Chapter #1: Volunteering in the Classroom
-You get to the classroom on your first day and the teacher doesn't know exactly what he/she would like you do to.
Your answer :
Spend some time observing how the class operates and then offer suggestions for how you might help.
That's a great strategy.
Some teachers know exactly what they want their volunteers to do in the classroom. Others know that they would like help in their class, but are uncertain of the specific tasks they will ask volunteers to do.
When you are assigned to a classroom, follow the teacher's lead. But don't be afraid to offer suggestions on how you think you might be able to help. Working closely with the teacher will ensure that the time you spend in the classroom will be productive.
The more self-directed you can be, the more time the teacher will have free to work with students.
- The teacher asks you to float around the class, helping students. One student really wants and needs your help more than the others.
You should... Your answer :
Continue to float around. It is important that all students have access to help.
That is correct. Though it is very tempting to work with one student, it is important to help as many students as possible. Sometimes the shyer students need your help most.
-The book explains one way to divide fractions. You learned another way in highschool that makes much more sense. The student is really confused by the book's explanation.
You should... Your answer :
Show the student the new way. The most important thing is that he gets the correct answer
That is incorrect. It is preferable to follow the strategy being taught in the book. Chances are that the next lesson will build upon that strategy. To introduce a new strategy may undermine the continuity of the lessons.
Chapter #2: Working with Textbooks
Part #2 Didn't read instructions or assignment prior to actual lesson exercise The tutor read the workbook, but should had let the student read herself to get practice. The tutor was reading too fast! Didn't give the student a chance to answer questions. Part #2
Shouldn't make a phone call while student working on project Shouldn't presume student can understand easily
Chapter #3: Reading Comprehension
A. Steps in a Reading Lesson
1. Step One: Review Purpose and Directions
Many students jump into a reading assignment without taking the time to think about why they are reading it or what they are supposed to do. As a tutor, you should begin each assignment with a review of the purpose and directions.
Book How to help:
* Ask the students "why do you want to read this?" or "why do you think the teacher is asking you to do this assignment?"
* Ask the students to read the directions and tell you what is supposed to be done in the assignment. If they can tell you, ask them to show you how they know that.
* If the students can't tell you what is to be done, take some time to discuss the directions and teach any key direction words, phrases, etc.
Helping your students get better at reading directions is one of the most important things you can do as a classroom tutor.
2. Step Two: Preview Content
Do you warm up before you exercise? Experts say we should, yet many of us rush through the warm up stage... and we pay for it later.
It is very important to have students warm up when reading, too. By warming up, they begin to think about the content they will be reading about. This will help them with comprehension.
There are many ways to preview the content with students. Which strategies you use
a. Preview Content: Warming Up Prior Knowledge
If the student has prior knowledge of the topic, it is easy to preview. As a tutor, your job is to help them access that knowledge.
book How to help:
* Have a conversation about the topic.
* Have the students tell you everything they know about the topic. Challenge them to list 10 things or talk non-stop for one minute
* Have the student lists all the words that might occur in the reading passage. If your student SAYS the word as part of the previewing, it will be much easier to read in the passage.
b. Preview Content: Predict Based on Clues
How do you warm up when you read? Think about reading a newspaper article. What is the first thing you look at? Generally, we look at the title and any pictures before we start reading. That gives us information about what we are about to read. Encourage your students to preview before they jump into decoding the text.
book How to help:
* Have the student predict what the reading will be about based on title and any pictures.
* Have the student skim the reading and get a general idea of what it is about.
c. Preview Content: Review and Pre-teach Key Concepts
Sometimes students may lack prior knowledge of the subject matter they are reading. You may need to fill in those gaps by pre-teaching some information.
book How to help:
* Pre-teach any key concepts in the reading.
* Pre-teach any unfamilar vocabulary in the reading.
* Discuss any cultural issues.
e. Preview Content
Here is a reading passage from a commonly-used text book.
1. What are 3 things the story assumes the reader knows that a student might not know? (e.g. "what is gold")
History-Significance of the Gold Rush history in the United States
Geography of U.S.-California and "back East" (e.g. could be Asia or even Nevada)
Math-how much is an "ounce" measured
2. What vocabulary might be unfamiliar to the student? (e.g. "hushed up")
"strike it rich"
"dry spells" (e.g. magic terminology?)
