Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we worked in more detail on clustering and outlining. The students understand the concepts well, so going forward I will focus on bringing out the sides of their writing where each is weak. The first student is very linear and literal, and I'm working to get him to boost his creativity. The second student has a nice balance of creativity and analytical writing, but she is very methodical and precise. I'm working to get her to let go and surprise herself more. The third student is extremely creative and circular in her thinking. I'm working to get her to be a bit more literal and precise in writing down every step of her creative process. She makes the connections in her head, assuming the reader will make the same connections. I'm working to get her to put every step of her thought process on paper so the reader can see the connections she's making."
"The student and I started with a writing exercise: I had him write about his favorite sport. We then went over his work and edited it together, discussing such things as reading aloud, subject-verb agreement and other common grammatical mistakes. Then I checked on how his English class was going, and he mentioned that they had watched "The Outsiders." We discussed his thoughts on the movie, and I taught him a number of film-study terms such as "on-location" versus "on-set" and "diegetic" versus "non-diegetic." We then continued our work on essay structure from last session, now in the context of an essay on the film. We went point by point through what the essay could cover, getting him to think about specific examples in the film that illustrated his thoughts on it. Finally, we had a brief discussion about themes, what they are and why thinking about them is useful, and I tried to get him thinking about the themes in the book he is reading. I asked him to try to make an essay outline similar to the one we made for the film. To encourage the student's engagement with our sessions, I'm going to try to incorporate his personal interests into the lessons more. Hopefully that, along with him seeing himself improve over time, will help."
"This session I worked with the student on prewriting and drafting a creative story for school. She already had done a brainstorming exercise. I introduced her to a basic plot diagram, which was new to her. She found the plot diagram useful and thinks she may use it in the future to plan other stories. We then worked on a detailed outline. She had some experience with this, so the process went quickly. She then drafted her introduction and first three paragraphs, asking questions about grammar and paragraph organization along the way. I advised that sometimes it is easier to get a rough version of your writing down first, and then fine tune word choice and "flow" on a second read-through. She learned the word "apathetic" and practiced using the word "irate" in her story. We also discussed the difference between toward/towards and afterword/afterwards, as well as proper apostrophe and comma placement. She will finish the narrative on her own. I reminded her to go through the editing and revision process before she turns it in."