Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"During this session, I helped her complete her Pop love song and A Midsummer Night's Dream comparison writing assignment. She did a nice job revising her first paragraph by providing more in depth analyses for her quotes. She was still struggling, however, with providing an analysis for a particular song lyric. She found the lyric obvious and difficult to analyze. I showed her the importance of looking at a text as a whole and seeing where the particular quote she is analyzing fits into the text and how that quote effects the overall meaning of the text. Through some prompting on my part, she was able to identify the fact that the speaker was ostensibly renaming herself by likening herself to a fool. Thus, the speaker is overpowered by her lover to the point of not being able to recognize herself, lending to the theme of insanity's close connection to love. We then spent the remainder of the session analyzing her second paragraph. We did not have time to work on her final paragraph, so she had to complete her last comparison on her own. She did, however, e-mail me a copy of her completed assignment, and her final paragraph demonstrated a more informed analysis of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Her final draft showed that her analytical and close-reading abilities are growing. As stated in our last session notes, I think she found this assignment particularly challenging because of the mature themes of love she had to analyze. For her second paragraph, we had to revise her argument and analysis because both were flawed. I had to do a lot of prompting during this session to help her understand the contradictions of Shakespeare's characters, however, she was able to grasp the themes of each text more easily. I told her the importance of writing many drafts and that, as a writer, she will rarely write the perfect sentence on her first attempt. I emphasized that writing is a process that often times requires multiple drafts. Overall, she is growing tremendously as a writer and at a rapid rate. She is an advanced writer for her age, and I am confident that, over time, she will learn the importance of writing multiple drafts before she achieves her best work."
"During our first tutoring session yesterday we made introductions and covered the basics of the boys' strengths, weaknesses, and goals for tutoring. The first student began his session by reading a portion of a nonfiction library book he checked out. We worked on reading slowly so that each word is said correctly including all word parts. After reading, he wrote a response on what he read. Together we made a checklist of good writing characteristics and he checked his writing, making edits for spacing, capitalization, punctuation, and structure. He made great progress. During my hour with the second student, we began by reading an article he was assigned for homework and reviewing his journal response using text codes. After completing his homework he read a portion of a library book. He pointed out the words he didn't know and we practiced using context clues to determine word meaning. He read the sentences before and after the words and came up with possible synonyms to substitute for it-- he did very well with this strategy. Last, he wrote a short narrative about his favorite activity to do with his best friend. I pointed out that he could add interest and excitement to his story by slowing down the action and including more details and a description of his emotions. He made the changes and greatly improved his narrative. We will continue to work on reading comprehension and writing as well as practice assessments prep next week."
"With the first student, we began the session by working on writing. The student's paper has improved significantly over the weeks. We have worked on adding detail to an argument and it is coming along nicely. For today's session, we worked on fine tuning grammar, spelling, etc., and discussed briefly why each change was needed. In the future, I think we will work on formalizing her writing as she tends to write very much as she talks. She did much better at the game that we repeated, although her biggest difficulty lies with vocabulary. With the second student, we discussed Ender's Game. She had only read until Chapter 3, so we began with a review of the early part of the book, especially the back story and Ender's family. I asked her to take notes for the next 3 chapters. At the very end, we talked about the "officials" at the beginning of each chapter and how she felt about their actions and decisions, and if they were making good decisions."
"This session I helped the student on an assignment where she had to write a paragraph describing a person she saw from the outside, from her perspective, and then another paragraph narrating what they may have been thinking from their perspective. She got very creative and did a great job, and she also showed a lot of initiative and good intuition when I pointed out a grammar or usage error and asked her to correct it."
"This session the student wrote a very strong first draft of the next writing prompt for class. She is putting much of her new technical abilities, such as the use of active, into her writing process. This enables her to focus more on the conceptual organization of the essay. Her argument for this essay was logical and thoughtful."
"This session was focused on working with the student through his most recent assignment in History, which involved outlining, drafting, and writing a summary and critical reflection essay on a reading selection of the student's choice. The reading selection was a biographical piece on the unique historical conditions and influence of the 1968 Robert Kennedy campaign. As the student had come with a thesis already prepared, discussion focused primarily on ways of substantiating the student's position with suitable criteria, which were incorporated into possible topic sentences, and ordered according to the working outline the student had constructed. Contextualizing historical discussion framed and informed the claims being considered and presented. Stylistic considerations in presenting the claims were duly weighed, as well as probable supporting content for including in the essay's conclusion."