.  There were 9 or 10 students in this class.  The most impressive areas for me were the visual acuity and the visual field test.
On the visual acuity test my husband could see clearly 4 feet from the posted paper on the wall.  After he did the exercises he could see clearly from 7 feet back.  On my test for this I could see from 5 feet back on the initial test and from 8 feet back after doing the exercises.  The visual field test impressed me more because I could clearly see so much more of the field of cards.  I will go through each test and describe it in different posts so I can give each one the proper time and description.  Hopefully, this will encourage others to help themselves and their friends, family and most importantly children. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

snow days

Well we have been mostly snowed in for about 2 weeks.  I have not been able to see most of my tutoring students.  A young man who lives close to me could walk over.  He really likes the new boards.  Working with the balance board is fun.  He struggled to walk on it.  It has rockers on it like the balance board.  When he tries to walk it, he has a tendency to fall off of it.  After a couple of failures and a look of discouragement on his face, I figured out to hold on to the edge of his shirt to give him a little extra balance.  This little bit of help allowed him the support he needed to walk the board.  Then he could do this without the help. The excitement of the weather and being couped up indoors have made it hard for him to focus on balance.  I saw this before when he was excited about going to a ball game. Only the snow was so much bigger, it took about 5 to 7 minutes longer to focus. It really reminds to me to remember and not take balance for granted .  It is so easy to forget when I am not the one struggling.  He fell off the regular board twice before he could get his focus in line.  This is the child I was not sure I could tutor.  He is going to take longer but is showing improvement. 
The snow is melting so next week we will hopefully be back to normal. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

school counselor

When I was in the Balametrics class I met a wonderful school counselor.  I hope she will continue for many years in the educational system.  I wish I had asked her what kind of learner she is.  She can see how much the Balametrics can help struggling students.  During the summer, she has a class for these learners and it is successful.  The sad thing is that she can only have a few in the class.  Hopefully, others will see what she is doing and learn from her.  I know I saw many ideas I can use for my tutoring. 
I am so excited with what I learned that I overwhelmed the students I tutor. The next student, I only showed one new idea and will go more slowly.
Today I worked with a young man and he did well.  I may not have the energy or organization to work with more than two or three at a time.  I will need to watch the instructional DVD's several days to be able to use more of what I learned.

I am exhausted

I have just spent an hour or longer talking with my youngest son, who is a perfectionist. He tries so hard and has so many learning struggles that working with him is exhausting.  Many struggling learners are also perfectionists.  Not only do they struggle to learn, they struggle to do everything perfectly.  However, because they struggle so hard to learn and make so many mistakes, they learn to convince people that they do not care so they can survive our educational system. When my son is in a class he has learned to sit in the back so he can move and not distract the teacher and yet still be able to move enough to be able to learn.  He gets in trouble with a speaker because he is not paying attention.  When the speaker calls him down for not paying attention, my son can repeat what the speaker has said.  When my son is acting like he is paying attention, then he has to go ask what he is supposed to do.  What a challenge!
I read a good piece in Texas Homesteader on Rocket Phonics that explains this well.  It is on learning and rocket phonics and how to teach her child.  The sad thing is we put a visual learner in the class as a teacher.  Many or most teachers are visual learners. Visual learners or teachers need students to be still in order in to teach and learn.  Then we put learners in class that need to move to learn and expect there to be peace in class.  Guess who is considered to be a problem?
He is struggling with some of his college classes because I thought he had figured out how to use the syllabus.
Well, guess what!  He is still not a visual learner and the teachers in at least some of his classes are.  Putting the information in bold type does not a visual learner make.  We will work on the next syllabus for another class tomorrow.  He thinks I am mad at him when I am flustered with myself for missing what he could not remind me that he needed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Balametrics classes coming

Anyone who is working with teaching struggling learners or any learners needs to try to go to a  seminar on Balametrics.  There is one coming up on February 18, 2011 in Portland, Or.  Another one is on March 28, 2011 in Orlando, Fl.  The cost is 149 for the class or 399 if you need a kit with some of the materials.  I went for 149 because I have many of the materials.  When I learned the impressive extent of what could be taught, I realized I needed more materials.  There was so much more that could be taught than I realized.  I have had great success with what I was using. I am excited to see how much more succcess my students can have with more information. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Joy of being home

