Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student took his AP English test on the 10th, so we've switched over to ACT writing practice. We reviewed the components of the ACT Writing Essay. Since formulaic approaches have worked best with him in the past, we were very concrete: Intro with thesis, introduce counter argument, pro-argument 1, pro-argument 2, conclusion. Since he struggles with introductions, we went into more detail regarding analyzing the prompt and writing an on-topic introduction with the thesis clearly stated. We analyzed 2 prompts, wrote 2 introductions and wrote 1 conclusion over the course of the meeting. To ensure that he writes to the prompt, we practiced clearly determining if he was for or against the suggested topic, and then writing down 1 counter argument (opposes his stance), and 2 pro supports (supports the stance and refutes the counterargument). Once that was outlined, we made a quick formula for the Introduction: 1) A Hook, in the form of a Rhetorical Question, Fake Quote, or Anecdote) 2) A teaser trailer of the body paragraphs (con, pro, pro). 3) A thesis (last sentence) which follows the formula: " although [acknowledge counter argument] .....[pro1] and [pro2] clearly demonstrate that [my stance is stronger and more robust than opposition]." For the conclusion, we created a much simpler formula: 1) summarize arguments 2) relate the examples used in the body paragraphs together to reiterate argument support 3) project out the support by creating an analytic point. Next week we will review introduction and conclusion, and then work on formulas for the body paragraphs."
"During today's session, we began by reviewing the results of the student's diagnostic test. I found that he seemed to have the most difficulty with the Reading section, so, after reviewing the questions he had missed in those sections, we began reviewing the structure and strategies of the Reading section. We covered both sentence completion and passage-based reading comprehension strategies. After each section, I worked with him to go over a few practice questions based on what we had just studied to see if he could apply the skills we were discussing. I found that he was sometimes overzealous with using Process of Elimination and would sometimes eliminate the right answer, so I clarified that PoE must be used in tandem with critical reading in order to ensure that the uneliminated answer is the best answer. During the second hour of our session, we begin reviewing math skills, specifically principles of geometry and trigonometry. We will continue with mathematics practice in the next session."
"We worked on both Chemistry and Math. In Chemistry we talked not just about the subject matter, but test taking strategies. I showed her how skipping instead of struggling with questions about material she hasn't learned will lead her to a higher score (fewer wrong answers, even with no more right would get her in the 780 -- 800 range on the practice test she took). We also went over math material. She is more certain of most of the math."