Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"During this session, I assisted the student in responding to a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt in which Roosevelt states: The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself. His assignment was to do research about the context of the quote and write an essay about his findings. This was an assignment for what he is studying in science: soil composition. So we made sure our research was not only historical but science-centered. The student learned that Roosevelt wrote this statement as a result of the Dust Bowl. We then researched the Dust Bowl and what led to its development. As he learned when writing his letter to his teacher, we followed the same writing process steps: brain storm, outline, rough draft, and final draft. This assignment was challenging for him because he had to do a lot of research and write the most sophisticated research paper he's written to date. Even so, he did an excellent job organizing his thoughts in his outline. He especially had great ideas for his conclusion in which he discussed how Roosevelt's quote still holds true today and that our current farming practices are not ideal for environmental sustainability. He began the first paragraph of his rough draft with me. He is still learning how to keep his ideas focused and come up with a succinct thesis statement all on his own. He did an excellent job rising to the challenge and improving his research skills."
"I'd like to bring the student back to topics in which he already has interest. He already reads and writes about prescribed topics in English class; why not practice his skills with something a little more fun outside of class? I've also been thinking about how to help him synthesize grammar knowledge and apply it in context, and I've decided to have him write a full essay over the course of a few weeks. Stretching it out over time will ease the pressure of writing a full essay and allow us to focus on it in pieces and really break down the drafting-editing-polishing process. I chose a show he likes as a subject, because he and I both watch it. Today, we had a brainstorming/prep session, and he wrote a paragraph for the first draft of the essay. I introduced the concept of adventure story archetypes to him, and we explored various ways to approach that topic through the characters in the show. He decided to write an essay comparing and contrasting the two main protagonists through the lens of the hero archetype. We made a Venn diagram for the two characters, did list brainstorming, and made a comparison table. He wrote a full background paragraph introducing the characters. We talked about what to include when writing background information. The next time we meet, I'll present him some hero theory and some material about buddy comedy archetypes. He'll write more intro background information, and he'll start his body paragraphs. I want to refine his position a bit more, and we'll talk about the concept of an argumentative paper as opposed to a book report or descriptive summary."
"We reviewed the writing techniques used in the class book and I guided the student through preparing short essays on topics in the book. We then reviewed and implemented the concepts of similes and metaphors."
"Today, we worked on reading comprehension . We read a few pages from a book, and the student answered questions. We continued working on a writing piece he is doing. I see some improvement on the details in his writing."
"The student practiced reading aloud and answering comprehension questions. He read a timed passage (156 words/minute) and scored 80% on the comprehension questions without looking back into the passage. We also practiced and discussed fact/opinion statements...what makes them fact and/or opinion, what the clue words are that might change them from fact to opinion. He really did well with this and was able to pick out the words that made the statement's opinion. Our next challenge will be reading longer passages and determining whether they are fact or opinion. We will continue to read passages and answer comprehension questions. It really seems to help him when he reads the questions prior to reading the passages. Great session!"
"The student answered a number of comprehension questions on chapters 6-8 of Ella Enchanted. We then read chapters 9 and 10 together out loud. For homework, we will read chapters 11-13 and draw a picture of our favorite scene."