Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This entry includes the past three meetings, in which the student and I completed our study of "A Modest Proposal" and read a short story called "One and Tother." We discussed the use of irony and the argumentative structure. The student looked up every word that she didn't immediately recognize and wrote down the definition. Our study of the short story involved discussion of the importance of diction and imagery, and I also introduced the idea of the "objective correlative." She is doing well and is engaged with the material!"
"She and I continued to work on her "Book Thief" project. She had completed 2 journals, and we reviewed them for errors. She will continue writing her remaining journals (totaling 10). She had begun outlining some more plot points for her timeline project and we blocked the events for her to draw on the poster board. Finally, we completed her Conflict & Plot Map graphic worksheets."
"As always, she is doing an excellent job. Her reading skills are improving and her comprehension is great. Her English teacher assigned a book called "Speak," by Laurie Anderson. The book is composed of vignettes and as she reads she stops to write in her dialectical journal. I assist her by discussing what she just read to get a sense of her comprehension. We will continue this book during our next session as well."
"Today we worked on annotation. The student practiced identifying details, and making notes in the margins. He is picking up the skill nicely, and does especially well with passages he is interested in. For extra practice, he will read and annotate the next section of the book, and write a brief summary of each section."
"The student did very well in this session. We worked on a document based question he has due for Monday, analyzing each document and outlining his essay along the way. He did well with reading comprehension, and our lesson focused mostly on utilizing the documents to answer the prompt. We also did a lot of practice with spelling, grammar and writing structure. He seemed to be very receptive to my corrections and I can tell that he is improving."
"Building off of our activities from last week, the student and I constructed a large story loop that documents the amount of sub-plots in a single book by main character they intersect with. We had to do a bit of work to come up with 5 or 6 sub-plots, while at the same time brainstorming who the main character they centered around was. He created a diagram with 5 intersecting circles that represented the sub-plots. I think this was beneficial to see the story from a larger perspective and not just through the eyes of the main character. In combination with the character analysis from the previous week, I think we are starting to prepare for any type of upcoming exam or essay."
"Spent our session working an old paper that the student recently submitted. Started by reviewing the five paragraph structure from our previous session, then tackled his introduction and first body paragraph. Taught him how to craft a solid thesis statement and supporting topic sentences for his body paragraphs. We both took notes on our respective copies of his paper, then emailed them to each other at the end of our session. This was particularly important because I wanted to make sure that he correctly interpreted what I taught him."
"We began with a reading of Maya Angelou's poem "Alone" wherein I timed the student reading it both to himself and then again aloud. He did a great job. We then started reading "The Canterbury Tales." I allowed him to read it out loud to me only. I only assisted him when he asked for it. He struggled with the language and the fluency of the reading, however, that was to be expected because it is very challenging for his grade level. After going through a few pages of "The Canterbury Tales," I provided him with a copy of "Eve's Diary" by Mark Twain. Once again, I allowed him to read it out loud to me. He did a much better job and I could definitely tell that he is in fact improving quite a bit. I figured after reading something much more challenging, he would be able to read "Eve's Diary" with much more ease, and he did. He did not finish reading "Eve's Diary" but we will start with that next session."
"The student and I reviewed the first four chapters of To Kill A Mockingbird, which she has read for her English class. We focused particularly on characterization and took notes to aid her in filing out a worksheet on the characters for class. For the coming week she was assigned to read through chapter eight, and we agreed to discuss those chapters at our next meeting. We also reviewed quotations she selected from Angela's Ashes, which she is reading for an extra credit assignment in her History class. She is set to finish the book this week and we will begin working on the outline and pulling primary sources this coming Sunday."
"We covered books 6 and 7 of Homer's "The Odyssey". The student was working on reading comprehension. We read some chapter summaries provided by his teacher aloud first, and then we read the actual chapters of "The Odyssey". I asked him questions about each short passage we read to make sure he was understanding what was happening, and I addressed any questions he had as we read. He seemed to be understand everything as we went."
"This session we continued discussing taking notes and practicing it on a text. We then focused in on summarizing a text. We started reading "Lord of the Flies" with a focus on understanding the vocabulary and summarizing his thoughts. Our strategy was 1-2 sentences per page. I told the student to check for understanding after each page to ensure that he had a clear overall understanding once he got to the end of the chapter or a text. His homework is to carefully read Chapter 1 of "Lord of the Flies", taking note of any words that he needs further clarification. He also needs to write a 2-3 paragraph summary of Chapter 1 prior to our next session."
"We read "To Kill a Mockingbird" together. We would stop to discuss and see if he had any questions. The student's fluency is improving though this text can be very difficult. We were able to read chapters 1-4 together."