Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tutoring: ZAP IT Sight Word Game & ACHIEVEMENT CHART

Hello friends,

Like many newly graduated teacher candidates, I am currently in the business of private tutoring. I did not set out for this adventure as I had a weird experience with a statistics tutor in my third year of university and I felt like it was a money grab. However, I was approached by someone my sister and I had grown up with and she asked me to tutor her daughter who is in grade two. Having tutored two grade 2 boys in my first placement at Trent, I felt certain that I could do a decent job.

So I met Melanie and we filled out Get to know you mad-libs (see previous post) and I began to get to know her and what types of books she would like to read, where she was in math etc...

Since then, I have purchased to workbooks (one in math and one in reading) and I was given a list of sight words by her teacher that she should work on. So being an avid Pinterest user, I remembered a fun sight word game with coloured Popsicle sticks called Zap It! You write down the sight words you wish the student(s) to practice on Popsicle sticks and then you also write several Popsicle sticks saying Zap It! Using a timer (I use one on my iPod) you race with the student to see how many words you can read but when one person gets ZAP IT! all of the Popsicle sticks go back in the bin.

Here is the game ZAP IT!

Also, to keep Melanie motivated with each tutoring activity, I have created an achievement chart. For each activity we do (guided reading, worksheets, or games) she receives a sticker. For every 10 stickers she receives a treat.

Let me know if you tutor students and if so, what types of activities do you use? I am considering advertising online to see if I can get more clients. Let me know if you have any tips.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

After School Program

It has been awhile since I last posted. I am very sorry for the delay in posting. Since last year I have completed both a placement in an early learning kindergarten class and a combined grade 4/5 class. I learned a lot from both placements. My final, alternative placement was completing anti-homophobia workshops throughout a school board which was also very interesting.

I am now currently working at an after school program Monday-Friday. The program is located at an elementary school within the city I live (finally, a local connection) and I am really enjoying it.

The main focus of the after school program is physical activity and healthy living. We play a lot of games and that is fun but sometimes participation can be low (they have had a full day of school and want free time) and to get the kids active, I will use music. I love when kids get excited to dance and play games to music but I am always looking for good quality children's music.

If you were to ask me to put a playlist together for a party for adults I would have no problem but when it comes to music for kids 6-12, there is not much out there. I find the music from The Wiggles is too babyish and music that provides learning (The Gingerbread man song) seems lame and silly to the kids. I don't have access to a SMART board or else I would use some YouTube videos to help us out. I have come up with a pretty good list but I know the kids will get board of these:

  • The Cha-Cha slide (they really like this one)
  • The Macarena
  • Witch Doctor: Ooh Eeh Ooh Ahh Ahh
  • Limbo Rock
  • Clean up Robot
  • Chicken Dance
  • Cotton Eyed Joe
I feel that because it is children's music, people are less focused on creating quality music and just focus on creating music for kids. I think all children deserve good quality music, tv programming, and especially books. 

Which songs do you recommend when working with children?