Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In our first session together, the student and I discussed taking the ACTs and several general strategies to improve his score. We focused in particular on the science section, as he had said that this section had been hardest for him when he took the test previously. We worked through a few practice problems, focusing on concepts of independent and dependent variables, controls, experimental hypotheses and design, and data analysis as it applies to the ACT science section."
"I tutored the student in reading today. We continued reading, "The Dognapped Cat" and I helped the student write a summary of what we read. Also, we played a few word games with some spelling words. We used letter pieces to create words from other longer words. I am trying to show her how to identify and use common suffixes to create words. We also started a reading comprehension text. I think this book with help the student identify her strengths and weaknesses in reading and also help her practice summarizing what she reads. Next week we will read more of the story and I've assigned her two worksheets for homework involving the use of apostrophes."
"We did a review of everything covered yesterday. She remembers most of what I taught her, so I feel confident about her ability to do those types of problems. We worked through a practice section, and I have encouraged her to double check her answers because she occasionally does a problem so quickly she makes minor mistakes. We did a review of the reading and English sections."
"Went over a practice assessment test with the student in order to see where we need to concentrate more. She has a pretty good grasp of economic and political systems. She also seems to grasp big concepts like colonialism, imperialism, why places want to expand and the reasons for succeeding. She has a good grasp on Asian history, but is lacking on the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. That is where we will concentrate in the future."
"Since one of the subjects the student is having most difficulty with is writing, she and I worked on a short essay her teacher assigned on a book they are reading in class. We started out brainstorming and talking about the prompt (her favorite chapter and why). We then turned the brainstorm into a brief outline and then she worked on writing the two paragraphs from the outline we had created. The main writing concepts we focused on in this session were summarizing so that only the most important points are in the paper, as well as making sure verb tense is consistent throughout."
"The student has been studying more vocabulary and seems more confident on the passage-based questions. We went through the critical reading sections of a practice test, looking up dictionary definitions of any unknown words and coming up with ways to remember them. We also practiced finding "key" words in the sentence completion questions and using the context to figure out either the definition or at least the connotation of missing words. She has taken one more practice test, this time in entirety, and so on Tuesday (our last meeting) we will review whatever seems most pressing after the grading. I must say, though, that I am very confident in her abilities. She knows everything she needs to know for this exam."
"The student and I went over matrices for his algebra test coming up on Wed. He seemed very confident in his ability to manipulate them after our session was over. We also spent some time talking about his up coming physics project: a compressed air water rocket."
"Today we worked on series solutions to ODEs. It's been a while since the student had worked with Taylor series so we looked over them and their definitions just to be sure we knew what we were talking about. Actually solving an ODE with a Taylor series is really easy but you just have to be super careful about the notation. We also talked about how you can estimate the error on the Taylor series."
"The student completed a full test yesterday morning, using simulated test circumstances. She did very well on the writing section, and wrote an excellent essay. We worked on a few passages together, and she seems to understand it well. We practiced slowing down, writing out the work, and using the calculator to improve her consistency. "
"The student and I reviewed some general strategies for the ACT, since it is upcoming. We focused on the Reading Comprehension sections and refined a "speed reading" technique to have him roadmap the sections in under 2 minutes per section, rather than the six minutes he estimated he was spending on the sections prior to our session. His math and science scores are very strong. We also reviewed the English section and talked extensively about managing time on the ACT."
"The student and I worked on math and science today. With math, we focused on helping the student with strategies to avoid small mistakes. I showed her how I would solve the problems and organize them by writing the given, solving the problem, then checking my work. For science, we reviewed over energy transformations including a discussion on potential and kinetic energy. We also compared conduction, convection, and radiation."
"Today I continued to work with the student on multiplication facts. He is learning them so fast! I am very proud of him. I brought my physics book to try and challenge the student a little. He has a very mature intuition about the physical world and the meaning behind Newton's laws."