Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today's session with the student went very well. We went over the latest characters of the novel and established the definitions of plot and setting. I then introduced the plot diagram to the student; he showed a good understanding of the concept, and I will have him apply a plot diagram to the novel after we have finished it. We then discussed the important events that have occurred in the novel up to page 100."
"In the last few sessions, the students worked very hard and mastered the ideas of adding both prepositional phrases and descriptive language to their creative writing sentences. This session, each was asked to invent a character, tell what happens, tell where it happens and put it all together in a 3 paragraph piece of creative writing with a beginning, middle and end. The girls worked diligently and created pieces which showed their understanding of the assignment They both included some humor as well which was part of the assignment along with appropriate punctuation. Their spelling is good. The next step would be self-editing and teacher-suggested editing for style and flow of ideas. They practiced between sessions with fun examples of descriptive writing and trying out new ideas for more interesting sentence structure. They loved putting this all together; I was proud of them and it was very rewarding for me as a tutor."
"The student and began our session by reviewing and rereading a chapter book she had gotten from the library, "Excellent Emma." She was confused in reading the first few pages of the book because it appeared to change the perspective of the speaker very abruptly. We returned and reread the first chapter from the beginning, discovering the cause of the confusion, and discussing the events of the chapter. She was confused about the relationships between characters, so I encouraged her to go back and reread a previous paragraph to clarify her confusion. Afterwards she had a much better understanding of the events and character relationships. We will continue to practice rereading to build fluency. Next, she and I read an Aesop's Fable together. After reading, we discussed how the "moral" conveyed the main message of the story. Next, we read three more Aesop's fables, each time reviewing the events of the story, and deciding what we believed was the main message of the fable. She was ultimately able to produce sufficient "morals" for the fables. She was then challenged to try one on her own. It was hard for her to articulate the last "moral," but with prompting she was able to give a sufficient answer. We then practiced another "mistake fixing" exercise, where she had to find the mistakes I had made in writing an article. She located 2 mistakes out of 15; we will likely do this exercise together next time, with her reading aloud. She tends to perform better when reading aloud. Next, she was given a set of directions. Her job was to determine what the set of directions was asking her to do. This challenged her to connect a variety of details to one overall purpose. She was then asked to write down what she believed the directions were for, and what specifically in the reading passage supported her answer. She did this extremely well, and we will likely repeat this exercise with more difficult text. She then did a speed-reading and vocabulary exercise. She appeared to enjoy the vocal exercise most, and is steadily improving at recognizing and understanding difficult words. Her speed-reading was at a slightly slower pace today, but it seemed to match better with her reading rate. We will do this again at the next session. Fluency building will be our primary goal. We will also continue to build her central theme/idea concepts in different types of literature, before moving into inferencing."