Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student said his teacher no longer has a set number of books students are to read per month. I had him make a summary of an informational textbook he had read on Sand Sharks since I started working with him using cartoon format, dividing a drawing paper into 8 boxes with the title in box 1, then summary sentences with illustrations in the other boxes on habitat, food sources, morphology (body attributes of sand sharks), etc., with a rough draft sketched first, then a final draft where he was accountable for grammar, punctuation and spelling. He read his summary aloud separately to each parent."
"The student and I played an alphabet singing game to work on phonetics. Using individual letter cards, she built words in some cases using note cards. We discussed how capital "i" can be written in many ways, and that lowercase "l" looks like capital "i," depending on how you write it. We also discussed formulas, as in how "ow" can make "how" or "cow" or "bow." Next, she read aloud a book she brought home from school. She then practiced writing the letter "u" using worksheets from school. Then, I read aloud some Mother Goose poems. Finally, I read a bit of "The Little Prince" while she drew pictures from the reading. Afterward, we discussed how her drawing related to the story."
"The student and I discussed her week again, and also talked a little bit about finding the Gossip Girl books. Then, we went over interview questions, and discussed how to behave, how to act, and how to talk about past work experiences in a professional interview setting."
"I worked on getting the boys to sound out a word instead of jumping to the first possible word they can recognize based on the first syllable. For example, in reading "bubbles" they might get as far as "bu-" and say "bubbles" then move on. If asked to take the time to sound out the word, they will get it right most of the time; it's just convincing them that taking extra time is OK, and worthwhile. Next time will add vowel practice for "e" in addition to "a.""
"The student spent the first 30 minutes of the session doing his vocabulary homework. We discussed the idea of merely doing work for completion versus doing our work to really learn from it. We concluded that generating meaning from his worksheets was a valuable use of his time so he continued doing vocabulary using his drawing and creativity to generate meaning. We spent the rest of the session making sure to frame and do a little bit of catch up work on the new potential novel he might read for his new reading teacher. We got through the first few pages of Shooting Kabul and did our best to get a great sense of the setting, characters, and plot. I am impressed by how he has instinctively taken on the reading methodology I have been advocating to him. He asks questions about the reading, make predictions, and seeks to interact with the text rather than passively absorb it."
"We had a fantastic session on Thursday. I was able to see real improvement, even in the student's excellent work on Tuesday. His reading is really starting to pick up steam. Each time we read, he successfully figures out several words that I expect to be difficult, and he gets a few more after minimal assistance. He is internalizing more and more rules and making better and better guesses. This is showing up in his writing as well, to a significant degree. His spelling words are paying off, and he is willing to choose difficult words for himself to learn."