Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This session focused on analyzing poetic themes, subject, and tone. The student and I read through several poems of increasing difficulty. The goal was to read through the poem completely one time to get an idea of the poem's subject, the second time to identify who the speaker was, and the third time to identify the speaker's tone regarding the subject. She then answered several multiple choice questions about the meaning of specific words or the theme of the poem. She did very well on this exercise. Next time we will start diving into literary tools used by poets to convey their feelings on subjects. We also reviewed an argumentative essay she wrote earlier in the year on a 2012 Supreme Court case decision concerning juvenile murderers and life in prison. She gets to revise this essay throughout the year to improve her score. We discussed her thoughts on the decision and whose decision she felt more inclined to support. I suggested she go onto the Supreme Court's website to read the summary, opinions, and background to the case, see if that changes her opinion, and once she knows what side she wants to support, identify 3 good examples, either personal or historical, to support her position."
"The student and I finished her in-class essay rewrite. It was hard work getting to a comprehensive conclusion, but in the end she created a paper she was proud of. We began work on her research paper draft, and got an action plan in place for her to complete the work of transferring the content of her outline to essay format before our session tomorrow. She is a bit reluctant to pursue challenging leaps in logic on her own, but together we were able to work through some very solid ideas that will aid her writing."
"Today, we covered Oedipus Rex, annotating the text and talking about themes and how to spot moments of character development. The student had a lot of questions about archaic conventions used in Oedipus, so we both worked on comprehension and literary analysis."
"This was a very positive and productive session. The student and I were able to dedicate a considerable amount of time to vocabulary-in-context exercises, something his teachers and parents have identified as a skill in need of work. We worked on this ability in varying degrees of difficulty, with me continually prompting him as to how he worked out a given definition and what clues in the sentence he used to arrive at it. We were also able to work on another pinpointed area of focus: listening comprehension. Finally, we spent some time on analogies to further broaden his vocabulary. Though the student is only a rising sixth grader, I gave him middle-school level examples in each of our exercises, and he excelled at all of them. Furthermore, his focus and attention span were remarkably centered. I feel lucky that I've been having so much luck in that regard lately."
"The student has an outline due on Friday, so we started the process of putting his thoughts in a logical order for the outline. He has done enough research to formulate a great "argument" thesis and ideas of how he will support it. Going through the notes he already has, we were able to come up with the main supporting arguments he will use to support the thesis, and found places where a little more research is needed. Now he can focus in and take notes only on the topics he needs. He completed his outline early and on Wednesday and we will add to it in detail (which should be very impressive to his teacher) so that he can turn it in on Friday."
"The student continued to work on his biography of Joachim von Ribbentrop. I assisted him with library research so he could add content. He was about 100 words shy of the 1500 word minimum requirement. Next week we will edit his essay."