Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Upon arrival, the teacher gave me more study material about "Where the Red Fern Grows", including the student's school assignments and a great character analysis of the main character, Billy Colman. Since the student needs to do such a character analysis for his upcoming essay, I decided to use it immediately. First, I asked him about the question I asked last week: "Why would Billy make a good friend?". He didn't answer the way I had hoped, but did say that the reason was that "He likes to hunt." Then, I put up sentences starters about Billy, such as "Billy has ___" and "He lives ___", for him to fill in. He was able to write up things like "the main character" and that "Billy likes dogs", but had trouble with more complex descriptions or personality traits. I prompted him to write all the sentences he created down in his iPad. Then we read the character analysis, and I asked follow up questions and underlined the most relevant passages. I continued on with more sentence starters focusing on personality traits, such "Billy is patient because ___". I tried to move him along with leading questions, but eventually saw the need to write out the evidence as exercises. He eventually filled in everything with plenty of leading questions and visual clues from me. After this, I prompted him to write everything down in his iPad."
"I began with the student by reviewing the stories he completed in between sessions. I was pleased to see that all of his scores were at or above 75%, with most in the 80+% range. He had worked up from a 3rd to a 5th grade level, and I encouraged him to take his time on the independent activities to try and maintain that level, or above. I asked what he was doing in reading class at school, and he mentioned that they had been doing a lot of paper/pencil practice tests for the upcoming placement test. We started the 4th grade reading assessment, and made it through about 7 or 8 questions. Before ending the session, I asked him to complete 2 or 3 stories on the website before our next session. We spent a good portion of our time working on the reading assignment. As we read through the next assigned story together, I had him listen to the narrator, and then read the sentence or section out loud himself. We worked on fluency and word decoding as well. He did very well in answering the comprehension questions correctly. We will continue to work on deciphering these higher level, "think beyond the text" types of questions. We also completed one vocabulary session. I asked him to complete two stories and one vocabulary session before our next session."
"We began the session by completing the assignment together by reading the passage on trained service dogs who were helpful and valuable during the aftermath of 9/11. Then we reviewed the reading comprehension questions together by giving the student time to complete the questions and confirming whether the answers were accurate. We moved onto a new set of practice exam questions that were based on sixth grade entrance exam questions. She did well on the majority of the questions. She directly asked me for additional review with poetry selections and corresponding questions. She did show that she needed some assistance with the poem that had been included in the session. I will focus on poetry and related reading comprehension and vocabulary questions for the next week of sessions. I asked her to complete the remaining practice questions that we did not finish for homework for our next session."