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Tutor Institute 2014

21 September 2014


2014 Fall Tutor Institute

Saturday, October 25

9:30am – 2:30pm

Featuring Keynote Speaker Loraine Ballard Morrill, News and Community Affairs Director at iHeartMEDIA


The following sessions will be offered at this year’s Tutor Institute:

1. Adult Literacy Instruction: Why Soft Skills are Important to All
Kim Rossman, Executive Director of Tutors of Literacy in the Commonwealth and Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of Adult and Continuing Education (PAACE)

The session will discuss the importance of soft skills for adults in literacy programs whether they are preparing for the GED exam, post-secondary education, or the workforce. Teaching soft skills can also improve learner motivation and retention, especially when tied to individual goals. After participating in this session, participants will develop a plan for concrete implementation of specific soft skills in their classroom, tutoring and/or mentoring sessions.

2. Using Lesson Plan Structure and the Language Experience Approach to Work with Low Level Learners
Jesse James, Tutor Coordinator and ESL Instructor at the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians

This workshop will focus on ways tutors and instructors can support low-level learners. Participants will learn how to structure lessons that build students’ confidence, and how to use the Language Experience Approach where the main class materials and texts are student-generated. Website resources that can be incorporated into the classroom or used to supplement class work will also be presented. 

3. IBM Reading Companion’s Book Builder: Writing to Read
Ben Burenstein, Philadelphia Parks and Recreations Administrator and recipient of the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy’s W. Wilson Goode Literacy Achievement Award

IBM’s Reading Companion, distributed free by the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, has many components. One, Book Builder, allows users including teachers, adult learners and volunteers to write and publish ebooks to the Reading Companion virtual library that can be accessed and read by any of the program’s participants for enjoyment and learning. The experience of writing can be valuable to those seeking to develop literacy skills including organizing details, structuring text, understanding genre, and enhancing vocabulary. According to the National Commission on Writing, “If students are to learn, they must write.” Book Builder adds a technological and auditory component to writing. Participants will discuss and understand potential educational advantages of writing ebooks; be able to enumerate the steps from conception to publication using Book Builder; and commit to ebooks they wish to read, write, or curate.

4. Motivational Framework for Adult Learners 
Sharon Davis, Training Consultant and Current Volunteer Tutor

This is a workshop for adult literacy volunteer tutors, teachers, mentors, coordinators and program administrators to help motivate and retain adult learners. (Preference is for attendees involved in GED 2014). The workshop will help attendees keep their learners motivated and encouraged through a challenging process for the adult learner, particularly those with below average reading, writing and math ability. At the conclusion of the session participants will be able to describe how to the relationship between motivation and culture influences adult learning, and will be able to use a framework to teach content in a way that evokes intrinsic motivation to learn among adults. 

5. How Tutors and Mentors Use Data and Reflection to Create a Successful Learning Pair
Denise Brunker, myPLACE Learning Coach and Assessment Coordinator at Congreso de Latinos Unidos

“What should I be tracking in my mentoring sessions?”
“How can I use data to help my learner change her study habits?”
“How would data help motivate my student?”

This workshop is designed for new tutors and mentors who might be asking themselves these important questions. Topics will include finding formal and informal assessments for your learners, determining what data is the most important to track, and how to use these tools for productive reflection on your program.

Attendees will focus on their own students in an interactive setting, offering honest feedback and observations to peer groups. Participants will be expected to critique each other’s work and offer thoughtful suggestions, as well as accept the recommendations of their peers. At the end of the session, participants will depart with tools and practice in how to incorporate data when deciding on next steps to take in their programs.

6. GED 2014: Developing Learners’ Analytical Writing Skills in Science and Social Studies
Ryan Miller, Tutor Training Facilitator, The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy

While many students and educators have been concerned with the transition to a computer-based GED exam, less attention has been paid to the introduction of writing tasks to the Science and Social Studies modules. In this session, designed for tutors who are currently working with students to pass the GED exam, participants will familiarize themselves with the content and standards of GED writing tasks. They will also develop instructional strategies to support their students in becoming efficient and effective analyzers of historical and scientific texts, and plan methods for extending reading and writing skills to post-secondary and career settings. 

7. Enhancing ABE Students’ 21st Century Skills: Using Technology to Flip the Classroom
Kelly Sines, literacy Instructor and Tutor Coordinator for Temple University’s Workforce Education and Lifelong Learning Program (WELL)

This session focuses on how using technology in the Adult Basic Education classroom enhances learners’ 21st Century skills (and therefore, their employment skills). The target audience for this session includes instructors and tutors of Adult Basic Education programs. The session will model the “flipped” lesson and how it aligns with inductive instructive/learning and engenders critical thinking and self-directed learning. Examples of how technology can be used as a method for incorporating a flipped classroom will be provided, and technological platforms and non-technological alternatives will be highlighted. By the end of the session, attendees will be able to define what 21st  century skills are and how they relate to their student’s needs as future employees and post-secondary education students, and to plan and strategize how to use elements of the session in their own work as ABE practitioners. 

8. Reflective Instruction and Learning
Ulicia Lawrence, Program Coordinator at Temple University, Workforce Education and Lifelong Learning

How does one know he or she is being effective/affective? Standardized tests tell part of the story, but there is so much more for adult learners. This workshop prepares participants to become critically reflective volunteer tutors and mentors. Using the Career and College Readiness standards required for Pennsylvania Department of Education programs, the workshop will engage participants in understanding standards based lessons; develop lessons to engage learners in educational activities for employment, technology, professional, and personal growth; and reflect on how to build a “relationship of learning.” 

9. Incorporating Job Readiness Skills in the ESL Classroom
Marina Lipkovskaya, Executive Director and ESL Instructor, New World Association

This interactive workshop will familiarize tutors with textbooks and authentic materials that can be used with ESL learners. Participants will be able to discuss employment-related problems that newly arrived immigrants and refugees face, and create an activity focused on developing their learners’ speaking, reading, or writing skills. Attendees will be provided with sample instructional activities on job readiness in the four domains of the English language acquisition: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 

10. Supporting Adult Learners in the Digital Age
Jennifer Kobrin, Associate Director, Mayor’s Commission on Adult Literacy

Calling all techies! This session is for tutors and mentors interested in how technology can be used to enhance adult learning and literacy. Come prepared to network with colleagues in a highly interactive setting. And of course, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). We will start with an overview of MCOL’s myPLACE Online program, one of a handful of online adult learning programs in the U.S. Teaching adult learners online can be a challenge—but helping these adults gain digital skills is critical in the 21st century economy. The session will also include tools and tips for two separate but interrelated challenges: teaching computer skills to low-literacy adults, and using technology as a tool to help adults learn faster and better.


Register today!

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