Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We spent the majority of the time today on the multiple choice grammar section. The student wanted support in this area because she never learned grammar rules for American English growing up in Britain. We covered all of the main grammar rules the test checks for: punctuation, matching clauses, parallelism, etc. Usually her instincts would lead her to two best answer choices, and then she could use our rules to pick the best answer of the two. We also covered past tense vs. progressive tense since these seem to be used differently in British English. The student picked up on these concepts quickly and talked through her process of applying them as she went through the problems in the book. With the remaining time we did part of a reading section to review vocabulary for her. She knew almost all the words. We made a vocabulary list with definitions and mnemonic devices. I told her to study this list for homework."
"In this session, the student and I began by looking at more word roots, and talked about examples of derivative words in which these roots could be seen. We then discussed the passage that she had read for this session. By her answers, she showed that she understood the events in the passage well. She identified one aspect of the author's attitude toward the subject of the passage, but did not notice that the author's view was not only one-sided, but was tempered by additional information in the passage. I pointed out the part of the passage in which the author's views were complicated and expanded upon, and she and I discussed this. In the second part of this session, the student and I looked at two poems. She had no problem understanding the general events in the two poems. We examined details and images in the poems, and how the language used in the poems contributed to their effect. On her first time reading, she sometimes had not noticed small details in the poems, but, with prompting, did a good job looking back in the poems to find her answers. As with the prose passage we worked on, she can continue improving on feeling comfortable with contradictions and paradoxes. When reading, she misread a few longer words as different words - she should remember to read slowly and carefully, and not to read quickly over unfamiliar words but to try to use context to understand them and to re-read a section if necessary. In the final part of the session, she and I worked on reading through another longer passage of fiction. Overall, she did very well in understanding both the plot of the passage and the attitude of the narrator. She also did a good job reading between the lines for small details that were not explicitly stated. I left her with the passage to finish reading, three more reading comprehension passages, and additional poems to work on if she has time."
"We reviewed through a grid-in math section today. The student did great! We then worked on reading comprehension. After some practice, he became much better at utilizing direct contextual support, rather than any reading between the lines, for his answer choices. We finished off with some sentence completion problems and a short section of writing. He did well with these exercises. I assigned him one practice section from each subject for homework."