As schools begin to feel comfortable in the continuation of their routines and with students returning to in-person instruction more regularly, tutoring has become a necessity for many students that suffered during the pandemic. As the full scope of the effects that Covid had on academics is moving to the forefront of the national conversation on students returning to school, many districts have begun to utilize “high-dosage tutoring”. Compelling research by the University of Virginia advises that high-dosage tutoring should be held multiple times per week, with groups of four or fewer students, and during the school day in order to be as effective as possible.
That last point may seem counterintuitive, but mixing more intensive tutoring sessions in with a student’s standard class schedule can help them stay focused and retain more information. Plus, there are plenty of effective learning spaces available during school hours. Here are our top five picks for places that provide the best support to tutors and their students.
Nobody likes being stuck inside on a beautiful summer day, so why not take extra lessons outside? Outdoor classrooms come in at number five on our list because while they are vulnerable to poor weather and noise, they are also a versatile alternative space that can prevent bored students by using engaging scenery. Some schools have outdoor classroom spaces, and adapting open school yards to accommodate learning is easy. Attractive table and chair sets make the most of outdoor spaces and can be used not only for tutoring sessions, but for other activities like lunch or after school care programs. Outdoor desks and mobile whiteboards offer a more traditional classroom layout while giving students plenty of fresh air.
Even though most students have returned to in-person instruction, it’s clear that distance learning is here to stay in some capacity. If students in need of tutoring must work from home, it’s important that they have a space where they can focus. Home offices and dens are typically quieter than other rooms and make it easy for students to hear and speak clearly through durable headsets. The small change of pace can also help children get re-focused before each study session. Parents and tutors can make students feel even more comfortable by letting them use their favorite wobble stool or mobile school chair, which can then be easily moved out of the way once they’re done.
Getting students engaged in their education can be challenging, but sometimes taking a relaxed approach can lead to great results. School lounge areas and common spaces are often filled with soft seating and calming rugs that make it easy to set up one-on-one tutoring sessions in a comforting atmosphere. Collaborative whiteboard top tables let tutors and students write out examples on the fly and practice new concepts without wasting paper. Another reason school lounge areas are in our top three best spaces for high-dosage tutoring is because they’re centrally located, so going to the library to find a new book or heading to their next class is quick and convenient for students.
Classrooms are the second most ideal place for intense tutoring sessions with small groups thanks to students’ familiarity with the space and the accessibility of educational tools. Tutors can use mobile teacher carts to take their supplies from classroom to classroom, so they can work with a variety of students throughout the day or take their lessons to a new room in case of a schedule change. Mobile sit-to-stand desks are perfect for extra lessons as they feature a convenient backpack holder, can accommodate most students, and can be shared and moved when not in use. Indoor classrooms are the simplest tutoring solution, especially for students that prefer to stick to the routines of standard school days.
Our number one place for high-dosage tutoring may come as no surprise, since it’s been a favorite study spot for generations: the library. Modern libraries have everything students and educators need to succeed from books and computers to study rooms complete with large tables and wide dry erase boards. Modular desks and lounge seating offer plenty of opportunities to start a lesson in a comfortable place, regardless of the students’ preferences. School libraries are open before, during, and after class, making it easy to plan tutoring sessions around everyone's schedule. The fact that the library is filled with studying students in a quiet, calm atmosphere also helps reduce stress and prevent any embarrassment struggling students may feel, allowing for increased focus on the task at hand.
Every student is a bit different and may prefer any one of these spaces for their extra lessons, but these spaces are particularly effective at supporting the efforts of educators. As schools continue to help students recover from the pandemic, supporting high-dosage tutoring will help elevate their students towards a brighter future.
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Carly D. Robinson, Matthew A. Kraft, & Susanna Loeb. Accelerating Student Learning with High-Dosage Tutoring. Annenberg Institute at Brown University, Feb. 2021, https://annenberg.brown.edu/sites/default/files/EdResearch_for_Recovery_Design_Principles_1.pdf.