Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

A Publication of the Literacy Council of Jackson County
PO Box 615, Medford, OR 97501

Chairman's Message
Library Notes
Fall TELT Training
Attention All Tutors
Sucker Needed
Student Milestones
It's Only a Test
Preparing Students
Board of Directors
Abbreviations Dictionary
Helpful Websites
Statistics and Dates
Learning Styles

Dear Literacy Volunteer,

   Get out your rakes - Fall is here!

   What the Council needs to rake in are a few volunteers to help with office work. Not all of our office work needs to be done at the office, there's plenty that can be done right at home. If you have a couple of spare hours a week and would like to help, mostly calling tutors and students to arrange evaluation sessions, give the office a call.

   We also have opportunities at the office for those who would like to vacuum and wash windows. Just kidding about that. We would, however, like to increase the number of hours that our office is open for our library users and prospective volunteer/student drop-ins.

   I also want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who attended our Pizza Meeting. For some reason, free pizza always tastes better. If you missed out, our Tutor Representative, Ed Dellaquila, may be calling to invite you to discuss tutoring issues over breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. And the meal is on him!

   Finally, I want to thank Christi from Rogue Federal Credit Union for her continued support and taking the time to drop by at our Pizza Meeting. Without her dedication to the cause of adult literacy we might not even have an office.

   Bob Burger, Chairman


Library Notes

   Does your student need a little more reading practice than the Laubach workbooks provide? The library has many correlated readers available for each of the four reading levels. The readers contain one or more stories correlated to your student's current vocabulary and reading level. Any new words are given at the beginning of the book. Each story can be easily read within your normal lesson time, or assigned as homework reading for discussion at the next lesson.

   In future issues I will be discussing some of the other reading and studying opportunities that the library provides. Meanwhile, come and visit your Literacy Council library and see what we have to offer! I'm in the library each Monday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. - or you can come during one of our other office hours throughout the week. Remember - books may be checked out for one month. Please renew by phone if you wish to keep the book longer.

   Carol Didier, Librarian


Fall TELT Training

   Do you have friends and relatives who would be outstanding tutors? Encourage them to take the Training Effective Literacy Tutors sessions on October 22 and 23. The training will be held at Rogue Community College's Fir Street Learning Center, 30 S Fir, Medford. Call the Literacy office, 245-8699, for further details.


Attention All Tutors

   Nothing has changed a great deal over the years. In politics, education, taxes, immigration, population and TUTORING. All the above have had a slow steady increase in good and bad qualities. As an incurable optimist I have always believed the good are slowly outpacing the bad. As dedicated volunteers we are obligated to improve our record as successful tutors. We do make a difference.

   Once again as the "Volunteer Tutor Coordinator" I am asking for a telephone or email response of your willingness to attend tutor "in-service meetings". These can be held at the Literacy Council of Jackson County office or at a local restaurant.

   The last one in early summer was at McGrath's Restaurant. Although only three people were present it was most enjoyable and the food was excellent. Our discussion of tutor's problems was enlightening but not very long. More attendees would greatly increase the quality and quantity of items discussed.

   In an attempt to gain more attendees a regular bi-monthly luncheon is being proposed and will be announced in the TUTORS - our quarterly newsletter. This issue (Fall 2004) is scheduling a November Luncheon Meeting (Tutor in-service) at Roosters Restaurant, 350 E Barnett Rd, Medford on Saturday, 13 November at 12:30 pm. RSVP by calling E.B. Dellaquila at 541-482-3439 by November 1 or email him at litjack@medford.net.

   We will be looking forward to meeting the new tutors and the old timers.

   Ed Dellaquila, Tutor Representative


Sucker Needed

   The council's old vacuum cleaner has decided to retire. The board is looking for an active replacement. If you have a working vacuum cleaner around the house, which is looking for something to do, and you think it would make a good literacy volunteer, please call the office at 245-8699 or email at litjack@medford.net. If you cannot drop it off, a board member will arrange to pick it up.


More Student Milestones

   Maria Becraft successfully took her driver's test--in English. As a reward, Maria's tutor, Liz Koester, took her to lunch.

