Virtual Tutoring Resources & Tips
Use the tools below in conjunction with all of the great learning resources already in the Tutor Center!
Tips for Virtual Tutoring
Communication Best Practices
- Confirm, Confirm, Confirm: Confirm your tutoring session the day before or the morning of, depending on the family’s preferences. Make sure you’re confirming with everyone involved in tutoring: the parent/guardian, the adult who will be on site with your student, and your student if they have a cell phone. To streamline communication, try creating a tutoring group text message.
- Know who the adult onsite will be: Due to unpredictable work schedules and other commitments, our student’s parent or guardian may not be the adult onsite all the time. That’s ok. Make sure you know who the adult on site is and what their cell phone number is.
- If your student doesn’t log on, reach out again and consider calling: With school, work, and socializing all taking place virtually at home, it has become incredibly easy to lose track of time. Help your student remember that it’s tutoring time by reaching out to them, the parent/guardian, or adult on site as appropriate. Your student will thank you for the reminder!
Use Check Ins to Guide Your Tutoring Session
- Before the session: Check in with yourself. What are you bringing to the space? If you’re frazzled, annoyed, or in a bad mood, it’s likely that your student will be able to pick up on it and may respond in kind. Here are a few breathing techniques you can use to recenter yourself before your session.
- At the start of the session: Check in with your student. How is your student feeling about the day, the week, school, and life in general? What emotions and thoughts are they bringing into the space? The same breathing techniques that you used to recenter yourself before the start of the session are great for students too!
- At the end of the session: Check in with your student. Did they enjoy the session? Are there things they would like to do differently next time? Students of all ages crave opportunities to make choices and show agency. Think about how you can incorporate some of their feedback into the next session and how you can give them opportunities for agency. This can be as simple as picking between two books or deciding whether to work on math or reading next. Lastly, thank them for showing up and working hard with you. Let them know how much you enjoyed seeing them and that you can’t wait for your next session.
Tools for Communicating
- BigBlueButton: This is CEP's preferred tutoring platform. Please reach out to Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your tutoring session in the virtual classroom.
- FaceTime: A free program for video and voice calls on Apple products.
- Google Hangouts: A free program for video and voice calls.
- Skype: A free program for video and voice calls.
- Zoom: Free basic plans with unlimited one to one meetings.
Tools for Virtual Tutoring
- Virtual Whiteboards: Free online whiteboards tools.
- Google Docs: Collaborate with your students in real time.
Videos and Podcasts for Youth
Looking for something fun and educational to do with your students between or during tutoring sessions? Educational videos and podcasts are a great way to engage your students while tutoring online. Below is a list of many different sites for videos and podcasts that students can listen to or watch between or during sessions and you can discus them during sessions.
- Videos and Podcasts for all ages
- How pixar artists do their jobs
- Kids National Geographic: Educational videos on a wide range of topics.
- PBS Learning Media: Videos on a variety of subjects. Can browse videos based on the grade of the student.
- Schooltube.com: Interesting videos on a variety of topics. Includes a section on Guinness World Records!
- Squirrel-proof bird feeder: Cute, entertaining video that teaches the power of creativity.
- But Why: Podcast of expert, clear and interesting answers to kid-submitted questions.
- KidNuz: Daily 5 minute podcasts of kid-friendly news.
- Smash Boom Best: Debate podcast where a kid judge listens to and scores the rousing, fact-based arguments of two contestants. Fun and entertaining while teaching listeners how to defend their arguments.
- The Past & The Curious: Amusing podcast of people telling interesting, little-known stories from history.
- Videos and Podcasts for Elementary School students
- Videos and Podcasts for Middle School & Up Students
- Crash Course: Very useful and engaging video explanations of countless different topics.
- Critical Media Project: Relevant media clips that get students examining identity and culture. A great way to get a conversation about identity and culture started with students.
- TED Talks: Influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity.
- Book Club for Kids: A biweekly podcast where middle schoolers talk about their favorite books.
- The Two Princes: Podcast of fairytale adventures of two princes.
- This American Life: Weekly podcast that combines personal stories, journalism, and stand-up comedy around a theme. Many contain mature topics and cursing.
Online Lessons and Educational Games
- Activities to Do with Kids: Four pages of activities that you can do with students of any age.
- DIY Activities for Kids: Fun and educational hands on activities for kids.
- Education.com: Lesson plans, worksheets, and more for Pre-K through 5th grade.
- Scholastic Learn at Home: Day by day projects for students Pre-K through 6+.
- SmartTutor: Free online Literacy and Math lessons plus educational games.
- 5 Free Online Learning Tools: Provided free by the Sacramento Public Library.
- 75+ Free Virtual Learning Tools: A mixture of self-guided, group, and one-on-one teaching resources for grades Pre-K through 12th grade.
eBooks, Audiobooks, & Virtual Story Times
- Audible.com: Audible is offering all of the children's books for free.
- Dial a Story: The Kansas City Library offers online and phone stories.
- Enki: Offering free ebooks for all ages, no library card required.
- Kanopy.com: Virtual stories and movies for kids.
- Oakland Public Library: A YouTube playlist of songs and stories presented by Oakland librarians.
- OverDrive: Access your local library's collection of ebooks and audiobooks. Don't have a library card? That's ok, many libraries will let you sign up for a virtual card with just a phone number. Check out your local library's website for more information.
- Virtual Story Time: Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
- Virtual Story Time: Children's books read by actors.