Tutoring Public School Kids. HELP!!!!

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RobertStephens
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Tutoring Public School Kids. HELP!!!!

Postby RobertStephens » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:53 pm

I am a recent-grad mechanical engineer. After 2 years I've given up trying to find a job, (I'm BROKE) so I started working as a tutor. I love helping kids, but I really I don't have experience teaching. My company gave me worksheets, which is OK for practicing math problems, but I'd like to do something different, esp. with my reading students. Can you recommend any books? Games? ....?

Las Vegas has some of the worst Public Schools. Some of my kids have no interest in academics, they don't have homework, they don't use textbooks, they don't like to read, they just do the dorky worksheets that the teachers give them in class to keep them busy. They have normal intelligence, but they don't seem to have any interest in anything. I have 1 or 2 hours a week with them to "help their academics" and try to get their grades up, so I want to make the best of it.

I have 2 reading students. One is in 10th grade. I have NO IDEA what to do with him, except give worksheets, have him read a paragraph and answer questions. I feel like I'm wasting his time.

RaysHomeschool
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Postby RaysHomeschool » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:26 am

Spend some time getting to know what interests the student. Then find some reading material that revolves around that subject. The best way to teach someone to read is to find something that is worth reading in their opinion. If all they do in school is worksheets I would stay as far away from worksheets as I could, it will only reinforce to the students that learning anything is just stupid.
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RobertStephens
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Postby RobertStephens » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:53 am

Thanks for the reply. Right now I have mostly "math" students. And they do seem to be bored with worksheets. I'd really like to not use them, but I'm having trouble finding an alternative.

RaysHomeschool
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Postby RaysHomeschool » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:49 am

What kind of math are they working on?
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RobertStephens
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Postby RobertStephens » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:32 pm

What they call "math" is some simple algebra, geometry, etc. They put fancy names on it to make it sound impressive. The high schoolers I'm tutoring are mostly the under-achievers, or under motivated. I've got a 10th grader who can't do long division, and barely understand fractions. I'm doing the very basics.

My friend is studying to be a math teacher. He says the school puts pressure on them to pass tests. So he has to make them memorize steps to solve problems for tests, but if he spends time working on fundamentals (which they need), he could get fired if the kids don't pass their exams. I'm kind of in that situation; if I spend a lot of time on basics of math: long division, multiplication, fractions, arethmetic, repetition, worksheets, etc., the kids will be bored, and might not show immediate improvements on tests. But if I make them memorize the nonsense, they will go through the motions and get the grade, but not understand what they're doing.

My reading student never called me back. He's got passing grades, so they decided they don't need (free) tutoring anymore. I've also got a 8th grade spanish speaking student who is doing really well. I'm using Kumon's reading workbooks, and Dr. Seuss.


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