Welcome to the Tutor Tuesday blog!

Literacy Learning – Read to the Child

Reading aloud is one of the most important steps in an Oasis Tutoring session. You take time to select a book you think they will like and work to develop a fun session to get them excited about reading and learning. Reading aloud in an enthusiastic way helps guide that session’s success.

Reading aloud is not a natural skill. Listening to an audition read for a stage production or movie, you see how not presenting in an enthusiastic and engaging way can make you lose interest and focus. Not everyone is comfortable reading aloud, and it is not always taught in the normal school setting. For new tutors, it can be an intimidating task, especially the first time they do it. Just like the skill of learning to read, the art of reading aloud can be developed by watching demonstrations, practicing and looking for responses in the children as we read.

The biggest tip to a successful read aloud is expression. Letting go of your inhibitions will allow your student to have a moving and enjoyable experience. This brief video explains how effective reading aloud can be when working with children:

Bears storytimeBelow are some strategies to help you master the art of reading aloud (from, https://thebottomshelf.edublogs.org/the-art-of-reading-aloud/):

  • Investigate which children’s television programs have stories read aloud and bookmark or record them to analyze the techniques used by the readers.
  • Choose a story you like and rehearse ‘hearing’ yourself read. Practice reading in front of a mirror.
  • Look at the authors’ words and consider why a word is chosen and use these understandings to dictate the sort of voice, expression and energy you will use in your reading.
  • Consider how you will deliver the first sentence – it must hook each child immediately—drawing them into the story, just as the first sentence of an adult title has to hook us as readers.  Similarly, practice delivery of the last line so the storyaccomplishes a satisfactory conclusion for both reader and listener.
  • Once you have the words working, consider your body language. How can you use your eyes to convey shock, surprise, fright, conspiracy, delight, sadness and the dozens of other emotions that we have?  How can you use your hands to show size or depth; your body to show invisibility; your legs to demonstrate running? What sounds can you make?  Best-practice reading-aloud can become a skilled theatre performance in the hands of an expert.
  • When you are ready to read to the children, try to be as natural as possible whilst still being animated and interesting.
  • Invite the children into the story. If there is an opportunity for the children to join in on a repeated line or rhyme, invite them to do so.
  • Be prepared not to get it perfect.
  • Read slower than your normal conversational speech speed so that the children can process what they are hearing and keep up with the plot.
  • Enjoy yourself and the children will too.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to make your next tutoring session even more enjoyable than the last.  Remember that the students you work with will love and value their time with you no matter what. In the end, the connection you make through reading aloud to them is far more important than the words on the page.

For more inspiration, check out this cool site featuring actors reading aloud some familiar titles: https://www.storylineonline.net/books/kissing-hand/

Mouse Storytime

Reading aloud is one of the most important things you can do with your Oasis Tutoring student. Reading a book aloud helps improve a student’s foundational skills, vocabulary and comprehension, as well as to develop a love of reading. Hearing a well-read story lets students emotionally engage and not have to worry about wrestling unknown words. It gives students a sense of comfort and security knowing that they are enjoying written text in an informal situation with a caring individual.

This Oasis Tutor training video showcases a few of our tutors demonstrating reading aloud to the child.

Reading aloud

Book/Author Section

We hope you are finding joy in reading. Oasis Tutoring has partnered with Union Settlement in New York City (Harlem) for many years to provide tutors in the public school system. Recently some of those Oasis tutors filmed read aloud videos of their favorite stories to share with students in their schools. Here are three of those for you to enjoy.

Facilitator Shout Out – Kyra Giles, Union Settlement

Kyra GilesKyra Giles has been coordinating the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program in New York City for three school years. She truly believes having caring older adult volunteers reading is the best part of the program. She has watched as tutors become real personal cheerleaders for students; helping them develop a real love for books. Kyra commented,

“It’s so rewarding seeing a student’s self-confidence increase which many times paves the way for academic reading success. The students and schools in East Harlem need the extra support from community volunteers.”

When asked what she missed most about not being in the school district or with tutors, Kyra told us she missed the little things like being greeted by school safety officers, principals requesting more volunteers and the students’ joy whenever they share their work. She said she even misses hearing books like “Pete the Cat” and “No David” being read over and over again. She also mentioned this very important fact, “Schools are a safe place in our community for children. Many children in East Harlem depend on the comfort of school…they need the meals, activities, and structure.”

Her message for tutors who miss volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Volunteers reading tutors will be needed more than ever come fall. It really will take a village to help support students both socially and academically. Many students will be in need of special 1-on-1 attention and Oasis tutors will be great pillars for those students and schools.

Kyra had this suggestion for tutors while they wait to return to school:

Over the summer I suggest you incorporate mindful activities into your daily routines. Journaling, yoga, listening to calming music are all great ways to help us stay grounded during uncertain times. We don’t know what volunteering will look like when September comes but we do want to be able to model healthy coping skills for our students. So practice plenty of self-care during the summer months because we will have to exercise patience, flexibility, understanding more than ever.

National Oasis Tutoring Survey

Tutoring Survey ButtonOasis Tutoring asks all Tutors, Teachers, Principals/Building Liaisons and District Facilitators to participate in the annual Oasis tutoring survey. It is important as it provides Oasis feedback for improvement of the program and measurable data to report to funders. Thank you in advance for taking a moment to share this year’s tutoring experiences prior to the Covid-19 break.

Helpful tips for taking the survey:

  1. Taking the survey on a laptop or desktop computer is recommended instead of a mobile device or tablet.
  2. After clicking on the link provided, click on the role you serve in the program (“Tutor”).
  3. You may receive other requests or reminders to take the survey, please only take it once.

Healthy Body and Mind – Take a break and relax

Relaxing Music

Ideas on Bullet journaling

Bullet Journal Self-Care Ideas

Healthy Snacks

Protein Bars

We want to hear from you

Share your feedback in the Comments section below!

Until next time!

Oasis Tutoring Team