Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student is in Honors American Lit, and we worked through Whitman's "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd" for our whole first session. She said that she sometimes has trouble determining when a poet is speaking figuratively and literally, and whether her interpretation of the material is "correct." She was a little hesitant to tell me what she thought parts of the poem meant but eventually opened up more. She and I read each stanza aloud and discussed what she thought each stanza meant independently, and as part of the poem writ large. She and I identified what we thought were important or key words or phrases, repetitive themes/ phrases/ objects, when Whitman was speaking literally vs. figuratively, and the broader, umbrella themes of life and death. I explained a little bit about Walt Whitman as a person and poet so the student could better understand what themes underlie much of his work, as well as the time period in which he was writing. She was able to discern some good theories about the poem by the end with specific support. I suggested that she read each poem slowly and, since her assignments appear to be all electronic, that she take notes by hand while she reads and writes down thoughts and questions. I also suggested that she print some of the longer poems out and annotate on her printed sheets."
"Student has an exam on Thursday, mostly on momentum and impulse. Prior to the session I created a 10-problem worksheet on momentum and impulse. He just needs to memorize one formula which is not on the formula sheet provided for the exam. After going through each question we went over his review packet from class. He has a good understanding of this topic; the concept is easier to grasp than inclined planes."
"Today was a longer session since the student had homework in all of her core subjects. I made sure that all assignments and important topics were completed or discussed. We began with her language arts homework on poetry. I had to clarify that poetry can have more symbolic and implicit expressions vs. straightforward data or non-fiction format. She completed the assignment. We moved onto her reading class, where she confirmed that she had already completed the assignment by showing me her worksheets through the computer screen. Next, we discussed her science class. She had finished a lab on osmosis using a raisin and water, and I spent a significant amount of time assisting her with the questions that required that answers were detailed and multi-layered. Afterwards, we moved on to her math assignment, which covered expressions using variables, addition, and multiplication. She was required to complete assignments for two lessons from the same module. Finally, we discussed her social studies test for the next day. She verified that the lesson notes that we had discussed on Saturday were actually part of the packet that she previously completed. I insisted that she review the packet and any other relevant information that her teacher may have emphasized during today's class. She added that she would spend time later in the evening reviewing the main sections of the relevant chapter in her textbook. We ended the session afterwards."