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Article - Tutoring project

  1. 1. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 1RUNNING HEAD: Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project Daniel Bell Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 6/24/08 EDCC 605: Educational Measurement and Evaluation Dr. Eirini Gouleta
  2. 2. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 2 TABLE OF CONTENTSItem PageTutoring Project Report 3Logbook 10Appendices 11 Session 1 12 Session 2 15 Session 3 20 Session 4 24 Session 5 30 Session 6 34Research Summary 40References 42
  3. 3. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 3 TUTORING PROJECT REPORTIntroduction of Student The student I tutored for this project is a 17-year-old high school junior. He isAfrican-American from an upper-middle class SES. He attends the Chelsea School inSilver Spring, MD, which is a Non-Public school for middle and high school studentswith learning disabilities. Even though the majority of Chelsea’s students have language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, this student is officiallylabeled ADHD. His reading comprehension and fluency are above grade level. Physically, this student is very athletic; he plays sports at school. However, hispersonal file indicates that there is possibility that he has “had contact” with the HIVvirus. He also occasionally takes extended periods of time off from school for “health”related issues, some of which have been unclear. He was out of school for two weeks thispast semester for a collapsed lung. Even though none of these health issues aredetrimental to his cognitive standings, his time off of school does have a severe negativeeffect on this student’s organization and sense of being overwhelmed. Academically, when this student is on task, he is a very competent and involvedstudent. When he attends school consistently, he is able to keep his grades around an Aaverage. However, when he is out of school due to his health issues, he tends to becomeoverwhelmed with all of the work that he has missed and usually cannot organize himselfto get back on track, wherein his grades suffer. Lastly, it is pretty clear that this student’s main deficiency is in the area of hisexecutive skills of organization and time management. He can usually handle these skills
  4. 4. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 4effectively with guidance, but when left to fend for himself, he often quickly gets offtrack.Statement of Problem This student’s most detrimental weaknesses to his academics are his executiveskills of organization, time management, and study skills. Even though he is veryintelligent and can be a good student overall, and has the capability of achieving straight-A’s, he gets easily overwhelmed by his work load and does not possess the skills toproperly organize himself and get back on track. Also, being ADHD, the studentpossesses major distractibility issues that are a detriment to his study habits and abilitiesto do as well as he should be able to when taking tests and completing projects. My hypothesis for our tutoring sessions is that the student will perform better thanhe initially predicted he would on his final exams and with his final projects by creatingand establishing organizational, time management, and study skills routines.AssessmentsSession # Date Assessment Results 1 5/28/08 1. “Pre-Test” to discover 1. Struggles most with executive true area of need (pg. skills of organization, time 14a). management, and study skills. 2. Informal oral assessment 2. Unconfident about approaching to specify results of Pre- finals. Binder is a mess. Does not Test. study efficiently. 2 6/2/08 1. Planbook Rubric 1. Student does not effectively Assessment (pg. 19a). utilize planbook. Requires 2. Binder Rubric remediation. Assessment (pg. 19a). 2. Binder is a disaster. Papers everywhere; out of order. Difficult to find anything
  5. 5. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 5 important. 3 6/3/08 1. Planbook Rubric 1. Planbook is being used more Assessment (pg. 23a). effectively, but student is still 2. Binder Rubric inconsistent with it. Assessment (pg. 23a). 2. Binder is in better shape, but not 3. Time Management quite there. Project Planning 3. Student requires remediation with Assessment (pg. 39b). breaking down steps of project. 4 6/6/08 1. Planbook Rubric 1. Planbook is coming along. Assessment (pg. 29a). Student needs to have it checked 2. Binder Rubric over by teachers more Assessment (pg. 29a). consistently. 3. Time Management 2. Binder is getting better. Much Project Planning more organized. Assessment (pg. 39b). 3. Student has fallen behind on 4. Time Management project. Requires more Assessment (pg. 29b). organization. 4. Student is metacognitive about time management skills, but needs to make them routine. 5 6/10/08 1. Planbook Rubric 1. Student’s planbook scores have Assessment (pg. 33a). risen substantially. He is much 2. Binder Rubric more on track. Assessment (pg. 33a). 2. Binder scores have also risen. 6 6/11/08 1. Planbook Rubric 1. Planbook scores are almost Assessment (pg. 39a). perfect. Routine seems to have 2. Binder Rubric taken effect. Assessment (pg. 39a). 2. Binder dipped minimally, but the 3. Time Management routine also seems to have taken Project Planning effect. Assessment (pg. 39b). 3. Final step of project turned in 4. “Post-Test” to re-assess late. Requires more remediation progress from “Pre- on project planning. Test” (pg. 39c). 4. Post-Test shows progress from Pre-Test. Student’s grades have risen. The assessment results are discussed in much more detail in the appendices, but Iwill give a summary of the assessment data and conclusions.
