Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"For today's session, the student read 3 books: two "Thomas the Tank Engine" books and the book "Crocodile and Hen." During and after reading one of the "Thomas the Tank Engine" books and "Crocodile and Hen," I asked him comprehension questions about the stories (ex. How is Thomas feeling? What was the problem in the story? How did they first try to solve the problem? How did they finally solve the problem? How are crocodile and hen the same? What did Hen keep calling Crocodile? etc.) He overall did well answering these questions, though sometimes would say that he forgot, and I would direct him back to certain pages in the story to look for the answer. When I did this, he was always able to reread the pages and find the answer. We finished the lesson practicing handwriting of capital letters. I found that having him trace my letters first, and then write his own letters below mine seemed to work well, as his handwriting looked much neater this way. I thought this was a good session for the student and he did a great job reading."
"The student reviewed the benefits of annotating the text and discussed techniques for retaining what he reads. The student told me he often feels lost when he reads and has trouble following the progression of the plot. I asked him if he was a quiet place where he can read and focus all of his attention on the text, and he said his bean bag chair in his room is a perfect place for reading. His bean bag chair is now going to be his "reading chair." I also suggested that he not read the chapters until a day or two before we meet and to immediately write his chapter summaries after he finishes reading each chapter. This way, not only will the student gain more practice writing, but he will also be more likely to retain what he reads by going through the summarization process. We discussed how reading can be more fun and interesting if he really participates and that our discussions of the novel will be more enriching if he comes prepared to participate with questions and observations of his own. We concluded the session discussing the objective of a personal narrative essay and identified different aspects that make a strong personal narrative. The aspects I stressed were setting description, character description, dialogue, interesting details, and a sharp, narrow focus. We then read an example of a personal narrative and identified whether or not the author of the essay incorporated all the aforementioned aspects. The student did a great job identifying the strengths of the writer's essay. I then had him write his own personal narrative about a moment when he first realized he was talented at something. The student's response was sparse and contained a few random details about a time when he realized he was good at playing tennis instead of telling a story about the discovery of his talent. I then stressed that a personal narrative is his story and his opportunity to tell the reader a story. Next week, we are going to continue to work on personal narrative and reading comprehension."
"Introduced myself to the student and her mother. I assessed the student's study habits and patterns. She has a very good vocabulary and is an A student with C's in AP English and AP U.S. History, both of which require a lot of reading, comprehension, taking notes, and essay writing. She wrote out her intentions and goal for the sessions, and we scheduled sessions for Sunday mornings. She would benefit greatly from more structure in her time. She agreed to design a schedule for doing homework, and we began looking at new ways of reading using her study outlines given to her by her instructor as a way to focus her reading. She came up with the idea to keep a notebook with her to jot down ideas she finds interesting to look up later and to bring herself back to the material or class lectures. She will apply what we discussed to her English assignments too."