Chapter #4: Helping with Writing Lessons
Helping with Writing Assignments
Writing is a very difficult skill. It is the last of our language skills to develop...and most of us don't feel we are EVER done learning how to write.writing
Students in ABE classrooms will be confronted with a variety of writing assignments ranging from fill-in-the-blanks to writing an essay.
As a classroom volunteer, there are a variety of ways you can help students. In this unit, you will learn about the steps of a writing lesson and how you can provide guidance to students. You may find yourself guiding students through all the steps of the lesson, or you may help out at a particular point in the process.
Click here to download and print a copy of the writing lesson worksheet.
1. Step One: Preview Directions and Purpose
As with reading assignments, you can help students by first reviewing the directions and purpose.
How to Help:
Take a few minutes to review the general directions and purpose of the assignment. Then take some time to discuss the specific purpose for what they will be writing. Ask the student to answer these two questions.
1) To whom are you writing? Your best friend? The teacher? An employer? Our intended audience dicates the language, tone and style of what we will write.
2) Why are you writing? Are you informing? Complaining? Requesting? The reason for writing will also impact the language that we use.
2. Step Two: Generate Content
There are two parts to writing: coming up with something to say, and getting it down on paper. Sometimes in our quest to write something, we forget to come up with something to say! As a tutor, you can help your students by helping them generate content before they pick up a pencil and start writing .
pencil How to help:
* Have a conversation about the topic. Talking informally will help the students generate ideas.
* Have the students TELL you what they are going to write. Even if it is just fill-in-blank activity, it helps if they generate the content outloud.
* Have the student talk for one minute about the topic. This will help them dig deep and generate ideas.
* Help students generate an outline of possible content. One easy outline format is a "mind map." Have the student put the topic in the middle of the page and then brainstorm content around it. Here is an example of a mind map for an essay about winter in Minnesota.
* Have the students brainstorm the words that they might use in the writing assignment. Write those words on a piece of paper. The student can then use that list as a "dictionary" when they begin writing.
a. Exercise Activity:
Let's try a pre-writing activity: Listing All The Words.
Your topic is Dracula.
List 25 words that you might use in your essay about Dracula in the box below.
fangs, blood, cape, pointed, ears, the count, Sesame Street, black, teeth, sharp, woman, victim, man, Europe, evil, eyes, suck, numbers, thin, slant, pale, white, dark, laugh, accent, speaking, coffin, box, etc..
3. Step Three: Get It On Paper
Once the students have generated the content, it is time to help them get it on paper.
pencil How to help:
* Remind students that it is a draft. It isn't going to be perfect and it doesn't need to be.
* Assist with spelling. Encourage the students not to worry about spelling. You want them to write down their best ideas, not just the things they know how to spell. If they aren't sure how to spell a word, have them leave it blank, spell it the best they can, or ask you for help.
* Have the student dictate the content to you while you write it down. This will allow the students to focus on topic and not the spelling. Many of our greatest authors wrote from dictation; our students can do the same!
* Provide moral support. Your encouragement will help reluctant writers become more comfortable with the task.
4. Step Four: Review the Content
In this stage of the writing process, you want to focus on the CONTENT of what the student has written. Ingore any spelling, grammar or puncuation errors. Those issues will be addressed later.
pencilHow to Help:
* Ask the student, "What would you like me to help with ?" As writer, we usually know what we need help with.
* Have the student read it to you. That way you won't be able to see the spelling mistakes!
* Respond to the content. Did it make sense? Does it answer the question? Was it correct? Offer suggestions for how to improve it.
* Put yourself in the role of the audience. How would an employer respond to your student's cover letter?
5-Step Five: Edit
Once students are comfortable with the content of what they have written, it is time to help them with the mechanics (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.). Remember to move on to this stage only after you have dealt with the content.
pencilHow to help:
* Consider the purpose. Not everything needs to be edited to perfection. If it is a classroom assignment, you can move on before it is perfect. It is a cover letter the student will be mailing, you want to make sure it is thoroughly edited.
* Consider how much help is appropriate. Doing too much of the work for the student might be considered academic dishonesty. Ask the teacher what is appropriate for the assignment.
* Click here to view and print additional editing tips.
a. Practice with Revision and Editing
Here are some examples of rough drafts. How would you help students improve them?
Life is Like...
The Happiest Day...
Today I Continue...
On the World...
Choose one of the drafts. Read through it and think about could be improved. Come up with one idea for revision of content and one idea for editing for mechanics.