  6. 6. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 6 First, in regards to the most consistent assessments that I conducted, the Planbookand Binder Rubrics (attached to each session of the appendices below), the student’sscores rose consistently, with few minor exceptions from session to session. It wouldappear that the longer the student had to conduct himself via these rubrics, the more theroutine set in and the more his executive skills were strengthened. Next, in terms of the Time Management Long-Term Project Planning AssessmentChart (see pg. 39b) where the student had to delineate the steps of a long-term project andnote if they were turned in on time or not, this did not seem to work as well because thestudent turned in the first two steps on time, but not the final two. The student admitted tobeing overwhelmed with the amount of studying he had to do for his finals and thus fellbehind on this project. But I still believe that using a planning chart like this would bebeneficial to the student in the future, especially if he can make it routine. In terms of the Time Management Assessment (see pg. 29b) and the followinginformal oral assessment, the student seemed very open and reflective about his timemanagement strengths and weaknesses. Again, it can be concluded that he needs toincorporate routines so that he may effectively utilize his academic and recreational time. Finally, in regards to the “Pre-Test” and “Post Test,” (see pgs. 14a and 39c) thestudent began our tutoring sessions unconfident and unorganized, but by the finalassessment, finals had ended, his grades had risen, and his confidence had risen. I canconclude from these results that our sessions were a success for the most part.Description of Work with the Student
  7. 7. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 7 The bulk of our tutoring sessions consisted of in-depth, reflective discussionsbroken down by the area of executive skills that we were focusing on in a particularsession. I tried to incorporate assessment with instruction as much as possible and muchof the time I had to re-focus our discussions based on the results of the rubric assessmentat the beginning of a session. For instance, after our first session, I had originally plannedon spending much more time discussing the topic of study skills, but after theassessments of the second session, I immediately realized that teaching the student properstudy skills would not be very beneficial if the student could not find the papers that heneeded to study in the mess of his binder and backpack. Due to this, I redirected andrestructured the remaining sessions to focus more on organizational techniques, so thatwhen we got to study skills, the student would be properly prepared to use his study timeeffectively. This is discussed much more in-depth in the appendices below.Results By the end of our sessions, I can summarize our results as successful and helpfulfor both the student and for myself. The student began our sessions under-prepared forthe multitude of finals that he had approaching and even though he was very capable ofdoing well in a perfect world, he was lacking certain important skills to perform wellacademically. But we worked on his weaknesses and played to his strengths of self-reflection and metacognitive skills and we were able to implement some routines thatstrengthened his executive skills. This student and this project helped me learn that even the brightest and mostcapable students can have certain deficiencies that are unfortunately very detrimental to
  8. 8. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 8their success, but that this can be overcome if the student’s strengths are nurtured in theright way. I also learned, though, that this takes consistent assessment and adjustment ofteaching techniques to individualize the student’s success.Recommendations First of all, I recommend that this student’s teachers should unify on creating andconsistently implementing organizational rubrics and time management charts to keep thestudent consistently on track and constantly aware of his progress or lack thereof. It isapparent that, left to his own devices, this student tends to fall apart, organizationallyspeaking, but if he is supported with a series of routines, he will eventually adopt themfor himself and become independent in terms of these routines that strengthen hisexecutive skills. I recommend the same for parents and guardians of this student. It is going to takesupport and consistency from all facets of this student’s life so that he may stay on trackbecause if he gets this support strongly at school, but then returns home to no structure,his skills will be weakened and the process will have to be initiated from the beginningeach time he returns to school. For instance, parents must check his planbook and bindernightly and communicate to teachers if the student seems to be having trouble. And viceversa.Reflection/Self-Evaluation First of all, as noted above, this was an extremely helpful and useful project forme as an educator. I have had this student for a while now and, up until this point, have
