Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"I gave the student a short writing prompt to start off the session. I had her write a paragraph as if she was writing the blurb for the back of a book (Harry Potter) to hook the reader. We then spent some time talking about plot and characters of the first Harry Potter book, and I asked her pointed questions to get her to figure out how J.K. Rowling gives information to the reader through her characters and how she makes the characters interesting and dynamic. We then reviewed her class assignment, which is a fiction story she has been working on since I started tutoring her. She finished her essay on her own and turned it in but her teacher wanted her to re-write it because it was hard to follow. I am returning on Sunday to proof read the re-written story with her."
"Today's session was divided into two sections: first to the writing process, and then to grammar. In focusing on the writing process, I introduced the student to the outline form of an essay; this is a continuation of the essay that he and I started to work on last week. We now have the web brainstorm and the outline form of the essay that he and I will be working on; the next step in writing this essay will be to write an introduction. In focusing on grammar, I completed the work that I had started with him last week; we finished establishing the functions of pronouns, the forms of pronouns, and what the subject, object, and possessive pronouns are. He seemed to have only a vague understanding of those concepts, so I left him with five sentences from his grammar workbook in which I want him to circle the pronouns and label whether they are subject, object, or possessive. In our next session, I want to review the following parts of speech with him: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, and prepositions. He should have a general understanding of all of these; I anticipate that he might need the same amount of review with articles and prepositions that he needed for pronouns. After we have reviewed those parts of speech, I will be able to start diagramming sentences with him."
"He got a great start this time on his pre-writing and introduction. We revised the introduction a little, revisited what we should have in our intro, and talked about making sure we have 4-5 sentences in a paragraph. We then worked on the next 2 paragraphs together pulling out the details. He is going to finish the paper on his own for next time and we will go over it together and start some new exercises."
"The student's mother says the student's school year has gotten off to a good start. During this session, we learned strategies for identifying and understanding facts and details related to the main idea. He did a great job with scaffolded support. He was able to correct his errors with verbal cues/questioning. We concluded the session with a review of regrouping using place value models. I asked his mother to take note of any areas of difficulty for the student and to email me before the next session. This will allow me to bring the appropriate resources."
"The student's mother wanted us to start working on the books that he will be reading and analyzing in class at his new school. He had two books: "Al Capone Does My Shirts," and "Bad Boy." We diagrammed the books out based on different parts of their literary makeup, such as initial action, rising action, climax action, falling action, and resolution. We discussed conflict and resolution, plot, main and supporting characters, protagonists and antagonists, settings, themes, moral, and summarizing the books to make sure he had a thorough understanding of the content within. We also analyzed the title for both books to see if it could provide clues to the book's theme. We will continue this work next week, but it seems that he at least has a grasp of what the books comprise."
"The student's parents would like him to focus on reading comprehension, so that was the focus of the session today. We used online resources with 8th grade reading passages and comprehension questions to analyze text and practice using textual evidence."