<p>Tutoring Strategies for the Primary Grades
In grades one through three – the primary grades – children learn about language
and literacy through exploration.
Within this age group, children's reading and writing skills vary greatly. A few
children will enter first grade able to read with considerable fluency. Some children
will learn to read and write with ease. Others need the one-on-one attention of a
tutor to develop an understanding of basic concepts, build specific skills, gain
confidence, and become motivated to read and write.
Below are tutoring strategies for working with children in the primary grades,
Many tutoring programs use a scaffolding strategy that calls for tutors and children
to read together. This does not replace reading aloud and independent reading,
instead it is an additional strategy for promoting reading skills. The following are
strategies tutors can use when reading with a child.
This type of modeling helps children learn to think about what they already
know while they are reading. Talk about your thinking process – what you do
to get meaning from the words and understand the text. For example: "That's
a new word. It begins with cl. I don't know how to pronounce the next part –
ue. Harriet is a spy. It must be clue because spies look for clues."
This type of modeling also helps children think while they read. When a child
is stuck on a word you can suggest strategies he or she can use to figure it
out. The child can use these strategies immediately and when reading in the
future. You might say, "Try reading the sentence again." "Try reading the next
sentence." "Where did the boy go at the beginning of the story?" "Where do
you think he might be going now?"
This strategy helps children become more fluent and confident readers. Hold
the book together and ask the child to read along with you. Begin reading in a
voice that is slightly louder and faster than the child's. As t