Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I spent 40 minutes working on grammar. We reviewed our discussion about pronouns from the previous session and learned about the final two types of pronouns. Next, we went over adverbs and how they function in a sentence (to modify verbs and adjectives), what it means to "modify", why they are important in writing. We came up with several examples of adverbs that modify both verbs and adjectives. We reviewed the way in which the spelling of an adverb can often be determined (turning the "y" into and "i" and adding an "ly"), as well as the few instances in which an adverb does not end in "ly." We spent the final 20 minutes continuing the pre-write process of a persuasive essay, which we began in our previous session. The student made a chart in order to determine which of her two topics from the brainstorm would make the strongest persuasive essay, based on quantity and quality of supporting arguments. We then discussed the importance of writing a perfectly organized introductory paragraph, using the metaphor of a blueprint for designing a city. We briefly discussed some keys to good writing, such as "agreement" (with tenses, etc.), voice, audience, and making compelling arguments using clear and confident language. In the upcoming session we will proceed with writing the first draft of the persuasive essay, using opportunities as they naturally arise to review previously taught grammar (how adverbs enhance descriptive writing, pronouns offer word variety, etc.)."
"The student and I spent time reading his book and writing brief summaries of the readings. I am coaching him to write longer sentences then we will review compound and complex sentences."
"The student is writing her first essay for an Honors English class, and she wanted help transitioning from the outlining phase to the rough draft writing phase. I think this transition is a difficult one to make; it can be intimidating, so sometimes it helps just to be sounding board for the student's thoughts. That's what I did, while reminding the student of the purpose of the essay and her ability to change the order of paragraphs to help the flow and structure of the entire essay. I helped her match up quotations she'd picked out before I arrived with some little starter paragraphs she had also written. I prompted her for descriptions, transitions, and explanations, and repeated the things she said back to her, to help her materialize her ideas. I reminded her review things as she went along, to look for unnecessary sentences and illogical transitions. She was very productive. She had her rough draft almost finished by the time I left."