Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student's main focus is his in-class essay writing skills. We covered some general tips that could help him with this. Next, I went through the list of 30 rules for writing essays that the student's teacher provided him. For each rule, I asked him if he understood what it meant and tried to give an example of what would be good or bad under each rule. We also looked over a grading rubric and I pinpointed the most important rules to remember. We then went through the student's math notes, looked at the teacher's examples, we worked some practice problems. Finally, I had him write a paragraph-long story on any subject he wanted, but where he had to incorporate the above sentence types. I went through the paragraph and pointed out areas where he could make his writing stronger, and discussed them with him. Overall he did great!"
"Today, the student worked toward polishing his Wizard of Earthsea essay, improving on the grammar, word choice, phrasing and specifics as he went along. We especially focused in on comma usage, run-on sentences, and word repetition. We also talked about non-specific language and shortcuts (e.g., saying "This means" instead of "This progression means" or "That resulted" instead of "That conversation resulted"). By the end of the session, he was starting to correct his own mistakes and fill in the blanks to specify objects of "this" especially without extra prompting. By the end of the session, he'd finished polishing and working through a full coming-of-age essay that will serve as a great example for future essays on novels or coming-of-age narratives. This may well come in handy almost immediately, as his class is starting to read To Kill A Mockingbird. For Thursday, I asked him to read the next chapter in A Wizard of Earthsea and also remember to check his test score on the test he took."
"The student's English teacher has been assigning "vocabulary" words and quizzing the students on them, so we worked on putting those words into sentences to help her remember each definition. The "words" are really roots, prefixes, and suffixes, such as "anti," so she was able to come up with a word for each root and write a sentence using the word. She enjoyed this exercise, and I think it will really help her remember definitions. We then reviewed basic parts of speech, which her teacher reviewed today with the class. She did well with these, and she knew most of the basic parts, such as nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, and adjectives. The only part that she needed to really review was preposition use. She understood what a preposition is, but she did not understand the teacher's phrase that "the object of the preposition can only be the object of the preposition." We went through an example so she could see that the same sentence could be written in two different ways, one with a preposition and one without. We used "I gave the girl the book" and "I gave the book to the girl" so that she could see how "the girl" is the indirect object in one sentence and the object of the preposition in the second sentence."