Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This was my last session with the student. We started with a "Repeated Reading" exercise in which he reads a passage out loud for 1 minute and then I keep track of how many words per minute he is able to read and how many errors he made. We repeated this activity 4 times, with him improving each time. By the fourth and final reading, he had read 168 wpm and made no errors. Following that exercise, I had him read a short story out loud to me while I recorded him. The short story was 16 pages long and was the longest story that I have had him read to me. As usual, I would stop him, make the necessary corrections and proceed accordingly. The audio recordings of him reading out loud have contributed substantially to his improvement. It has been my pleasure."
"The student had completed reading the second chapter of The Blind Side and had written the "found poem" that I had assigned. I had brought two other novels with me and from these two books, he chose to read "Night" by Elie Weisel. We began with a KWL chart. He completed several facts. We began reading the foreword, which lays a basis for the nonfiction novel. We discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction. We then began reading Chapter 1 aloud. Checking for fluency, he read approximately 120 words per minute with no errors. I asked him prediction questions and clarifying questions to which he responded accurately. I gave him an assignment to write a short essay explaining that if he were told to pack a bag and he didn't know where he was going, or when he would return home, what would he take with him? He will write one paragraph in the present day, and one paragraph as if he lived during another time. I also discussed analogies with him to prepare him for assessments, which he will be expected to take sometime next school year. I provided him with 20 analogies to complete over his two week break from school in which he will be out of town. I also spoke to him about his English binder, to which he informed me that his teacher had given him half credit for having it organized. This is a step in the right direction."
"Today, the student and I created a framework to improve his vocabulary study habits. In the past, we identified this as a section of his English/Language Arts grade that could significantly boost his performance on formative and summative assessments. We discussed how making something as simple as creating notecards for each vocabulary word a routine would significantly increase the likelihood of positive performance on the vocabulary exams he takes every 2 weeks. The methodology we worked on consisted of working from his list, and dividing the back of each card into 4 sections. 1) The provided definition 2) The word defined in his own terms 3) A complex sentence using the word 4) A study hint or memorization strategy for each word More often than not, I believe it is the practice of actually devising the study hint or using the word in a sentence that establishes the thought process inherent to memorization. At this point, the student has between 50-60 vocabulary words with which to implement this strategy. Together, we covered about 25 more, and after a couple of rounds of review, he is starting to routinely hit the 90-95% range in his understanding and use of the given words."