The Howard Street Tutoring Manual: Teaching at-Risk Readers in the Primary Grades

The Howard Street Tutoring Manual: Teaching at-Risk Readers in the Primary Grades

The Howard Street Tutoring Manual: Teaching at-Risk Readers in the Primary Grades

The Howard Street Tutoring Manual: Teaching at-Risk Readers in the Primary Grades

Synopsis

Updated with important advances in research and practice, the second edition of this indispensable manual provides a comprehensive guide to one-on-one instruction for struggling readers in grades 1 to 3. The book addresses the 'hows', 'whats', and 'whys' of setting up a volunteer or professional tutoring program, it supplies assessment guidelines and reproducible forms, and presents in-depth case-studies that demonstrate the nuts and bolts of tutoring three children at different stages of early literacy over an entire school year.

Case-study chapters offer clear descriptions of lesson plans, instructional activities, and informal assessment procedures, illustrated with realistic examples of student work.

New features in the second edition include the latest empirical findings on emergent and at-risk readers, revised assessment strategies, and updated lists of recommended books.

Excerpt

One-to-one tutoring in reading has proven to be the most effective way to prevent reading failure in the primary grades (Morris, 2003; Wasik & Slavin, 1993). This is not surprising. Primary-grade teachers are the first to admit that they have difficulty meeting the needs of low readers in a busy classroom of 20 or more children. On the other hand, one-to-one tutoring can afford an at-risk child adequate reading practice at the correct instructional level in the presence of a supportive adult. Quality tutoring not only can advance the young child’s reading ability, but also it can indirectly strengthen his/her academic self concept at a crucial time in development.

Nonetheless, effective tutoring programs—those that actually produce “catch-up” achievement results—are not easy for schools to establish and maintain over time. Issues of knowledge, staff, supervision, cost, time, space, and institutional inertia all must be addressed if a tutoring program is to succeed. At minimum, such programs require a carefully leveled set of interesting reading materials; sufficient out-of-class tutoring time; a balanced instructional approach (contextual reading and phonics); and, most important, competent tutors.

Certified teachers can be used as reading tutors, but often this is cost prohibitive for schools that serve large numbers of at-risk readers (six or more per classroom). in these schools, there simply are too many children for one or two reading teachers to tutor individually. An alternative is to use paraprofessionals or community volunteers as reading tutors in the primary grades. This reduces the cost of tutoring and increases the number of children who can be served. However, the use of noncertified reading tutors brings to the fore important issues of training and ongoing supervision.

This revised edition of The Howard Street Tutoring Manual directly addresses issues of training and supervising reading tutors, be they teachers, paraprofessionals, or community volunteers. This book should be useful to reading professionals who wish to establish, in their school or community, a one-to-one tutoring program for struggling primary-grade readers. I describe how to start such a program, how to supervise the work of the tutors, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of the tutoring effort. in addition, using three detailed case studies (Atticus . . .

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