Teach, Understand, Try, Okay, Response

T.U.T.O.R. Maximum Classroom Engagement
What would be the most insightful question for a teacher credential candidate? I would ask, “Which method does research show is the most effective form of instruction and how would you apply that to your classroom?” The true answer lies in comprehending how students UNDERSTAND and learn! – Michael Martinez Scott, Ph. D.

Students gain knowledge best by one-to-one tutoring. For the past ten years, my passion has been scientifically researching approaches for the classroom. Each one of my students is a diamond cut for brilliance and potential – polished in my learning method called TUTOR. It answers Dr. Bloom’s challenge, “In spite of the difficulties, our graduate students found the problem to be very intriguing because the goal was so clear and specific – find methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring.” His research, The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring, states that tutored students were two (2) standard deviations (98%) above those in the classroom (50%). Tutoring is focused and active interaction where there is full access to nonverbal cues, questions, discussion, and correction.


T.U.T.O.R. = Maximum Classroom Engagement


For the past decade, my career has been in the inner city of San Bernardino. TUTOR resulted in exciting improvement, heightening students’ self-confidence and goals for their own futures:

In 2007, 60% of my 6th grade class increased quintiles in language on the California state test (CST).
In 2008, 70% of my 4, 5, and 6th combination class increased quintiles in language on the CST.
In 2009, 100% of my 1st grade Dual Immersion math class scored proficient or advance on district math assessments.
Last year in 2011, 52% of my 4th grade class tested proficient or advanced in language on the CST.  At the beginning of the year, only 22% reached this goal after 4 years of class-size reduction.
95% of students reached proficient or near proficient – 200% higher than the remaining teachers in the same grade at the school.

Imagine, instead of one teacher, there are 30 personal tutors instructing!

TUTOR Learning Method is a whole class process of continual interaction between students engaged the in their own learning. TUTOR, an acrostic, stands for Teach, Understand, Try, Okay, and Response. The component “Teach” utilizes Bloom’s higher levels of taxonomy so the phase “Understand” will encourage paired, student discussion. Working separately or together, they “Try” and synthesize an answer, then “Okay” as they evaluate one another’s work. By the time the teacher asks for a “Response,” the student has heard the teacher, talked with a fellow student, borrowed their understanding if they still haven’t learned it, tried to solve it, and had a chance to correct their insights. They now have more opportunities to comprehend before they would be questioned. You can see my class participating in a math lesson posted on You Tube at “TUTOR Learning Method.”

The You Tube video shows Mr. Scott walking in an inner circle throughout his classroom. Side-by-side teaching and proximity encourages better understanding and more classroom control. Standing in front by the whiteboard is passé.

One teacher commented, “You have this down to a science!” The TUTOR science of engaging students influences the following:

In probing why my college son felt one professor was “the best” he explained he couldn’t fall asleep because she didn’t lecture. “She pairs us up and we discuss different aspects of the project and groups share their work at the end. I am involved and talking and don’t think about sleeping!” Every teacher can realize that each person in class needs to be challenged and prepared with an answer. No one should leave class without discussing and being involved.

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