Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We reviewed the additions she made to her pre-write/graphic organizer calling for her to write about a funny dream. While she understood how to add main ideas or events to the paper, the idea of outlining or including greater detail (the who, what, when, where, how, etc.) for each point didn't seem to resonate. I modeled this for her but didn't want to push this idea too far without learning more about the writing structure(s) she has been exposed to in class. She said she has written paragraphs before, but she seemed shaky on the fact that you need to jump to the next line and indent to indicate a new paragraph as well as why we use paragraphs to begin with (what they indicate, how they help us organize our thoughts, etc.). This was apparent when we collaborated on the first draft about her funny dream. I indented and wrote an introductory sentence then had her formulate two other sentences that pointed to why she found the dream funny (what details stood out to her). It was when I had her take the reigns for paragraph two that her unfamiliarity with structure, grammar, flow, organization, etc. came to light. For next session we're going to continue working on this, but I am going to put some scaffolds in place first (introductory sentences for several paragraphs, fill-in-the-blanks, transition words, etc.). We spent approximately three quarters of this session exploring writing; the final 15 minutes were reserved for working through a couple mathematics homework problems. There were two problems that required both multiplication and division (looking at the remainder as well as the largest dividend that would work in the situation without there being a remainder). I suggested then modeled for her creating a visual to help better understand the order of operations involved. The final question we tackled was titled "stretch your thinking". She basically had to come up with a multitude of multipliers (two at a time) that would all result in a product of 90. I showed her how drawing a number tree could help with coming up with valid multipliers. From here, she had an easy enough time writing out a series of equations and explaining how these helped answer the problem of dividing 90 photos evenly across pages in a scrapbook."
"Objective of Tutoring session: to continue cultivating a positive relationship with writing as a form of self expression. To practice revising/editing for grammar, spelling and punctuation. I gave the student 3 options to choose from for a writing exercise: 1. Write about the most boring day of Christmas vacation 2. Write about the most exciting day of Christmas vacation 3. Write about a completely invented day of Christmas vacation The student chose option 3 and was really excited about creating his own story. I gave him the further criteria of including: at least 2 characters; dialogue; environmental description; and sensory detail. He was completely engrossed in the writing for 15 minutes! I was impressed by word choices such as unicycle, plummeted and trickled. He also wrote believable dialogue and did a great job embellishing on the second pass, when he realized he forgot to include sensory detail. This was an especially enjoyable session for both of us. Also, he is beginning to remember some spelling conventions such as the silent "e," "gh," and double consonants."
"The student's paragraph that I asked him to write last week was very good. He wrote about 3/4 of a page and did a first and second draft. We worked on another paragraph for our lesson and wrote two drafts. I taught him "i before e except after c". He did very well, and even came up with figurative language on his own. I assigned another paragraph for next week: at least nine sentences, brainstorm, topic sentence and at least two drafts."