"Our lesson started with asking questions to get to know the student and talk about things she sees as strengths/weaknesses and interesting topics as well as what she did with her other tutor over the summer.
We started today by looking at my emailed "Quote of the Day" and she did a three minute free write about the quote to warm up her brain towards a writing focus. She seemed to enjoy this activity, and we decided it would be repeated at the beginning of each lesson. We glanced briefly at the State Assessment's Writing Scoring Rubric, and she talked about other tests she was preparing for within her school year. I brought many picture prompt cards along with me, and I had the student look through just the picture sides to select our first assignment. She selected one card that had a picture of the panda. I asked her to brainstorm a list of things she already knew about pandas or observations she saw from the card in particular. She came up with a solid list! The card described the habitat, habits, and diets of the panda and asked for her to write an essay describing how these affect the panda becoming extinct or solely zoo animals in the future. As a prewriting tool, I asked her to create a graphic organizer on her paper, and she used the one that she was comfortable using with her other tutor. She was able to take the information from the brainstorm & the prompt card to complete her organizer. We discussed the possible need to research more information about the panda if she could not fill the organizer or complete the essay with the information she already had. Next, I asked her to select another prompt card, this time a fiction card. She selected a card with a man and a woman dressed in formal antique clothing. Her task was to create a historical fiction story about those characters. She seemed excited to relate it to a story she read in school about Pilgrims. We discussed characters, setting, and plot events, but did not get to start writing. Her homework before we meet again is to complete one of the two essays."