   Pat Lang met his spelling goal. Pat had been in the military all over the world from Korea to Germany after being a helicopter mechanic in Vietnam. More recently, out of the military, he was in Oklahoma when he saw information re a turf management program at our ''dom.''

   This is a one-year program that teaches how to do everything necessary to create and maintain a healthy golf course. Pat is originally from the Tampa, FL area. Upon completion of the course, he intends to live and work there...a great area for golf courses.

   To enter the program, Pat needed a little improvement on his spelling and math. He had a high school diploma. Pat and his tutor, Robert Clement, met once a week for several months. Pat was a good student, and he soon met course requirements.


It's a Test, Only a Test

   If your student has not taken the CASAS test, please contact the office. One of the designated testers will call to arrange an appointment. The first test a student takes helps establish the student's present skill level. In approximately 6 months a second test is administered and the results show how much growth has taken place.

   It is often difficult for the student to see any progress, and these tests are a great help in giving an objective "pat on the back" for all the hard work the student has done.

   A tester will either come to your tutoring site or your student can come to the office - by himself or you can bring him.

   Another reason for the testing is MONEY! The Council receives money from Rogue Community College for each student who is both preand post-tested. Since this is our major funding source, we need your help.

   Call 245-8699 and leave a message, or email the office at litjack@medford.net.


Preparing Students For Work - Part 2

   In the last issue of TUTORS, you were introduced to SCANS, the Secretary of Labor's Commission on Necessary Skills. The Commission was to discover what basic skills employers in all types of businesses wanted in their employees. Most of all, employers want to hire people who are dependable, trustworthy, and have enough education so they could be trained in the workplace to do the jobs required of them.

   Following is a recap of the foundation skills and basic competencies employers are looking for:

   The three foundation skills are:

  1. Basic Skills: reading, writing, math, active listening, oral communication and interpreting and organizing information and ideas.

  2. Thinking Skills: problem solving, thinking creatively, making decisions, knowing how to learn and reasoning.

  3. Personal Qualities: responsibility, selfesteem, sociability, self-management, integrity and honesty.

   The 5 competencies are:

  1. Resource Management: helping students be organized, plan the use of their time and money wisely, know how to find necessary materials and who to ask for help.

  2. Interpersonal Skills: helping students work with others.

  3. Information Management: teaching students how to gather and evaluate facts, interpret communication from others and, if possible, how to use a computer.

  4. Systems Management: helping students understand how different elements in society work, how to modify existing systems.

  5. Technology: being able to select the right tools for the job, solve problems when an item is not working properly.
   As literacy tutors, all of you are trained to help your students gain the first two foundation skills: the basic skills of reading, writing, math, active listening, oral communication and interpreting and organizing information and ideas; and the thinking skills, problem solving, thinking creatively, making decisions, knowing how to learn and reasoning.

   The third foundation skill is about the student's personal qualities. Your students are already reliable, responsible, honest citizens. But, how in a one-to-one setting do you help your student understand how important these qualities are in the workplace? If your student is having problems in this area here are some tips:

   Responsibility: Stress the importance of coming to class/work on time, discuss what would happen in the work place if the employee is consistently late, discuss valid reasons for being late or absent and how to notify you, or the employer, in an appropriate time and fashion. This can also be related to notifying the child's school if there is an absence. Self-esteem: Always be positive about your student's work. Allow the student to tell you about the positive things he did during the week. Discuss some negative actions of his or co-workers and how they could have been made positive. Encourage the student to talk about how he felt during the week toward his coworkers and supervisors. If he feels he is being ignored, put down or is unhappy, discuss how he can fix many of these situations by feeling good about himself.

   Sociability: This is hard with just the two of you. But do discuss the social activities you both did during the week. If your student has few friends and family around, help him find places to meet people. Maybe he is shy and doesn't know how to meet new friends. Help him learn some conversation openers, other than the weather, politics or religion. You might also help him decide who at work he would like to have a social relationship with and how, where and when would it be appropriate to approach those co-workers.

