Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I began with reviewing what she had read over the past two days (Excellent Emma and The Secret Garden). We then read the remainder of her chapter together and wrote a summary. We then read a poem "The Two Kinds of People." After every second line, I asked her to give me the main point of that poem's section. She needed some expressions explained to her (put on vain airs), but afterwards she knew the main message of the passage. With some guidance, she was able to get the entire main idea of the poem. Again, more literal interpretations are far easier for her than abstract ideas. We then did our error-fixing exercise; she only missed 3, two of which were spelling errors (hollo - hollow and pray - prey). We may consider having a spelling exercise in the future. We then completed a reading-test exercise about the exploration of Mars. She had 12 questions to answer from a reading. She was encouraged to read the questions first, as doing so would help her on formalized tests. She was then encouraged to skim for keywords in order to locate specific question information; pay attention to dates in order to properly sequence events; and decide the main idea by eliminating incorrect answer choices. The main idea questions have become much easier for her. We then practiced our Fact/Fiction exercise. She uses very logical thought processes when coming to answers, and is able to provide support for her decision when asked. She used both her prior knowledge as well as some independent reasoning. It is a good sign that she chooses the most logical and likely answer; she does not twist facts to fit her own initial conclusion, but uses facts to come to one. Next, we focused on vocabulary and speed reading. She enjoys the speed reading. We have reread the same story several times, and her fluency has increased to 300+ wpm. We focused on definitions for vocabulary; I urged her to consider all answer choices, and not to select the first one that "may make sense." Overall she has become more comfortable with main idea concepts, and she has good habits when it comes to processing information. We will continue to work on monitoring for understanding, considering all answer choices, and reading fluently."
"For this session, the student and I focused on the concept of nonfiction versus fiction. We started off defining nonfiction, and in so doing also defined subjective and objective. Then we discussed some examples of nonfiction. I had her read a short Kids' National Geographic article on the classification of Pluto as a planet, and then we discussed what we learned about nonfiction in the context of the article. He also answered five multiple choice questions and did very well, answering four correct. We talked about ways he could improve his writing, such as rephrasing the question into the first sentence of his answer and rereading his answer for clarity. Next we moved on to fiction, and read "Icarus and Daedalus" as an example of a fictional short-story. We discussed the text so I could gauge his comprehension, which was good, and then he worked on a sheet that asked him to identify key aspects of the story. He did very well in identifying characters, events, and the conclusion; and he learned what a "climax" is and how to identify it. I had him read almost everything aloud, and emphasized reading slowly and carefully. He did improve, learned some new words, and worked on sounding out unfamiliar words. Next week we will continue to practice reading comprehension and written responses, but this time in the context of his summer book assignment."
"Today we read passages which were of equal difficulty to last lesson's. Student 1 asked to read the passage a second time before giving a synopsis of what she read. Student 2 thought it was a good idea too. Then they wrote separately what they remembered the most. That was harder for them than answering questions. They read the passage again and added other things. Student 2 found it easier to state what happened in succession verbally. Student 1 had a harder time relating the facts as they happened verbally. Their mother suggested last week that when we begin again next semester, reading comprehension should be their major focus because it touches all subject areas."