Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student finished up "Sophie the Chatterbox," over the last week, and so we started this session off with a book review. We discussed the role of a book review, and she used her last book review of to craft her new review. She does an excellent job of analyzing and synthesizing text that she has read to discuss the key points of a story. For example, the first sentence of her review reveals an important trait of the main character, as well as hints at the story's conflict. Analyzing, synthesizing, and summarizing are all higher order thinking skills, and the student shows that she is able to attend to them when creating her book reviews. Next, I gave her a copy of "Out of My Mind," by Sharon M. Draper. I led her through a book preview, starting with the back cover. I also pointed out that most of the time, the author does not write the blurb on the back and so the writing style on the back is not always indicative of the author's style. We noted that the book has sections for discussion questions, awards, and other books by the author. Lastly, we wrapped up the preview with a look at the front cover. I asked her what she thought about the picture and how it may relate to the story. She was able to provide a prediction using the image and what she read on the back cover. Before we began reading, we designated the back of her notebook for vocabulary collection. Her latest book will be a great source of new vocabulary for her, and I encouraged her to write down any unknown words as she continues to read through the book. Today we took turns reading, and the student came up with an amazing inference and insight! The student noted that she prefers writing that is less descriptive but understands that description is important for good writing. We went over a strategy to help when she starts to get lost in the details: write down any of her connections in her notebook so they are on the page and out of her head which will allow her to put her full focus on the text. After our reading, discussion, and note-taking, the student took a reading test and made a 100."
"We did a blend of work, then focused on more Amelia Earhart biographical reading. We did several grammatical drills, and concluded by reading more about the United States."
"At today's session the student and I continued reading and discussing The Grimm Legacy. She let me know that she has also started her book that was assigned for summer reading. After recapping the events that had happened previously in the book, we read the section in which the main character discovers that the Grimm Collection is truly magic. We stopped several times to discuss what the student thinks will happen next, and I asked her what she would want to find if she were there (the key to get out, she said!). We also stopped to discuss several unfamiliar words (gaping, sinister, haggard, grim), and the student was able to figure out most of them from the context. We also discussed a passage in which the author uses imagery, a simile, and some alliteration - three distinct techniques to help the reader truly feel what is happening in the story. She was able to identify the simile and figured out that there was alliteration (though she is still becoming familiar with the word); I introduced the word imagery to her."