Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We worked on questioning strategies for focused reading today. The student and I reviewed the progress of the plot of "Leprechaun in Late Winter" at the beginning of our session, and then we used what had happened so far to develop focused questions for the next chapter. We also identified key vocabulary using a pre-reading vocabulary skim strategy. Then we discussed the meaning of the unfamiliar words. After preparing for her reading, we worked on subjects and predicates, building off of her previous study of parts of speech. For homework, she will read chapter 10."
"The student and I began by reading short readers for grade 1 provided by the library to evaluate her reading skills. The first she read fairly well. She did very well at sounding out words. Most words in the first book were familiar to her and she seemed to recognize them as she sounded them out. Once in a while she used her finger to follow. This may indicate she's trying to help herself focus visually on one particular aspect of a word or sentence. So for the second book we tried a few different color overlays to see if it was easier for her during the second and third short book, all at grade 1 level. We tried turquoise, lavender and rose. She reported she liked the turquoise best. She did seem to read more comfortably and guess fewer words with the turquoise overlay. We proceeded with the turquoise overlay as she simply seemed more excited about reading with it. After reading for about 20 minutes, she reviewed vowels and vowel sounds at which she did very well. She completed two vowel exercises, identifying long "a"ù and short "a"ù sounding words by circling pictures. She did very well on the short "a"ù sounds and had two small mistakes on the long "a"ù sounds (e.g., apple, alien). She went through and wrote out the word for each picture. Alien and candy in particular, were likely new for her. This provided an opportunity for her to practice sounding out the words carefully and representing those sounds with letters. I think this is a great exercise for her. It slows her down and she practices carefully hearing each sound. In writing these words, it became more evident that she confused letters that looked similar (e.g., d, b, p, q, 9) when they were near other letters (e.g., in words). When I wrote them out for her individually she had no trouble reciting them correctly, demonstrating she knows the letters well. On her own, she corrected her errors once she recognized what had happened. I think having her write out words that have these letters in them is also a good exercise. She's very intelligent and self motivated to learn them! Asking her to write them out provides her the opportunity to guide herself to the correct answer, a great tool! We completed the hour with one exercise on nouns. She said nouns were new for her. Again, she picked the concept up very quickly and spelled out the words she new very well. In that exercise there were two new words for her (i.e., night, glove) that involved "ght"ù and "ove"ù sounds she was less familiar with. She has wonderful self motivation for learning! Some key things we will work on involve (1) slowing down her reading, which may involve initially using some physical strategies (e.g., dividing words with her finger, using her finger to follow, using a visual block) for practice and moving towards not using them at each level. (2) We will also review exceptions to rules for vowel sounds (e.g., ie, ea, ou, oi, ght) as she seems less familiar with some of these rules when she sounds words out. I will continue to observe potential visual processing errors (e.g., switching letters, skipping letters/words, guessing). (3) We'll continue having her write out words she hears to help develop her pacing and auditory skills to help her reading skills. I left the turquoise overlay with her mother. I mentioned if she has more fun reading with it, great, use it. If not, no big deal. We did not get a chance to review her comprehension skills at this session. (4) Because comprehension is essential, we will certainly work on it as well."
"For our first session I had a booklet that had some exercises involving reading and illustrating that would give me a chance get to know this student better and assess the areas where she might be having problems. I could see that she needs work on sight recognition and sounding out words. We ended our session reading a poem that she is reading for school."