This past thursday my husband and I were able to travel to St. Louis for the Balametrics Class.  What a wonderful class! The weather was nice there and back.  We ate supper with a friend of my daughter and son-in-law.  He had his two precious sons with him.  His wife was at work.  Hopefully another time we can visit with her also. It is amazing to see someone whose wedding you attended with a child in school.  It does not seem that long ago that he and his wife married. 
The class was on friday, yesterday .  The speakers from the Belgau family were helpful and informative.  It is exciting to see the son learning more, based somewhat on what the father has learned.  The father struggled in school during his early years.  He joined the Air Force and took tests to pass the GED and college classes as a junior in high school.  This was by the time he was 18. 
We left town just ahead of the traffic.  The trip home was peaceful and long.  We arrived home a little before midnight.  Some of son's friends were over and were gracious enough to let me show them some of what I learned.  One of them rides a rip board all the time and had little problem balancing.  It is so much fun to have new toys.
We were tired from the long ride and the VT 15 machine really felt relaxing.  I used it twice so I could relax and rest well. The VT 15 machine is a large vibrator that you can stand or sit on to relax your muscles.
It will take me a day or two to organize my thoughts about the class and probably more than a post or two to tell about it. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That is cheating

This past week, I was working with a child who is struggling with math.  I was using the triangle math cards.
An example of this is a triangle with a 3 in a bottom corner and a 5 in the other bottom corner.  I had it drawn on the board.  I had an 8 in the top corner.  When I told her to look at the 8, she told me she could not because that would be cheating.  I explained this was learning not cheating.  I could tell she did not believe me.  I talked to her mom and asked for her help.  How sad that a child is so concerned they will be accused of cheating that it stiffles learning.  We will see how she does next week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaching reading meaning

Often when we read with children we have them read a paragraph.  This is a good idea for a child who understands how to read and understands what they are reading.  When you have a child who word calls and appears to read but does not understand what is being read this often does not work.  Word calling is not reading and is often mistaken for reading.  To teach this without constantly saying, "You forgot the period." requires a different method.
Each sentence is a complete thought.  These thoughts are not complete but run on sentences if the periods are ignored.  Sometimes they are just words with no connection to each other.
With a struggling student, I read a sentence and then they read a sentence.  I let them chose who goes first.  As much as I can I try to let them be in control.  When they forget to stop at the period, I gently ask if they are taking my turn.  Sometimes, I just say, "My turn, my turn." This makes it more fun than "You did it wrong." Then when they get the process, I accidently keep reading when it is their turn. It is fun to see them say, "Hey, that sentence was my turn." When beginning this process, sometimes they will tire quickly.  When they have read 3 to 5 sentences and they are tired, I will ask if they want me to finish the selection.  As they become stronger readers, they read longer.  One third grader, who has been told he will repeat third grade in October was so excited last week that he forgot to let me have my turn.  He was doing so well that I let him go to see how long he could read.  Finally after a page I asked him, "Do I get a turn?"
He laughed and said yes, read 3 more sentences and then let me have a turn.  Then we did the one sentence each trade off. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Music to a Tutor's ears

Yesterday, I worked with the child who did not want to learn to read.  She joyfully told me that she had a B in reading and is working on an A because she did not want to have a B.  Next time, I will introduce the math again and see if she is ready. I know we always ask for more.

Today, the mom of the child I worked with told me she made all A's and B's. Her C has come up. This the child who was making D's and F's when we began.  It is so much fun to see one of the struggling students succeed. 

January 28 I have the opportunity to go to a class on the balance board. I am really looking forward to that. 

Another child held his reading over the holidays.  However, he did not hold the cognative skills.  I wish I knew why. 

Another child is holding his own but still has so far to go. He is the one I almost did not take because I was not sure I could help him. 

Another child decided he did not want to tutor.  He was going to make himself and me miserable to prove he was not going to tutor.  He did not understand that is not how my tutoring works.  I called Mom and said he might not be able to tutor as he was truly miserable.  Did she want me to bring him home or would she like to talk to him?  She talked to him and really came through as a wonderful, powerful mom.  She informed him that she knew his problem was that he thought he could play outside longer if he did not tutor.  She told him that it would still be daylight and he could play after tutoring.  If he did not tutor he would not play at all.  He tutored and did well.  He is such a precious child but also very strong willed.