Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The students both felt comfortable with their understanding of the foundational skills we reviewed the previous week, so we moved forward by examining how those skills should be employed on the ACT English section. Both students had some difficulty with the transition to guided practice; some elements of this shift (multi-clause sentences, identifying the concept tested, idiom) can be difficult, especially without individualized support, so this was not unanticipated. The difficulty was reflected in their respective performances on timed assessments, but I encouraged both of them to think of the exercise as a progress check rather than an indicator for test day. The two were also able to support one another by comparing and cross-checking their answers/explanations, so I have no reason to think progress won't continue. Moved on to math, and were able to easily dispose of foundational skills in pre-algebra and elementary algebra without any difficulty from either student. Will continue here on Friday, at which point we will begin meeting twice weekly."
"In our last session, I assigned the student the task of writing an essay based on the outline we had worked on together. We began this session by reviewing the introduction and one body paragraph that he had composed. He had mentioned that he did not have trouble getting started on an introduction. Based on his work today, I found that his introduction was well thought out, and the outline we had collaborated on was a useful guide for structuring his body paragraph. His style of writing is very conversational and illustrative, but he had expressed a desire to write in a more formal manner. After we discussed his essay, we moved on to reading comprehension, which was the area the student wanted to focus on the most. I began by describing to him the importance of taking notes in addition to underlining key phrases. I also wanted him to be able to identify the purpose of each paragraph in relation to the main idea of the passage as a whole. After the first three passages we read, we worked separately and compared answers afterwards. We tackled the next two sets of passages collaboratively. After reading each set of passages, I would have the student describe the main idea of each one and also have him tell me the purpose of each paragraph. Afterwards, I would add any comments to better his understanding. We then answered the questions based on our own predictions rather than looking for an answer in the choices. Through this method, the student was able to successfully answer most of the questions. A lingering problem that the student encountered was that vocabulary would often hinder him. I've encouraged him to read more from sources such as trusted news sources of nonfiction books."
"Today was my last session with the student before he takes the SAT tomorrow. We finished going over critical reading questions that we had been going over from our last session yesterday, and then we moved onto the grammar/writing section. After going over strategies for this section (process of elimination, reading aloud in mind, etc..), we did some practice questions. He had a little bit of a trouble pinpointing grammar errors, but after a little bit of guidance on my part, he was able to figure it out. I told him that chances are, the grammar he has learned in school up until this point should be sufficient for him do decently on this portion of the SAT. Lastly, we discussed strategies for the essay portion of the SAT (brainstorming before writing, thesis statement rather than an intro paragraph) and discussed how he would go about writing a sample prompt. If things don't go as well as he hopes, there are more opportunities to do well!"