Welcome to Write Away the brand new
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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Notes from June 7 Tutor Round Table

At the June 7 Tutor Round Table meeting, eight volunteer tutors covered a wide range of topics relating to the instruction of their adult learners. This well-attended discussion was an example of a Tutor Round Table at its best. Each tutor described a particular challenge they were facing and then they heard from other tutors who offered a number of fresh ideas that could be put to use. The tutors also had a lot to say in praise of their adult learners who are making strong commitments to learning, taking on new goals, and making notable progress. Here are a few tips offered by tutors (and staff) at the June 7 meeting:

On teaching writing skills:
  • Try working on writing assignments associated with real life needs -- thank you notes, wedding vows, work related e-mail, etc.
  • As a motivator, discuss contributing a piece of writing for publication in the Project Read newsletter.
  • If your learner has trouble completing writing assignments at home, make writing a part of your tutoring session and use this material for instruction.
On G.E.D. preparation:
  • Help the adult learner establish a system or structure for studying that works with their particular learning style.
  • Help the adult learner understand that passing the G.E.D. can be a long term goal, but that it's one that is easy to break down into the necessary short term objectives. The Project Read book collection at the Main has a good selection of materials to help the tutor-learner team with this goal.
On word recognition:
  • For as learner who has no interest in memorizing phonics & spelling rules (and there are probably many of those) try using the software available in the computer lab, specifically Spell It Deluxe and Ultimate Phonics. These programs teach spelling and phonics in a fairly non-threatening way with a lot of built in practice and repetition.
  • Use word pattern exercises, or try using the very helpful book called Say the Word: a Guide to Improving Word Recognition Skills available in the Project Read office.
  • Use pleasure reading materials as a basis for word recognition instruction. For learners participating in the Wednesday Night Readers book club, the tutor-learner team can work on problem text throughout the month as part of their regular tutoring sessions.

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