Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we did more prep for her ISEE exam. I assigned her some math problems for homework last time so the first thing we did was go over those. It was basic algebra that I taught her last week, but she still had some difficulty. After we went over the homework and I made sure she got it, we started our first practice test. I wanted her to do the verbal sections on her own while I timed her then I told her I would help her with the math part since that is where she struggles. She did really well with the verbal. She does a great job eliminating wrong answers, and her gut instinct is almost always correct even when she's not sure of all the words. She loves to read and listens to a lot of books on tape with her mother, so her vocabulary is great for her age. She can do a lot of the math problems, but she lacks confidence. I tried to keep her focused and teach her some small but valuable tips for the common types of questions we came across."
"We began by working on reading. We worked through 4 reading passages, and after reading, he summarized each of the passages. He summarized two of the passages well, showing that he understood their main ideas, but was confused about some parts of the other two passages. We went over each of these passages paragraph by paragraph to make sure he understood them. We practiced going back to the passage to answer questions about specific details, using positive and negative connotations of words to find the right answer, and restating a part of a passage in one's own words before looking at possible answers. He did a good job using positive and negative connotations to help him find his answer, and he has improved on going back to check in the passage instead of guessing when he is unsure about a question. He should remember to always choose the answer that has the most support from the passage instead of relying on his reasoning alone. We also talked about how he could mark up passages as he reads them to help him find relevant information later. In the second part of the session, we talked about the practice essay he had written. We went over what he did well and what he could improve on - including organizing his ideas in a logical way, improving grammar, making his essay more interesting by including more "hooks"ù and descriptive sentences, and incorporating other ideas related to his thesis to make his essay more complex and thoughtful. He took some notes on these tips, and we will work on outlining for a new essay prompt in the next session."
"I began the session working with the first student to help her prepare for the Upper Level ISEE Math section. We talked about which of the skills tested she had already learned and which ones she felt least comfortable with. Her biggest concern was the thought of being held accountable for the same level of Math performance as 11th graders taking the same level of test. I reassured her that her score will be evaluated in comparison only to other students in her grade level and not students in upper grades. She was reassured to hear this and better able to focus on the Math skills that we reviewed. In all, she did well with Math problems aimed at her grade level. The second student and I worked on skill review for the Math section of the Middle Level ISEE. Again we went over which skills she had already learned and which ones she felt most and least confident in her ability to apply. In her case, we primarily reviewed general principles including order of operations and working with fractions."