Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today's lesson was very conceptual in nature. Next week he'll write a reaction paper regarding the ideas listed on our collaborative "brainstorming"ù document about concepts of writing, learning, and the different methods in high school and college. I made an executive effort to change our agenda today, and the student was flexible. I reiterated, however, he has full authority to tell me what he needs, and I'll adapt accordingly. Adaptability through critical thinking and practice with writing is one of the concepts discussed. After we agreed to shift into transition from secondary skills to upcoming higher educational skills needed, it seemed best to de-emphasize the definition of terms, and rather emphasize why they're used, and to in turn use them. Resources allow the student in college to spend her/his time on honing critical thought: close reading of the text, comprehension of the text (word definition, grammar construction, identifying style, argument, tone of text), analysis/assessment of text (why is it structured as it is? How is the author laying out her/his argument, or achieving her/his tone, do you agree or disagree with her/his argument? How is the argument substantiated? etc.) which informs the student when they have to create an argumentative essay. I also stressed the importance of revision in college essay-writing. A first draft is the beginning. The real work begins in applying these critical skills to one's own writing: see where it's working, where it's not, how to fix it, and allow the possibility that the strongest argument may be a discovery made on the last page, and re-structure the essay accordingly. We also began investigating how to use the varying methods of professors to the benefit of a facile writing method, to eventually find one's own method that is adjustable to external factors. I mentioned this is true in professional life as well, since each company and editor has their own style they wish their writers to work within. In other words, thinking about "how"ù one writes, leads to better practice of writing. The ability to adjust tone and style is particularly relevant today, as more and more forms of written communication are becoming ubiquitous: blogs, emails, articles, academic writing, OpEds, texts, etc. We finally decided to take a step back from this theoretical work, and practice next week. Despite me throwing out a lot of ideas, he was himself adaptable in listening, and I appreciated his presence and concentration. I look forward to more of his writing."
"We covered the different types and structures of blogs, essays, articles, proposals, grants, and reviews. The student was very enthusiastic. Did not struggle with anything in particular and seemed to have a good grasp of the different types of writing. I have assigned him some reading material to demonstrate different forms of writing."
"Today we talked briefly about what the student did in ASL class. We discussed a few rules concerning name signs related to a video they watched. We then worked on lesson 9 which is related to items in the home and areas of a house. After learning vocabulary, we did some practice sentences, first with me signing and her answering the question and then with her signing. These went really well today. I then had her sign the story for that lesson. We then had a brief discussion about ASL vs other sign systems like MCE, PSE, SEE, etc. After that, we moved onto numbers. We reviewed several 2 digits then moved onto 3 and more. She seemed to grasp the concept behind numbers and was able to apply basic rules of numbers to a variety of numbers. The last thing we did today was for the student to watch me sign a story (Three Little Pigs) and then summarize it. She understood most of the story, including the various classifiers that were used in the story, and picked up on the role shifting that occurred to show dialogue between characters. For next week, I asked her to be ready to sign a story of her choice."
"The student and I reviewed some conversation words from last week with a short dialogue quiz. Then, I worked with him on some phrases that can be used to get a speaker to clarify their point. Again, he and I maintained Spanish conversation for many 10 minute segments throughout our session."
"The student did really well today as we mostly learned vocabulary words and reviewed old ones we went over in the past. He also completed some exercises he had. All in all it was a very productive session and he has learned so much."
"At the beginning of the session, the student informed me that he had a test on Thursday and wanted to devote today and tomorrow to studying for the text. We decided that the best course of action would be to go over old readings, re-translate old homework assignments are parse difficult grammar. In parsing we focused on difficult grammatical constructions: gerundives, dependent clauses, and participles. He showed good grasp of the passages and much of the grammar. He also kept a list of words that he needed to memorize for the test."