BookNook FAQs for tutoring
Oct. 23, 2020
Overall Support Concerns Process:
Professional Tutors: Please share any concerns by submitting a ticket via VIPKid’s Teacher Management System.
Volunteer Tutors: Please share any concerns by emailing tutoring@BookNookLearning.com. We will respond within 72 business hours.
Families: Please share any concerns by emailing tutoring@BookNookLearning.com. We will respond within 72 business hours.
- What do I do if my student was/is late or didn’t show up for their scheduled session?
- Thanks for letting BookNook know. Students do not have full control of their schedules which may cause them to be late or not able to attend their scheduled tutoring session from time to time. Please show them grace and understanding and assume best intent. We are all doing the best we can in these extraordinary times of distance learning and meeting the enormous challenge of COVID-19. Students showing up late or not at all will not affect your evaluation, job or pay. We appreciate your dedication to the students of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland! You do not need to email us for each missed attendance. The BookNook app keeps track for us.
- For the Prince George’s County Public Schools Volunteer Tutoring Program, we try to keep volunteers and students together for tutoring from November-April so you can build a trusting relationship and get to know students. We schedule tutoring sessions as a group of tutors and students so that we can reassign volunteers and students in case of an absence. If your student doesn’t show up, we will assign you to another student. You do not need to email us if your student is absent. We are able to track attendance through Zoom and BookNook. We appreciate your dedication to the students of Prince George’s County Public Schools!
- My student’s internet is not working.
- Your school may have a program to provide hotspots to families that don’t have access to broadband. Please encourage students and their families to contact your district or internet provider directly. Families should email their school districts to request a hotspot with the understanding that they will need to pick up the hotspot from the school. If emailing, they should include the child’s name, student ID, and school in the email.
- What do I do if I have a student with a behavior problem?
- Thanks for sharing your concern. We encourage you to show grace and understanding to all students. These are extraordinary times for many families. Tutoring is after a full day of school. Students may be distracted by a sibling or someone else around them. It is okay to read the book to them and focus on building your relationship. We appreciate your support and encouragement of all students and their families that want to participate in BookNook tutoring.
- Students in my group were not actually at the same level. What do I do?
- When we have more than one student in a session, the level of the assignment is based on the student with the lowest level. We do our best to match students in your tutoring session on the same level. We also plan to readjust groups after the first eight weeks to address if some students move ahead of others in your group.
- My student says they are having trouble logging into BookNook.
A: We suggest you ask students to share their screen through Zoom so you can see what might be going on. Make sure you have their correct name to select for the tutoring session. We recommend trying to have students log out and log back into BookNook via their Clever app. You could also have them go directly to the app at www.https://www.booknooklearning.com/ and type in their user name which is their first.last name. If that doesn’t work, please submit a ticket through VIPKid.
- Please notify the BookNook staff working the tutoring session to help troubleshoot with the student.
- What do I do if I am not available for a tutoring session?
- Please email your VIPKid contact at least 48 hours in advance when you will need to miss a tutoring session. VIPKid has asked that you miss no more than 4 sessions in your 8 week contract.
- You don’t need to email us if you are not able to attend. The way we’ve designed the volunteer tutoring is that we are doing tutoring in cohorts of volunteers and students to ensure that students always have a tutor. We hope you can make attending your tutoring session a priority, but we understand that things come up.
- How do I manage transitions from session to session?
- VIPKid and BookNook ask that you teach for a minimum of 25 minutes. This will leave you a 4-minute break and time to sign in a minute before your next session. After you complete your last session, you click “end session” or sign out. This allows you to pick new students to start a new tutoring session.
- What do I need to wear?
- Please look professional, be comfortable, and kid-friendly. There is no required clothing or colors.
- What should students call me?
- It is up to you. Some of our staff like to be called: Mr. or Ms. “First Name”.
- Can I write on the screen with this platform?
- BookNook doesn’t currently have the capability to write on the screen, but Zoom does. When you are a host of Zoom, you can share your screen and use the annotate feature to circle a word, for instance. Here is a link to Zoom’s support to learn more about that feature.
- Can I use props?
- You can use props, but it is not necessary. Some tutors have incorporated whiteboards and puppets.
- How can I preview a lesson?
- You can review all of the 900 plus lessons in BookNook in the lesson tab and then pick that lesson during a session. Lessons are organized by Fountas and Pinnell level and common core standard. You were assigned students because they are on the same level. However, BookNook will automatically suggest a lesson based on the level of the students in your tutoring session. On your BookNook pages, there is also typically a blue box in the upper right-hand corner: “Preview Activity”. It allows you to work alongside the student as if you are the student, but does not allow you to see what the student is doing. Here is a link to this from BookNook’s support page.
