Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"At today's session, the student worked on her application essays for the middle school she is applying to. She was familiar with brainstorming techniques, and immediately began listing her interests, hobbies and talents. She then took each item she had listed and drafted a paragraph about it. For the second and third questions, she was ready to start writing rough drafts, and we ended up with a draft paragraph for each of these questions. At the end, we went back to the first question and she wrote some notes for herself about how she wants to organize her essay: where she wants to add more detail, what order she wants to write about each subject, and which paragraphs she would like to combine because they are about similar subjects. She was self-directed and confident in her writing, had clear ideas about what she wanted to write about and used descriptive and artful language. I encouraged her to sound out words when she had spelling questions, and she was able to correctly figure out the spelling of most of the words she asked about. I left most of her grammatical errors uncorrected, unless she asked for help, both because this was just a brainstorming session and because the prompt asks for the writing to be in the student's own words. In future sessions we can work to find other ways of phrasing her writing that still reflects her own language and writing style. Next week we will write drafts of all three questions."
"The student and I began going over a writing model, using it to review the previous writing assignment and then to rewrite it, paragraph by paragraph. After explaining the model and doing the examples, I assigned an argument paper following the model and requiring sources to be reviewed upon the next session."
"We continued to review the writing assignments that he is making up. The student was able to complete the last two assignments."
"We continue to work with spelling and pronunciation skills to support his writing. I concentrated on letter sounds and combinations with him. He had read a book on "Seabiscuit" that I provided and wrote a very good two-page report on it, with only a few misspelled words. The student has improved noticeably in his spelling skills since we have been working together. He is incredibly bright and urbane and very gratifying to work with."
"We continued reading Artemis Fowl. We completed Chapter 3 and began Chapter 4. Throughout the session, I modeled reading fluency via read-alouds and modeled thinking process via think-alouds. The student is expressing genuine interest and excitement in the literature. He often laughs out loud and seems really happy when we are reading. He says that he likes the book because it is "magical." At the end of each chapter, we go through multiple choice comprehension questions, and today, he answered them with more ease. He is really good at making text-to-self and text-to-world connections. He looks forward to our next session to find out what happens next."
"We continued reading two additional chapters of "Mercy Watson to the Rescue." Today we worked on "character analysis" and "cause and effect." The student is able to recall facts related to the story, but she needed a little assistance with pulling information from the text for the cause and effect activity. With more practice, she will be able to pull information without assistance."