Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, we spent quite a bit of time reviewing vocab and spelling. They're both really doing well with both! So, I assigned even more vocab words, building off of their previous lists with more synonyms and antonyms and moving down the review book's vocab list. We looked at the homework, and they did more reading comp drills. This time, I gave them a variety of passages -- some short, some longer, some more dry, some with essay/creative writing. We looked at the range of tone questions, talked more about note-taking strategy and question order, and I started asking them more questions about the wrong answers. So, if they answered questions right, I would ask them to defend their answers, then pick the next best answer and tell me why it's tempting and why it's still wrong. In that way, we identified common patterns in the way the test tries to trick test takers. We also looked at specific spelling rules in detail. One book had a comprehensive list of spelling rules, which we went through one at a time, thinking of examples from their list and off their list, as well as in some of the problem sets they did subsequently, and assessing how useful the rule would or wouldn't be to remember for help on the test. Finally, they did a couple of math drills, just to stay fluent."
"Today we went over vocabulary and spelling again. We used the same technique as yesterday. First we played a missing letter game to familiarize ourselves with the words, and the correct spelling. Next we practiced vocabulary by figuring out the definitions of each of the words. We practiced the meanings of the words a couple times to ensure the student remembers them. Finally I asked him to spell each of the words we went over on a blank piece of paper. The next thing we did was practice reading comprehension. We completed exercises covering- finding the author's purpose, and main idea. We practiced reading the passages with different styles. We used the skimming style when reading complicated pieces or long pieces. We read the entire passage for short pieces, or for those passages that were interesting to read. We also worked on reading the questions and answers first before reading the passage. He only missed 2 questions from reading comprehension. He is able to skim readings, and still find the main idea. He said he will use this method when he is running out of time on the test, or when checking his answers."
"The student has been attending a full day, week long placement exam prep course. He completed homework for the class, so we first went over the verbal reasoning and grammar, usage, and punctuation sections. He performed well on the latter. He struggled with the verbal reasoning it seemed because he wasn't comprehending what the questions asked. Next, we reviewed the math portion. He struggles with place values, decimals, and fractions. His mother will print out a place values chart for the student to work with. He also struggled with finding the average in word problems."