  9. 9. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 9been baffled at the disconnect between the student’s obvious intelligence and his pooracademic performance. Now I feel very confident that I will be able to help this studentin more ways that one during his senior year next year and hopefully prepare him for hisfuture. I feel that the strongest part of our sessions was the consistency of our rubricassessments and how that helped me structure our executive skills discussions. Therubrics gave us specific areas to focus on in-depth and helped make our discussionsconcrete for the student because we could relate each rubric item specifically to his day-to-day life. As for what I would do differently, I would have constructed more physical workfor the student to do to make the content of our sessions even more concrete. I found thisvery difficult to do because I have never individually tutored a high school student beforeand being that our sessions focused on strengthening executive skills, something that cantakes months to years to accomplish, I had a difficult time creating actual work for thestudent. I realize that if I had found a student who was struggling in a specific contentarea like English or science, it would have been easier to pull content from a curriculumrather than from abstract ideas. I feel that I made this project harder on myself than Icould have; yet I am glad I did what I did because I learned a lot from the process. Finally, had I more available time, I most certainly would have conducted shortersessions over a longer period of time because I found 2-hour sessions very difficult toplan for.
  10. 10. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 10 LOGBOOKSession # Date Length Session Content 1 5/28/08 1 hr. • Pre-tested student • Discovered that he was struggling most with study skills and organization, especially with finals approaching • Informally (via oral questions) assessed student’s current study habits, study area, organizational habits, etc. 2 6/2/08 1 hr. • Created rubrics (with student) to assess progress of personal planbook and binder organization. • Used planbook/binder rubrics for initial assessments. • Assisted student with organization of binder. • Discussed how to properly organize a planbook. 3 6/3/08 1 hr. • Created Time Management Chart for a final project for student’s Music Class • Assessed planbook/binder progress • Discussed organizational techniques and strategies 4 6/6/08 2 hrs. • Assessed planbook/binder progress • Assessed time management skills • Continued tracking progress of Music Class project on Time Management Chart • Discussed time management skills and strategies 5 6/10/08 2 hrs. • Assessed planbook/binder progress • Initiated discussion on study skills techniques and strategies. 6 6/11/08 2 hrs. • Assessed planbook/binder progress • Finished tracking progress of Music Class project on Time Management Chart • Concluded discussion on study skills techniques and strategies • Conducted Post-Assessment
  11. 11. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 11 APPENDICES The following appendices are divided into each tutoring session. Each appendixsection will contain the plans for that session, observations, reflections, assessment data,samples of the student’s work, assessment hard copies, and references to research. Anyreference to any material outside of the appendices will be noted with a page numberprovided.
  12. 12. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 12SESSION 1Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 Length: 1 hourPlansOBJECTIVES: • By the end of this session, I will be able to understand exactly in what area(s) my tutoring subject is struggling in the most via written and oral assessments. • The student will be able to understand and articulate his area(s) of struggle by writing them down and discussing them with me. • The student and I will be able to initiate a discussion on how to proceed for our further sessions so that the student can better prepare for his finals.PLANS: I will first discuss with the student why we are having these sessions. I willexplain that, since he is a student of mine and I know that he tends to falter when finalsare approaching, his area of struggle needs to be addressed and dealt with accordingly. Next, I will administer the “Pre-Test” (see pg. 14a). Once the student hascompleted this, I will look over the test and we will discuss his results and decidetogether the best direction to proceed.Observations The student seemed well aware of the fact that he is normally a good student, buttends to have major difficulties when finals arise. However, the student appeared just asbaffled as I was about why this might be.
