For this session, I wanted to focus on verbal reasoning and reading comprehension. We worked on placement exam-specific vocabulary by creating flashcards for all of the A-words on our list. She had some difficulty finding words in the dictionary, but she was able to overcome this initial obstacle. Many of the vocabulary words were new to her, including the words within the definitions, so I helped her by spelling out the words as she copied them to the index cards. Once the flashcards were complete, I revisited the information pertaining to the test in general, its structure, and how test-taking strategies like pacing, guessing, and the process of elimination could help enhance her overall success and alleviate some of the anxiety and stress associated with taking the exam. I paid special attention to the examples illustrating the various strategies, walking her through each one to ensure she understood. As expected, her intuition picked up on the materials that were above her grade-level and I could see that she was able to witness her own intelligence and adaptability. The "light"ù went on!
We moved on to the reading comprehension portion of our session. Our reading comprehension section consisted of readings from "Popular Mechanics Magazine" and "This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women." The main goal was to have her read out loud and explain the content of the readings to me. She, in true thespian fashion, acted out the details of our readings. Her acting skills were very effective, and her sense of humor left me in tears. Our readings were truly brought to life! In our discussion, I utilized a dialogue format to help bring out ideas, insights, and recollections pertaining to the readings. After reading comprehension practice, I had the student attempt the verbal reasoning practice test, supplied in the test prep textbook, which consisted of two sections (synonyms and sentence completion). Before beginning, she looked through the synonym section and communicated that she didn't know what any of the words meant. I urged her forward by reminding her of the test-taking strategies of our earlier discussions, such as POE (process of elimination) and recommended that she trust her intuition. Ultimately, she did really well showing a knack for understanding contextual clues and the ability to intuitively grasp the meaning of words by utilizing the POE and her own linguistic ingenuity.
For homework, she was to continue studying her flash cards, read over the supplied materials, and complete the personalized test questions provided through the website.
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