Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I hadn't met since April 8th. I had come with about 30 notecards or so with homonyms on them: principle vs. principal, accept vs. except, etc. We worked primarily with these words: I first went through each set of homonyms and explained the difference then had her go through the stack and explain the difference between each word, with a sentence to prove the difference, then we moved on to creating more sentences. I really was stressing the verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs for all of these words and was double-checking with her to ensure she understood. Our final few activities were taking all of the words and having a few timed exercises where both of us took the words and created a story line. She somewhat struggled the first time, then I took a stab at it and gave her a few tips, and she was much better the second time around. Our final exercise was taking the cards and bunching them together according to parts of speech (verbs together, adjectives together, etc.) She really caught on the more we worked with parts of speech. Though I didn't see any grades, she definitely seemed more relaxed in regards to her project, as well as the 2-page Hero's Journey paper that is due soon. I asked to see it, but she didn't bring it home; instead, we talked about the structure of the paper and importance of being concise. I didn't really leave her with any extra practice but plan to come prepared next week with different homonyms and more flashcards-- she seemed to enjoy the physical activity of matching words together and finding out for herself the definition, part of speech, and how the word fits into the sentence."
"Met with the student from 4-5 p.m. today to review an English paper on Macbeth and a volunteer application essay for a summer opportunity with a program. He had just gotten the paper back from his teacher and had received an 11 out of a possible 20. We reviewed the teachers comments and then moved on to looking at his commentary on the rest of the passage he had chosen (Lady Macbeth's entrance reading the letter from M and her subsequent soliloquy -- a different topic than we had discussed him writing about at our last session). He had cited good quotations in each of his paragraphs in the body of his essay but had not linked them as directly as he might have to other key passages and themes in the play. We discussed how in his next commentary essay (which will be a part of the final exam), he needs to identify the key vocab in the passage for analysis and then find other passages where some of the same terms (e.g., milk, blood, regret) appear, analyzing how they fit into the play's larger issues and dynamics. We concluded the session today with me going over the full-sentence responses he had done for his volunteer essay due May 2. We will probably meet again next Tuesday but will confirm by text over the weekend."
"The student and I worked on her writing for this session. She is taking a writing test soon so we wanted to practice some more so she is comfortable. She read for 15 minutes from her Amelia Bedelia book. Her reading is improving and she is doing a great job learning new words and gathering the main points. After reading about 25 pages, we created a prewriting exercise for her to follow based on the prompt, "Would you like Amelia Bedelia to be your maid? Why or why not?". She created 3 good reasons for her argument. After she wrote these down with examples from the book, we began the essay. Since she is just beginning to write essays, I have been introducing her to the typical structure that includes an introduction, body paragraphs with examples and a conclusion. I helped her a little bit on shaping her ideas. I want her to have confidence when writing essays and use her own thoughts but we will start with some basic coaching. I am pleased with how our latest sessions and the student is doing a great job on staying on task."
"For this session, we focused on a way to organize the student's thoughts and help her whittle down the information to only what is relevant to the assignment parameters. I suggested she essentially answer the questions provided to help her decide what information should be included and what should be left on the cutting room floor. It's a good problem to have, and I suspect she'll be able to write from a clearer head after this. In either case, we'll be in touch again this weekend for more editing."
"For this session, we focused on the SAT. I brought a small practice SAT with me, which included reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar. Over the week, I had the student write a SAT-style essay, and we went over it together. He has a good handle on essay structure, but needs to be more specific with his details. We finished by going over "The Great Gatsby," and discussed other options for summer reading."
"For this session, we focused solely on writing because the student's DAT study schedule starts on Saturday so there was nothing to go over until she starts studying exact material. We went over her manual dexterity paragraph and perfected that for her application. Then, we discussed her transcript and how she needs to send out transcript matching forms to each school she attended. After that was sorted out, we spent the rest of the time filling in the honor/awards/scholarship and dental shadowing section. Next session, we will devote half to the filling out the rest of the application and then go over some important concept she should have studied from the past 2 days DAT schedule. I will go over common themes and questions from her section that she studied."