supporting Cambridge public school students

Workshops for Volunteers

CSV offers training opportunities throughout the academic year. While not mandatory, the trainings provide a way for volunteers to keep themselves current on tutoring techniques and strategies, ask specific questions about their tutoring experiences, and share information about those experiences.

Here are some of the slides from our recent workshops:

Trauma, Learning, and Executive Function: Part 1 – May 3, 2106

Trauma, Learning, and Executive Function: Part 2

Cultural Competence

How to Tutor in the Upper Schools

Middle School Math – October 15, 2016

How to Write a College Application Essay

CRLS Career College Planning info – Class of 2016

Examples of past workshops are below:

Middle School Math Made Easy. Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Led by 7th-grade Math Educator, Elsa Head, from the Vassal Lane Upper School, workshop participants will delve into the Math in Focus curriculum, learn how to engage students in math concepts, build confidence in students, and develop problem-solving skills. This session will cover what Math in Focus looks like in the classroom, review strategies from the curriculum, and engage tutors in problems from 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade math books.

(1) Just the Facts: How Strategic Fact Fluency Development Helps Build Number Sense for All Kids (Focused on K-3, but with relevancy up to Grade 8) – Fact fluency in math is a lot like decoding in reading: a foundational skill required for access to and success with higher level thinking and tasks. Yet, they are often not treated equally in schools. While decoding and decoding strategies are routinely and explicitly taught in early elementary classrooms, fact fluency is often given little, if any, class time, and the responsibility for “learning your facts” is left in the hands of kids and/or their families. In this workshop, we’ll explore how explicit, strategic fact fluency instruction–using a variety of materials, games, and activities–encourages “relational thinking,” a vital component of the sophisticated number sense needed for complex conceptual understanding and for thoughtful problem solving. Presenter: Glen Sherman, Math Coach at the Cambridgeport School.

(2) Working With English Language Learners: Where Are They Now and Where Am I Helping Them to Go?  English language learners are a highly diverse population, especially here at CRLS. They arrive from all over the world with varying educational experiences and exposure to English. Some are high achieving with years of English study. Others have interrupted schooling and limited literacy in their native language. Most fall somewhere in between these two extremes. This workshop provided some tools and information to determine the language needs of the students and a framework for helping move students forward in the development of their language skills. Presenter: David Saavedra – CRLS teacher in both ESL and SEI history.

(3) Increasing Productivity with your Math Student: Helping Students to Access their Math Knowledge, Formulate Questions and Increase Greater Independence through Note-taking and Binder Organization – This workshop examined how to increase student’s independent study skills so that they can take better, more efficient advantage of tutoring support. Students who need academic support often say “I don’t get it” or, “I can’t do this”. Often times they are unable to communicate about how they tried to attempt work that is seemingly overwhelming. What information does a student already possess in their backpack, in their notes, handouts, past assignments, and life experience that can help them answer some of their own questions. Presenter: Christopher Nemitz, High School Math, CRLS.

(4)  College Ready Mentor Meet-up: How Does your Senior’s College Essay Message Influence his/her Goals: Mentoring Seniors through an Overwhelming Process to their Next Stage of Life – Presentation & SharingThis sharing workshop provided an opportunity for College Ready colleagues to connect and explore the challenges and successes of their students. The workshop enabled tutors to share their student’s unique college essay story and how it has helped to shape their identity and goals. Guidance presentation included a check-in on the nuts and bolts, from Common Application, naviance, SATs, and check lists, to scholarships and financial aid resources. Tutors were able to ask pertinent questions of the CRLS experts! Presenters: Amanda Hughes and George Finn, Psy.D. CRLS Guidance Counselors.

(5) Math in Focus – Upper (Middle) School Math Workshop for Grades 6-8 – This workshop focused on the style and methods of the Math in Focus curriculum, which was adopted this year by the Cambridge Public Schools. Participants learned how to engage Upper School students in mathematical concepts, build confidence, and develop problem solving skills. The session also covered what Math in Focus implementation looks like in the classroom, reviewed strategies from the curriculum, and engaged new and veteran tutors in problems from the Math in Focus 6th, 7th, and 8th grade books.  Presenter: Danielle DeNufrio, Math Coach/Interventionist at CSUS.

(6) Intergenerational Math Program Training – Pay At-TeN-tion: Developing Kids’ Foundational Understandings of Our Number System – Just as kids much be agile decoders of words in order to understand increasingly complex texts, they must “break the code” of our number system – based on groups of 10 – in order to successfully engage with and understand increasingly complex mathematical ideas. This workshop explored the meaning of our base 10 system, examined the ways in which its structure lends itself to the creation of intuitive computation strategies, and worked hands-on with games and activities that support solid understanding of 10 and its power. Presenter: Glen Sherman, Math Coach at the Cambridgeport School.

(7) Volunteering in Writing Workshop (Grades K-2) -Attendees learned the predictable pathways young writers take when moving from scribbling to writing extended texts of all kinds, information to help coach students in grades K-2 in writing more proficiently.  They also learned the architecture of a writing conference and had a chance to practice conferring using student work. Presenter: Susan Pemsler, Literacy Coach at the Haggerty School.

(8)  Upper (Middle) School Tutor Training – Tutoring middle school students is an art as well as an academic endeavor. This workshop enabled us to learn about what makes middle schoolers tick. It included important considerations for working with students in grades 6, 7 and 8, including developmental, social and behavioral realities. Participants learned how to model reading strategies and writing support strategies. The session also included how to engage in purposeful academic conversations with students and techniques for asking meaningful questions. Presenters: Susan Peloquin, VLUS School Guidance Counselor, and Kolleen Burbank, 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, VLUS.

(9) How to Tutor English as a Second Language (ESL) in All Subject Areas: What You Need to Know, Grades 6-12. This workshop covered the topic of second language acquisition and offered insights into student immigration issues. Through presentation, activities and materials, volunteers gained a better understanding of how English Language Learners (ELL) acquire academic language. ELL tutoring strategies were demonstrated that are relevant for tutors working in all major subjects, Reading, Math, Social Studies and Science. Presenter: Maria Athanassiou, Adjunct faculty member at Lesley University and Northeastern University, CRLS ESL Teacher Trainer, Former CRLS B-ELA Teacher-in-Charge, International Student and Family Center, Former CRLS ESL Teacher.

(10) Pay At-TEN-tion: Developing Kids’ Foundational Understandings of Our Number System, Grades K-3. This workshop explored the meaning of the base 10 system, examined the ways in which its structure lends itself to the creation of intuitive computation strategies, and had participants work hands-on with games and activities that support solid understanding of 10 and its power. Presenter: Glen Sherman, Director of the Intergenerational Math Program (IMP); Math Coach, Cambridgeport School.