  13. 13. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 13 Upon completion of the pre-test and during the ensuing discussion of the results,the student was very open and honest about his organizational struggles and appearedvery willing and hopeful about understanding how to fix them.Reflections I’ve worked in a metacognitive sense with this student before and was notsurprised that he appeared genuinely interested in bettering himself as a student.However, I was surprised at his willingness to spend extra time out of school to do sowith me, which gives me high hopes for the progress of the remainder of our sessions. In terms of assessments, I honestly was not quite sure exactly how to approach theassessment of his struggles, so I felt that conducting a short-answer, reflective test thatcovered several areas that the student might be struggling in would be best. This test got us on a good start, but it was our ensuing discussion that truly got tothe heart of the matter. First of all, I wasn’t surprised that he underestimated himself andhis current standings in his classes (see pg. 14a), but I was surprised by how much timehe noted that he spent studying during the week in contrast to how he felt about hisprogress in his classes. This is what truly made me realize that he has every capability ofdoing well in his classes academically – it is his study and organizational habits that areholding him back. Lastly, the student seemed to understand fairly quickly that the reason his gradeswere slipping despite being a strong, intelligent student, was due to his inconsistent andunderdeveloped study skills.
  14. 14. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 14Assessment Data* See pg. 14a for actual test.FORMAL DATA: The student professed to currently having a B average in his classeswhile predicting to have a B average after his finals, which was consistent. However, thestudent professed only doing 20 to 30 minutes of homework a night, while studying for 2hours. This was not consistent with his lower than expected grades. The student alsoprofessed to have a study area at home and to have an organized binder for his classes.Lastly, the student noted that he felt the class he was struggling in the most was hisEnglish 11 class.INFORMAL DATA: Some of the above discrepancies where made clearer uponinformally assessing the student via an oral discussion. The student clarified that eventhough he has a study area in his room separate from family distractions, he has atelevision and a computer connected to the internet in his study area, which causesunneeded distractions. Also, I learned that the student’s binder is not at all as organizedas he would have liked me to originally believe, and that he does not actually study formore than an hour a night; his “2-hour” answer was a summation of his study time for theweek, including weekends.Resource ReferencesBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from, W. J. (2008). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know (pp. 113- 120). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
  15. 15. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 15SESSION 2Date: Monday, June 2, 2008 Length: 1 hourPlansOBJECTIVES: • By the end of this session, the student and I will be able to create rubrics for planbook and binder organization that can be utilized independently even after our sessions conclude. • The student will be able to effectively organize his binder with a clear set of guidelines to structure his organization skills. • The student will be able to effective set up a planbook that is utilized for both current work and long-term projects.PLANS: First, I will discuss with the student exactly where I plan on taking our sessionsfrom this point forward. Specially, I will tell him that we will focus our sessions on aseries of discussions regarding study skills, organization, and time management, whileformally and informally assessing his progress as he prepares for and ultimately takes hisfinal exams. Next, the student and I will create planbook and binder organization rubricstogether with specific guidelines regarding the organization of each item that can beassessed each time we meet (see pg. 19a). Lastly, I will assist the student with both how to set up his planbook for short-term and long-term assignments, and begin assisting him with the organization of hisbinder with the goal of the student keeping both of these items organized.
  16. 16. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 16Observations The student was, again, very willing to accept my help with his organization andwas very open about letting me rifle though his materials. The student also came acrossquite honest about his shortcomings when it came to our discussion of his strengths andweaknesses and why he is having trouble with his organization and study skills. Once the student seemed to realize that the creation of our organizational rubricswas not an arbitrary matter, he really appeared to take ownership of the items and howmany points to assign to each item.Reflections Since the student noted on his “Pre-Test” that he likes to have someone organizehis binder for him, I immediately realized that one of the major reasons he has beenhaving so much trouble with this is that he uses other people’s assistance as a crutch andnever truly learned the skills for himself. That’s why, once we began gutting his binderand putting it back together in an organized fashion, I made sure not to do it for him, butjust give him guidance while he organized it himself. And I saw, that with a littleguidance, he actually did have the organization skills hiding somewhere deep down in hissubconscious, he just cannot seem to access them when he gets overwhelmed. And Icould tell just from initially looking at his binder that he can get easily overwhelmedfrom all of the papers that he receives in his classes day to day. This is why I thought thatnot just providing him with rubrics, but actually personally involving him in the creationof the rubrics would be much more beneficial to the student’s organizational
  17. 17. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 17independence because he would then be able to remember himself, without guidance,what the steps are to an organized planner and binder are. This session went very well and I am very happy with the outcome. Now comesthe real test, though – will he be able to stay consistently organized each time I assesshim using the rubrics we created together?Assessment Data* Please see original rubrics for initial data, pg. 19a.
