Tips for Effective Tutoring

To help all students succeed in reading requires a multipronged approach with relentless use of multiple strategies and oft-repeated activities. In Success for All, tutoring is essential—a critical tool used to ensure that all students are successful in learning to read. Success for All uses the following steps to ensure that struggling readers get effective tutoring:

  • Students should be identified for tutoring before they have fallen significantly behind. Early intervention is key. First graders who are having trouble keeping up with the rate of class instruction should be provided with tutoring in the first quarter of first grade.
  • Daily tutoring is necessary to provide the practice that students need to progress.
  • Tutoring is most effective when it is linked directly to the school’s reading program. The objectives addressed in tutoring should specifically support the objectives addressed in class.
  • In high-poverty schools, the target should be to provide daily tutoring to 30 percent of first graders, 20 percent of second graders, and 10 percent of third graders.
  • Different levels of tutoring should be provided. Success for All offers a research-proven computer-assisted tutoring model that supports pairs of students, allowing one teacher to work with up to eight students at a time. Students who do not show sufficient progress in the small-group setting should be provided with one-to-one tutoring.
  • Tutors must communicate with their students’ reading teachers to find out how students are performing in class and to adapt their tutoring plans accordingly.
  • Before tutoring begins, an initial tutoring assessment should be given to identify student needs and strengths.
  • Based on the assessment results, the subsequent tutoring plan should identify student strengths and needs, include the tutor’s instructional strategies and learning objectives, and track student achievement.


"School Improvement 101" is a series of practical tips and lessons from the nation’s leader in whole-school reform for education leaders just like you. We hope you will find this resource useful as you chart a course for success in your school or district.