Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"For this session we started with a vocabulary exercise where I had him read an article and insert the correct vocabulary words from the list. It took him some time but he did really well with this exercise and was able to use the context clues to complete the assignment. We then completed several exercises on creating good paragraphs for essays including: identifying main idea, creating elaborate and specific supporting details, writing an effective hook for introductory paragraphs, and creating good clincher sentences. His extra practice assignment was to complete the supporting details activity. He still struggles with coming up with ideas at first, but with a little prompting and by asking him the right questions he's able to formulate his thoughts and write good paragraphs."
"The student's teacher asked me to work with the student on the fourth paragraph of his essay, the essay as a whole, and some grammar worksheets. I asked the student to show me what he had already written in class. He showed me a helpful worksheet. I modified and simplified the questions and wrote them on the board to prompt answers from the student. He wrote some sentences relevant to his opinions and feelings toward the story. We worked on re-crafting these into a more polished draft of the fourth paragraph on the desktop computer. I also helped to edit the overall draft in response to the teacher's comments about the previous full draft. As I was printing out the draft in hard copy, I had the student start a worksheet on appositives. After he was done, I pointed out a couple minor errors with the commas, which the student quickly understood and fixed."
"We started the session by looking at a piece of writing that the student had started and was stuck with. The assignment was to write a story about a historical figure that she researched. She chose to write about Molly Pitcher. The writing that she had was very introductory and had a bunch of facts about Molly Pitcher, but was not a story. She expressed that when she has to write something she does not really plan she just thinks in her head and then writes. So we started by talking about stories and what elements they have. We discussed how her story needed to have a beginning middle and end and that what she had was just facts. We talked about her favorite books, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. We talked about what made those good stories. Then I asked her to tell me why she chose Molly Pitcher. She told me this great story about her taking over and running a cannon during a battle in the revolutionary war. After telling me that story she decided that she should focus on that for her writing. We did a lot of brainstorming out loud and then I had her start to plan her writing by putting ideas chronologically into a T-chart plan. We talked a bit about how to put together a T-chart and then together we started the outline of her story. We talked about why outlines are important. We then started to rewrite the story using the new plan. She was able to write some really beautiful sentences and had really great ideas about where to go with the story. I encouraged her to take breaks when writing. Her homework was to finish writing the Molly Pitcher story and on Thursday we will look at it and talk about the "fluff" and the structure of her writing. My plan for Thursday is to also start looking at how to write a strong paragraph using the stoplight or accordion plan. Overall she did really well, she has strong potential to be a fantastic writer!"