  18. 18. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 18 It is important to note that the point scale has not been adjusted on the abovecharts to make the point scales uniform. Instead, each item is relative only to the sameitem on the assessments of the following sessions. As this is the first session of our rubricassessments, there is no other data yet to compare this to. The data will have morerelevance as I continue to assess the student at our following sessions. What can be garnered from this initial assessment is that the student is far belowwhat he and I decided the maximum points should be for each item (see pg 19a). It is myhope and goal that these numbers will incline as the student and I continue to meet.Resource ReferencesBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from, E. H. (2007). Improving the organizational skills of students with learning and
  19. 19. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 19 attention problems. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=7517&TEMPLATE=/CM/Content (2008). Organization skills for kids with learning disabilities. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from topics.php?Article_ID=9838
  20. 20. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 20SESSION 3Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 Length: 1 hourPlansOBJECTIVES: • By the end of this session, the student and I will be able to create a Time Management Chart for a long-term project for the student’s Music class. • The student will be able to further assess his progress in terms of organization. • The student will be able to show a deeper understanding of organizational skills by showing progress with the organization of his binder and his planbook.PLANS: First, the student and I will assess his organizational progress on his rubrics.Then we will create a Time Management Chart for a long-term final project for his Musicclass (see pg 39b). Lastly, the student and I will discuss organizational techniquesincluding color-coding, date order, and following a set routine.Observations During this session, the student was visibly impressed by his own progressassessed by the rubrics from the last session. He was also very helpful in the creation ofthe Time Management Chart for his Music class project, though I could tell he waslacking some of the executive skills to do this by himself.Reflections
  21. 21. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 21 I was glad to see that the student actually stayed somewhat more organized thanusual, though his scores are still well below the “possible points;” we still have a longway to go. Our discussion on organizational techniques seemed to make a lot of sense to thestudent and he professed to actually having had half-heartedly tried some of thetechniques in the past, like color-coding, to no avail. I think one of his biggestdeficiencies is not the actual knowledge or awareness of these skills, but the follow-though of them. I am hoping that the structure that I set in place for the student in termsof these techniques will help his follow-through because it seems that when he learns anew skill without a routine to accompany it, that skill gets lost.Assessment Data* Please see original rubrics for initial data, pg. 23a.
  22. 22. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 22 Even though many of the scores of these rubric items have risen from the lastsession to this one, many have also stayed the same, which would appear to be animprovement to the student’s earlier organizational progress. However, since this sessionwas the day after our last one, this may simply be due to the fact that the student has nothad the time to become unorganized since our last meeting. I think another session or twowill truly show if this rubric system is working for the student. For the time being, I willcontinue with my current plan of action. In terms of the Time Management Chart (see pg. 39b), since the first step was duetoday, which was the same day we created the chart, it will also take another session ortwo to see if this will truly work for the student.Resource ReferencesBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from, E. H. (2007). Improving the organizational skills of students with learning and
  23. 23. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 23 attention problems. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=7517&TEMPLATE=/CM/Content (2008). Organization skills for kids with learning disabilities. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from topics.php?Article_ID=9838
  24. 24. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 24SESSION 4Date: Friday, June 6, 2008 Length: 2 hoursPlansOBJECTIVES: • By the end of this session, the student will be able to better understand how well he handles his time management by completing a time management assessment. • The student will be able to identify and implement several new time management techniques via assessment and discussion.PLANS: First I will assess the student’s organizational progress via our rubrics. Then wewill continue to track his progress on his long-term project chart. Then I will administer the “Time Management Assessment” (pg. 29b), to get abetter idea of how this student manages his time, academically and recreationally. Lastly, I will discuss time management techniques with the student including timestructured charts, predicting time, properly using planbooks and personal organizers, andrewarding oneself for the successful and effective management of time.Observations During this session, the student was apparently a bit more agitated at the contentthan before due to being faced with the truths of how to properly manage his time. Heseemed to understand where I was coming from during out assessments and discussions,but seemed to want to hold on to the idea that if he didn’t pay close attention to how hehandled his time management, then he would never have to truly deal with it. But when
  25. 25. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 25we got to how these techniques can actually help him, he seemed to come around andrealize that I had his best interests in mind, not simply that I was trying to give him morework to.Reflections Now that our discussions are moving away from the more concrete realms ofphysically organizing a binder and such into the more abstract areas of time management,the student’s executive skills deficiencies have started showing more prominently. Heseemed to have a harder time grasping ideas like creating a chart that delineates the stepsand due dates of a project or allowing yourself more time in the evening for homeworkthan for recreational time. This is why I had to really break these ideas down for him andrelate them to his day-to-day life more than I had expected. The information certainlyseemed to make more of an impact by explaining that, for instance, meandering homeand playing video games for an unspecified amount of time and then attempting to dohomework before bed does not work nearly as well as having set times in the evening forwork and for play. And that’s what we did. We went over exactly what his nights andweekends were like and we charted out exactly how he could utilize his time moreefficiently so that he may make ample progress on his academics while also allowingsufficient time for recreation. A written assessment (see pg. 29b) for his time management was very useful forthis session because it gave us something specific and concrete to refer back to,especially when the student would orally contradict what he wrote on the assessment.This was a great jumping off point.