Post your ideas here. They will be visible to your course instructors and other students.
Although writing assignments can be challenging, they are also very rewarding. Students leave with a concrete example of the work they have done.
journeys Click here to view Journeys, MLC's student writing journal. Take some time to read through the entries. They will give you great insight into the lives and minds of the students you will be helping.
When finished click here to go to the next lesson, Helping with Math Assignments, or click "continue" to return to the main course page.
Chapter #5: Helping with Math Assignments
*GoodnewsEverybody Liberal Arts: Math
mathTutors are often asked to help students complete math assignments. This unit will give you some ideas for productively guide students through math lessons at all levels.
Students in ABE classes may be working on math a variety of levels. Some students may be working on basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. More advanced students may be working on fractions and percentages.GED-level students may be learning algebra and geometry.
As a tutor, you do not need to be an expert on all of these topics. Your job is to guide students through their textbook assignments.
It is important that you moderate your feelings about math when you work with students. If you hate math, calm down! Students will pick up on that anxiety. If you love math, calm down! Engineers, accountants, and math majors sometimes make the worst math tutors because they aren't able to think and talk about math at a level suitable for the students. The best math tutors are those who take the time to explain everything clearly and move slowly and throughly through the material.
Tutors sometimes say "isn't the important thing that students get the correct answer?" That is only partially true. If the student is working out of a textbook or in a class, they are probably learning a system for doing math. If you teach them an alternative way to do the problem, it may undermine the system and cause confusion in later lessons. Follow the directions in the book. If you don't understand the directions or disagree with the process, talk with the teacher.
Most math books used in ABE classrooms are designed for self study. They bookswill provide an explanation of the operation, have a sample problem, showing how to do each step, give several practice problems, and provide the answers so students can do self-correction. While some students are able to work through these lessons on their own, others benefit from the help of tutors.
* How to Help:
* Help students read the directions
* Walk the students through the lesson's explanation of the operation and the sample problems. One good way to make sure they understand things is to have them teach you how do to the problem.
* Guide students through the practice problems. Have them show their work so you know they are following the process being taught. Provide encouragement guidance, but don't do the problem for them!
* Help students check their answers. If they got something wrong, help them figure out where and why the mistake occured.
The remainder of the unit will look at 3 more ways you can help students with math assignments by augmenting what is in the textbook.
Doing math is a skill. And learning a skill requires practice. The text books you will be using have practice problems, but often there aren't enough to give the students enough practice to master the skill.
problems As a tutor, you can help by generating some additional practice problems for the students.
1. You are buying gallons of water to make lemonade, and you need 8 of them 1/2 full to add more cold "ice" water later. How many gallons of water will you have total?
2. You are making coffee for a group of 9 friends at a party. The host asks you to add 1/3 scoop for each serving (person), how many total scoops will you have?
3. You are reading the morning paper about health stats. They say that 3/5 of smokers will develop cancer at a very young age, and 2/3 of these particular smokers will have to quit or it will be fatal. What fraction of the original number of smokers will develop a fatal cancer at a young age if they don't "quit"?
Many students have difficulty understanding a math operation because the concepts are too abstract. Another way you can learners is by using manipulatives to demonstrate a problem visually and physically. ABE classrooms may have manipulatives available for you to use, or you can create your own out of pieces of paper, etc.
[pics-pieces of paper, cups, chips, etc...]
Think of a way that you can use manipulatives to physically represent how to multiply fractions. Post your idea here. It will be viewed by your course instructors and other class participants.
-use spoons representing spoon fulls of different baking ingredients (e.g. baking powder) for a cake
-use actually students (depending the size of class) for statistical example (e.g. 3/5 of smokers will...)
-use a measuring device (e.g. gallon, liter, pint, etc..) and fill it with liquids according to the fraction example scenario you are using..
B. Helping With Math Lessons: Come Up with a Real-Life Application
muffinsAs kids we generally HATED word problems. As adults, we realize that life is one big word problem. No one asks us to divide 20 x 5. Math is almost always in the context of a "word problem." Many adults will understand a math operation better if you help them find a real-life application.
Generate a word problem for the skill of adding fractions with different denominators. Post your problem here. It will be visible to the instructors and other class participants.
-You got to a farmers market to buy some vegetables. You want to buy some green beans for you and another family. You ask the seller to give you 1/4 pound for yourself and 2/3 pound for this other family. How many pounds total of green beans will you be purchasing?
