Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This was the student's last session before the PSAT. He came prepared for this session with questions and specific areas to review. We covered various topics and questions as a final review then spent the rest of the session covering the harder writing and grammar questions, with which he felt he needed more practice. He performed well, often getting all or most of the questions on a page correct. We talked about how to approach writing passage-response questions and how that strategy should differ from his approach to critical reading passage-response questions. During the last few minutes I gave him some tips for the days leading up to the test: eat and sleep well, try not to be too busy, and spend time relaxing or doing easy-going review instead of cramming."
"We went through the student's practice SAT. We read her essay first, and it was very much improved from the first time that she wrote the essay. She said she went over time a little bit and didn't get a chance to finish her conclusion, but her body paragraphs and examples were well-thought out, organized and connected back to her thesis. Then we went over mostly the math questions that she got incorrect. The student will scan the reading sections and send them to me for feedback, but other than that her SAT skills have improved greatly and I believe her score will improve for her SAT on Saturday."
"Today was our last session before the student takes the SAT next weekend. He completed a critical reading section. There were 6 sentence completion and 2 passages. He got 13 correct and 7 incorrect and left 4 blank. This is an improvement from his starting point and from his last several sections. We discussed the strategies he used and reviewed the questions he answered incorrectly. We also spent a little time looking at the types of questions on the writing section, and we ended by looking at the various math topics that the test covers."
"The student and I continued to work on SAT essay writing. We went through the brainstorming process for an essay together, after which, the student wrote the essay in light of certain of focus points which we had discussed. His ability to come up with and articulate examples is clearly improving, however, he still needs to work on developing analytical depth and making sure his writing is not repetitive."
"The student had done several flashcards on his own, so we covered the topics he'd struggled with. We looked at specifically probability, simplifying algebraic expressions, the distance formula, and the quadratic equation. He will finish up with his math flashcards, and then we will look at Writing on Wednesday."
"I discussed with the student many of the fundamentals of geometry, particularly properties of angles and the vertices of a line intersecting two parallel lines, as well as special right triangles and their relation to equilateral right triangles, squares and rectangles. It took a while for him to catch on to some of these concepts, particularly recognizing a right triangle when turned on its hypotenuse or otherwise represented in an unfamiliar setting. Eventually I was able to get him to apply the ratios of sides of 30-60-90 and 45-45-90 triangles to more geometry problems. We have one more meeting before his test on Saturday - I am assigning him a practice writing prompt which we will examine at our Thursday meeting."
"The student showed and explained the comic using words that he created. Then, he worked on sentence completion. The student's skills using inference clues and reference words has improved to proficiency. Out of 20 questions, he answered 18 correctly. Next, he focused on math skills and solving problems dealing with geometric shapes. He has become better at substituting what he already knows into a provided formula for each the sphere and cone. He has also improved solving inequalities and absolute value problems. After math, I quizzed the student on 45 words he has learned in previous sessions. He can define about half of them with proficiency, a quarter of them using an example, and another quarter of the words he doesn't know well. The student said he will study the words he is unclear about before our next session. Lastly, the student and I reviewed Greek and Latin roots, and he provided a word containing each root listed."
"Today, the student and I did sections of a practice test together. For the sentence completion, we reviewed strategies such as noting the placement of the comma as a clue to the logic of the sentence. Also, we went over reading comprehension passage comparison and did the associated practice problems. We reviewed what to look for when doing the reading comprehension questions. The student did pretty well on those questions, which is an improvement from last time. He also seemed more confident, which was great! We then went over some more difficult math practice questions. We reviewed how to find the volume of various 3D shapes such as a cylinder, and the slope and y-intercept of a line. He seems to need a bit more brush-up on certain algebraic concepts such as polynomials, which we will do next time. The student is improving and also memorizing vocabulary words, so I do expect score increases soon!"
"In today's session we worked through Biology only and covered mitosis and blood-typing briefly and Transcription (DNA->mRNA, processing) and translation (mRNA->protein, amino acids, codons, anti-codons, ribosomes, A-P-E sites) in detail. I was mainly working off of what the student mentioned he was having trouble with. In the beginning, he was struggling with the concept of the direction of synthesis (5' and 3') and its significance to the strand of mRNA produced and protein subsequently produced, so we went over that concept and now he has a better understanding of it. He was also having trouble visualizing what happens inside the ribosome so I supplied an image as well as a video and explained the process using those tools to help him grasp the concepts of translation and the sequence of events that occur. I will receive a list of concepts that the student needs to know before our next session, so that we can go over those in more detail."
"We looked at the student's last practice test and addressed the questions that she felt unsure about. We focused the extra time on Critical Reading, and will continue with practice problems and a practice essay in the next session."
"The student wrote essay outlines and practiced developing body and intro paragraphs. We also worked on long passage CR strategy, summarization of author's purpose and passage structure, and we reviewed commonly tested grammar rules before working through sentence improvement and error identification practice sections."
"The student did very well. We first did reading passages. She has great comprehension and word choice. Next we worked on some sentence completion which she is going to finish next week. She is very good at using process of elimination to rule out answers. Lastly we worked on math. We went over geometry of squares, rhombus, and trapezoid. The trapezoid and rhombus were a little more difficult so we will tackle that again next week at the beginning of the session."