Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This was my first session working with this student. We both looked over her paper and she made the necessary grammar changes before moving on to content. She was concerned the content was not where she wanted it to be. The first read through, I thought her arguments were strong and her points were valid. After the second read through, I noticed there were some sentences that needed to be structured a little differently, so she spent considerable amount of time doing that. There was also a paragraph that needed to be taken out, but she was able to rewrite it following another idea, and I was thoroughly impressed with what she presented."
"The student has passed through the schoolwide awards for her National History Day project, and now is part of the citywide challenge for her essay detailing POW camps in Japan. I noticed the feedback was excellent, giving her only one "Good" (on a scale from 4-10, Good was 6) on the quality of research, and mostly "Excellent" (8) and 2 "Superior" (10). She was obviously very proud, as she should be. We talked about the essay feedback and next steps for about 15 minutes, then dove into Mad Minute and 2 timed writing prompts. I noticed she wasn't thinking of questions as fast as she once was, and tried to keep her mind active and working. Both writing prompts were excellent, as she finished both under time -- once again, these were writing prompts that I only wanted her to draft her response to, not write an entire essay, for the interest of time. During both timed responses, I helped her more than usual: thinking of who, what, when, where, how, and why. I did notice her looking at the stopwatch more often (about every 20 seconds), which shows me she is more cognizant of time. Over the next weeks, we'll be sure to practice at least one Mad Minute and timed writing prompt to make sure the flow of ideas still sticks. For the last 30-40 minutes, we talked about her next essay: a 2-page hero-based writing prompt for writing class (the National History Day project was for history class, I believe). We talked about length vs. being concise in your writing. She isn't too concise yet, which means that this 2-page essay should provide a challenge. Her outline is due next Tuesday in class, and I plan on reading both the outline and her bibliography next Tuesday night. For this hero-based theme paper, the students have to draw on the cyclical process of becoming a hero. She has chosen Victoria Soto, a teacher killed through the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school."
"The student and I began the session with a writing prompt. His task was to write a three paragraph story in response to the writing prompt. He had a challenging time beginning his essay and expanding his ideas, so I showed him how to plan his ideas using a graphic organizer. Once he and I identified the different parts of the writing prompt, he was able to plan effectively for his story. I left some extra practice for writing and math."