- Will students see me?
- Yes. Students will be able to see you and each other on the Zoom conference and meeting platform. This is the approved meeting platform of Prince George’s County Public Schools.
- Will students know each other?
- Students may not know each other. Prince George’s County Public Schools invited all of their K-2 students to participate in this literacy tutoring program and could come from over 130 different schools. Students are grouped together by their grade and reading level based on their last reading assessment and their school when possible.
- Is there live tech support?
- You should log a ticket with VIPKid’s management system. Most issues can be fixed by logging out and back into both BookNook’s app and/or Zoom.
- Your tutoring session is managed by a BookNook employee. They can help you and your students if you or they are having technical difficulties. You can pop out of your Breakout or send them a direct message in the Zoom chat during your session. If you have other technical concerns, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will respond within 72 hours.
- How do I start a new lesson after I finish the first lesson?
- You need to have your students log in to BookNook again and BookNook will suggest another lesson. A tutor just needs to “start a session”. You will all still be together in Zoom and can make sure students log back in.
- What if I don’t finish the lesson before the time is up?
- No problem! The system will indicate that the lesson was not yet completed. You can pick up right where you left off when you tutor your students again. If you remember the name of the lesson, another alternative is to choose that lesson when you start your next session.
- How do I know how long a lesson is going to be?
- Most lessons take between 13-20 minutes. BookNook does not indicate the amount of time a lesson takes because there are a lot of factors that can vary the time of the lesson—i.e. the size of the group if the adult is reading vs. the student, etc. Generally, phonics lessons are the shortest. Lessons are longer if they include longer books. You can see how many pages a book has in the lessons before you start. You will also see a progress bar. With the progress bar, you can monitor if you are running out of time and might want to read instead of the child to finish the lesson within the tutoring time.
- How do I know what students are getting wrong?
- You can see students' progress through dots under their names. If they get a green dot, they got the answer right. If they get a red dot, they got the answer wrong. Students are told which of their answers are wrong and can click to get the right answer. You can click “preview activity” to see what they are doing and talk through the correct answers. Another option is to ask students to share their screen so you can see their specific page.
- How are students regrouped?
- Students must complete at least four standards before they are suggested to move up a level from the A-Z Fountas and Pinnell leveling system. The current plan is to look at new levels of students in mid-January and potentially make changes to some tutoring groups to continue to ensure that students are grouped together in a tutoring session are on the same level.
- How long do I wait for students before launching a tutoring session?
- We suggest you wait for five minutes for all students to arrive. Students will be engaged with a game on BookNook or you can check in with students about how their day is going. If a student joins after five minutes, their BookNook account will take them to the point of the lesson where students already are. They won’t be able to go back and catch up and they might not “complete” that lesson. This is ok. They do not need to make up that specific lesson. There are multiple lessons for each level and standard.
- What do we do with the notes section?
- Tutors are prompted with a notes section at the end of every lesson. The notes section is just for you to make notes about how students are doing. No one will be reading these but you. You will not be able to go back to fill in later after you’ve completed the lesson. BookNook recommends you type some brief notes quickly before moving to the next lesson or the next tutoring session. There is no feedback loop from tutors to parents. BookNook will be sending periodic data updates about student growth to parents on your behalf.
- How will I be evaluated?
- BookNook will be measuring the number of sessions and completed lessons. Our goal is to have 85% attendance each week for tutors and students. BookNook collects data to show how many sessions were completed and how many levels students grew overtime. We hope that every student will get 34 sessions from November through April.
- Can I share my thoughts on the product?
- Yes! We would love your feedback on ways to improve BookNook! We will work with VIPKid to develop a short survey so that you can share your feedback with BookNook.
- Yes! We would love your feedback on ways to improve BookNook! You can email us feedback directly at email@example.com or wait for a survey we will send later in the year!
- Will I be communicating with parents?
- Not officially. BookNook will be in touch with parents on your behalf. However, BookNook has recommended parents be in the room during their child’s tutoring session as an extra safety precaution. Sessions will also be recorded for safety purposes per VIPKid policy.
- Not officially. BookNook will be in touch with parents on your behalf. However, BookNook has recommended parents be in the room during their child’s tutoring session as an extra safety precaution.
- How do I pick my students?
- In your BookNook App, you will see a list of the students that you have been assigned to tutor. At the start of your tutoring session, you click on the students that will be part of your session. You will also be able to see when students join because their name will move to the top and there will be a blue dot next to their name. If students have trouble logging in, remind them to use their Clever login and badge or username, email and password.
