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Session Summaries by English Tutors

Pasadena, CA English tutoring
The student continued to work with the book. He filled in some points on his graphic organizer, and we discussed those. We looked at a few specific passages to understand how the author uses similes to illustrate themes. He seems to be improving in his ability to analyze character development in readings. He will continue to use the graphic organizer as he reads on.
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Pasadena, CA English tutoring
The student and I worked on differentiating between words that have short 'a' and long 'a' sounds. She had difficulty with this and we will continue to work on it some more. We worked with sight words and read books with a focus on making connections, decoding words and expanding fluency.
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Pasadena, CA English tutoring
At this session the student and I discussed Chapters 16 through 18 of "The Name of This Book is Secret". We discussed what a "sensorium" might be, and the student figured out the meaning of the word "utopia" from the context. We also discussed the tone of the book, which is silly at times and serious at others, and the author gives the reader "directions."
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Pasadena, CA English tutoring
The student and I went over chapters 7 and 8 from 'A Wrinkle in Time'. I gave her three questions to answer from chapter 7, and she did a very fine job in answering the three questions. Her written down answers were fairly sufficient, but as I asked her to give more explanation verbally to me, she was able to explain very adequately. Then we discussed chapter 8. This chapter the student had a bit more difficulty with. I posed several questions about this chapter, and her responses weren't always sufficient. She and I then started chapter 9 together. With the student, I do believe that less can be more; meaning, instead of having her read three chapters, read only one chapter so she can focus more and delve into the one chapter. Her assignment for next week is to read chapter nine, come up with three questions about the chapter, as well as the three main points for the chapter.
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Pasadena, CA English tutoring
We practiced tracing letters of the alphabet, and sang the alphabet when the student felt unsure of a letter. We also practiced sounding out words and figuring out what letter they start with. She earned stickers to encourage her to complete what tasks she could. This was our last session together.
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Pasadena, CA English tutoring
Today's session went really well. First, the student got his grade for his speech; he got a 60/75, and considering he turned it in roughly a month late, we considered it to be a decent grade. A big assignment that he completed today was the outline for his research paper. He used the model outline that was provided by his teacher to make sure all the requirements were met. He had made a very rough outline at our last session, and although he did not get a chance to work on the outline since then, he was very independent today and knew exactly what he needed to do. He focused really well and really only needed help with determining the order of the topic paragraphs and the introduction and conclusion. He struggled a bit more with writing his thesis. We talked about why it was difficult for him, and it seemed like he had trouble coming up with a few sentences that would unify his entire paper, before he started writing any of it. He felt that he had too many ideas and wasn't sure how to cover them all in the thesis, but not be too vague or go into too much detail. At our last session, we had done a lot of brainstorming, but the student hadn't settled on any one idea. After putting together his outline, he had a much better sense of what he wanted his thesis to be and he did eventually settle on one. I made sure both his outline and thesis met the expectations for the assignments, and that he turned them in. He seems to be passionate about the topic that he picked for his research paper, so these sessions have been going well and I think he is more motivated. I then left him with advice about the next step of his paper. He is pretty much done with research, and has all of his notes and sources in a document. I suggested that he take his outline, and add all of his notes to it, in the form of bullet points. From there, he could just turn the notes into sentences and complete his rough draft. He struggles sometimes with the overall organization of an assignment, so I think this strategy will help him stay on track.
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