Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In our second session, the student and I learned how to identify vowels and consonants and reviewed subtraction. First, I taught him the five vowels and the different sounds each vowel makes. For each vowel, I asked him to sound out the example word on the flashcard and then give his own examples. He did a great job sounding out the example words and giving his own examples for all the sounds each vowel makes. He also pointed out that many people might spell "lego" with an "a" instead of an "e" because of how it's often pronounced. After learning the vowels and their sounds, I asked him to read through the entire alphabet and then identify the vowels. He also did some writing practice, focusing on the numbers four and five as he often writes those backwards and the lowercase letters, which also give him trouble sometimes. We finished out the session with a review of subtraction. He struggled a bit with subtraction but improved when I restated each problem in terms of addition, i.e. solving for the difference of nine minus five can be accomplished by thinking of what number plus five sums to nine. We also used his legos to illustrate subtraction. If you have five legos and take three away you are left with two. The tangible illustration of the legos was very helpful."
" For the first half of the hour session, we covered adding using the tens and ones columns using stamped candy manipulatives, with a different piece of candy marked as tens than the one marked as ones. First, we simply added two one digit numbers and counted, emphasizing regrouping (exchanging our ten ones for one ten.) Then, we began adding two digit numbers. The student struggled with the concept of differentiating between ones and tens in this capacity a little bit, forgetting to stop counting by tens and to begin counting by ones, when switching between columns. Tomorrow, we will review this and transfer it into the algorithm. During the addition/math part of the session, I had the student stack her ones in groups of two to begin to teach her to conceptualize even and odd numbers. She was able to complete the addition problems quickly with no more than two reminders. For the second half of the session, I had the student pick out a book on the level C of reading A-Z (approximately a DRA 3-4). She picked the book called Mongo and Cutie about a cat coming to visit a dog. I introduced the concept of using some pre-reading comprehension strategies, namely picture walking and making predictions. We talked about how our predictions were proven wrong in that the little cat ended up bullying the big dog in the story. The student read slowly but steadily, able to sound out about 70% of the words in the book. This level is definitely an instructional (advanced) level for her and should only be used in reading with an adult. After this book, we moved down to a level B for a more comfortable read and read "Bananas Sometimes." Before the book, we used our prediction and picture walking (looking through the pictures and identifying what is taking place in them). She read very comfortably on this level and this is the level (DRA 2), which I would identify as being her independent reading level. Finally, we worked on her list of sight words. I left the student's father with the candy manipulatives to use for addition problems using a tens and ones column split in half for both of the addends. I recommend that they work only on one digit plus one digit problems with regrouping until tomorrow."
"When I asked the student about his last two weeks, he talked excitedly about a Peter Pan book he was able to procure from the library and asked if he could show it to me. It made perfect sense to ride his wave of excitement and launch today with a fair amount of independent and shared reading. The book was way above his head, so I suggested he read the book using the pictures as his guide. He warmed up to this idea quickly so took the time to "read" each picture, talking me through the images as he went. He also read a story from a Disney Pixar Story Collection book. Between books, I had him complete three mini- exercises centered around following directions. These were all worksheets with a nice blend of reading and drawing. In essence, he had to correctly respond to a series of instructions (systematically reading each one and checking them off, respectively, as he added objects to or colored objects in a picture). He did a good job of navigating these (reading each out loud and then explaining how or why he was going to do exactly as was prescribed or something different). I like that he took some liberties on one of the worksheets in particular; it showed that he was able to fully process what he was reading and interpret it in a way that was personally meaningful for him."
"The student is reading a new Magic Treehouse book. His summer reading homework is to read four books, and do book reports on each. We read one chapter and completed part of his first book report. I made sure his handwriting is neat and legible. His reading fluency and comprehension has improved immensely. He seems to be reading more confidently and understanding words and concepts that he may not have understood several months ago. I believe that he is a more advanced reader at this point. Occasionally we will stop and discuss certain words or concepts that he may not understand, which I think helps engage him more with the text and gain confidence."
"The student is making progress. In getting comfortable with connecting words, she is getting there through repetition, over and over, using these words in different vehicles, whether through children's books, comic books, or sentences I'll write. When she sees a word she is challenged with, she has sought to change the subject and divert to another activity. But the longer we work together, the more comfortable she is getting with a challenge, and will come back to the reading activity with encouragement."
"I began a new unit with the student, focusing on short vowel words ending in double consonants. The words were introduced to her and a few worksheets were completed, involving reading and then writing words, or filling in the blank, using double consonant words. She then completed a playout activity in which she built all of her words and read them to me. She was allowed to use spelling apps for six minutes following this activity, an incentive to help her remain on task and complete activities (such as the playout) quickly. We read from the book, Fox Outfoxed, today. This book contains some words that are above her reading level. We will return to using Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad at the next session."