Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In my time with the triplets we all three separately worked to edit their AP Language research papers, which are due this Monday. All three of the papers were 99% completed, with all of them needing only minor edits. The paper on the topic of fertilization and its role in the expansion of the idea of the American family had plenty of strong ideas, but the work that needed to be done was making sure that they are cohesive so that they flow, but distinct enough to make clear which topic you are discussing. The citations, format, organization and argument of the paper were all very good."
"The first part of today's lesson centered on the Synthesis essay for the AP Lang Exam. The student wrote a second synthesis essay, and it was considerably better than the first one. He still needs to make things easy on the reader's eye by writing larger and more legibly. But the organization, transitions, diction, sentence structure, and, most of all, the use of textual sources were very much improved. I told the student that we are going to use this essay in the future as a sort of template for effectively answering this type of question. We then moved on the second free response question of the exam. In this question, students are given a passage and are asked to analyze the author's use of rhetoric in that passage. The example we used is from a prep book, and it was written by Booker T. Washington. He and I read the passage together, and I stopped frequently to ask the student about both meaning and the rhetorical modes that Washington used. This passage served us well as a general introduction. I then asked the student to read a second passage silently and to find four rhetorical devices within the passage. Finally, I pointed out certain pages from the prep book that discuss particular rhetorical modes and ways words can be manipulated by authors. Studying these pages is the student's homework."
"We mostly concentrated on AP English skills, particularly poetry assessment and literary terms. We read and analyzed a poem by John Donne, where I helped fill in some of the historical background and she drew conclusions from the text. Her surmises weren't always accurate but were on the right level of imagination and insight so that's promising. Then we turned to literary terminology (synecdoche, allusion, hyperbole, etc.). We also covered a little historical background about "The Crucible," which she will be reading next."
"This student and I had a great tutoring session this week! Based on my observation that he knows the letters of the alphabet fairly well and knows how to spell his name, but does not know how to properly write the letters of the alphabet or draw straight lines, I brought several alphabet tracing worksheets that I'd printed. We worked on one containing all capital letters with fish and bubble imagery. I had two copies of the worksheet, one for me and one for him. I'd ask him to watch me trace each letter, one at a time (A-G), then have him try tracing the same letter on his worksheet, saying, "Let's see if you can make your lines as straight as mine were," or, "I bet you can't make lines as straight as mine." The competitive aspect, acknowledgement of great tracing with various sized smiley faces, and the reward of getting to color in a few fish and bubbles when he did well were all really great motivators for him and kept him very engaged. He really enjoyed our session today!"
"The student and I decided to begin a new book together. We are switching from The Capture to Pax, a book about a boy and his fox. He read a few pages of each, and decided that he wanted to switch! He is sounding out words more quickly now and does not try to guess as often as before."
"We reviewed a literacy criticism article and answered questions relating to it. Discussed the connection of biblical references to Garden of Eden and story of Cain and Abel. Reviewed symbolism, theme, and parallel characters. Building analysis of novel for final writing project."