Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We covered additional questions from the Reading Comprehension and Math Achievement sections this afternoon. Within the topic of math achievement, the student worked on problems with data and probability, in addition to algebra. He solved the problems correctly and was able to explain how he got his answers. He picks up new subject matter very quickly so he was able to complete additional line equations successfully. We logged onto his account on the website and I showed him how he can access flashcards for additional practice. We continued with the reading comprehension passages and questions he didn't get to on the practice test. He practiced "keeping the main idea" in his mind as he read new passages and going back to the text whenever the answer to a question required specific details from the text. During the last half hour of our session, the student chose a practice essay topic, brainstormed and organized his thoughts, and wrote a complete essay. He said the pre-writing helped him with his essay and he can see why it is important. In our next session we will edit/revise the essay. I enjoyed the essay activity. His excitement for the topic he chose was evident which provided a great teaching moment about getting that enthusiasm across in our writing."
"This was my first session working with the student. We spent the initial portion of our session getting to know each other better and building our relationship. We discussed some of his interests (hockey, baseball, and playing with his brother) and some of his favorite (wood-working, science, and math) and least favorite (music, social studies) aspects of school. Overall he seems to really enjoy school and had lots of good things to say about it. Next he and I spoke about standardized tests generally and the ISEE specifically. He doesn't like standardized tests (no big surprise!) and mentioned that he thought they were hard, specifically the reading comprehension portions, although he found the math easy. He mentioned that he never feels rushed when completing standardized tests and has always had time to answer all of the questions. Regarding the ISEE, he and I went through each of the five sections of the test and talked about how many questions and how much time is allotted for each. He took notes on this discussion in his note-book. Next the student and I worked on vocabulary development by creating flashcards for new vocab words. He has vocabulary in school every other week, so I have asked him to complete four note-cards every other week during the weeks when he is doing grammar at school rather than vocabulary. Each note-card should include the word, its definition and part of speech, and either a sentence using the word or an illustration of the word. He is welcome to choose words from the books he is reading or he can pull words from the recommended vocab section of his ISEE prep book, which is where we got the first four words that we used today. The student and I next talked about the essay portion of the ISEE and I pointed out that while the essay is not graded, it will be sent to the schools to which he is applying and so it is an important opportunity for him to show his writing abilities and to let the school know more about him. We practiced organizing ideas for an essay using a web diagram. For this practice essay we came up with body paragraphs and supporting details for an essay about why the Patriots are his favorite football team. For homework I asked him to complete a web organizing ideas for the sample essay in his ISEE test prep book - If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be and why? He is clearly a very bright student and we had a great first session working together. Throughout our sessions we will work on getting him more comfortable talking and engaging in conversation in preparation, in part thinking ahead to his admissions interview."
"I covered the following: -ISEE format and approach generally -Several math concepts that she was struggling with, including Exponent Rules and Line Formulas -General study tips for the week (e.g., review of vocabulary, grammar, Math concepts, etc.) She struggled with Exponent Rules the most. The student was generally interested and engaged in the material. She was interested enough in learning the bigger picture behind a given concept, but had her eye the whole time on how to get the right answer. We reviewed incorrect answers from practice material I asked her to do the day before, and therein I covered particular strategies or skills as they came up with a given question. I asked her to do timed practice Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension sections. I also gave her a review sheet and quick reference note on Exponent Rules. This was our first meeting, but I saw by the end of it that she had much more clearly grasped the math concepts she had been struggling with. I believe that we've established a good report, which is a big win, but we have only a week to prepare for the ISEE; she is a strong student generally, however, so I am not too concerned."