HCT tips for remote tutoring

Connecting with Student

  • Ask your student’s parent for their address or best number to reach your student
  • A simple phone call asking them how they are can go a long way
  • Connecting via email, text or U.S. mail is really fun – especially if you find something that interests both of you (animals, Legos, tornadoes, cooking or science fiction)
  • Send a postcard from a past trip.

Arranging Tutoring – be sure to contact your site coordinator for help with launching remote tutoring.

  • Contact the parents
  • Parent Permission form completed
  • Arrange a time that doesn’t conflict with class Zoom calls and obligations.
  • Zoom time can be tiring. If you have the time, consider doing two 20-minute sessions or shortening your session to 30 minutes.

Janelle Gibson (Clifford School)
Emily McLuhan (Arundel, Mariposa and San Carlos Charter schools)
Bridget Schum (Brittan Acres, Arroyo, Central schools)
Raquel Seifert (Henry Ford, Kennedy and Connect schools)
Saskia Teerink (Heather, White Oaks and Tierra Linda schools)

Getting started and Icebreakers

  • Most importantly, keep it positive.
  • Check-in/ask about their day or what they’re doing
  • Talk about what you both had for lunch
  • Play 20 questions
  • Do a scavenger hunt retrieving random items such as a magazine, stuffed animal, wooden spoon, ball, piece of mail, and a potholder). Time each other. You can also ask your student to challenge you to find 5 objects from a list they generate.
  • Share a joke.
  • Share a story (food you made, a small animal you saw, happy memory)
  • Talk a little bit about your own day – maybe a hike you went on, how you cleaned out your closet, book lists you’ve created. You can positively influence them to consider doing the same thing.
  • Ask about homework

Doing the basics: Reading, Writing, Math

  • Take cues from the student and parents as to what they’re working on or where help is needed.
  • If they have finished their homework, time could be spent skill-building with the following activities:
          • Read a book aloud and ask questions (what do you think will happen next? What is in his backpack? What do you think she wants for her birthday?)
          • Have a puppet read or have a puppet make comments about the book. Have the puppet ask the student questions.
          • Writing – provide a prompt and share the writing with each other
          • Write a story together in which each of you contributes a sentence one after the other
          • Use the bubble diagram to organize their ideas
          • Be the scribe – if writing on the spot is stressful, the tutor can record the ideas.
          • Play MadLibs!
          • Write a letter to a family member.
          • Do a challenge question with each other (describe your dream day, a country you’d like to visit, create a cake – what would it look like? a hobby that you do)
          • Math – addition or multiplication tables, practice.
          • Make flashcards for the ones that aren’t known

Set a fun goal/activity for the next session

  • Bring a memorable item from your house
  • Both of you bring an item that starts with the same letter as your name or the other person’s name
  • Spell your or their name with objects (Jason – jar of jelly, apple, sock, orange, napkin)
  • Share a favorite game
  • Agree to both bring a beloved book to show the other person and share why you like it.
  • Have an art contest – task both of yourselves drawing a penguin and compare them.
  • Both wear a designated color – wear as many pieces of green clothing as possible
  • Talk about your birthday traditions or how your family celebrates
  • Guided meditation where you take a virtual trip to the beach or a walk in the forest for 5 minutes
  • Take a virtual tour of the National Parks, Monterey Bay Aquarium or other places listed here