Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I finished his essay revision for his writing class. He remembered many of the writing concepts we had gone over last week and was able to properly implement them in his forming of new sentences. Additionally, he continued to demonstrate improved skills in writing structure and backing up his writing points with concrete evidence. While we went over each line of the essay, I continued to reiterate general writing concepts to him so the process would continue to be a learning one while he finished his assignment. Next, he and I analyzed the significance of the first chapter of the book 1984, which he has to write an essay on before the end of the semester. By asking him questions about the text and how it relates to today's Internet, we developed a topic for the essay. Moving forward, we will need to analyze the rest of the text and find modern-day examples to draw comparisons from to form the structure of the essay. Finally, he and I continued to work on his writing structure in preparation for his final essays and tests. I asked him to write a paragraph proving to me why he is a fast runner, with the goal being to see how well he could incorporate proof-based examples into his paragraph. He was able to provide decent evidence to back up his point during his first attempt at the paragraph, then excellent evidence to back up his point during his second attempt. Additionally, he showed improved overall sentence and paragraph structure, which was extremely encouraging."
"The student had a project due Wednesday about the character she's playing in a scene from the play "Angels in America". The project was to write a biography of that character up to the point where her scene starts. The biography had to be in first person point of view and it had to use concrete details that you've learned about this character in the play. From those details you had to make up this character's past. For example, the play may say 'born in Utah in November' and from there you elaborate 'born on November 11, 1958 in Salt Lake City.' It was a very creative project that she had a lot of fun with. It wasn't until we wrote a bullet pointed outline that she grasped how out of the box she could go. Having done the outline and a couple paragraphs of her paper, I left her with finishing the piece by herself. I think she ended up having a good time with this."
"During our third session, the student and I shifted gears to her fiction writing class, again using an assigned revision as our work template. The first part of our meeting amounted to brainstorming, and together we managed to synthesize some pretty good ideas. Her professor asked for greater character development and plot elaboration in this piece; we discussed examples from pop culture that embody those elements and batted various scenarios back and forth between us. Ultimately, however, the creative changes are up to her, so I made certain to spend time reviewing the grammatical rules and concepts we started last week. She seemed determined to fix the grammatical mistakes in her paper and said she understood the rules as I explained them. We went through her fictional essay page by page, and to ensure the grammar material stays fresh in her head, I'm having her go over the piece line by line to integrate every edit. Because there are considerable content changes forthcoming, doing this serves solely as a means of practicing grammar, which is the main focal point for our next session. I've sent her a basic chart to help her avoid grammatical mistakes, but having now seen those which she's most prone to, I'm going to email a revised one."
"The student and I began by looking over his assignment website. We went over the science from the previous day and tied up a few loose ends. Next, he and I organized the papers in his bookbag. He started his assignment for ELA. He had to read 30 more pages in his book. We went over the assignment, where he was asked to find evidence in the story. He seemed to be grasping this concept a little more. He was able to find a part in the story that exemplified the character's emotions. We then went through a checklist of what he needs for the week ahead."
"The student and I brainstormed answers for the essay questions needed to complete his new school application. We spent time writing quick bullet points, organizing his thoughts into coherent forms, and looking closely at the three questions that seemed most complex on the application. He already had a lot of ideas, which made the work easier. Our time together was spent on building specific language that he can use as he is drafting his final answers."
"The student and I completed her practice exercise about "Why do I like this book?" Our work today focused on improving the grammar and word choice of what she had written during our last session. She did an excellent job of correcting her punctuation and spelling. She even gained enough confidence to feel comfortable shortening her sentences, changing sentence structures, and breaking run-on sentences into multiple parts. I was particularly impressed by her interest in varying her sentence structure and word choice, since this has been difficult for her to do in the past. We also made sure that the paragraph had a strong and interesting summation. Before we ended our session, I made sure that she remembered the writing process and reminded her to focus only on what the text states in the upcoming assessment."