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Become a Certified AVKO Tutor

Whether you want to just tutor your own children or help students in your school system, the AVKO tutor training will be a benefit to you.  With the self-taught and self-paced program outlined below, you can learn the basics about using AVKO's materials and methods, how to incorporate the AVKO philosophy into your teaching, and how best to teach the language arts -- especially to those who have learning disabilities or who have struggled in the past. 

The first step in becoming an AVKO tutor is to become an AVKO member.  This will give you access to all of the materials you will need for the training, as well as a discount on any other AVKO materials you may need. 

The AVKO Tutor Training lessons are broken down into somewhat arbitrary units.  Go at the pace that suits your lifestyle and your overarching goals.  However, it is not recommended that you complete these lessons at a breakneck pace.

Intro | Unit 1 | Unit 2 | Unit 3 | Unit 4 | Unit 5 | Unit 6 | Unit 7

Introduction

The Textbook

The textbook The Teaching of Reading and Spelling: A Continuum from Kindergarten through College will be our main reference throughout this series.  This book is one of the many books available for free as an e-book with AVKO membership

If you have not done so already, please log in to the members' area and download the e-book (PDF file).  You may wish to print it out in its entirety or just the Table of Contents to help guide you. 

Acclimation to the AVKO Website

By now, I'm sure you've visited the AVKO website at least a few times.  But, there are a few sections you should be aware of and familiar with. 

Spend some time surfing the AVKO website.  Read what interests you and start thinking about what you want to know more about.  Pay particular attention to these sections:

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Unit 1

Assignments

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Unit 2

The Mechanics of English Spelling

For this unit, we are going to dig deeper into the mechanics of English spelling.   We will look at some of the eccentricities of the language, reasons why it is so difficult for people to learn (especially dyslexics!), and some of the common hang-ups. 

We'll start this unit with Don McCabe's workshop on the mechanics of English spelling. 

Before you listen to the workshop, turn to the pages in The Teaching of Reading that go over the 5 types of English spelling (p. 182)

Pull out a pad of paper and take notes for your own reference. 

OK, you're ready to listen to the workshop!  Go to the workshop recordings page and download the Mechanics of English Spelling Mp3.  You may wish to burn this to an audio CD so that you can listen to it in your car, do chores, etc. 

Review: Sequential Spelling

If you're not already familiar with Sequential Spelling, learn more about it.  Watch the video on Sequential Spelling if you haven't done so already.  Familiarize yourself with the different materials that AVKO has for spelling and how they differ in customizability, parent/teacher involvement, speed, etc.

Assignments

  1. How AVKO's approach to teaching spelling differs from traditional methods (p.107, 234)
  2. What Does a Gallup Poll on Spelling Reveal? (p. 149)
  3. Patterns not systematically taught are harder to learn
  4. The phonic patterns that are seldom systematically taught
  5. The three different words spelled h-a-v-e (pp. 261-2)
  6. The Three "Tooze" (pp. 263-4)
  7. The Case of the Invisible Y (pp. 355-359)
  8. The Tricky Words (pp. 216-219)
    See also: The Tricky Words
  9. The Scrunched Up Words (pp. 229-233)
    See also: Speech to Spelling
  10. Faux compound words--"notice" is not "not ice" (p. 361-363)
  11. The Holder of the Folder technique (p. 360)
Homework
  • Be sure that you've read everything that was assigned in today's lesson.  Formulate and ASK any questions that you may have at this point. 
  • Read pp. 47-51, 91-99 in "The Teaching of Reading..."  Look at the flash cards made for the Dolch words (pp. 52-90) 
  • Read "The Mechanics of English Spelling" (pp. 131-146)

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Unit 3

For this week's lesson, we will finish up our work with phonics and move on to the learning to read process and handwriting.   

Phonics - The Most Misunderstood Approach to Teaching Reading

We'll start out today's work with Don McCabe's workshop on phonics.  Pull out a pad of paper and take notes for your own reference. 

Go to the workshop recordings page on the AVKO.org website and download the "Phonics..." Mp3.  You may wish to burn this to an audio CD so that you can listen to it in your car, do chores, etc. 