  26. 26. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 26 Lastly, having a 2-hour instead of 1-hour session showed itself to be usefulespecially because it gave me more time on the spot for assessment and discussion in thesame session while the information was still fresh to both the student and myself. I willtry this for our following sessions with the hopes that extended time will prove to beequally useful.Assessment Data* Please see original rubrics for initial data, pg. 29a.
  27. 27. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 27 In terms of the planbook progress, with the exception of filling in his assignments,the above graph shows that the student’s scores have dipped, no doubt due to the stressesof his approaching finals. I can also attest to the fact that, being a teacher at ChelseaSchool, teachers tend to slack off of checking planbooks around finals because there ismore studying happening and less day-to-day assignments. I conducted some remediationwith the student in this area and have decided to hold off until one more session to makethe decision of whether or not to change my hypothesis and course of action because Icannot tell yet if this is a downhill pattern or a fluke. The binder graph, however, shows more overall progress and it would seem thathis organizational routine is already setting in. For now, I will continue with my presentcourse of action in this area. In terms of the Time Management Assessment (see pg. 29b), I found that thestudent believes that he can study for longer than I had predicted and that he is distractedby exactly what I had predicted. I was happy to see that the student seemed to have anidea of rewarding himself for doing his work, however, he appears to give himself too
  28. 28. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 28much reward for not enough work. From our subsequent informal oral assessment, Igarnered that the student indeed does not spend enough time working and spends muchmore time watching television and going out with friends when he should be doinghomework. The hour he gave himself on the written assessment for homework was indirect contrast with the “Pre-Test,” where he gave himself 20-30 minutes, which he cameclean about upon being confronted with this fact; he only does about 20-30 minutes ofhomework a night and only a bit more over the weekend. It is to this end that I willcontinue to work with him about setting up time management routines and willincorporate time management skills into our upcoming sessions on study skills. Lastly, in terms of the long-term project assessment (see pg. 39b), the student hadanother step of his project due in between this session and the last one, and another stepdue earlier today. Interestingly enough, he turned the step that was due on 6/4 on time,but not the one today, though he has promised to have it in by the end of the day, so itwill not be a full day late.Resource ReferencesBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from, E. H. (2007). Improving the organizational skills of students with learning and attention problems. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=7517&TEMPLATE=/CM/Content (2008). Organization skills for kids with learning disabilities. Retrieved
  29. 29. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 29June 5, 2008 from
  30. 30. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 30SESSION 5Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 Length: 2 hoursPlansOBJECTIVES: • By the end of this session, the student will be able to implement a structured system of study skills techniques to help him through is finals and for his future academics. • The student will be able to orally reflect on his organizational progress.PLANS: First, I will use our rubrics to assess his current planbook and binderorganizational progress. Then I will touch base with him on his progress in terms of hislong-term project and have him predict if it will be turned in on time. The bulk of this session will be centered around study skills techniques and howthe student can implement them into his daily routine, especially now that he is takingfinal exams at school.Observations Study skills seem to be the student’s strongest area in terms of the content that wehave been covering. However, he has been very honest that even though he is aware ofmany of the techniques that we discussed, he does not stick to them like he knows heshould and that causes problems, especially when it comes to test taking. For instance,upon broaching the subject, the student professed to being fully aware of the fact that“cramming” the night before or the morning of a test is not the ideal way to go about
