Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Student and I met reviewed some upcoming reading comprehension passages. We began by making a summary tree for each paragraph, both talking it out together and writing it out. As she became comfortable with that, we outlined how to create a tree for the whole passage. She will practice creating these trees independently before our next meeting."
"The student and I met again tonight, this time to focus on the assessment. He brought a lot of energy and honesty to the table. After a general discussion of the test and strategies, we spent a good chunk of time working through practice vocab questions together. I had him mark "signal words" (like 'despite', 'likewise', and 'because'), which indicate that the sentence is describing a contrast, a comparison, or a linkage of cause and effect. For each question, I covered the answer choices with a sticky note and had him read the sentence aloud. We then brainstormed some words that could fill in the blank(s). Once we'd discussed the possibilities, I removed the sticky note. After the sticky-note exercise, we took a look at one of the formidable word lists from my prep book. I asked him to highlight the words he felt he knew well in one color, and the ones he thought he knew in another. My goal with this was to help him see how much he already knows with regard to vocab, and use that as a foundation for picking up new words. We started an exercise that involved grouping words by category. He felt that this was helpful, so we will do it again at our next session. We will also try to cover some reading comprehension tips, and talk about what he can work on."
"This was my first session with the student, and it went very well. He's clearly a hard worker and very smart. We went through two practice reading sections from the test prep book, and we got through about half of a writing section. Going through the exam together, he got almost every question right. He said that it helped that I read some of the questions to him, so we talked about slowly shifting from me reading the questions to him reading the questions out loud to him reading the questions silently. Next time we want to focus a bit on ways to strengthen his vocabulary."
"Student and I worked on PSAT prep, especially on the critical reading section. We practiced testing strategies and also worked on understanding the key points of reading passages and author's intent. We also spent some time working on grammar questions in the writing section."
"The student and I spent the entire session working with taking three practice math sections. She did VERY well in the math sections, especially under the duress of time! We went over the problems she spent an excessive amount of time on. She struggled with functions and manipulation of functions (e.g., f(g(x-1))), but it was easily resolved. She's doing SO much better in the math section - both in problem-solving and computation!"
"In our session, we did a review of all the sections and their individual strategies. The student excels in the math section; she really understands the material and is often quick with an explanation of why a certain method is better than another. Although she sometimes makes errors, she is quick to correct them when they are pointed out. She struggles a bit in the reading section. Her main problem is that she says she has difficulty remembering the passage after she has read it. We worked on strategies to separate the questions out so she could focus on one part of the section at a time and not have to hold so much information in her head at once. I also highlighted with her the importance of looking at context for answers. She also did well in the writing, but favored grammar/usage questions over rhetoric."
"This was our first session, so we spent a little time talking about the student's previous experiences with the PSAT. She took it last year as a sophomore, as well as a practice one a few weeks ago. We worked through a practice section for critical reading and math."
"This was the last session. We did a couple of practice tests. I quizzed the student on roots and meanings of words that she had studied. Then I gave her some last minute test advice."
"The students and I continued reviewing the writing and reading section. I encouraged the first student to trust his instincts more so he can obtain the right answer the first time. The second student is doing well, and I told him he could benefit from thinking through problems more critically."
"We used our last session together to continue our review of math topics, working through sections on number series, plane and solid geometry, word problems, and coordinate geometry."
"1/7: The student and I worked on PSAT practice, working out of practice test #1 in the SAT prep book we had used in the fall. 1/14: The student and I worked on a variety of PSAT subjects, starting with the writing sections. I had reviewed her practice PSAT results from the fall, and this was her section most in need of improvement. She showed good ability to understand what was being asked in most questions, and how to go about solving them, but seems to need some improvement on her vocabulary. We will focus on vocabulary regularly in the weeks ahead. We also looked at some math work. She handled a variety of problems well."
"The student is going to work on Critical Reading and Algebra for our next session. She did a practice test, and did fine. We are going to work on tips/tricks for the Math and CR sections."