Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We worked on verb forms from "English Grammar Workbook", doing all exercise questions and discussing what key words or indicators help determine the appropriate tense. We finished with some reading from Steinbeck's "How Mr. Hogan Robbed a Bank." The student is assigned to finish "Mr. Hogan" and write a short essay and verb exercises."
"The student and I had a great first session working on the material for his English course! The student is struggling with the class because the teacher has laid out very clear requirements without making it evident to students WHY they should follow them. We spent some time at the beginning of our session discussing why the instructor wants the student to write in the way he requires -- and discussing the general form of an essay. We spent substantial time first talking about the daily work of the course -- we looked at a regular response that the student had written to talk about his writing, talking about content/clarity and grammar/precision. We spent so much time on this, not because journal entries need to be perfect, but just as a good sample of his writing that we could "fix." Next, we turned to the student's essay assignment for after break, looking at the "outline" of opening paragraph and topic sentences that he has already written and discussing how to reshape his observations as critical analysis. The student clearly made strides in understanding how to analyze a text vs. restate what the text says. I asked the student to revise his outline and begin writing his essay for our meeting next week -- he seemed to feel more confident and ready while leaving to tackle this essay again! An excellent first meeting."
"The student continued working with his new vocabulary. In his first activity, he was given a vocabulary word and asked to put examples in order regarding how each related to the word. For example, with the word "sparse," the student was asked to order the "Mojave Desert," "Somerville," and "New York City" from most sparse to least sparse. He did very well with this exercise, being able to successfully order almost all of the examples and explain why he chose to do so. He then completed a sentence completion activity with the vocabulary words. The student also performed well here, but he still needs to work on adding specificity. For example, when asked to complete a sentence to describe a good strategy for acing a test, he wrote "Study." I prompted to include "what to study," "how much to study," etc. We continued to work on parts of speech. I reviewed a chart explaining these, as well as the 4 questions that adverbs answer. He was able to remember most of these with prompting. We reviewed some "Schoolhouse Rock" videos, and during them, I had the student note all of the examples of each part of speech that he could."
"The student's parents expressed concern about his distracted performance during his time with me in the library. Since I was not able to travel to their home, (although close for them from their house, but not necessarily from where I would be driving) I suggested that we put him in a more isolated part of the library. So, we did take him to a desk that faced the wall where no other individuals were sitting. He was able to focus better on his writing. His concentration was/is limited due to his young age of four years. His father accompanied him, and agreed that he could work at the same desk during the next session. I had him work on writing his name, and then I chose some random letters which I thought would retain his interest."
"The student's reading fluency was good. I'm noticing some definite improvement in his fluency and ability to recognize larger words, so the real work is to figure out how to get him to enjoy reading."
"The student's spelling went really well and was easy for him. He spelled all his words correctly. We then did a handwriting lesson where he practiced improving the writing of his letters. He chose several books to read. He read them quickly and well. He understood the meanings of them. I had him retell the stories in his own words after reading them to prove his comprehension. We also wrote down what the books were about and worked on the reading comprehension that way. He was good to work and a very wonderful child."