Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Currently the student is placing everything in a zipper binder. He was under the impression that he was separating classes with the divider tabs in the binder but after reviewing the binder he saw that subjects were intermingled and notes were sparse. It is now November and the for all 7 subjects combined only amounted to about 35 pages. He is aware that he is losing things and as a result he is reluctant to purge things he no longer needs. Since it is unlikely that handouts will be hole-punched and many of his notes are on paper that has been ripped from his binder, I suggested that we forego the binder and get an accordion file. We also talked about the importance of keeping subjects separated and in chronological order. We also talked about "chunking" assignments. He has an essay due on Tuesday of next week. We talked about brainstorming on Monday night, writing a detailed outline on Tuesday, writing a sketched out rough draft on Wednesday, preparing an edited rough draft on Thursday, and turning that rough draft in to his teacher on Friday for a quick review. This way he has Monday night to make the revisions before turning it in on Tuesday. Next we covered calendaring using apps. They work with each other to provide a calendar and task list. Both apps have pop-up reminders. I stressed the importance of looking at an assignment and placing all the "chunking" steps on the task list with achievable deadlines, not just the final product assignment's due date. We also touched on the student's largest hurdle-motivation. He understands his parent's concern and their wishes for his happiness and success. He recognizes that ultimately he has to want it too. Since he wants to go into psychology, I suggested that he think of teacher interactions as opportunities to build relationships. I challenged him to pick 1 teacher in a subject where his grades need improvement, and to engage that teacher at the end of class at least twice per week by asking questions about his assignments or material that didn't quite sink in. He agreed that teacher relationships are important and he is willing to try."
"The student worked on algebra II and English homework, as well as going over interpersonal relationships with his teachers. It was a productive session."
"We talked about all the bumps and hiccups to getting started and he told me how his class came to their topics and thesis. We talked about how he should make note (actual note or mental note) about errors he makes and how he WILL do it differently next year. I think he broke through the idea that he was shaping his paper to what he (thought he) knew and with all the reading he has done just over the weekend, I think he has another step or two in his understanding of the topic. The more he understands about the topic (power struggle between Stalin & Trotsky & why Stalin won) the better he will be able to argue his thesis and support his claims. And the better he will understand the research paper process. I reminded him that it is better to cite more than needed rather than less than needed. I told him if the thoughts are just flowing out of him to keep going after the intro. So I'm excited to see what he has. I told him I'd look at it and offer any corrections in time for him to look at it during his Advisory. Now that he is writing, he is understanding the topic better and therefore understanding the research better."
"The student and I edited his college application essay for a little bit and I helped him refine his ideas. His essay was mostly about his identity, and what it was like growing up that way. It had a few protests about how he's more that just his background, but the original paper inadvertently pigeonholed him into that role. After talking for a bit, he has a better vision for where to go with the paper, to help him establish who he actually is as a person in the meat of the essay instead of letting those negative experiences define him and leave it at that. We also worked on a "surprise" literature essay over "Wuthering Heights," and I helped him refine his ideas into a workable thesis to flesh out and turn in tomorrow."
"The student and I finished editing her final essays for college applications! She did wonderful and they're all in good shape. She got her first acceptance and I'm sure it's just the first of many."
"The student and I focused on his film school essay, which we had not looked at before. Since the essay concerned an image that had affected him through time, we focused on clarifying and describing the image and making sure that the whole essay was centered around that idea. We also worked on grammar and specific word choice to make his meaning clear and effective. I also briefly reviewed his other essay, which I had advised him to make some changes on the last time we spoke."