Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We read a chapter book together. Her fluency has greatly improved. Her reading comprehension is at grade level and her retention of materials is at par."
"During this session, we worked through the beginning chapters of the Magic Treehouse book the student recently selected. In this book, I want her to focus more on summarizing and monitoring her own comprehension than on predicting and questioning. While those strategies have helped her, I notice that she does not always know what to do when she doesn't understand what she is reading, which is what we need to work on most. Therefore, we are practicing monitoring comprehension and using fix-it strategies. During this session we also worked on fluency. I modeled a passage, and then she read a passage to me. She is strong in her use of expression, though she still needs to practice slowing down and enunciating. Finally, we continued to practice the fix-it strategy of using context clues to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words with a worksheet. She correctly inferred the meaning of 7/10 words, and was able to eliminate incorrect answers for the other three. She will practice summarizing and reading strategically on the next three chapters of her book."
"Reading session focusing on increasing reading speed and comprehension. Student needed to cover certain words and post-reading reflections."
"Today the student and I worked on finalizing her written proposal. We sent the current draft to her instructor, including two days she would be free to conference with him to discuss her proposal. One strategy we are building is her note taking. We also need to improve her study habits overall. We had a great session and she left feeling better about this due date."
"The student and I continued sharpening his writing skills with targeted lessons: one on ending with a bang, another on genre and emotional targeting. We also continued working on his story, "The Man in the Mirror," and honing his grammar/ syntax skills. For the first lesson, we worked on creating endings that resonate with readers by going over Louis Sachar's story, "Sammy," and imagining (and then writing out) other ways the story could've ended. We continued revising his scary story, "The Man in the Mirror," by marking up the story on paper with punch-ups, grammar and style corrections, and other ideas. For homework, he made the paper changes to the word doc of the story. We then went through the story two more times, adding dialogue, detail, and proofreading. When he and I both signed off on it, he printed it out and placed it in his drawer. Now, as Stephen King recommends, the story will "simmer" for a few weeks so we can look at it with fresh eyes later on. We'll take the story out again around just before Halloween to give it one more revision. The student is strong in grammar but the speed with which he writes sometimes results in typos, grammar, and syntax mistakes. To focus in on grammar, we worked through a real SAT writing section where he caught subject-verb agreement mistakes, verb tense mistakes, misused adverbs, and parallelism. This was advanced work but he did well. We then discussed genre by building a flowchart of all the many, many genres of story and connecting them (i.e. comedy is a genre, romance is another genre, romcom is a subgenre between them, bromance is a subgenre of romcom, etc.). We then discussed what emotions these different genres tend to attempt to evoke, and -- by reading a sad story from Chicken Soup called "Jason and Tommy" -- reviewed an example of a story that inspires and saddens. Writing is more than just conveying information; good writing makes readers feel something. So for next time, we're going to work on writing in-genre stories that target certain emotions in in readers."
"We spent time revising first drafts, organizing all university prompts, and reviewing the common application."