  31. 31. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 31studying, but he does this anyway. Also, he said he was aware of what distracts him(which was also noted on the Time Management Assessment, see pg. 29b), such astelevision and interrupting family members, however he admitted to subjecting himself tothese distractions on a regular basis.Reflections This session went well, though I realized almost right away that I was a bit underprepared for the amount of time that I had allotted for this session and that I hadunderestimated my student’s study skills knowledge. However, as noted before, theamount of time was also beneficial because I was able to re-assess the session and digdeeper into our study skills discussion. Even though the student seemed confident about being able to turn in his long-term Music class project on time tomorrow, I can already predict that this may not becase because he seemed pretty stressed out about his finals tomorrow, which are in hismost difficult classes, Science and English. And since he has promised me that he willimplement the study skills techniques that we discussed today, I have a feeling that hewill make this his priority and not his project. We will find out tomorrow.Assessment Data* Please see original rubrics for initial data, pg. 33a.
  32. 32. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 32 With the exception of having all classes signed by a teacher and dipping just a bitin getting all work in on time, the student’s scores on his planbook rubric rosesubstantially. As noted earlier, it is my belief that the low score for the signatures is due
  33. 33. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 33to the fact that we are now in final exam week and many teachers have quite forgottenabout signing planbooks. As for the binder, I am thoroughly impressed by the rise in scores, with theexception of the loose papers, which I only scored him low on because his study paperswere not filed – but at least I could tell he had been studying since the papers were out!Resource ReferencesBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. (2008). Study skills. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from
  34. 34. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 34SESSION 6Date: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 Length: 2 hoursPlansOBJECTIVES: • The student will be able to conduct a “Post Assessment” and answer reflective questions regarding our tutoring sessions. • The student will be able to finalize his long-term project chart. • The student and I will discuss a plan for implementing the content of our tutoring sessions into his senior and final year at Chelsea School, beginning in the fall.PLANS: First, I will conduct our final planbook and binder assessments and we will lookover all of the rubrics together and discuss the results. Then we will finalize the student’s long-term project chart for his Music Classand discuss the effect that this had on this project and if it will be useful or not for futureprojects. We will then finish our discussion on study skills techniques and how the studentcan continue to utilize these techniques the following year. Lastly, I will conduct a reflective “Post Assessment” (see pg. 39c) on the student,from which we will initiate our final discussion of the usefulness and effectiveness of ourtutoring sessions.Observations
  35. 35. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 35 As today was the last day of finals the student was visibly more relaxed, yet alsomore fidgety and disconnected; obviously he had his mind more on the upcomingsummer than his organization and study skills. However, as we talked about hisupcoming senior year and the demands that will be placed on him academically incollege, he seemed to take our discussion more seriously.Reflections This session, being the final one, went better than expected, especially when wetalked about how the content of our tutoring sessions will be relevant to the student’sfuture. The student was especially honest on his “Post-Test” (see pg. 39c) and during theensuing discussion. I see now that, especially since I’ve had this student all year, that the content ofour sessions would have been incredibly useful earlier in the year because this studentnoticeably struggled in terms of his executive skills all year, which was often detrimentalto his academic standings. It is unfortunate because he is a very bright and intelligentstudent, but his organization and study skills would always get in his way. Going overthis information earlier in the year would also have made the learned techniques a muchmore solid routine than trying to do so during the short duration of our tutoring sessions. Iam glad, though, that I am more aware of this because I will, from now on, make a moreconcerted effort to integrate these techniques and routines into my day-to-day lessons.Assessment Data* Please see original rubrics for initial data, pg. 39a.
