The student and I reviewed comparing whole numbers with the symbols ">"ù, "<,"ù and "="ù. He completed five problems; he used the correct symbol. To test his understanding of this concept, and his knowledge of fractions, I asked him to compare two fractions as greater than, less than, or equal. He was able to do so. Then I showed him how to compare fractions with different denominators. He grasped this concept very quickly His consistent performance on this part of the lesson suggests he understands the meaning of the number comparison symbols and how to use them with whole numbers and fractions.
Next, I asked him to solve word problems. He answered all of them correctly. Then I reviewed simplifying fractions. We reviewed the concept of the greatest common factor. I asked him to write the term on an index card; on the reverse side, he wrote the definition and then an example of a fraction simplified to simplest or lowest terms. He simplified several fractions independently. I left him with a fraction simplification worksheet to complete on his own. We briefly discussed improper fractions and converting improper fractions to mixed numbers; this topic will be discussed in our next lesson.
Reading and Writing
He answered 17 synonym questions. I made an example vocab card for the word "sparse"ù; on one side of the index card, I asked him to write the word. One the card's reverse side, he wrote the definition, and underneath the definition he wrote a contextual sentence. I asked him to complete five more definition cards using the same method. I will give him a verbal quiz on these words during our next lesson.
I asked him to complete five analogies; for each analogy he completed a "bridge sentence"ù: a sentence that explains the relationship in the analogy. He answered all five analogies correctly and filled in all partially completed bridge sentences correctly. I asked him to complete five analogies independently.
We discussed the definition of a "fact"ù in fiction and non-fiction. I then read a sample story to him, voicing my thoughts as I read. After each paragraph, I wrote a phrase that described what the paragraph was about in the margin. This technique is called "mapping." We worked together to answer five multiple-choice questions based on the passage. He answered 5/5 questions correctly. I asked him to use the mapping technique while reading another passage independently.
He and I discussed the features of descriptive writing. Very accurately, as if he had heard it before, he said, "words that create a picture in your mind"ù when I asked him what descriptive words were. I read a descriptive paragraph aloud and asked him to draw a picture of what the paragraph described. He drew some details from the paragraph correctly.
I left him with a model descriptive paragraph and asked him to read it over before our next lesson. I will ask him to write a short story describing a picture. I will bold-type a direction to "use descriptive words"ù in his story. I hope exposing him to good, descriptive writing will reflect in his own writing."