Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Student A and student B have only one week until test day. Today we spent most of the time going over homework, and we covered the remainder of the math material during the rest of the session. Both students are scoring solidly in English, but student A made the most improvement from the last practice section to this one. He still has a small issue with missing groups of questions at a time, so this may be a focus issue that will need to be overcome. Student B, in reading and English, scored about the same on the current practice sections as he did last time. I suggested spending less time reading all the details of the actual passages (except for prose fiction) and more time on the questions, since he seems to miss more detail questions than inference or main point questions. This indicates to me that he has an understanding of the themes of passages, but rushes a bit over the details when doing the actual questions. For student A the strategy of focusing on 5 of 7 science passages got him a higher score. I think he can do better still with more familiarity and practice. For next time I assigned both students a full practice exam from the ACT practice book. This will enable them to get an overall diagnostic score for the first time and perhaps inspire confidence or motivation to do well on next Saturday's test."
"The student attacked this week with engagement and preparation. She did a terrific job on her critical reading passages. Together, we read an analytic passage about teleological and mechanistic arguments. After identifying the central idea, paraphrasing the sub-ideas in each paragraph, and visualizing the passage, she was able to answer all six of the questions correctly, giving her a perfect score on the section. I have assigned more critical reading passages for this week, and I have challenged her to explain how she eliminates the wrong answers for each question. I encouraged her to put a lot of effort into her vocabulary roots this week. We explored how knowing common roots allows us to approach complex vocabulary like a verbal puzzle (for instance, unanimous=one minded). Once she builds her base of roots using the flashcards she has made, she will be able to unlock lots of SAT vocabulary. In math, we addressed her questions about last week's homework. That led us to an in-depth review of fractions. This week, she will complete homework on fractions and foundational pre-algebra skills. I hope that with this pre-algebra review, we'll move away from dependence on a calculator, and we'll be equipped with better number sense to tackle more complex concepts. Next week, we will focus on special math problems, application of vocabulary roots, and some essential writing skills."
"The student had completed the diagnostic test I assigned last time, so we went through all of the questions she missed. We then looked at similar practice problems for each question, and examined the strategy needed. We continued our work on extrapolation in each type of critical reading passage, and I asked the student to look at a reading diagnostic for next time."