Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"As with previous sessions, we got things started with a warm up. This warm-up activity involved following a set of directions. The directions guided the student through coloring a picture, finding a rhyming word for one of the objects in the picture ("pail"), and filling in sentences about the scene at hand. What I liked about this exercise is it allowed me to hand the student the reigns -- required him to read, fully comprehend, and act on the instructions -- while giving me a chance to expose him to self-regulation. When we started with direction number one, I talked about the importance of having a system in place to ensure that we don't skip steps or miss out on an opportunity to expand on the information in front of us. Separate from taking care with each direction/instruction (I modeled and collaborated with him to track words with a finger and read and re-read, etc.), he decided that check marks would be a good way of tracking his progress throughout the warm up. The student read most of the instructions unassisted. With the lengthier, more challenging words, I continued to model stretching them out and taking time with each sound before working towards combining the sounds to get to the whole word. When I did suggest that we take a step back to sound out a word and slowed the sounding out process, the student had an easy enough time matching my pace. This is definitely something we'll take some time with in coming sessions. A couple of items I noticed while working with him on this exercise: At one point he was asked to color the bear's swim pants any color except red. He was able to articulate what "except" meant very well. When he was asked to come up with a rhyming word for "pail", he did not know how to go about doing this. I know he has read Dr. Seuss' "Hop and Pop" (and other rhyming books) with his mom (I was able to confirm this later when recapping today's session with his mother) so has had some exposure to rhyming, but understanding how we can alter one word to find another that rhymes with it is another story altogether. The student initially said that purple rhymes with pail. It wasn't until I gave him a few examples of rhyming words, emphasizing the redundant "ail" all the while, that he conceded that "purple" and "pail" may not rhyme. Per the student's request, we spent the remainder of our session reading. What was interesting here is he had a slew of books to choose from and he started by picking the longest, most vocabulary -heavy book (a chapter book with intricate language). It took him several tries to realize what might be an appropriate choice for his level, at which point I pointed out that this is what can make or break one's reading experience. I began pointing out the levels designated on the backs of at least two of the books and how the numbers/levels can help us better grasp where we are now (what we're comfortable with, what we can do with ease) and where we're headed (what we should be working towards, a space that might require practice and support, but represents a goal we'll hit), his faith seemed renewed."
"We read books, and the student practiced his sight words by loading the ones he read into a dump truck. We also made and read sentences using the student's sight words"
"The student practiced writing sentences with his spelling words. He became much more animated when he developed creative or funny sentences. We then practiced spelling his words using a charades game."
"For this session, I concentrated the bulk of my time with the student on understanding the ways in which his English teacher might ask him to think about Challenger when classes start. To this end, we spent the session going through some discussion questions that were meant to highlight his "deeper meaning" understanding of the text. The session acted both as a review of his summer reading and an evaluation of his comprehension."
"For this session, the student and I continued to work on different fictional concepts, such as making predictions; determining the author's message; and reading fluently to include, accuracy, expression and reading speed. She did very well with all of the concepts."
"For this session, the student did an activity from her making connections workbook. We read a story about city and country cats, and she read the whole thing to me. We read from another book called "1,000 Fantastic Facts." The student was quite talkative today, so I had her dictate a story to me, and I wrote it down. She told about her dogs. She then read the story back to me. To conclude, we covered math problems from her workbook. She seems to be grasping ideas more fluently, and I had her read from first grade sight words, also. She only missed a couple. Overall, I feel the session went well."