SEMTTI stands for Systemic Elementary Team Tutoring Initiative. The program was developed to complement and support the Greater Philadelphia Secondary Mathematics Project. Both programs foster instruction in context based constructivist mathematics. SEMTTI places sophomore and junior LaSalle College education majors in the classrooms of two Title 1 schools in each of the following school districts: William Penn (Upper Darby), Bensalem, and Philadelphia (Fels Cluster). The original proposal calls for up to six students to work in each school tutoring students deficient in mathematics in small groups under a teacher's supervision. SEMTTI is a work/study program, coinciding with the college's education field-placement requirement. Each participant has up to ten hours a week allotted for tutoring, travel, journal writing and training sessions. On-site supervision is provided through the college. SEMTTI is funded through an NSF grant.
SEMTI students are not yet certified teachers. They must always be in the visionary field of a teacher in the school. This means that they work primarily in the classroom. If a student must tutor elsewhere, then another staff member must accompany them with the students. If a tutor works in the hallway of a school, then the door must be open and the group must be in sight of the classroom teacher. SEMTTI tutors take their direction to assist students from the classroom teacher. We encourage our students to make use of manipulatives in order to help their charges better understand the underlying concepts of mathematics. SEMTTI tutors are to sign in at the school office each time they come to your building. If a teacher is absent, then it is hoped that administrative staff, or a designee, will reassign the tutor or direct the tutor to work with the substitute. SEMTTI students may not cover a class. If a SEMTTI student is going to be late or absent, she/he is to call the school to notify the approprite people. The tutors are also supposed to call their LaSalle Supervisor with the same information.
SEMTTI students participate in several on-campus professional development sessions in which they practice their own skills in mathematics problem solving and conceptual development with manipulatives. The program also requires each to peer teach a lesson he/she has used with grade students. Much emphasis is placed on developing mathematical understanding, reasoning and communication, to correspond with NCTM's Principles and Practices in School Mathematics. (2000)
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