Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In today's session, we worked on sentence structure and the student practiced writing two short essays. She is getting much better at these tasks. I assigned her two practice assignments and I believe that they will help the student tremendously."
"Today the student and I began reviewing a poetry assignment. He analyzed a poem in class, and wrote a draft. He and I discussed and practiced using more descriptive words, metaphors, etc., for this assignment, and for his written work in general."
"The student needed help with his Speech class, specifically in finding the correct information to support his opposing argument in an upcoming debate. I instructed him in finding credible online sources and tips, to entering the most effective search words. We reviewed his upcoming work and progress thus far with his mother. His grades and work ethic have both improved."
"The student's new assignment is to analyze a political cartoon. We discussed how visuals, especially symbolic images, may convey a great deal of information that would take a lot of words, and may also appeal to an audience unable or unwilling to analyze and comprehend a lot of text. We went through the €˜grid'-type layout of the assignment, which he will fill in with entries: what ideas the cartoon conjures up, what its key elements were, what they represent, what beliefs or actions the cartoonist might want to induce in the viewer, etc. He may look at posters from the two World Wars of the 20th century for other examples of €˜persuasive' graphic art. We reviewed an assignment that the rest of the class did. He's picked two historically important events or concepts and is analyzing them together. As he finishes his way through 1984, we considered other Utopian/dystopian works, such as Brave New World and the robot novels of Isaac Asimov. The student has a good notion of how advertisers and politicians twist the use of language to their ends, and is learning the specifics of propaganda and other logical fallacies."
"This was a meeting devoted almost entirely to discussing the student's latest additions to his essay on selected lines from Kipling's "If"--and today we explored ways of expanding his thinking to make a stronger case for his interpretation. First we sounded out the various ways to discuss the dangers of a triumph, especially with relation to physical contests, and then we discussed why a disaster can actually become a force for positive change. Then we continued to discuss the meaning of controlling one's thoughts and dreams. The student was very strong in understanding how to expand and explain. Next, we played with three resolutions I had written, and the student's job was to come up with reasons for supporting the resolutions. We created three different logical claims. I am going to keep working on his argument-building skills so that he will be very quick at this. This skill will help him compose meaningful, durable arguments on the spot. His homework is to continue with the essay, and expand it some more. He also has the Group 3 words to learn before Friday."
"We reviewed the vocabulary words from last week and played a game where were each came up with sentences using the vocab words, and had each other guess what the missing word could be ("The river was BLANK after the drought" [parched]). Then I asked her to free write for about 15 minutes. we reviewed what she wrote and discussed how she could improve it if she needed to turn it into a formal essay. I think it is important to allow the girls to free write from time to time so they can develop a personal relationship with writing. It should be something they enjoy to do. Free-writing also helps strengthen your personal voice as a writer and provides opportunities to elaborate without the constraints of many writing assignments for school."