And We’re Off! The Start of Summer Reading Tutoring

This summer I’m working with a seventh-grade girl on her reading, comprehension, literacy, and spelling.

One of the first things I noticed about her was her energy! She was excited to be there with me, and I could tell she loved reading, she was just struggling.

whiteboardOne of the first activities I did with my seventh-grader is to write on the board [always do this when you can! the whiteboard / chalkboard / SmartBoard is like a whole new world!]

The question I wrote was: ‘What Kind of Reader am I?’ And I wanted to see my seventh grader’s perspective of herself, as well as stepping stones of where we could go next.

As you can see in the picture below, she wrote, ‘Ok.’ And when I pressed her further, she wrote what she thought she was good at and what she wanted to work on for the summer.


We also [on the right-hand side] listed out characteristics of a good reader. By writing these down and talking about them, I think it helped her realize that being a good reader isn’t solely about reading fast. It’s about reading at a good rate, comprehending what’s read, being able to read harder texts, listening, and reading with confidence!

strengthsWhat I love about this Strengths / Goals activity is that it sets the tone for the remainder of the tutoring sessions. It also gives both me and my student direction. She starts off with confidence–seeing what she’s doing well. Then she makes goals, which will motivate her. Writing the characteristics helps to show the many ways she can be successful; it also gives her positive words to focus on as we continue to meet. 

I think this is a great idea when starting tutoring, or even in a classroom! I had my seventh-grader copy this into her notebook to have with her all the time. Hopefully it will make our sessions more productive!

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