Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I continued working with building summary trees for reading passages. Particularly, we focused on 2-passage comparisons. We reviewed strategies for which passage to start with (the one with the most questions), how to identify the question type (look it up, why, and what if), and then how to narrow answer choices even before she reads the passages."
"I met with the student to continue to review the state assessment mathematics topics. We spent the first half of the session going over problems that he missed on the two practice tests he took during the past week. While we were correcting the tests, I'd show him the way to arrive at the correct answer as well as make a second problem (much like the one he missed) and have him solve it to make sure the concepts and strategies were setting in. The second half of his session we spent reviewing concepts tested in the assessment's math section. I find that it's helpful to make sure students are familiar with the vocabulary and subject matter that may be questioned on the exam. He does excellently on the assessment reading sections."
"- The student seems to have more issues with basic operations than problem solving ability. - This is potentially promising, since sometimes it can be harder to teach problem solving skills than basic operations. - Good example is doubling vs. squari"
"We worked through the arithmetic practice questions in the Test Prep PSAT book together, identified the basic concepts, and went over some strategies. Assigned section of practice test for homework."
"We reviewed the assigned practice on percents, ratios and geometry. We discussed details of some geometry concepts. Then the student completed a practice test."
"The student and I started off this session by reviewing Section 2 (Math) of the practice PSAT she took last week. This section in particular was difficult for her, more so because topics covered she had forgotten how to do and/or had not been exposed to in a few years. The Geometry questions, for the most part, were difficult for her to answer because of this. However, after reviewing several questions, it became apparent that she likes to do most of the Math in her head, so I encouraged her to write down her thoughts on the test directly so as to see them on the page rather than try and keep them straight mentally. (This is especially important during test-taking because there are so many parts to each question (and so many questions, as well), that trying to keep track of every detail mentally can be detrimental to focus and/or reasoning during the test.) Geometry questions sometimes include a diagram, so mapping out the details of the question directly on the diagram can help. Also, using the formulas at the front of the book for area, circumference, etc., and writing those down next to a question can be a helpful visual aid. The student seems more comfortable with straight-forward Algebra, but word problems are an issue. I advised her to read them carefully and write down anything in the problem that is applicable to an algebraic formula. From there, it comes down to working out each detail step-by-step once you know where to begin (signaling out the most important 'variable') and what the problem is really asking you to find out. She also copied the section we reviewed to look at further, along with her initial answers and the corrections. She did this without prompting, which was really great - I think that she really wants to know how those problems work, and how she can improve her own Math abilities for the PSAT. I also assigned her sections in her test prep book, pages 250-256 on Geometry tactics to discuss next week (with example problems) and pages 91-96 that have practice sentence completions. I would like to work with her on both assignments next Saturday, and help her feel more comfortable and confident with the English sections of the test. I would like to help her gain a sense of confidence (even enthusiasm, if possible) with regards to the Reading and Writing PSAT questions. She definitely has both of those outlooks with Math, which is fantastic - it made a huge impact on the session we had today."
"The student completed 3 practice critical reading sections, & we discussed those questions she got incorrect. She is particularly concerned about vocabulary & her performance on those earliest questions in the section, so I suggested she could use flash cards for a short-term boost & read news articles to develop both vocabulary & analytic reading skills."
"The student and I went through two critical reading sections and then discussed general strategy for his test this week."
"The student and I went over her PSAT practice exam she took on Sunday. When we went over the exam, though, she realized all of her mistakes! She doesn't have any real trouble doing any of the problems, which was such a relief! She's well-equipped to handle the test."
"Today, after going over their homework assignment of vocabulary flashcards and a few more sentence completion exercises, we began work on the critical reading section. We began with discussing the format of this section and some tips to make the most of their time limit. When we started the practice exercises, both students found the passage to be confusing and had a hard time understanding it. They did better with the vocabulary questions, but struggled with the questions about the overall meaning of the passage. We spent a good deal of time trying to get the boys to figure out the meaning of the passage by going through it together line by line. I think that their issues with the passage stem from their more limited vocabulary than the normal PSAT student. I am hoping that the continued project of making vocabulary flashcards will help with that. I did not give them as much homework as last time because they both told me that their schedules were very busy. I will adjust accordingly to strike a good balance between getting prepared for the test and their regular school work."
"The student and I worked through a PSAT Critical Reading section together. The fiction passage went very well."
"In the session today we continued working through all of the different sections, focusing heavily on math. Although math is one of the student's strongest areas, some of the harder questions were proving difficult for her today. However, she is very quick to analyze her error and find the correct answer. Our goal is to better understand the problem when reading through it the first time to have greater accuracy. Although she claims that she does poorly in reading and writing, she is doing very well in both of those areas. She has improved a lot in reading since our first session. We are continuing to work on some vocabulary and questions in the reading that relate more to "attitude" or "mood" as opposed to facts."