Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Before this session, the student took a practice test. The mission of this session was to give him confidence and to demystify the actual testing process. Right off the bat we discussed how to actually take the test - checking that he'd bubbled in correctly, making sure we put an answer for every question. From here we discussed intimidating questions, including big numbers, fractions, and conversions. We discussed how if the answer choices are different enough, the strategy should always be to round with big numbers, or find multiples (175 divided by 50 isn't easy, but knowing 50 goes in 3 times with a remainder of 25 makes it easy). We discussed the difference between being unfamiliar with the operation (dividing fractions) and feeling like a question is too hard to figure out (word problems). Jonah is smart enough to do very well on this test, and I think the verbal sections will boost his confidence on test day. Over Thanksgiving, he'll take a practice test and in our final session, we'll discuss strengths and tips."
"First, we reviewed vocabulary. The first student said he was doing well with the words, but the second student seemed less confident. They said they had practiced together. I instituted a taking-turns policy, where one of them at a time is the "first responder." They both paid attention the whole time, and I liked how this method of taking turns gave them equal chances to practice. They seemed to have practiced over the last week, which is good. I added some more words for them to study. We worked a reading comprehension passage. Then, I read practice test math problems to them aloud, and we worked on the corresponding concepts. The problems involved geometry (perimeter, area, and special right triangles), rate/speed, probability, percentages, fractions, and decimals. They both did well, and they also like this way of doing math problems - me reading, them taking notes and solving quietly. I reminded them that one of the reasons this works so well for them is because they are writing down notes from the problems in ways that make sense to them visually, and that they should take notes in the same way on the real test. We also reviewed their essays from last week. I asked them to review and edit, and I reiterated my feedback from last week."
"We worked on math, reading, and writing. The student did an excellent job, but he will need more work on his writing skills."
"We went over a practice test the student did for homework, then we did some practice math multiple choice questions and worked on speed. At the end, we worked on reading comprehension."
"This was our last session. We did a timed practice test, went over it, and I left him with some strategies and some important things to study for Saturday."
"This time, we worked on the student's admission essays. He had to write 5 short response essays and a larger essay topic. In a previous session, we did the first three short answer essays, and so today we tackled the last two. The two remaining questions were: 4) What would you like to become better at in school? and 5) What is the greatest challenge you have faced and why? The previous answer that he had written down for 4 was his organizational skills, and the answer he had down for 5 was keeping his room organized. He asked me: "wait, aren't they kind of the same thing?" I said that they were very similar and that we might be able to come up with a different answer to something he would like to get better at in school. I asked him what his favorite subject is, and he said that he really liked his challenge class because he learned about the Vikings and the Mayans. I asked him if he liked studying history, and he had never put the two together that studying the Mayans and the Vikings, or the pilgrims, or Christopher Columbus counted as learning history, he had always categorized them as "social studies" or as "challenge." We then wrote down several details about his learning of History and what specific details he had about what he learned. He wanted to know why it was so important to give detail when you are writing. I said that I could explain football in two different ways. The first way is "I like football." The other is "Football is an amazing American classic pastime which is a far relative from the soccer or rugby it came from. It's so interesting because it has positions in it totally unique to the sport, and there is nothing better then getting together with your friends and family on a Sunday to enjoy it together." He agreed that the second description was more interesting. We also edited the final short answer topic and resolved to save the last big essay for next time. As always, he had to read what he has written out loud to see what he wanted to change about the way that things were said. A few corrected typos later, we were finished."
"Extensively drilled definitions of mean, median, mode, average, and range. Practiced percentages and ratios and some geometry concepts as well. The student seems to grasp the concepts."
"The student has prepared diligently for her ISEE Test this Saturday. This is our last session. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her."
"Today, we focused on math. I am trying to build up her stamina and concentration on these problems and work on her organization and visualization, specifically with work problems."
"The student has her last practice test over the exam in her prep class, so we just reviewed her math for the test."
"The student and I started with a set of math problems that I wrote last night. Out of 15, he got about 10 correct on his first attempt. We then worked a bit on some of the concepts that we had worked on yesterday, like the Pythagorean theorem. He can divide basic fractions pretty well. We ended by working on essay planning. He started outlining his essay on an historical figure he'd most like to meet."
"We worked on vocabulary, reading comprehension, sentence completion, and Math. We covered a lot of material today."