In addition to attending a CC Practicum, which is required for tutors and is wonderful, what can a Foundations tutor do over the summer to get ready for a great school year in Classical Conversations?
These are 3 things that I'm doing to make my life easier for this next year. Take them or leave them as you need them, but as a prep-junkie (someone who is always prepared for just about anything) I find them to be my best tips for brand-new tutors.
1. Go over the Timeline Song and the motions several times over the summer.
This is not to say you have to have it perfectly memorized; it is very intimidating and took me a whole school year to learn it well with lots of practice. But I'm so glad I became acquainted with it by playing my audio cds the summer before tutoring, since I was jumping into tutoring the very first year a CC group started in our town. Go over the actions so that when you review them briefly before you teach each week they will be familiar. Since I have a year of the timeline song under my belt, I'll spend this summer going over the Latin song and passage of Scripture in Latin so I can get the correct pronunciations down before I present it to my students.
2. Map out a general plan for games for the year.
I came away from last week's tutor training with ton of new ideas for introducing memory work and for review games. I also utelize this page and this page as well as Pinterest for ideas. If I jot down enough ideas for 6 weeks, meaning 6 different review games and 6 very simple ways of introducing each subject on my board, then I can reuse that paper for every quarter, and the games will only be used 4x each during the year.
6 Review Games I Like:
Ping Pong Throw
Target Shoot with Nerf Gun
6 Ways to Introduce Science:
Clap the syllables as we say our science fact
Jump up and down while reciting
Roll a potato around the table as we say it
Put our science fact to music and sing it
(Look for Kim Jaky's songs on CC Connected--they're great!)
Pass around an echo microphone (from The Dollar Store) and have the kids take turns saying it
Practice the science fact starting with a soft voice and gradually getting louder each time
In less than an hour you can have a year's worth of game ideas mapped out so that you are prepared when the busyness of back-to-school hits. You can always change them and tweak them according to the needs of your students and the time you have left in class, but jotting down ideas is a great way to plan ahead.
3. Get a Head Start on Presentations.
One of the most challenging things for me last year was helping my kids with their presentations. I had 3 kids in Foundations last year and this year it will be 4 kids. Because I was new to CC and new to tutoring, I had to learn how to help my kids get their presentations done in a timely manner while also prepping for tutoring a class. Many of the topics they had to present on required lots of reading or study so that we could come up with enough for their report. Often, it was a lot of work just to get them to decide what they wanted to do. This year, I hope to discuss presentation topics with my director over the summer so I can get an idea of what they will need to be presenting on so that we can do some of the decision-making, reading, and preparation in advance. Whether it's choosing a state they want to present on, reading about a favorite president, grabbing a historical costume from a yard sale, or drawing a picture of someone from history, extra time definitely won't hurt when I have 4 kids to prepare. Since they are all in different classes this year because our community has expanded from two Foundations classes to four, I'm hoping that they can all present on the same thing to each of their respective classes and we can study that ONE president/state/event/etc. together instead of all choosing separate ones, like last year.
What tips do you have for preparing for tutoring a Foundations class?