The school year is well underway, and the teachers and students have been exploring and learning how to best make educational progress in new virtual learning environments. Much is new and still being tested, as an example some teachers are combining the strengths of traditional materials and lesson plans with new virtual offers, to find what works best for them and their students. How to best utilize additional resources such as reading and tutoring help in a virtual environment is also unclear, but with these resources so badly needed we Rotarians have been asked to begin working on a smaller scale at this time, with more involvement expected in January.
There are 3 large 4th grade classes at Burns Park this year, with 30 students in each class. We have been asked to begin work here, providing badly needed tutors to help with the math program. A number of tutors are needed, so this is a call to action and a request that you consider helping out here at this time.
This tutoring will be virtual – it’s an opportunity to put our Zoom skills developed at our weekly Rotary meetings to use in a new way. There are a couple of tutoring approaches we will try at this time. The first approach has the tutor attending the day’s math lesson for 30 minutes, and then moves to a Zoom “breakout room” with an assigned student/s for 30 minutes of helping with the day’s homework. Math is on the schedule from 10:10 – 11:10 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, so any day/s one can help please sign up.
The second approach is to work with assigned students during individual learning time from 1:45 – 2:45 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and/or Friday. It is envisioned that one will work with assigned students during this time, helping them with homework as the student does a “screen share” of their computer with the tutor.
There’s a third approach too, which is a combination of the above two opportunities. Typically one tutors for an hour a week on a regularly scheduled time, but a number of our tutors have helped out for 2 or 3 times each week. And if your COVID-19 lifestyle provides additional free time to tutor from the comfort of your home, the opportunity is there.
I know some of you bridle at the “math” word, but let me assure you that it’s not that challenging and the involvement with lessons and teacher aids provide the support you may need. 4th grade math can well be thought of as basic arithmetic – perhaps not as scary when the “math” word then means some different approaches to learning other than the rote method many of us grew up with.
Ready to go? Interested? Can you help? Would you like to try it?
The first step is to alert Jim Egerdal, and to reach out to him with any questions or concerns you may have.
All volunteers in the Ann Arbor Public Schools must complete a Volunteer Information & Background Check Form before working directly with students. One can fill this out online by accessing it here. (It is not necessary to provide detailed availability and preferences information now, To Be Determined answers will suffice to get the background check underway.)
Finally there will be an informational launch meeting this Wednesday at 11 am, an hour before our regular weekly Rotary meeting. Please email Jim Egerdal for the Zoom information.