As all of our Symbols parents know, registration for the summer term is now open. While this registration is extremely flexible, (lessons do not have to be booked twice a week as during the school term), as much as possible, we want to keep learning and the retention of information up. This is where SWP’s come in. A SWP is a specialized work package, and it is a valuable tool for learning away from Symbols while still using our methods. They are great for when students are away for weeks in the summer, and are unable to physically attend lessons. Since our tutors are the ones who make these packages, we asked one of our tutors to explain how she decides what to put in these packages, and some examples of materials that go into them.
She started off by explaining, “Typically, I make sure that the SWP is customized to the student in question. On the most basic level, I try to consider little things like their hobbies, favourite colours, favourite animals, and so on to ensure that there’s some kind of personalized touch to every package. It could just be me, but I feel like it makes the packages feel a little more special to each child!” By doing this, she ensures that the student will see something they have mentioned that they like within the package, and thus be more likely to look it over, instead of thinking it as “homework”, and not wanting to complete it.
When making a SWP, it may have a similar structure to how a lesson would be carried out, where the student will have the following made up for them: a blending drill, a reading list, comprehension sheets, a journal/story prompt page, and so on.
Our tutor goes on to explain “I will always have a sheet in there to review the last concept that we learned together, but I also look through the students’ spelling pages and the work we’ve done to determine if there are other things (i.e. rules, certain suffixes, etc) that need to be reviewed. I always strive to set my student up for success though; because they may be doing these packages with little support, it is important to me that I make sure that what I give them is to their level and that they can feel a sense of accomplishment at completing it! The last thing I want is to cause them any sort of frustration or to make them feel as if they have failed, especially since the development of their sense of self-confidence is just as (if not, in some aspects, even more) important than simply improving one’s reading and writing!”
This is very important for our Symbols’ parents to know. Our tutors want their students to succeed- not just at lessons, or in school, or on their work packages, but in life! Caring about their confidence and making sure that the package is made to their level so that they can gain a sense of accomplishment is important to have in the people making up their work packages.
She goes on to say, “Additionally, I love making sure that the pages are colourful and bright! To make things fun, I also make sure to include some games. For instance, if I want to review the 2 Vowel Reading Rule with a student, I may make a set of cards with 2VRR words for them to play go-fish or a matching game at home (this is one of my favourite things to do in place of simple reading lists since it’s more fun and it can be done alone or with someone else)! I’ve also created board games to reinforce certain rules, and worksheets where I’ve asked students to stand up and engage in their tactile and kinesthetic pathways by tracing on surfaces, doing certain actions, and so on. Ultimately, my goal when I create a SWP is to in some ways emulate what a lesson at Symbols may be, but also make sure that I create something that is engaging and will promote a sense of achievement within this student.”
Consider ordering a SWP for your child to work on whenever they are unable to attend Symbols over the summer!