Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student showed me her PowerPoint presentation for a group project and we changed a few of the wordings on the slides to make them more clear. We also discussed what she would say on each slide to help get her point across effectively. She took a spelling test and we began working on unit 4 of the spelling workbook. We finished up a worksheet on helping verbs and wrote several sentences to solidify the concepts."
"The student has been doing really well in her sessions. She is performing on grade level on the majority of the math standards for the 4th grade. We spent this session reviewing some math concepts from her homework as well as doing an assessment together to determine which standards from the 4th grade we will need to review. After we addressed these few concepts, we can move on to 5th grade math to prep her for next school year."
"Student and I worked on her math homework. She is learning angles. At first she said she had no idea how to do the problems, but she got it pretty quickly. I just reviewed 360 degrees in a circle, 180 straight line, and right angles. The problems gave an angle or number of slices of a pizza, and you had to solve for angle/slices by dividing 360 degrees by the given number. She didn't have any big issues. We also worked on her spelling words. Next time I'd like to continue with doing slightly more difficult fraction/decimal problems than what she had for homework, and spend more time on her writing."
"The student and I started today with his math homework, which involved adding and subtracting negative numbers. He was having a bit of trouble with some of the concepts, so after he finished his (short) school assignment I wrote for him another sheet of practice problems. By the end of this sheet he was doing better. I also wrote a few word problems involving BC dates, debts, and sporting event deficits to provide a more practical element to the exercise. We ended with some prep work for his vocab test tomorrow, with me giving him either a word or a definition and having him provide the other. In the process we also discussed etymologies, cognates, and usage."
"The student completed his assignment. He is reading a new book, taking notes on characters, setting, plot, problem, and resolution."
"The student and I had an excellent second session focused on her writing skills. She felt that she did well on her science test, but is waiting for results. This week, we turned to her reading and writing skills. Last week, she told me that she was having trouble understanding the reading that she was doing in class -- this time, she told me that she felt she understood the later parts of the book her class just finished reading (Freak the Mighty). Indeed, when I asked her about it, she began to give a fairly full plot -- but with the events all mixed up. She is, I think, struggling with two things: 1) Plot comprehension. Even when we talked through the entire book, she still missed some major twists / events in the story (as I discovered when I did some research later about the plot). I think she has trouble taking in the entire story when it is read aloud -- this could definitely be part of the reason she struggles with tests! 2) Organizing ideas. When the student tries to recount events from a book, it's tricky for her to organize events into beginning, middle and end. As she described her book to me, she had trouble figuring out what events she needed to tell first -- and how to explain things to others. We worked on the second project during our session, writing out a full account of "Freak the Mighty" for someone who didn't know the story. In doing this, we had to think about where to start, how to make the story interesting (include details), how to make the story clear (who is "he"?) and how to write in a grammatically correct way. In terms of grammar, she and I especially focused on: 1) Periods. Don't have run-on sentences -- if it's a new sentence, use a period! (she has the idea that short sentences are bad). 2) Commas. Use commas for lists, to separate clauses (connected ideas with transition words), and to separate introductory words at the start of a sentence. 3) Apostrophes. We talked about "it's" vs. "its" and possessives. She enjoyed the fact that we grammatically "possess" parents and siblings: Student's mom. Student's brother etc. 4) Word variety. She uses a LOT of "and's." We discussed mixing it up with other words: but, yet, if, so etc. She wrote over a page and she was clearly proud of her work -- I hope she shared it Tuesday night! As we keep working together, we'll help her work get stronger still. Next week, I would like to begin reading the next book, "Max the Mighty" with her."