Introduction

Assignments

  1. A Common Sense Approach to the Teaching of Handwriting (pp. 100-105)
  2. A Rationale for Teaching Reading/Spelling through the Side Door of Handwriting (p. 106)
  3. Developing a School-wide Approach to the Teaching of Spelling through Handwriting (p. 108)
  4. Techniques for Teaching Handwriting (p. 109)
  5. The SQ3R Reading Formula (pp. 265-6)
  6. Building a Better Vocabulary (pp. 278-9)
  7. SITDOWN Method (pp. 280-1)
  8. Using Readings for Comprehension

Homework

  • Be sure that you've read everything that was assigned in this unit.  Formulate and ASK any questions that you may have at this point. 
  • Listen to the workshop "I Think My Child Might Be Dyslexic -- Does it Matter?"
  • Look over the suggested order for presenting spelling patterns to be used in handwriting exercises (starts on p. 110)
  • Look over the diagnostic and prescriptive tests of The Teaching of Reading (pp. 150-233)

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Unit 4

For this unit, we are transitioning to some more practical applications of these methodologies and philosophies.  Learn how you can use the materials free with membership, how to set up a community education course for adult literacy, and how to work with your homeschooled/tutored students -- even if they are special education. 

You Don't Need a Master's Degree to Teach Your Kids -- Just a Degree of Caring

We'll start out today's work with Don McCabe's workshop on homeschooling/tutoring.  Pull out a pad of paper and take notes for your own reference.  Go to the workshop recordings page on the AVKO.org website and download the "You Don't Need a Master's..." Mp3.  You may wish to burn this to an audio CD so that you can listen to it in your car, do chores, etc. 

Introduction

Assignment

  • Read pp. 235-260 in The Teaching of Reading
  • Read pp. 267-277 in The Teaching of Reading
  • Read pp. 282-288 in The Teaching of Reading

Homework

  • Be sure that you've read everything that was assigned in today's lesson.  Formulate and ASK any questions that you may have at this point. 
  • Read about how you can use each of the materials that come for free as a download with AVKO membership.  Click on each of the 5 books on the membership information page for this information.
  • Download and listen to the AVKO workshop entitled "Create Your Own Spelling Program That Really Works"

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Unit 5

You are nearing the end of your journey of becoming an AVKO Tutor.  This is your last e-mail of the regularly scheduled tutor training series!  Did you do your homework from last time?   Great!

If you've done all of your homework up to this point, you have mastered the finer points of AVKO's philosophy.   We will go over how to put the AVKO materials together, create a curriculum to meet your needs, and answer any remaining questions you have.

To Teach a Dyslexic

Don McCabe's autobiography To Teach a Dyslexic has a wealth of information not only about his life, but also about how he formulated the philosophies for teaching dyslexics, those trying to learn how to read and spell, and others failed by the public school system.  This book is available for free with your membership as an e-book.  Read the sections that are of most interest to you. 

Review The Teaching of Reading

At this point, we have covered almost every page in The Teaching of Reading.  You may wish to review some of the sections at this point.  Look at the Table of Contents and make sure you read everything of interest to you.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with the diagnostic and prescriptive tests in the book for future use with your students. 

Using the AVKO Materials: Curriculum Planning

Homework

  • Be sure that you've read everything that was assigned in today's lesson.  Formulate and ASK any questions that you may have at this point. 
  • Review any sections of the training that you are still unsure about or still have lingering questions about. 
  • Read about how you can use each of the materials that come for free as a download with AVKO membership.  Click on each of the 5 books on the membership information page for this information.
  • Download and listen to the AVKO workshop entitled "Create Your Own Spelling Program That Really Works"
  • Be sure to join us on the social networking sites (see below) to connect with others and get the latest updates from AVKO. 

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Unit 6 - Application to Your Environment

You have been, undoubtedly, thinking about how these philosophies and methods fit (or don't fit) with your current system -- your curriculum, instruction methods, paradigm, philosophy, budget, etc.  Now it's the time to spend some more time thinking in depth about how you can supplement (or supplant) your current system with the AVKO methods.  Which methods/philosophies are the most synergistic with your current system?  The most antithetical?  What do these discrepancies mean for your day-to-day instruction?  What changes will need to be made? 

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more in-depth help. 

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Unit 7 - Application to Specific Students

Now it's time to think about how your training will apply to specific, individual students.  Which techniques will work best for Johnny?  Which materials will work best for him?  What are his strengths and weaknesses?  How many "players" are there in his education:  Homeschooling parent(s), classroom teacher, weekly tutoring, daily tutoring, peer tutors, other family members, resource room, other?  How can the team work together to provide him with the help he needs? 

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more in-depth help. 

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