Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"First, we reviewed the student's homework. He'd done well and his response to the essay question was quite good and without major grammatical gaffes. Next, we reviewed complex sentence structure, discussing how he could have improved his essay with more complex sentences. Subsequently, we discussed his current school literature assignment, "Animal Farm," and the various symbols that pervade the book. We'd gone over microcosm and macrocosm before, but the incidence of these and their relevance to interpreting the book merited further study. The student was grasping the symbolism, so we moved on to consider the major themes of the novel, which led to revisiting the terms "implicit" and "explicit." Because his school's grammatical focus is now on the proofing and editing process, we turned our attention to exercises in proofing, revising and editing. His tutoring homework, coordinated with his school curriculum, is to write a persuasive essay."
"In our session we worked through some of the writing process and started editing the portions of the essay that had already been completed. While I edited, the student continue to work through her analysis and talk through her ideas about the three translations of the poem. She will receive my edits and comments for her review this afternoon."
"Went reviewed the student's assignment due tomorrow on Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart,' where he will write a review article on the literary devices and how they create a certain mood. We brainstormed ideas for quotes and devices to analyze, and discussed methods of analysis, how to write the analysis, and different literary devices. We primarily discussed imagery, personification, style/syntax, and talked about how to analyze them and how to explain how the specific devices create a mood. He is not yet adept at literary analysis, but shows a very confident command of what the devices are and how to explain them. We will follow up at the next session 2 weeks from now."
"Great first session. We talked through the syllabi of the student's writing-heavy classes and his current assignments. He identified wanting to take a strong stand, organize his thoughts and make his writing more cogent among his goals for our work together. We spent the rest of the session doing a close reading of the Israeli poem that he will be writing his first essay on."
"Today the student and I started with math. We did a ISEE lower level math diagnostic test. He continues to impress, but definitely needs to remember that when we're talking about a subject or concept that he is unfamiliar with, to let me explain it fully before making assumptions and guessing. He's very smart, but trying to figure out something you haven't learned yet is nearly impossible. Next, we focused on writing. I had him use an ISEE lower level writing prompt to write me a short story. He definitely has some strong writing skills, but needs to proofread for simple errors and also make sure his story is complete before ending it. For next week, I had him write me a persuasive essay, instead of a creative one."
"I am really just so excited to work with this student. She has all the qualities of an excellent student--engaged, enthusiastic, willing to try new things, and willing to share. And she also has all the qualities of an excellent writer in the making--committed to practice, constantly reading, fully imaginative. As we work together, I want to help her cultivate and hone the gift she has, sharpening her writing voice and showing her how her imaginary worlds can help her navigate the world around her. I've asked her to start keeping a writing journal where she takes notes on interesting people, places, and things, which we'll use for our sessions together. And she seemed very interested in the idea of using the journal to create tandem worlds, basing our discussions of character, plot, and setting on those creations. As we move forward, I'll provide other small assignments to engage her between lessons, but nothing that would take away from her regular homework."