   Self-management: If your student never has time for homework, meeting friends, getting to work on time, etc., help him set up a daily schedule that he feels he can follow. For example, ask him how long it takes him to get ready for work, how long it takes to get from home to work, what time he needs to be at work, etc. and set a morning schedule. This would include time to get up and leave for work. The student should write the schedule down and daily check off each step of the schedule until it becomes routine. You might also try a chart for your tutoring sessions. Your chart might include such activities as: arrived on time, brought pencil, paper, books, did homework, and called if I was going to be absent or late. Decide on an appropriate award after the student has done each of these activities at least 80% of the time. Maybe lunch together, go out for a coke after the session, etc.

   Integrity and honesty: This again is difficult in a tutoring session. Present scenarios where integrity and honesty are key and then discuss how a person should behave in these situations. Have the student discuss times at work where he could have been dishonest, but wasn't and why. Also discuss times when he felt a coworker was dishonest and how that made him feel and how he thinks the co-worker should have behaved.


Board Members:

          Bob Burger    - Chair
          Carol Didier  - Library/Bookstore
          Ellie Scholz  - Secretary
          Fram Nichols  - Placement
          Callie Marek  - Records
          Rose Cossairt - Bookkeeper
          Ed Dellaquila - Tutor Coordinator


Abbreviations Dictionary

ABE Adult Basic Education: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as reading, writing and math to native speakers of English.

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder

CASAS Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System: A battery of tests that we use for tracking student progress.

ESL English as a Second Language: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and math to non-native speakers of English.

GED General Education Development test: test which gives students a diploma equivalent to a high school diploma.

LCJC: Literacy Council of Jackson County

LD: Learning Disabled

RCC: Rogue Community College

TELT Training Effective Literacy Tutors: The training program for new volunteers.

TOPS Tracking of Programs and Students: form used to collect student demographics and test results reported to RCC.


Helpful Websites

You can print out these exercises or student can do them on line

Self Study Quizzes

Variety of activities for the more advanced student

If you have internet access at your tutoring site this is a great address for more advanced student activities


Pizzaz: Creative writing lessons


ESL Curriculum, Beginning Level

Variety of activities: grammar, conversation topics, cultural awareness, games, etc.

Crossword Puzzles

Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom

Diversity Calendar: Holidays around the world

If you try one of the above sites let us know what you think of it, how you used it, did your student enjoy it, etc.


Fiscal Report:

July 2003 - June 2004

Tutor hours accrued 1764
Student hours accrued 1946
Prep hours accrued 623
Travel hours accrued 773
Misc. tutor hours 270
Administrative hours 935
Administrative travel hours 185


Board Meetings

October 21
November 18
No Meeting in December
January 21, 2005

All meetings - 10am to noon
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699

Next TELT Training is Oct. 22 & 23
RSVP the office by Oct. 18



Tailor Educational Plans Using Learning Type Assessments

   In 1983, Howard Gardner introduced his theory of multiple intelligences in a book, Frames of Mind. He theorizes that students have different ways of learning. Gardner, a professor at the Harvard School of Education, calls the different styles of learning "intelligences". Gardner classifies the different types of learning as: verbal, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, social/interpersonal and solitary/intrapersonal.

   By determining a student's primary style of learning it is possible, according to Gardner, to tailor an educational plan that plays to the student's strengths. This should make the learning process more enjoyable and successful.

   For more information and articles about the theory of multiple intelligences, check out: http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/mi/front_mi.htm.

   Here is a simple, interactive test to determine your (or your students') learning style: http://www.ldpride.net/learning_style.html.

   Find education strategies that take advantage of student' strengths: http://www.ldpride.net/learning_style_work.html.

   Explains the visual/audio/reading/kinesthetic (VARK) listing of learning styles. There is an easy, interactive test. Along with the results of each assessment come suggestions for maximizing educational strategies: http://www.varklearn.com/english/page.asp?p+questionnaire.

   A wealth of information about learning styles and how to use them in education: http://www.learning-styles-online.com/.

   This is a 70-question assessment test that presents its finding graphically: http://www.learning-styles-online.com/inventory/questions.asp.

   Taken from LitBits, a monthly newsletter of Oregon Literacy, Inc.


A sign seen on an automatic hand dryer:

Newsletter Editor - Liz Bestor