Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Focused on word problem skills and solving equations. The student seems to have gotten the hang of solving basic equations, but will probably still need help in setting up problems involving percentages."
"Today, we spent a lot of time on Math. We used his practice book to do several practice problems. I also brought a practice packet of my own, which was comprised of example questions. I took an example question from each theme of the Math Middle section and provided these to him. He did very well on all questions, stumbling only on those that had to do with percentages and lengthy word problems. I will provide more of these at our next session in order to practice. We finished off an entire Reading section while timing it, and we were able to confirm that, if he continues to answer questions in the same timely manner, he should be able to complete all problems on the Reading test before time is out. We then worked on vocabulary, practicing the flashcards that he has for vocabulary words and for roots, prefixes, and suffixes. We finished our session by finishing the essay that he had started for his school application. We went through the editing process together and talked about how this will be something he will need to do on the Written Section of the test. Next session, we will try to have him take a full practice test."
"The student has been practicing verbal on her own/with her mom so I felt it was important to do more math. She is steadily improving with the math, learning to see patterns on the types of questions/tricks and our next step is to work on doing the problems more quickly. I told her to keep studying her vocabulary and word roots and I also assigned her to do a practice essay before our next session."
"Today we worked on vocabulary, Greek and Latin roots, percents, word problems, patterns, geometry, algebra, and analyzing reading samples. I sent the student home with: practice vocab and reading."
"Today, the student and I addressed several portions of the test, spending most of our time on writing and quantitative. I explained to him that he was more prepared than he thought since, when he focuses, he does quite well on reading comprehension and quantitative (because, in his words, "everything is right there in front of me"). Given that, we are going to focus on maximizing those scores and minimizing the damage of the verbal. His writing was excellent; my only recommendations were allocating less time to writing and more to planning and revision and visually structuring the essay (indentations, writing from line beginning to line end, etc.). We did some work on the quantitative section - this time, to try and maximize focus, I would read the question and/ or ask/ answer questions as we went through a practice section, though he still did the work, sometimes answering before I even finished reading. He did extremely well - easily within striking distance of the 90th percentile with some more practice. His parents have asked to meet at least once more than scheduled this week since his work load is not lightening enough to accommodate practice tests. In these sessions, we will do some practice questions in the reading section chapters focusing on different kinds of questions (e.g. main idea questions, word meaning questions, purpose questions) as well as full practice sessions with a similar breakdown in quantitative, though much more heavily weighted to full length sections given a less consistently question-type breakdown with issues/ errors. With verbal, I will try and help him improve a strategy of blank answers and time management with as much content as practicable, particularly on synonyms."
"I spent some time discussing the boys' interests and academic experiences, including Student A's experience taking the placement exam Lower Level the previous year. We discussed test taking strategies, particularly: prioritizing the easy questions and then going back for the harder ones, and back once more for the hardest, as well as reading the directions carefully and taking time to check the work. I told them that each wrong answer costs 1/4 of a point and told them not to guess unless they could eliminate at least two of the five possible answers. I administered the Vocabulary portion of the test and reviewed the answers by asking each of them to explain the right answer to the other if the other got it wrong. Student A did very well on this test and got most answers right. We then discussed the essay portion, focusing on strategies for structuring it well and finishing on time, as well as methods for making the essays interesting to read and making sure the body paragraph is truly in support of the conclusion. I determined, at the beginning, that both boys are kinesthetic learners, so I taught them outside in the sunshine and fresh air and allowed them to move and stretch while they learned, checking in to make sure they were processing the information we were discussing. I also played a game with them during which I allowed them to squirt me with water guns if they could come up with strategies for writing the essay portion, including structure and content. They remained engaged throughout the session and picked up information quickly. They are highly motivated to learn. Student A has a strong grasp on the vocabulary that will be improved with further study and said he was mostly concerned about the essay. I asked the boys to complete two things for me before next week: the essay portion of one of the practice tests and a set of vocabulary sentences based on the words they didn't understand from the practice test we did during the session."
"I worked some more with the student on word root and vocabulary development and we went over his verbal analogy homework."