Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student did really well learning new sight words, retelling a story and reading the bear book all on her own."
"We discussed the student's summer reading in preparation for his quiz on Friday and we practice his speech for Monday. As he practiced, he grew more confident with the speech and was able to sound more engaged and make stronger eye contact. I recommended that he practice a couple of times tonight and once or twice at lunch tomorrow before he has to give his speech."
"I went through the packet about syllables (shown below) with the student. We discussed the 7 common types of syllables, and rules for dividing words into syllables. For each syllable type, she was asked to divide a word and identify the syllable type. She did this with almost 100 percent accuracy. She divided 8 practice words into syllables; she divided 7/8 words correctly. Self-monitoring the sounds gives us feedback and allows us to correct sounds that don't sound like words. Even though I introduced her to the idea of self-monitoring phonics, this is a skill she will further develop as she becomes a more fluent reader. In this way, self-monitoring is not taught but internally developed. I will continue to use "trick words" to monitor her self-awareness of word sounds. For the next part of the lesson, I read a passage on the mining boom aloud to the student. She followed along with her own copy of the text. The bold-lettered word "Stop" was written into the text at the end of each paragraph. At each stop point, I did a think-aloud that included a metacognitive dialogue on my thought processes. If I had a question, I said "I have a question;" if I paraphrased a paragraph, I said "I am going to paraphrase this paragraph and say its important points in my own words," etc. I recorded questions I had about the passage in the margin, and if I found the answer in the passage, I underlined the answer and wrote "ans" or "def" in the margin. This technique is called mapping, and I introduced it to the student during this lesson so she would see what it means to be an "active reader" and to "give yourself clues about where information is in the story if you have to look back." She read the second half of the story aloud; we engaged in a metacognitive dialogue together as she read. Her thoughts were connected to the story and very descriptive. After reading a description of a merchant's life in a mining town, she described why it might be better to be a merchant than a miner in the town. Her thoughts veered briefly when discussing the meaning of "ghost town;" she compared the towns to haunted houses. I redirected her thoughts by saying that "while some people may believe the spirits of dead miners still live in the town, the word 'ghost' in the phrase ghost town means that the towns were abandoned." After saying this, I read a sentence from the paragraph that described how ghost towns are "abandoned" not haunted. Despite this one turn into the fanciful, her other thoughts were in line with the story. I sent the student home with two short reading passages that require her to identify important facts from the text to answer questions. I asked her to try writing questions that come to her mind as she reads in the margin or on a separate sheet of paper, and to underline and label the answers to the questions in the text."