Unit 6: GED
In this unit you will:
* Become familiar with the GED testing process
* Take a sample GED to learn what students experience
* Learn ways to help students prepare for the GED test
Unit 6 will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
Click here to begin this unit.
* GED Background Quiz Lesson
* GED Practice Test Lesson
* Helping Students Prepare for the GED Test Lesson
* GED Test-Taking Tips
A. GED Background Quiz
Many of the learners enrolled in adult basic education classes are pursuing their GEDs. It is important for volunteers to have a good understanding of the test process so they can better help the students, This quiz will check your understanding of the GED test.
You may wish to bookmark or print the resources for further reference.
1. What does GED stand for?
FCIC: GED Information Bulletin
"Many adults who did not complete a high school program of instruction have continued to learn through a variety of experiences encountered in everyday, life. The purpose of the GED Testing Program is to provide an opportunity for these individuals to have the learning acquired from such educational experiences evaluated and recognized. The GED Tests make it possible for qualified individuals to earn a high school credential, thus providing opportunities for hundreds of thousands of adults to:..." A: General Educational Development
2. What five subjects are covered by the tests?
Language Arts, Reading
*GoodnewsEverybody Liberal Arts: Math
That is correct!
3. How many questions are on the Language Arts - Reading test?
4. How much time does the student have for the science portion of the test?
5. Which GED tests have two parts?
6. What brand of calculator is a student allowed to use on the GED Math test?
"The Mathematics Test is divided into two equally weighted parts, each containing 25 questions. On Part I of the test, you may use the Casio fx-260 calculator to compute answers. A calculator will be provided for your use at the official GED Testing Center. Because estimation and mental math are critical skills, you are not permitted to use the calculator on Part II of the test. (See calculator directions.) A math formulas page is provided for your reference during the test. (See formulas.) .."
7. What is the average STANDARD score needed per test to pass the entire battery of tests?
Sample Score Report Standard-410 Average-450
"That is correct! A student must get a minimum score of 410 on each test in order to pass the battery. The average score of all tests must be 450 or greater. A sample score report explaining how GED test scoring works is available here."
8. What is the minimum age for taking the GED test?
Age Waiver Info
9. How much does it cost to take the GED test?
"That is correct! Each school district sets the price for testing and re-testing. A list of test fees may be found here."
10. Possible to take it online?
11. How long are individual test scores valid?
A: "Until the next version of the test is released."
GED Practice Test
Could you pass the GED test? Take the following sample GED tests to see how you do and to learn what skills students will need to do well.
Sample GED Language Arts, Writing Test
GED Sample Test Questions Language Arts, Writing
Sample GED Math Test
*GoodnewsEverybody Liberal Arts: Math GED Sample Test Questions Mathematics
1-3.14 x 40x40x60=75,360
Formulas, from GED Sample Test Questions Mathematics
Sample GED Science Test
GED Sample Test Questions Science
Sample GED Social Studies Test
GED Sample Test Questions Social Studies
Sample GED Language Arts, Reading Test
GED Sample Test Questions Language Arts: Reading
When you have finished, click here to continue with the unit.
How will students/programs benefit from your help in the classroom?
I feel the students of our Morris Literacy Project-ESOL Program will benefit from my help in the classroom in several ways. I've been an active volunteer coordinator since the Fall of 2004 due to my passion. I'm not only teaching, I'm also learning from various sources that I will explain in the following essay.
First, I would like to share my passion on how the Morris Literacy Project came about in 2004. With the growing migrant population of workers from Mexico and other countries, the need to teach ESL grew. I was approached two times by different individuals wanting me to teach ESL to them. With my second generation experience growing-up in America to immigrants from the Philippines, I was able to relate and feel their need.
Second, I feel I'll continue to be "equipped" to meet the on-going needs of our ESOL students. With the the on-going training program the Minnesota Literacy Council provides, I feel I'll share what I learn to teach the ongoing-changing lessons to meet their practical daily needs (e.g. workplace, community setting, and/or even home life).
Lastly, I decided to take a further step to be "equipped" to benefit my personal career interest in the future. I recently participated in pursuing an online teachers licensure (Master Degree soon) program I'm taking through Hamline University. I already took one course this summer and it has equipped me to make this local program better!
