Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This was our first session together, and so we spent part of our time talking about interests, academic strengths, and areas for improvement. We talked about books the student has read and what type of genres he enjoys. I learned that he feels confident in math and science, and that he scores in the 82nd percentile in reading. When he does read for fun, it is typically graphic novels. We also discussed his hobbies. The next thing I did was have him do a brief writing exercise, which we ended up working through together. We outlined an essay about his favorite activity. We discussed what a thesis is and how to organize our ideas. I think it will be important to integrate short writing pieces with his reading tutoring. Next, he read "The Emperor's New Suit." I asked that he take notes, which is something we will need to work on. He did write down words that he didn't know and we went over how to properly use a dictionary, find the proper definition for the context, and then record. Our other main focus was a discussion about the text so I could gauge reading comprehension. I am going to work with him on taking his time with reading so that he takes in details, taking notes as he goes along, and overall comprehension. Another goal is to find materials that he will enjoy reading. We will pick up next time with more short story comprehension, and we will also explore nonfiction."
"The student and I first talked about the book she was currently reading, Emma. She gave me a general idea of the events of the book so far. I asked her deeper-meaning questions about certain aspects (involving how certain characters were feeling). We then started a reading log for "The Secret Garden." We read through the first chapter together. I showed her how to use the endnotes and other features to help her understanding of the book (she liked these features). We stopped every so often, as she read, to discuss the events and her response. She would sometimes read through a few paragraphs and, when stopped, reveal that she had not understood the reading. We reviewed the need for her to stop and make sense of the text before moving forward. With guidance, she was able to understand and respond to the text well. We then did an inference exercise that required her to infer, from clues, what kind of creature an axolotl was. She decided it was most like a lizard, which was very close to the correct answer. We then practiced using inferring and reasoning on a Fact/Fiction exercise. She was presented with a fact ("The puffer fish is considered a delicacy in Japan."). She was then encouraged to use her prior knowledge and reasoning to decide whether this "fact" could be true. The exercise was meant to encourage her logical reasoning and monitoring skills when reading. Her error-fixing exercise went well; she only missed 2 errors. I then read aloud to her, and she was encouraged to find miscues in my reading. Her vocal practice went well, though we will need to focus more on definitions. She does well with missing-word sentence completions. She also did her speed-reading, this time scrolling through the text, at about 300 wpm. Overall, she is beginning to think and consider her reading more carefully, use inference, and generate central themes/ideas. She was given a reading log for "The Secret Garden," as the greatest help for her fluency will be an increase in reading! She is to give a brief summary of what she read every day. Her parents were also left with two error-fixing exercises and another inference practice."
"Today, the student answered comprehension questions based on the text she was reading. She was also asked to make personal connections to the text."