  36. 36. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 36
  37. 37. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 37 This being the final session, several assessments were conducted and someongoing ones were completed. First of all, in regards to the above graphs, the student’splanbook scores were all either the same or above the previous assessments, and the“Totals” graph conveys a fairly steady upward trend. I think it is safe to say that this
  38. 38. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 38rubric system in particular was very useful for the student and should be implementedand made routine next year. As for the binder, with the exceptions of some papers not being filed in theircorrect place (which I cannot fault the student too much for, this being the final day ofschool), the scores were also above what they had been previously. And the binder“Totals” graph also shows an upwards trend, though the scores were at their highest theprevious session. Again, I believe this is due to it being the last day of school and thestudent not being as focused on the organization of his binder now that he won’t be usingit for the next two months. As with the planbook, I think the comparison of scores showthat the rubrics were effective and should be utilized for the student’s future. Today was the day that the student’s long-term Music class project was due andthus, we finalized our chart. It was a bit disappointing that he did not turn the final projectin on time, though, as with the last step of the project (and as predicted), he was able tofinish this step during the course of the day and hand it in after school. So even thoughthe student did not turn two of the four steps in on time for this assessment, he didexpress to me that having this chart was helpful for him because of the way it specificallydelineated the steps of the project and how he could physically see when they each weredue, and if he was or was not on track to hand them in on time. He assured me that hewill utilize organizational charts like this next year and in the future, and I will be sure tohelp him with this and make sure he sticks to them. The last assessment that was conducted was the reflective “Post-Test” (see pg.39c), which somewhat mirrored the “Pre-Test (see pg. 14a) but also gave the student achance to reflect on the usefulness of our sessions, the finals he just took, and how he
  39. 39. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 39might use these techniques in the future. I also continued this assessment informally sincethe student did not chose to write in much detail. He did express to me that the he foundour sessions helpful, that he did end up studying more efficiently, and he was able to staymore consistently organized than he previously had been. I also checked on his finalgrades for his classes after finals and most of his grades lined up the way he predictedthem to, with the exception of Music and TV class, which he received B’s in instead ofA’s.Resource ReferencesBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. (2008). Study skills. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from
  40. 40. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 40 RESEARCH SUMMARY I am tutoring a high school junior with a learning disability, namely ADHD. Theareas that this student is struggling in the most are his organizational and study skills.Thus, I researched tutoring methods specific to LD students in the areas of organization,time management, and study skills. First of all, I found that tutoring LD students is not particularly distinct fromdoing so with other students, other than that LD students generally have difficultylistening, remaining organized, and often need extra time to work. The key here is tofocus on the learning process rather than the final product (Baldwin & Hervey, 2008). In terms of organization, color-coding is a very strong technique. For example,having folders or tabs in a binder a certain color for class and a different color forhomework, along with certain colors to denote the urgency of turning in assignments.This technique must be reinforced by consistency and repetition (Hillman, 2007).Following a daily routine and completing the most difficult parts of an assignment firstare also useful techniques to stay consistently organized (, 2008). As for time management, it is very advantageous to guide the students towardsindependence by helping the student understand just how much time they will actuallyneed to complete a given assignment. “To do” lists, plan books, and personal organizershelp the student look a head and visually plan their time, and breaking down assignmentsinto smaller, more manageable parts is also helpful (Hillman, 2007). Lastly, to help with study skills, one of the best techniques is to empower thestudent to truly understand how they study the best. They must know what distracts them
  41. 41. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 41and how long they can study at a time. Following a routine is essential to effectivestudying along with the breaking up of large assignments into small parts (NCLD, 2008).
  42. 42. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 42 REFERENCESBaldwin, J. & Hervey, S. E. (n.d.). Tutoring ld students. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from, R. & Dawson, P. (2004) Executive skills in children and teens: Parents, teachers and clinicians can help. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from http://www.childresearch. net/RESOURCE/NEWS/2004/200408.HTMHillman, E. H. (2007). Improving the organizational skills of students with learning and attention problems. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=7517&TEMPLATE=/CM/Content Display.cfmMartin, C. (2006). Executive skills: How to improve your ability to focus. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Improve_Your_Ability_to_Focus_National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. (2008). Study skills. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from (2008). Organization skills for kids with learning disabilities. Retrieved
  43. 43. Mini-Action Research Tutoring Project 43 June 5, 2008 from topics.php?Article_ID=9838Popham, W. J. (2008). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.