Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today the student worked to complete a finalized version of her common application essay. She worked to create a cohesive and chronologically sensible essay and focused on addressing the core of her essay, reconciling herself to her Chinese-American heritage. She also worked to complete her College supplemental essay, working to improve the depth of her comprehension of the topic at hand and the personal meaning it holds for her. She is working on a very tight deadline, but I am confident that she will have her applications completed prior to this time! We have scheduled are future appointments and planned out what we will accomplish during each session."
"I sent an email to both students detailing the items that I would like for them to prepare (or bring) to our first tutoring session. These were: 1) personal calendar/agenda; 2) list of schools to which they are applying and the application deadlines; 3) an activity resume (list of their extracurricular activities, the dates of involvement, and their role/contribution to that activity); 4) list of individuals writing their letters of recommendation (just their names); 5) no more than 3 specific reasons motivating their selection of colleges mentioned in #2; and 6) draft version of essays they are working on (or any essay they have written this school year). Since it was our first session, we spent more time than we will in subsequent sessions discussing our expectations of one another and my goals for them with their essays and written language skills. I asked if they have had the opportunity to visit the campuses and become better-acquainted with the 'culture' of each program to help in writing their essays. We discussed the significance of the college essay and they shared how the U.S. admissions process is markedly different from that of Italy and Belgium (their respective countries of origin). We discussed their familiarity with essay writing, the basic anatomy of an essay, and the objective of college essays (it serving as the only component of the application that allows a student to express their personality and convey their interest in applying to the school). They asked for my suggestions on language-building for the SAT (both are currently taking SAT prep courses). Considering that they are applying to Business Schools, I suggested that they read The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. I asked that they look into other reading materials on the topic of Finance and Business as well. One student mentioned that his friend from Italy suggested that they try an app that reviews a quantity of words daily for SAT practice. I asked them to try out the app and we could discuss any improvements they saw at our next session. The students provided me the application deadlines and we worked backwards from the deadline dates to establish "due dates" for the intermediate steps needed to complete their application (TOEFL, SAT, recommendations submitted, etc.) I recommended that they include a 2-week "buffer" for the admissions deadlines. We discussed their concerns about writing the essays and some feedback that one student received from his school's program counselor. I asked that they email me the list of items that I asked them to prepare/bring to the session and that I would review their essays before next week's session. I also suggested that they brainstorm potential essay topics, so that we could write at our next session."
"The student worked to complete and edit and essay she wrote yesterday on Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. She edited for grammar, ideas and content and organization along with adding detail and editing argumentative word choice."
"The student expressed that he would like to improve his reading skills, especially when reading academic articles. We got through a few paragraphs of an article he picked out to read. We went through new vocabulary and some pronunciation mistakes. I asked him comprehension questions about what was happening in the article, as well as inference questions as an extension. He was a pleasure to work with and I hope to work with him again on reading in the coming days."
"During this session, I helped the student complete her math packet in preparation for her upcoming mathematics standardized test. Some of the skills we worked on included, area, computation word problems, geometry and numeric patterns. She performed very well when introduced to all of these concepts. After that, we read a few chapters in a fiction chapter book and practiced retelling and making predictions based on the evidence presented in the text. We will continue to work on these concepts during our next session."
"Today the student had to study for her social studies map final today. She also wrote a paper for English about Bigfoot."