- In your BookNook App, you will see a list of the students that you have been assigned to tutor. At the start of your tutoring session, you should click on the four students that will be part of your session. You will also be able to see when students join because their name will move to the top and there will be a blue dot next to their name. If students have trouble logging in, remind them to use their Clever login and badge or username, email and password.
- How will Zoom work?
- As a tutor, you will have an individual Zoom link for your tutoring sessions. Students and their families will be given your Zoom link and will sign on for their specific tutoring session.
- Volunteer tutors and students will be assigned to a cohort on a particular day and time and invited to the same Zoom meeting. Tutors and students will be paired and sent to “Breakout Rooms” for their tutoring session. There will be a BookNook employee managing each cohort session who will be regularly rotating into all of the breakout rooms for safety purposes.
- What technology do I need to do this tutoring?
- Zoom and the BookNook app. Zoom is the approved conferencing platform for students at Prince George’s County Public Schools. The district also uses Clever and BookNook is an app on that platform.
- Can I see a demo with real students?
- Unfortunately, for privacy reasons, we can’t show you a session with real students. However, we recorded a demo with our staff so you can see how a tutoring session is run with students. See HERE.
- Why can’t I see the student’s level?
- VIPKid requested we not share the levels of students for confidentiality reasons.
- What if we notice a safety concern?
- You are considered a subcontractor of Prince George’s County Public Schools. This makes you a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect. Please follow the procedures you learned about in the Safety Modules you completed for this tutoring program.
- As a volunteer of Prince George’s County Public Schools, you are a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect. Please follow the procedures you learned about in the Safety Modules you completed for this tutoring program.
- What devices will students be on?
- At Prince George’s County Public Schools, all students have been assigned a device. All Kindergarteners were given an iPad. Students participating on iPads will have Zoom cameras automatically turned off when they open the BookNook app. Students in first and second grade will have a Chromebook. Chromebooks allow for Zoom cameras to be on while working in BookNook. All families should have wifi. The district also gave away over 5,000 hot spots to families that needed them at the start of the school year.
- Where will the students be doing the tutoring from?
- All of the tutoring has been scheduled for out-of-school time. Most likely, students will be signing on to tutoring from home although it is possible they will be participating from wherever they are receiving after-school care.
- How does BookNook really work with multiple students?
- BookNook was designed for live synchronous small group instruction. In fact, BookNook has a patent for this technology. This means all students in the group will be seeing the same lesson. There are games within the lesson for students to do while they are waiting for other students to arrive for the tutoring session. When students are doing their individual work, you just need to monitor their progress.
- What happens if a student misses a session?
- BookNook will automatically suggest a new lesson that is level appropriate that none of the students have done. There are multiple lessons for each level and standard. So, it is ok if a student misses a particular lesson that other students in your group completed.
- How do I start a new session with a new group of students quickly?
- After you complete your last session, you end the session or sign out. This allows you to pick new students to start a new session.
- Should we do intros before the start of tutoring?
- Yes! A couple of quick ideas to start getting to know each other: share an object near you that says something about you; talk about the meaning or story of your first name; share your favorite book; ask students what school they go to;
- Yes! A couple of quick ideas to start getting to know each other:
- Share an object near you that says something about you.
- Talk about the meaning or story of your first name.
- Share your favorite book.
- What if we finish a little early and there isn’t enough time to start another lesson, can I teach myself?
- If you have less than five minutes in the lesson, we recommend you select a book without starting a lesson by going into the lesson tab clicking on a lesson with a book, and click on “preview lesson” and then “preview book”. You can share your Zoom screen or just do a read-aloud with students.
- What devices can/should I use?
- You can use two different devices but then you wouldn’t be able to share your screen to show BookNook on your computer to your students. Some tutors do use two different devices and use Zoom on their phones. BookNook works on all devices EXCEPT phones.
- I know this tutoring is free to families, but who is paying for this tutoring?
- Prince George’s County Public Schools paid for this tutoring to complement their distance learning. They are aiming to provide tutoring to 5,000 K-2 students. Thanks for being a part of this great program!
- Do we track our own time or is there a countdown clock?
- Yes, you track your own time. You might want to set a timer on your phone!
- Yes, you track your own time. You might want to set a timer on your phone?
- What do I do if the parent is doing the work for the student?
A.Please be sure to let the parent know to let the student participate on their own so we are sure they are learning the material.
- How should I do guided reading with students?
A.You can try different techniques during a guided reading session. You could try choral reading where you all read together. Sometimes this doesn’t work as well on Zoom. You can do echo reading where you read a sentence and then students read back “echo” the same sentence back to you. You can try “round-robin” or popcorn reading where you call on one student at a time. You can even let students have control to turn the electronic page for everyone.
- Do students only get their scores or do they see other students’ scores, too?
A.Students only see their scores.