November 30, 2012

Five Tips for Tutors to Help Students Jump-start the Study Process

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

“Sometimes I don’t know how to prepare to study. Where do I begin? How do I begin?”

Tutors often hear these kinds of questions from the students they work with. Here are some tips that tutors can share:

  1. If you’re given a project based assignment, start by putting the instructions and expectations in your own words.
  2. If it’s a reading assignment, create at least one question for each primary topic in the chapter, which can often be found as review items at the end. Then focus your reading of the material by using the questions to guide you.
  3. A creative way to study for a test is to write a journal entry about the information that you learned in class. This usually triggers memories about the information, will usually help you understand the information from deeper levels and will motivate you to look up more information in your notes or in the text.
  4. If it’s a research project go to and read about the topics discussed in course lectures. Or you can go to the databases set up by your school library to learn more about the topics addressed in class.
  5. If you are daydreaming and can’t focus pull out a separate sheet of paper and write down all of the thoughts that come into your mind. Now, put the paper away. Your mind should be clear enough to start studying again. If your own thoughts continue to distract you continue to write those thoughts down and continue studying.

The preceding article is an excerpt from the “Tutoring Foundations” training program provided by Crossroads of Learning © 2012. For more information, please feel free to call Bob at 818.249.9692 x1, request info here, or visit

Filed under: Crossroads of Learning,Tutoring Practices

November 25, 2012

Buffalo Grove H.S. students tutor peers in new Literacy Lab

by Melissa Silverberg, The Daily Herald, originally published on 10/16/12

Student tutors at Buffalo Grove High School are helping their peers improve their writing skills outside the traditional English curriculum, focusing on literacy across all subjects through a new program launched this year. The Literacy Lab, started by teachers Heidi Haen and Kate Glass, is a classroom in the library where students can come for help with writing projects ranging from menu descriptions for a foods class to a lab report for science.

“The idea is to give students strategies they can use across the curriculum,” Haen said.

Tutors help give students the tools they need for understanding word problems in math, taking notes in humanities classes and everything in between. Glass said many high schools have writing labs, but Buffalo Grove’s lab is different because it focuses on the connection between reading and writing.

“We’re trying to get them to think about what good writing looks like,” she said.

The teachers hope the lab shows students that they will need writing no matter what career path they choose.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School,Peer-Tutoring

November 21, 2012

Community Tutoring Program Gives Penn State Students Opportunity to Help Local Youth

by Amy King,, originally published 9/6/12

When it comes to State College (town) and Penn State (gown) coming together, the Friendship Tutoring Program is one example of the good that’s possible. For a few hours on Sunday afternoons during the academic calendar year, dozens of elementary school-aged children meet individually with volunteers — mostly Penn State students — who instruct and aid, coach and mentor.

But their time together is much more than that. As the children improve their scholastic abilities by playing board and computer games, drawing pictures, writing poems, and just plain working hard, trust is bridged and relationships are formed. One of the best lessons the kids end up learning is that, above all, school can be fun.   

The secular program, sponsored and hosted by Faith United Church of Christ, was founded by Maureen Dunham, a retired schoolteacher, in 1999. This fall marks the 14th year for the program. From the onset, the core of the Friendship Tutoring Program (FTP) was designed to support students after they left the Park Forest Day Nursery and entered the school system. What began with eight students doubled halfway through the first year — now, the program has about 40 to 45 kids participating.

The program has steadily grown and now consists of students referred not only by the Park Forest Day Nursery but also by Head Start and the State College Area School District. In addition, children not referred by one of these institutions will be considered on a space-available basis. “The involved students are typically below grade level in reading and/or math or may be struggling to keep up with their peers in other various areas,” FTP director Laura Griffin says. “Once referred, I contact each student’s individual classroom teacher so I can better help direct the tutor to be the most efficient we, as a group, can be.”

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Community

November 14, 2012

11 Burning Questions with a founder of Tutoring Tomorrow Today

by Kasey Eggert, Los Angeles Loyolan, originally published 9/6/12

This issue, Web Editor Kasey Eggert sits down with senior political science and urban studies double major Nestor Pimienta to discuss his student-run tutoring program and the recognition it has received thus far.

1. What is the program Tutoring Tomorrow Today (TTT) about?

Tutoring Tomorrow Today (TTT) is a student-run program we founded that provides subject-based tutoring, as well as mentoring for the families of the Facilities Management workers and the food service workers on campus. By connecting LMU students as tutors and mentors with the campus workers’ families, TTT aims to build genuine relationships.

2. Where did the idea come from?

When I, along with other [Students for Labor and Economic Justice] students, were building relationships with workers, one question that kept coming up was “Can you tutor my son or daughter?” I thought of a way to not only provide tutoring and mentoring now, but institutionalize it. I wanted to create something ensuring the needs of our immediate community were being addressed while connecting LMU students, faculty and staff with the families of the campus workers. It’s all about building relationships. I came up with a method of building a sustainable, collaborative effort. Thus, TTT brings together different spheres of influence. I developed TTT as a system where LMU students and campus workers are still building relationships, still ensuring a mechanism for tutoring and mentoring exists, even after we graduate.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Community


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