MOAT! Basics

We use this framework because we've found that it helps tutors to understand the teaching process better, and it helps them self-analyze problems they might have when helping learners. The framework also provides categories for professional educators to use when mentoring or coaching tutors.

1) Motivate: Get the learner moving.

2) Offer: Give hints, tips, demonstrations, and detailed explanations.

3) Ask: Probe with questions and wait.

4) Thank: Recognize effort and celebrate achievement.

Use MOAT! tips to get new tutors ready for successful Knowledge-Building with peers.

For discussion and practice:

Motivate: Get the learner moving: After greeting the learner, ask him or her to do something related to the work. "What will we work on today?" "When we're finished today, what do you want to be able to do that's new to you?" "Spell or read the word your way." "Write or say the number you think it is." Can your new tutors think of other ways they can get a learner focused? How about when the learner needs to re-focus their effort in the middle of a tutoring session?

Offer hints, tips, demonstrations, and explanations: Learners often need hints or even games to pull them into thinking about the content. We've found (and research shows) that experienced tutors often create effective hints, explanations, and games on their own. New tutors can benefit from these, as well, if experienced tutors share what they've learned about tutoring. You, the professional educator, can model the hints, demonstrations, and explanations you find helpful and that new tutors can understand.

Ask questions and wait silently for answers: Ask a question. Wait up to four seconds for a response before following up. Have a follow-up question ready. "What other word looks like this one?" "How did you get that number?" "Can you tell me the idea in your own words?" Students will need to practice the four-second wait time, just to see what it feels like.

Thank learners for their efforts and celebrate their achievements: Acknowledge each of the learner's attempts in some way, and celebrate each successful attempt. Find at least five or more ways to celebrate successes, and use all of them. New tutors can share compliments that mean the most to them. However, their learners are different people and will likely not react to compliments the same ways. New tutors need a "tool-kit" of good, sincere compliments.

The exclamation point "!" accounts for individual differences in tutoring styles--creativity, personality, humor, empathy, professionalism. Each tutor will put MOAT together in their own way.

Tutoring with MOAT! might seem contrived at first. But new tutors need somewhere to start. The more that students do knowledge-building, the more variety will enter their repertoire of teaching actions. If new tutors have a peer teaching structure, they can overcome what might be frustrating to them as they tutor.

Using the MOAT! framework, they also have a way to analyze past tutoring events when they make entries in their Personal Teaching Logs. Knowledge-building during tutoring will transfer easily to group teaching when they get to that point.

When the beginners understand the MOAT! framework, encourage them to help each other learn and get going on Level 1 of the Knowledge-Builders pathway. Contact us for details.

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