Welcome to Write Away!
The writing forum for Project Read learners.

We've redesigned our blog so that adult learners working at Project Read can share what they have written with other learners, tutors, and the public. There are a few simple guidelines to be aware of.
  1. This is a moderated site, so submissions and comments will first be reviewed before being approved and published.
  2. Adult learners submitting their writing have the option of using their first name (only) or using "anonymous" for authorship.
  3. We wish to honor the writing efforts of the adult learner/authors, so no major copy editing will be applied, but we may suggest minor corrections in consultation with the author.
  4. Only active Project Read learners are eligible to submit their writing to the Write Away blog and there are two ways of doing this: send submissions via email to projectread@sfpl.org, or stop by the office with a hard copy of your writing.
  5. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not represent those of the San Francisco Public Library and/or the City and County of San Francisco.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Continuing Ed. Class for Project Read Tutors--April 24

The Invisible Tutor:
Creating exercises and assignments that your learner
will love to work on when you’re away.

This hands-on workshop, presented by Project Read staff, will give you some easy-to-use materials and strategies to encourage your learner to work independently to enhance his or her reading, writing, and study skills.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
6:00 — 7:30 p.m.
Project Read Conference Room and Computer Lab
Please call (415) 557-4388 if you plan to attend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Writer to Writer Challenge for Adult Learners

Leona Whytus
2006 Writer to Writer
First Place Winner

Once again this year, the California State Library (along with the Bay Area Literacy Network and the Southern California Library Literacy Network) is sponsoring the Writer to Writer Challenge for adult learners in library-based literacy programs in California.

The Writer to Writer Challenge is simple; adult learners are asked to write a letter to the author of a book they have read, or listened to, which has really inspired them. Last Year, Project Read's Leona Whytus came in first place for the letter she wrote to Mildred D. Taylor author of Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry which Leona read as a member of the Wednesday Night Readers Book Club.

The State Library has even provided a very helpful collection of writing exercises for tutor-learner teams to use in preparation for submitting a letter to the Writer to Writer Challenge. These materials, along with the official Writer to Writer entry forms, are available in the Project Read office. We will also be happy to mail these packets to tutor-learner teams who may not be meeting at the Main Library. We hope to make the forms available online soon.

The deadline for submitting your letters is June 30, 2007.
Happy writing!

(Click on the the picture of the flyer above to see it larger and/or print it letter size)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Statewide Public Awareness Campaign for Library Literacy Programs

(California Library Literacy Services Billboard at the corner of Van Ness & Turk)

During 2005 and 2006, the California State Library conducted a statewide survey of library literacy program participants in order to determine the most effective ways of promoting our services. One of the results of this research is now visible on streets and highways throughout California. We have already received a few calls directed to our office from the statewide referral number shown on the billboards. So keep an eye open for these billboards as you stroll or drive through the city or around the state.

New Instructional Materials FREE for Tutor-Learner Teams

We have added some new books to our collection of instructional materials which are available in the Project Read office. Tutors and learner teams may have these materials free of charge to use in your tutoring sessions and keep.

Help Yourself: How to Take Advantage of Your Learning Styles by Gail Murphy Sonbuchner

This book is written for the adult leaner who is seeking to discover his or her own learning strengths and the strategies to successfully take advantage of those strengths. The chapters cover topics such as organization and time management, memory, listening, reading comprehension, writing, and test taking skills.

Filling Out Forms published by New Readers Press

This book introduces a wide range of forms and applications that we are all faced with filling out from time to time in our daily lives. Excellent background information is included as well as generic examples of forms used in banking, education, health care, driving, citizenship, and voting.

Spelling Smart!: A Ready-to-Use Activities Program for Students with Spelling Difficulties by Cynthia M. Stowe

This is a comprehensive (414 page) workbook which introduces concepts of phonics and progresses to cover spelling rules for the English language.

Reading Smarter!: More than 200 Reproducible Activities to Build Reading Proficiency by Patricia Osborn

For the advanced level Project Read learner, this is an excellent collection of exercises and activities designed to improve comprehension and critical reading skills.

Writing Smarter!: Over 100 Step-by-Step Lessons with Reproducible Activity Sheets to Build Writing Proficiency by Keith Manos

This collection of writing activities and exercises is designed for a tutor-learner team working on higher level writing skills. Chapters include information on sentence analysis, editing, writing formal letters, writing poetry, and even writing news stories.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Notes from March 6 Tutor Round Table

The March 6 Tutor Round Table meeting was attended by both experienced tutors as well as a tutor who had just been matched with her adult learner. Here are some of the topics which were discussed:

  • A tutor who is working heavily on writing skills with his learner mentioned that the free instructional workbooks available in the Project Read office have been extremely helpful. He specifically mentioned Write All About It (student book and teacher's manual) which he found useful in teaching basic grammar skills using a very structured approach.
  • Another tutor mentioned that the specific writing skills which need to be taught really depend on the goals of the learner. Her learner's writing goals are limited so she and her learner are not currently working on the higher level grammar skills.
  • One tutor in attendance mentioned that her learner may have some learning differences which make decoding individual words even more challenging. It was suggested that patience, repetition, and the use of multi-sensory instructional techniques are the keys to assisting these learners. She went on to say that her learner does feel that he is making real progress and she can see it too.
  • There was also a discussion of how to effectively praise an adult learner. One tutor mentioned the importance of varying your response. As an example, here's a link to a great list called 101 Ways to Say "Good Job" http://www.bozeman.k12.mt.us/humanresources/sub/101ways.html . It was also suggested that a tutor's praise could be focused on specific things the learner is doing right. For example, if your learner spells a contraction correctly for the first time, point to the word and mention that he/she did a great job so that the correct spelling is reinforced.
  • Finally, there was a discussion of where to obtain news and current event articles that are accessible for adult learners. Some suggestions included: USA Today (written at a slightly easier reading level than other newspapers, and with more pictures), News For You (a weekly newspaper published for adult learners, available in Project Read office), Readers Digest, and the California Distance Learning Project link on the Project Read computer lab homepage - http://www.cdlponline.org/ - which includes articles and comprehension exercises on a wide range of topics.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

First Ever Saturday Tutor Round Table!

On Saturday, March 31, Project Read tutors are invited to attend a specially scheduled Tutor Round Table meeting in the Project Read office from 1:00 to 2:30 PM.

Join your fellow Project Read tutors and staff to share ideas, instructional strategies, and tasty pizza. This is the first ever Saturday meeting of the popular Round Table, so come on by and take advantage of this great opportunity to collaborate and sharpen your tutoring skills.
Please call the Project Read office at (415) 557-4388 if you plan to attend.