Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Our first exercise was to look at and consider the student's five questions that he thought might generate a conversation with a stranger. We discussed each question, its merits and its shortcomings, to determine how effective it would be as a conversation starter. We then discussed six easy ways to engage in a conversation with someone new: comment on surroundings; ask open-ended questions; compliment; note common interests; stay with small talk; and listen effectively. We then set up a scenario in which I was a customer of the student's dealership and he was the salesperson. I asked him to take me out on the lot and "sell me" a car. At first, he was halting and ineffective, but I reminded him that there was no exact formula here: conversation is never perfect; it is always an improvisation that grows spontaneously, and we never know even when we begin a sentence what the ending will be. With that, he began a pretty effective presentation, including a conversation about what kind of work I did, how I would use the car in my business, and what kinds of traveling would be involved in my day-to-day activity. When we came back into our "classroom," we discussed how the conversation had gone and how he might have improved it. I gave him his vacation assignments: each day, he is to start up a conversation with a total stranger, be it a cashier, a waiter, a salesperson, whomever he chooses. The result of each conversation is not important; it is the attempt and the experience that matters. When he returns, we will discuss each encounter and see what we can glean from the experience."
"Today we explored letters and number identification. The student practiced counting and saying the alphabet while pointing to the correct number/letter."
"We covered modal verbs, their rules and usage, as well as some pronunciation (specifically words beginning with H). Great job!"
"Today we began working on the student's college essay for the common application. It was very successful. We were able to begin her first draft and create an outline to more efficiently accomplish writing her essay."
"Today we continued covering the section on prepositions. I gave the students a speaking quiz on the vocabulary. The students had trouble with the quiz, which was an indicator that we needed to practice/review more. After the quiz I did more activities with the students practicing the vocab. We practiced making sentences for the remainder of the class. I explained to them that next class I want us to make index cards and take another quiz except in writing. The students liked the idea. The students were only struggling to memorize, so I asked them to practice writing the translations over and over which has worked for them remarkably in the past. They are actually eager to take their next quiz! This is a great group of students."
"Today we continued reading from the student's Star Wars book. We also kept his dictionary close by and used it several times to look up words when he was not certain what the meaning was. The student remained focused while reading and read slightly faster and more accurately than in many previous sessions. Our next meeting is in two weeks and from that point forward, we will reestablish a routine and rhythm as we reincorporate writing into our lessons."