As you can see from above, my passion and equipping will keep that "fire" going in me to excel as a "volunteer teacher" in ESOL. I'm hoping my students will take what they learn and apply it in their "everyday" life to function as better community "citizens". With our large migrant workers population, many will be going back home. Thus, I'm hoping to be a good "ambassador" to give them a good "taste" of America too!
What do you hope to gain from your volunteer experience?
I've had four years of experience so far teaching ESOL as a volunteer. I wouldn't be doing this if I haven't continued to gain from this experience. Below are just some ways I've had and continue to gain from volunteering.
As I mentioned in the first essay, I'm a second generation American born and raised by immigrants from the Philippines. I was able to see the "hardships" (e.g. job) and "challenges" (e.g. language barrier) my parents faced living in the "new foreign" land. I want to help others like them living in America. That is why my passion to volunteer as an ESOL teacher continues to drive me in these 4+ years. I've gained "appreciation" of many "little to big blessings" in life after hearing stories from these students.
Another gain is "cultural awareness". Growing-up in the diverse city of St. Paul and living in this "culturally diverse" rural-college community has opened my mind and perspective of this Global planet. I not only keep what I learn to myself for personal knowledge, but I share this with others in the on-line community in my personal websites I share of my "teaching" and "non-teaching" experiences.
Lastly, one of many other gains is exploring my career options. Teaching ESOL in these last 4 years has opened doors of opportunities to explore my career interest. I got a BA in Liberal Arts for the Human Services from the local nearby college (University of Minnesota-Morris) back in 1999. I've been working with developmentally disabled youth-adults (various backgrounds) in various settings-group home as a "caregiver" (currently part-time or on-call) and community work environment as a "Job Coach" (currently full-time) since graduating from college. However, teaching ESOL has inspired me to pursue this as a career, which I mentioned in the first essay.
As you can see from above, I have and still continue to gain from volunteering as an ESOL teacher. I'm hoping this gain will also be a gain to others-volunteer teachers I oversee and students I teach. Impacting one person at a time with this will truly be my "best" gain as a ESOL volunteer teacher!
We have had students from our local program (Morris Literacy Project) go on to post-secondary schools:
J. is taking online classes at Devry University (Chicago, IL) [shared this with me March 10' at Pamida in Morris, MN]
M. is pursuing to take classes at Alexandria Technical College in Alexandria, MN [shared this with me March 10' after taking his GED final exams]
How do I get a GED?
"How do I get a GED? "
GED Test Information : Practice GED Testing
"To practice GED testing, follow the correct timing instructions, use the same type of bubble sheet and take a practice test the day before the formal exam. Practice taking an exam to get a feel for its structure with advice from a GED prep tutor in this free video on education. "
How to use a calculator
"This vid shows you how do i use both FX82MS and FX95SGPLUS Casio calculator."
English Grammar & Writing - Capitalization , from youtube.com
How to Use Commas in English Writing
"In this lesson, I look at comma use in the English language. If you are looking to get into university, or simply want to improve your writing, this lesson is a great way to strengthen your punctuation skills. Don't forget to test your understanding of the lesson by taking the quiz at http://www.engVid.com/"
How to Edit Your Writing : How to Fix Run-ons and Fragments
|Number||Section||Time Allowed||Number of Test Items||Description|
|Test 1||Language Arts, Writing Part I||45 minutes||50||Organization 15%
|Language Arts, Writing Part II||45 minutes||1 essay||Essay on given topic approximately 250 words|
|Test 2||The Social Studies Test||80 minutes||50||World History (25%)
U.S. History (25%)
Civics and Government (25%)
|Test 3||The Science Test||80 minutes||50||Life Science (45%)|
Earth & Space Science (20%)
Physical Science (35%)
|Test 4||Language Arts, Reading||65 minutes||40||Literary Text (75%)|
Nonfiction Prose (25%)
|Test 5||The Mathematics||90 minutes||50||Number Operations and
Number Sense 20-30%
Measurement and Geometry 20-30%
Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability (20-30%)
Algebra, Functions, and Patterns (20-30%)
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Education in Primary-Elementary, Secondary-High School,Homeschool, College-Technical, Community, Private & Public, etc...
79-Year-Old Gets GED
"If you have any doubt you can achieve anything you set your mind to, ask 79-year-old Randy Wilt about his latest achievement. Wilt passed the GED after 6 years of studying. Steve Hartman reports. "