Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Student and I had a great third and final section working on his reading skills. He has made huge progress during the six hours I've worked with him; he's processed the techniques I've taught him for reading for the ACT (move from straight forward to more general questions, match questions directly to their answers in the text), and he's employing them consistently, to good effect. Since he has a harder time with prose fiction and humanities than with the social science or natural science passages, we focused on the former two during our session. It's important for him to pay attention to what KIND of passage he's reading (one fiction passage that looked like a science passage initially threw him for a loop) because this will tell him where he should be focusing his attention: on relationships and tone in prose fiction passages and on the narrator's perspective on the subject and the passage structure for the humanities passages. But at this point, most of his errors are simple ones. What he needs to do now is to focus on his key skills, and to practice the whole reading section once or twice (focusing on timing -- and accounting for the time spent filling bubbles) -- and he should be set to go! It's been a pleasure working with him!"
"We first went over the student's practice ACT science and reading tests, and he grasped why he got questions wrong and how to correct it very quickly. He got a perfect score on the ACT reading and only one wrong on the ACT math, which is a huge improvement from the 17-20 questions he got wrong or didn't understand last time. We spent the rest of the time going over his SAT essay and I gave him tips for improving his score. He had excellent content, structure and transitions; he just needs to improve his varying word choice and grammar mechanics. For the next time, I have asked him to do another ACT English and science section so we can track his improvement, as well as the ACT essay."
"Today I met with the student to continue our work on physics. We started by reviewing circuits and our coverage of magnetism. We then continued on to magnetic induction of current in a loop, discussing the relevant variables (magnetic flux, emf) and their relationships. I brought along a demo where we connected a spool of wire to a multi-meter and passed a magnet nearby. We saw how moving the magnet (and changing the flux) led to an induced emf but holding the magnet still meant no emf. We also saw that moving the magnet towards the spool resulted in a positive emf while moving it away resulted in a negative emf and how flipping the magnet so that south was facing the spool changed the direction of the induced emf. This segued nicely into Lens' law. We finished with a brief look at optics, painting in broad strokes the scene of geometric and physical optics. In our next meeting I expect that I will quiz her on the material that we've covered thus far. We've gone over a lot, and it will be good to review before moving on to optics, which we will likely cover after that."
"The student and I worked on analogies for this session and I had him take a practice. He did fine on the practice. Most of the questions he got wrong were due to vocabulary deficiencies. We carried on where we left off on the math practice. He solved numerical problems easily, but again with word problems he got stuck and took a long time to arrive at an answer. We worked on reviewing main idea in reading comprehension with the last few minutes of the session."
"We went through the ACT test format, discussing each section in detail. We adjusted the student's test registration so that no scores are sent to any schools, so he is in control of who sees his scores when he is ready to send them. We discussed guessing strategies for the ACT. We did a general math and formula overview, reviewing concepts and shortcuts. He took detailed notes. His homework is to complete the ACT study guide and to complete the math section of part 1 by our next meeting. He is to use the provided answer sheet and time himself. He should also have it checked when I arrive, so we can score it and review it for strengths and weaknesses."
"The student completed a practice essay for this session that I was very impressed with. She followed all the necessary steps and even added some extra goodies - outlined her main idea and structure, divided her paper into separate paragraphs with indents, followed a logical flow, and even implemented some advanced vocabulary in the appropriate context. We continued with verbal work during the lesson itself, mainly with synonym practice, where we paid attention to word roots. She has a lot of enthusiasm for reading and her well-spoken nature came out in her recognition of other words that resembled a given vocab word. She accurately identified a number of flashcard definitions, as well. We'll be returning to math for our next session as this remains one of the only areas where, while she shows a great deal of talent, it does not always come through in the form of a right answer."
"Today our biggest focus was on vocab, after doing a few warm up math questions. We looked at sentence completion questions and analogy questions, and discussed strategies for narrowing down the options in case the student comes across a problem on the SAT where she doesn't know any of the words. I talked with her about ways she can further study vocabulary on her own, which I think will probably be more helpful to her at this point than adding extra sessions with me (we will meet twice next week but I think instead of a third session, she should use that time to drill some vocabulary words). A week away from the test, I think she is in great shape to bring up her score as long as she can stay focused and remember the strategies and tools she has learned, and she takes the time to study some vocabulary and learn some new words."
"The student and I began the session with math practice. He had one problem to complete to move on to the next activity. After working on math, we worked on sentence completion activities. He did well with this activity, He is improving with his focus and was able to complete six sentences in 5:30 minutes. After working on this, we began to work on reading. I gave him a 9th grade reading passage. This proved to be a challenge for him. He did read most of the selection and we will finish it during out next session."
"We finished the review book's chapter of writing questions, so that the student has gone through all of that book's review/ preparation materials, and only the practice tests remain. With the remainder of our time, we took the writing section of the first practice test, leaving off at page 505. He was getting most of the questions correct (usually about 10 out of 11). The next big step is that he will take the third practice test."
"The student and I went through a broad overview of the SAT structure. We talked about its basic layout (divided into subsections within the three main subscores) as well as the different types/ formats of questions that will be presented in each subject area. I also had a chance to briefly show her practice test questions from each type for Reading and Writing. We went over how to appropriately bubble student-produced responses in the "grid in" answer key style, as well. I finished up with my usual spiel about how the SAT mainly just tests how well you do on the SAT, so it's not the end-all-be-all of one's academic career."
"Today was our last session together, and we finished out the last mathematic achievements question. The student did great. We reviewed some of his wrong answers and as a whole he did excellent! The questions were tough but he approached them all with a great mindset and the tools to succeed! He should be extremely proud of himself and all of the hard work he put into preparing for the test. I am so proud and thankful to have worked with him! Good luck this Saturday!"
"We continued to review the previous ACT math section we worked on and the English section. We will need to continue with repetition to build that endurance from before and be consistent."