Many times you may be asked to help a child understand a particular topic or problem area. It is sometimes difficult to know “where to start” with such an open-ended request. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan your tutoring session with a student.
1. Think about your tutoring session in three sections or stages. The three sections are 1) a motivational opening 2) the development of the lesson and 3) the closing. These stages will help the student remember the lesson more effectively and understand the concepts on a deeper level.
2. Make sure your motivational opening is fun and engaging. In this first section of the lesson you want to stimulate student’s interest in the topic or subject. Students tend to think, “Why do I have to learn this?” Thus, when you start a lesson try to include some element that shows the practical application of the lesson’s content. You can tell or read a short story which highlights the concept in a practical application. Another idea is to show a picture or diagram which visually shows the concept in action. Or, you can start the lesson by asking the student some open-ended questions to peak their curiosity.
3. Tap into the student’s background knowledge. Make sure to ask questions to see what the student already knows about the subject. They may know more than you think, but they may be having trouble integrating their knowledge or expressing it in the way the teacher is assessing.
4. During the development of the lesson break down the information in to small steps and praise the child for each step they accomplish. Also, remember to assess the student’s knowledge periodically by asking questions By doing this, you know the students are retaining information and fully understanding the lesson.
5. The closing section of the lesson should encourage the student to reflect on what they have learned and how they will use the knowledge. Encourage the child to come up with their own ideas about how they can remember the information and how the information might be assessed in classroom exams or homework.