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Hi Kaitlyn,

Our college algebra tutors follow a technique called Mastering the Example. This particular activity works great with three of more students because each student benefits from the repetition and practice. At the whiteboard, the tutor first works a specific problem and explains each step: "...And then I solve for slope. Slope is defined as the angle or incline of a straight line. Slope is important because it helps to model any number of things such as a landform or roof design."  After the tutor completes the problem, he/she passes the marker to a tutee. The tutee then works the same problem, going through the same steps and explaining aloud his/her work. Each student gets the opportunity to go to the whiteboard and solve the same problem.

I'll admit, it's not an easy activity. In general, students resist this form of study because they're "forced to struggle in front of everyone." Sometimes it's a struggle just to get the first student up to the board; but I will tell you from personal experience that those students who do follow through with this activity say it is the BEST.

Sara Weertz
Angelo State University
San Angelo, TX
(325) 942-2710  X-387
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-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kaitlyn O'Neil
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Math Tutor Training Ideas

Hi All,



I am looking for some ideas for math tutor training. Our tutoring program is
a bit different than most because we do not have a tutoring center or
scheduled tutoring appointments. Our tutors run drop-in study sessions in
the evenings that are for students in a specific classes. For example, there
is a study session for students in Calc I. During the study sessions
students mostly come to ask questions about the homework. The tutors are
aware of what the homework is ahead of time so they have an idea of the
questions that students are going to ask.



One idea that I would like to address in training is how to help students be
more independent thinkers and not become dependent on the tutors. I often
see students ask the tutors how to do a problem that they have not even
thought about or attempted to do on their own. I would really like to give
the tutors more tools to deal with these types of situations. Does anyone
have any ideas for a good training session on this?



I also welcome other ideas for fun, but useful tutor training sessions.
Thank you!



Kaitlyn



PS Does anyone have tutors who run study sessions similar to what I
mentioned above? If so, I would love to share ideas. Our program is new this
year, and we are still trying to figure what works best.





~~~

Kaitlyn O'Neil

Academic Support Coordinator

Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics

Science Center 136

610-328-8445




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