Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"He began today's tutoring session by continuing his work on his second ISEE -- Upper Level -- Practice Test. Specifically, he completed Section #2, Quantitative Reasoning, and Section #3, Reading Comprehension. We continued with today's tutoring session with vocabulary development. We are continuing to use the "Vocabulary Cartoons" Book. To see if he is retaining the definitions of the vocabulary words that we are reviewing, I gave him two review quizzes -- one for Chapter 9 and one for Chapter 10. On the review quizzes, the student has to write on definition for each vocabulary word given. On the Chapter 9 Review Quiz, he got 8 of the 10 vocabulary word definitions correct (80%). On the Chapter 10 Review Quiz, he correctly gave 8 out of the 10 vocabulary word definitions (80%). We concluded today's tutoring session by reviewing the new vocabulary words in Chapters 11 and 12. After reviewing the new vocabulary words, I gave him a twenty-question quiz on each chapter (to check for understanding). On the Chapter 11 Quiz, he got all 20 questions correct (100%). On the Chapter 12 Quiz, he correctly answered 18 of the 20 questions (90%). He is a very bright student. He is making good progress on his ISEE -- Upper Level -- exam preparation. He is always focused on the task at hand."
"The student worked well today. The focus was on ELA, and he admitted to having read and tested himself on four word lists from the recommended text. Especially useful was his beginning to understand how words might be composed with two or three Latin or Greek roots which, overall, point to a meaning. Of vital importance to this student is the ability to read, understand and answer questions on text in short time. A target of six minutes for such a problem was exceeded by three minutes. I suggested that answering the fist and last questions on a comprehension exercise might prove easy since one is looking for overall meaning - this six times over might yield more aggregate points than lackluster attempts at four or five questions answered on two or three comprehension pieces. He read back an essay he'd written about "Someone to admire and the reasons". He wrote about his ballet teacher and had good structure - an enthusiastic opening and a consolidating conclusion. The main body read well except for the repeated use of phrases which might easily have been rewritten using similar but not identical words. Also, the adjective 'nice' was used freely and led to confusion about what was meant. A review of context showed him the wealth and range of words that could be substituted and give further and enlarged meaning to the description. With a few minutes left, we turned our attention to gaps in math knowledge. Having already sampled Pythagoras' theorem, the student was keen to learn some basic trigonometry, so I introduced the origin of sine, cosine and tangent and he was delighted with the new knowledge. We also looked at manipulating equations and slope and intercept. Homework assignments set included another essay with the prompt: "Which building would I choose to demolish and why?" Overall, I think he is coming along strongly and will have little difficulty scoring adequately in the upper level exam in order to gain a place at his intended private high school."
"The student and I began by reviewing the vocabulary words she learned over the week. She is improving at using new words in context, and is getting a feel for the subtler connotations of placement exam vocabulary, as demonstrated by the sentences that she was able to craft. We then focused on math drills, working on pacing and paying attention to minor mistakes in order to avoid them. This session, we focused on translating math questions into algebraic equations, which she still needs to work on. I left her with several math questions to do over the week so she can practice using different tactics to get at the correct answer. We finished with grammar drills, breaking apart the different components of grammar and sentences that the exam will look at: incorrect plurals, verb tense and conjugation, and subject-verb correlation. While the student gets many grammar questions right on "gut feeling," we will continue working on understanding the underlying rules that make sentences function. This way, she can draw on the rules when she is unsure of the answer."