Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I studied for his math test that he has on Wednesday. We talked about base rates, unit analysis, similar figures, percent increases, literal equations, and two-step equations."
"Discussed general test-taking strategies and her scores. Practiced reading comprehension and more interest problems."
"Reviewed adding and multiplying in base 5s with the student. This is a concept that came up in the review last week. Then we practiced adding and multiplying fractions through turning mixed numbers into irregular fractions, finding LCM and performing stated functions. Then, we did the quantitative section of a practice test. I worked with him on the math section doing 15 minutes at a time and timing how long it took him to solve a problem. In this way, he was able to complete the test on time and, with 2 exceptions, the questions he got wrong were from skipping steps. I encouraged him to spend the next two weeks getting faster at going through the steps of problems rather than rushing. I am making him daily practice questions that focus on some of the problems that trip him (adding/multiplying fractions, word problems, converting descriptions of number manipulations into equations)."
"Quantitative Skills, Reading, Vocab--practice exam (with timing) --continue to work on all areas of practice test but then will focus on weak areas (reading and vocab)"
"For the first session, we started by talking about what parts of the test they felt most confident and most nervous about, as well as what kinds of questions to expect to see on the exam. Both boys asked to work on the Math section, since the first student really enjoys math and the second student was worried about the level of math on the test. We incorporated some time-savers and ways to simplify the test problems into a review of basic skills like adding and multiplying multiple-digit numbers, using long division, and borrowing for subtraction. Both boys were excited to learn that they could solve a problem for only a couple of digits, rather than the whole answer, and they took turns solving long arithmetic problems for the first (or last) two digits while the other one solved for the entire answer, to see how much time it could save them on the test. We also reviewed how to multiply and add fractions, how to work with percents as fractions or as decimals, and how to think of basic exponents as multiplication problems. the first student expressed some worry, and the second some curiosity, about sample questions in their book that used letters instead of numbers, so we talked a little bit about the basic concept of variables in order to make those questions look less alien to them. Once they realized that, for example, 3x = 18 is just another way to ask how many threes we need to make 18, they felt somewhat reassured. I emphasized that they shouldn't feel pressured to be able to solve algebra problems aimed at students in higher grades, because their scores will only be compared to those of other 5th-grade students taking the test, not those of 6th- or 7th-graders; if they see a question that doesn't look like anything they've learned yet, it might help to remind themselves that there are questions for 7th-graders on the test, too, and that the question they're looking at is probably one of those. Both boys are bright, personable, and enthusiastic, and they enjoyed both helping each other and showing each other up. I look forward to continuing to work with them."
"The student and I met at the library. During the session, we went over practice sets in Verbal, Math, and Reading. She told me that she had started studying vocabulary. I also told her that I sent her mom a website with vocabulary flashcards that can be completed online. This way, she has an additional resource for studying vocabulary. When we reviewed Math, she also told me that last week, she earned a perfect score on a Math test and that going over word problems with me had helped her. For homework, I assigned her the first three sections of a practice test. I asked her to complete all three sections at the same time."
"The placement exam is next week, so we did a full review of the test, especially grammar and verbal skills. The student feels solid about the test!"
"We reviewed questions in verbal and math. We went over geometry in more depth. The student did well."
"We reviewed their essays on the topic of "What one thing would you change about how we elect the president of the U.S.?" We reviewed assigned work from textbook pages 125-148 (verbal and math) and 99-106 (reading). I gave them new assignments for our next session on Nov. 3."
"The student and I reviewed general information about the test, such as what sections are covered and how much time he will have for each section. Then, we reviewed the synonyms and antonyms section and how to approach this section using the study book as a guide. In addition, I provided articles I obtained online about video games, movies, and baseball in order to broaden his vocabulary with challenging, yet commonly-used terms. Afterwards, we covered reading comprehension questions and methods to answer them efficiently. We then used the aforementioned news articles as real-life reading comprehension practice. I reiterated the recommendation to read more articles to simply gain more exposure to this level of vocabulary. Overall, the session went very well."
"For this introductory session, we spent time talking broadly about the challenges the student will face with standardized testing, including the time pressure and how to react to difficult questions. We reviewed a few strategies, including marking down difficult questions on scrap paper and moving past them to ensure that he can reach as many of the easier questions as possible in the time limit. We then talked about strategies for informed and intelligent guessing on the more difficult questions. We practiced these strategies on the sample synonym and antonym verbal sections of the test prep book. Going forward, we talked about the importance of reading books as the brain's best exercise and a means to improve vocabulary, reading comprehension, grammar, and overall test-taking speed. In the next few weeks, we will continue to work through each individual section of the test and come up with specific strategies for the most difficult questions. These strategies will be put to the test in a number of practice tests, the first of which the student will take on Friday before our session. Our Friday sessions, which take place every other week, will focus on reviewing and preparing for these practice tests, and the weekly Tuesday sessions will focus on individual sections of the test. He displayed a remarkable aptitude for learning new strategies, and he had no problem maintaining a high level of focus for the entire two-hour session. I believe his greatest improvement over the next few weeks will come from a greater familiarity with the test questions and greater confidence going into the test in January. I look forward to seeing this progress and continuing to work with him."
"Reviewed area, volume, and simple geometry. Worked on reading graphs and doing quick ballpark estimates to help find answers more quickly. At the end, we worked on converting percents to fractions and vice versa, including multiplying/dividing mixed numbers."