Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We finally got a chance to talk through some of the student's writing beliefs and approaches this session. She has had some exposure to graphic organizers -- in her words, a "double bubble" organizer, Venn Diagram, and tree map -- and in class this week the focus has been on extracting details from summaries (determining main events, characters, setting, and so on). She mentioned that she gets to do a lot of narrative, biographical writing. When I asked her what she'd prefer to write, she said she'd like to write a story and began telling me about a room off Hearst Castle and how this would factor into her story about zombie-ghost characters. Before she launched too far into this, I explained that the pre-planning and documentation of her story would ensure that she folded all the details she was vocalizing into written form. I also talked about writing as a form of communication -- of ensuring the picture she had in her head was communicated on paper in a way that meant that I, too, could experience it, in all its color. She took pause at this. I wrote open-ended questions on the lined paper for her to respond to, would have her respond, and then would ask follow-up questions. This seemed to get her creativity flowing and because I was asking her to write formally or academically, she seemed a lot more engaged. Her homework for next session is to have her story mapped out as fully as possible in the graphic organizer."
"I gave the student the exercise of writing step-by-step instructions for something he enjoys doing: making wooden daggers. We then went over it for editing punctuation and spelling. We then had a spelling quiz of words we've worked on so far and he did well! We ended up doing an exercise about creating engaging setting in writing by cueing the senses. We used his study area for a starting point."
"Today the student and I focused on writing and composition. The primary focus for us this session was how to organize a paper into a beginning, middle, and an end. During this session, she and I worked with graphic organizers. We discussed the characteristics of each part (beginning/middle/end) of a story as well as climax and rising/falling action. At the beginning of the session, I talked about the elements of a B/M/E and gave examples. We then used the movie "Frozen" to illustrate the elements and flow of a story. She filled out a graphic organizer and identified the elements of the story that belonged in each section. She did well, and seemed to understand when we talked about the different elements. She enjoyed the exercise, and I would like to see how she performs when she composes her own work!"
"Today the student continued reading and discussing "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." We focused mostly on character descriptions and vocabulary. Then the student and I worked on a page from the reading workbook."
"In this session the student read through the book Arthur's New Pet. He was reading for the purpose of working on fluency as well as identifying summarizing features such as characters, setting, problem, and solution. He filled out an organizer of this information and then lumped it all together into a written response. After that, he and I are starting on math work per the request of the family. The student played a digital addition and subtraction game for eight minutes, where I was able to see areas of weakness in double-digit subtraction. He and I also previewed fractions, a skill that is going to be needed as a foundation next year."
"We covered vocabulary and reading comprehension. The student needed the most help with pronunciation. He has a very positive attitude toward the material that was covered. He was encouraged, as always, to read books/articles in English on his commutes. He got a perfect score on the vocabulary questions I gave him at the beginning of the lesson. This was based on the new vocabulary he had learned in the article we have been reading."