Tutoring Tips: Primary Tutoring Simplified

Planning to tutor over the summer?  Here are tips for quick and easy planning!

Hi there!  It's Sarah!  I've been tutoring kiddos for the last year and have developed a routine that makes my planning easy and my session flow smoothly.  All of the kiddos I tutor are grades K-2 and in need of a boost in their reading skills...fluency, comprehension, and phonics.

I like to start with some reading that is simple or familiar.  I'll either have the kiddo re-read a text from the previous session or read fluency sentences.

I have my kiddos keep a composition notebook with past passages to go back and re-read.
I use lots of guided reader books to find the just right text for my kiddos to read.  These are also great books to leave for kiddos to practice between sessions. 

Fluency sentence strips from The Moffatt Girls are a GREAT help to boost fluency and confidence!  They are also super easy to leave for practice between sessions.  

Fluency Reading Practice
My kiddos have all had good sight word recognition and really need fluency work.  I switch between leveled readers and text passages.  I usually have kiddos read the text themselves first.  After reading, we go back through the text and find words that were tricky and read them.  Next, I have the kiddo read through the text with me or by themselves if they are confident.  

Using a leveled reader

 Using fluency passages and recording words read per minute (the kiddos love to see their growth!)  Find these fluency passages HERE!

 Using text evidence passages.  Grab these passages HERE!

After some fluency practice with the selected text, I move into comprehension work.  In our district, kiddos need to do a written response comprehension question as part of their reading assessment.  I have my kiddos practice a written response question with every text and in every session.

Comprehension with level reader

I use these question stems to develop questions based on the text.  Grab the question stems HERE!

Completed written response, kiddos write in their composition journal

Comprehension with text evidence passages.  Grab these passages HERE!

Here I use a reading passage with several comprehension tasks for a 2nd grade kiddo. Find these reading passage + comprehension packets HERE!

After the reading and comprehension tasks are complete, I work on some phonics task with my kiddos.  One of my favorite tasks is doing a word family word splash.  I select a word from our text.  I like how this tasks shows kiddos that if they can spell a work like bat, they can also spell cat, mat, sat, etc. 

 Writing short sentences with words from the Word Family Splash

Word building and sounding out


I like to use phonics poems as an additional fluency tool.  The kiddos glue them into their composition notebook so they can go back and re-read between sessions, continuing to build fluency with familiar texts.  These phonics poems are from Susan Jones.
 I use our Literacy Bags in between reading tasks.  Literacy Bags break up the rigorous reading and fluency practice we do for much of the session.  You can find Literacy Bags HERE!

I'm working with a few Kindergartners who need sight word practice.  I use the K version of our Differentiated Reading Fluency passages.  In K, the passages start as reading letters, then sight words fluently.  It perfect support for my K kiddos!  You can grab these HERE!
 Additionally, our Print a Standard packs have been a great support for targeting specific skills students need to work on.  Each pack contains tasks for one standard and has several activities for that standard, so there are a lot of opportunities to help the student learn, practice, and master standards based skills.  You can grab Print a Standard packs for ELA AND MATH HERE!

Connecting with students and parents on a more personal level is the best part of tutoring.  I love giving kiddos instant feedback and celebrating their successes!  I also love that I can give them more choices to foster a love of reading.  In the picture above, I'm showing several text selections.  The kiddos I'm working with is able to choose the book he'll read with me for the session.

I also love being able to help parents foster learning at home.  I've found most all of my parents did not really know about their kiddo's reading level or reading abilities.  This makes it difficult for parents to find the best "just right" books for reading at home.  After I work with a kiddo, I leave the text piece we worked on for that session (a passage or a book) so the kiddo can re-read it with parents.  I leave their composition notebooks with phonics poems for the kiddos to go back a re-read.  I also leave the fluency sentence strips for practice between sessions.