Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"I began the session by asking the student if she believed that the study and in-class strategies I provided last week helped her to better stay on top of her work. She has started keeping a notebook where she writes down each of her subjects for the day, future assignments, and whether she has questions for me. She says that she likes this system (although she may try to find a smaller notebook that is easier to carry around!), and it worked well for me because while the student said that she couldn't think of anything that had confused her during the week, she had notes under Latin and science about concepts she wanted to go over. This allowed me to then clarify those areas of confusion (what "verb conjugations" and "principal parts" actually are) that will prove important going forward in each of her classes. She does a fantastic job of stopping me when she is confused (something she probably isn't able to do as much of in class), and this keeps her engaged and thinking critically about the material at hand. After Latin, we worked to prepare her for her evolution quiz with practice problems provided by her teacher. This brought up an interesting discovery: While the student thinks she understands a given concept, she has a very difficult time recalling information and answers when asked to either give the answer verbally or in written form. For example, when asked if she understands how natural selection leads to evolution, she will answer yes, but if you ask her to explain her answer, she struggles. She is by no means unusual in this regard, and I believe that this is probably the first grade level where she has had to actively synthesize and recall information rather than simply comprehend material enough to complete detailed step-by-step homework assignments. This is certainly a skill I can impart to her! She is willing to work hard, she simply hasn't been given the means to know how best to devise study methods and tools on her own. To this end, I will be working with her to teach her how to think critically about what might show up on a quiz or test, be able to discern key concepts when they appear in class or in her texts, and how to create active recall study tools for herself. I have encouraged both the student and her mother to keep in touch throughout the week to ensure that the student is able to keep up with her material as it is presented rather than having to wait a full week."
"I had a solid first session with the student. We talked a lot about attitudes and how they can affect teacher perception/grades, especially in classes like English and History where the teacher's perception of the student can have a strong influence on grades. I advised him to see teachers after class and ask for one or two things he could do to improve, as this small act would go a long way towards improving relationships and grades. Two things all teachers unanimously appreciate and reward are effort and interest. I advised the student to at least try to care if totally uninterested in the subject (and perhaps stumble into genuine interest). After more theoretical big-picture discussions, we went over his homework for the weekend in Bio, History, and English. I gave him some pointers on organizing assignments/thoughts and making outlines before beginning, which will help to retain info and eventually save time. In this regard I left one very important homework assignment which is for him to organize his binders/books. File away old papers in some kind of desk drawer/cabinet (by subject) for reference when it comes time for finals/midterms. Get rid of unnecessary papers and tidy up those broken binders. I recommended folders by subject and a spiral notebook with clear headings/dates (detach notes and put into respective folder by date). It will lighten the load he carries around and help him to mentally organize the diverse set of information he's receiving every day. Overall, I think the discussed small changes in attitude and organization will go a long way towards the student's success, and I look forward to playing a part in his progress."
"Today we practiced note taking skills over grammar which included direct object, indirect object, and demonstrative pronouns. In addition to English we covered interest, discounts and markups for his math class. We did several worksheets on this concept."
"The student and I worked on subtraction of large multi-digit numbers using the borrowing technique. We also worked on his ability to recall details from a story."
"The student and I began our session by looking at all his homework assignments for the night and prioritized them based on need for help as well as due dates. We wrote all of tonight's assignments in his planner and set it up for writing all of this week's assignments. He mostly worked on his science/ social studies homework regarding continental shift, Pangea, plate tectonics and land formations. We read and discussed the related reading, and he worked on corresponding maps and answered questions about the reading and map assignment."
"We reviewed subtraction with regrouping up to 6 digits. We also reviewed multiplying 2 and 3 digits. Then we reviewed his spelling and vocabulary words for his test on Friday. We reviewed a new concept from last week that worked on using pictures to solve word problems."