Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"First, the student did a reading comprehension exercise on "Blimps." He enjoyed the subject and did well on the questions. Next, he did a "Spot the Difference" puzzle. He did quite well on that, finding the differences very quickly. A number of things about his performance on various exercises indicate that he's more able to recognize details better, which is leading to better comprehension in general. Also, the success with the puzzles and good performance on the exercises are highly motivating for him. To finish we returned to the mystery book we'd been reading. His reading was better paced (as in our last session) and he tried to break into syllables and sound out most of the unfamiliar words."
"The student and I read a passage on Ecosystems. She is currently studying climate change; a subtopic of ecosystems; in school. Before reading the passage, I asked her to read nine vocabulary words and their definitions aloud. She then used a decoding strategy to decode 10 additional vocabulary words. She applied the method correctly 9/10 times. I corrected her one minor error, which was circling two prefixes as one. She read each vocabulary word aloud again. I gave her one minute to study the additional definitions, silently. Ninety-seconds were given to her to match each vocab term with its corresponding definition (I wanted to see how well she could focus under time constraints). All the words she identified, she identified correctly. I then asked the student to study common "word families"ù that appeared in the passage; e.g., "consume"ù, "consumer"ù, "consumable."ù She decoded each word aloud (she did not need to use the decoding method) and identified the part of speech for each word. Before reading, I asked her to preview the article by reading the bold-lettered heading above each paragraph, looking at the illustrations, and reading the captions beneath each picture. She, at first, predicted the passage would be about "ecosystems"ù, but after pausing, she told a whole story about an ecosystem: one that illustrated she understood animals depended on each other as food. The headings and illustrations clearly activated her prior knowledge. The passage was divided into sections, each section labeled with a letter of the alphabet; the final sentence of each paragraph was labeled with a letter. I asked the student to read the paragraphs in the first section silently; as she read, at the end of each paragraph, I asked her a comprehension question to check her understanding. She answered my questions correctly. I asked the student to read the next section of the passage aloud. She read the passage much faster aloud than she did when reading silently. I asked her questions at the end of the passage to check her understanding. She answered the questions correctly again. By the student's admission, reading aloud interferes with her reading comprehension. While I noted no significant difference in performance, she did read the passage quicker when reading aloud. Perhaps a good compromise is "whisper reading" - ùreading aloud softly to oneself. I will model whisper reading in our next lesson. I asked her to finish the passage, the vocab match, and the graphic organizer at home. I will review her answers at the beginning of the next lesson; I will also teach her a method for answering multiple choice questions."
"Worked on spelling list of homophones. Assisted with a grammar worksheet, reviewed phonics lessons to date by using flashcards."
"We covered the material in the student's homework packet which included math, phonics and sight words. We also did a homework assignment of writing a story, with details, about a class pet. She wrote a very detailed story about Gizelle, a black and pink dog who eats chicken and bones! Her attention to the writing process was excellent. She has improved greatly over the past few weeks. Far more detail, more logical sequencing. Her printing has really improved. She also wrote a story using her sight words for the week."
"We read several chapters of Swindle and reviewed unfamiliar vocabulary. He's almost finished with his book and will start a new one next session. He received stellar reading scores on his most recent report card!"
"The student and I did some test prep. He has a wide range of interests, so the article about hurricanes was interesting. We discussed using text features and process of elimination. His fluency and reading rate are a little slow but not a problem. We went back to the text that he is reading for homework. We talked about prior knowledge and how that strengthens good comprehension. I will order the Symphony for a Dead City that he has on his reading list for the summer, so we can do some prior knowledge ahead of time. I also told him I would be sending him daily "Purpose for reading" questions to help him read and retain what he has read."