Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Topics: Reading, reading comprehension, summarizing Progress: The student was very willing to tackle books that he had seen or felt comfortable about, and took the initiative to read them and concentrate on them with excellent effort. He does seem to like books that seem to have action or some sort of meaningful plot, and not just a weird or fantastic, wandering plot. He likes realistic relationships in the stories, and unpredictable / suspenseful moments. He also dislikes blunt-looking illustrations, seems to prefer illustrations with some 3-D and softened appearances. I am extrapolating from the strong reactions he's had so far to the different books. He absolutely loves the Frog and Toad series and most any books by Arnold Lobel, but a few other similar ones. I'll adapt to this new constraint and this will help make sessions more productive, since it is kind of a double-edged sword -- he does deeply enjoy reading certain books."
"This evening when I arrived, the student was finishing up her four long division math problems. I reviewed her work and had her explain the method used (a unique, but effective method taught by her teacher this week); she got all four answers correct and showed her work very well. Her nanny then made me aware of a book project that was due later this month. The student told me a little bit about the project, the book, and what she'd done towards the project, thus far. I looked over the project rubric, to learn more about what was required and when various progressions were due. We reviewed the page that she'd browsed when making her gesture, and I brought her attention to the specific information outlined on that page, to help her understand the importance of reading versus guessing what is being said simply using the images. She had already decided on three of her needed four presentation talking points. Using the Table of Contents as a guide, we decided upon the fourth talking point, then we read the three pages that related to that topic and made notes on index cards about what we read. I ensured that the reading was as engaging as possible. I strongly encouraged her to actually read the book from cover-to-cover, in accordance with the project rubric (which suggests that the student read 5-10 minutes per day, then begin preparing for the presentation after finishing the reading portion), and showed her how few pages the book had in total and that many of those pages were mainly a large picture. I emphasized how we learned new information after having actually read and that the pictures made far more sense once we read how they related to the overall story. In addition, I explained that schools have students do presentations on books to give them practice reading and explaining what was read."
"We went over the second chapter of "Shambles." The student began to read with more confidence halfway through the session which was very encouraging. We worked on a summary together although we didn't quite get time to finish. She learned a few new vocabulary words."
"The student and I started by playing a game of Pictionary to break the ice, and then started reading from a joke book that she purchased this week. She initially wanted to read only the short, two-sentence Q&A jokes, and had to be prodded to try longer jokes comprised of story passages. I would ideally like her to choose more challenging reading material; but at this point, short and humorous reading material is helpful in overcoming her antipathy to books. Her mom indicated that the student is good about finishing her reading homework in her room, which I would like to examine more closely next week. I am still trying to ascertain what combination of circumstances inspire her to read, so that I can help her enjoy reading more."
"The student and I started working on short and long vowel sounds. She is still struggling with decoding words, but her fluency is improving. The student is going to continue reading our book. She has not been writing on sticky notes, and still does not stop and attempt to figure out unknown words in the text when she encounters them. We will continue to work on this next session."
"The student and I reviewed the distributive property of multiplication. She had difficulty gaining a conceptual understanding of the property, but after a model and scaffolded examples, she was able to understand more clearly."