We all know that learning is as easy as ABC…or is it? I have compiled an A-to-Z of tutoring, with different ideas about what I do, giving an insight into how tutoring at Emerald Education Centre works.
Here’s the first of our two-part series:
A-Z of Tutoring (Part 1)
A – ADHD and Autism
I work with many children with diagnoses of ADHD and Autism. I have Diplomas in ADHD Awareness and Autism Awareness, so I use techniques that really work with these students. Education does not work with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, especially when dealing with ADHD and Autism. A different approach is needed to ensure our students’ needs are being met. Try incorporating movement into learning spellings or playing games to practise maths skills.
B – Building Skills
Whether your child requires support due to learning difficulties or is looking for a challenge to stretch them, tuition is a great fit. Each child who works with me has their own individual tailor-made programme of study to meet their needs, so you can be assured that skill-building is a feature of every session.
C – Comprehension Skills
Your child may be competent at reading the words they see on the page, but how often do you ask questions about the text they have read? In a recent study (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and ePIRLS 2016), Ireland was among the top 10 of 50 countries in testing the comprehension skills of 10-year-olds. Irish girls significantly outperformed the boys. We use tried and tested methods to delve deeper into text and develop an understanding of retrieval and inference.
D – Dyslexia and Dyscalculia
A significant proportion of my students have dyslexia or dyscalculia diagnoses. Emerald Education Centre holds a GL licence to carry out Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Screening. I have completed several courses to help keep up to date with the best dyslexia-friendly strategies and materials to use, helping my students to make real progress.
E – English
English is one of the subjects I tutor. I cover all aspects of reading, spelling, grammar and writing. I have helped many students, from 5-year olds struggling to grasp the basics of phonics, through to 16-year old students revising for their exams. I use termly assessments to track the progress my students make and give regular feedback to parents. I like to approach spelling through playing games and we use some great interactive resources on the computer. In reading, I have access to some terrific online resources and e-books, with options to highlight new vocabulary, answer questions on different aspects of comprehension or even have text read aloud to support the learner.
F – Fractions
A huge number of the students who come to me for support in Maths find fractions an issue. I break this tricky concept down into manageable chunks and allow lots of hands-on activities to really allow children to understand how fractions work. We also have lots of fun playing games to challenge students when they have grasped the different concepts within this topic.
G – Games
I truly believe in making learning as fun as possible. Children are more likely to remember something if they enjoy it. I try to include games in each lesson for all my primary-aged students. These could include a dominoes-type phonics game, spelling board games, or even online games. Having a fun atmosphere often takes away any anxiety children may feel after experiencing difficulties at school. Games make our sessions fun, as well as educational.
H – Help
Many students, particularly teenagers, find it difficult to ask for help when they do not understand something at school. Peer pressure is enormous at this stage, and most children do not want to feel ‘stupid’ in front of their classmates. I endeavour to create a safe environment, whether it is online or during my in-person lessons at the centre, allowing students to seek help and lead their learning. I am always happy to answer questions and help students go over any concepts they find challenging.
I – In-person Sessions
At Emerald Education Centre, I support students in after-school sessions. Each class has spots for up to 5 students. Although they are working in the same session, the students in each class have their own programme of study, based on information gathered from assessment, to meet their individual needs. I always select classes carefully, ensuring the students will work harmoniously to allow them to get the most out of their lessons.
J – Jumpstart
Sometimes I have students stay for long periods of time – I have some students who are now in their 4th year of working with me – but others only need a ‘jumpstart’ to get things moving. In helping them fill the gaps in their learning, they grow in confidence and are then able to work independently at school. Although I hate goodbyes, it is always great to know that those students have achieved the goals we set out at the beginning of their learning journey with me!
K – knowledge and Understanding
Sometimes children have a good grasp of the mechanics of maths, for example, they may know how to carry out long division or long multiplication but find it difficult to know when and how to APPLY their knowledge to problem-solving. This happens at every level, from early primary school through to exam-style questions. I always encourage students to mentally (or physically) picture the problem to help determine which operation they need to use.
L – Learning
Every child can move on in learning. Tuition suits EVERYONE. We constantly learn every day and being able to keep up with classwork at school does not necessarily mean that a child is performing at their potential. Even bright students can be further stretched, allowing them to broaden their understanding and work on extension materials to explore ideas further. I enjoy challenging these students by providing more complex work for them!
M – Maths Anxiety
Some students really struggle with maths and ‘freeze’ when faced with questions or problems to solve. Helping students build self-confidence is a major part of my role as a tutor. I have helped students who were in grave danger of failing exams go on to being successful. Helping students fill in gaps in learning is an initial strategy in building on their basic understanding, allowing them to develop and become confident in their own abilities.
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