Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We wrote narrative essays (i.e., "short stories") to encourage creative thinking and show how creativity and logic are not mutually exclusive. I had each student pick a previous essay they wrote, and then write a piece which demonstrates through storytelling the point they made in the prior essay via non-fiction. They went through the range of writing exercises -- clustering, organizing, outline and first draft. All three were enthusiastic about the exercise and responded well to creative thinking. I encouraged them to write down everything and there were no "wrong" ways of doing today's session. They gained further practice going back and forth between the steps of writing in order to refine and hone the raw ideas. For next week, I told them to type up the short story, making any final edits to the story they wish. I also told them to type up their compare/contrast essays from last week, and to bring a copy of the memoir assignment they did for work."
"We went over some of his writing for science and practiced answering questions covering topics on an upcoming exam. We also did a practice reading and writing assignment with a poem."
"The student and I worked on discussion questions over the True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Dark Water Rising, and New York Times articles from the 1912 triangle fire trial."
"The student learned adverbs today and we reviewed verbs. He then broke them down phonetically and found them on a word search. Then he read a passage on insects and answered comprehension questions. He is learning to skim the paragraphs and look for the answers."
"The student loves humor, so this session we focused on funny stories. With one marker, she underlined the sentence where she found the information she needed in order to answer comprehension questions. With another, I circled the keywords that honed in. As the session went on, she became much more comfortable identifying the keywords and began marking the sentence and then the keywords herself. This strategy will be very valuable to her, and we are also applying it to solving word problems in math. She worked very hard, but we also had fun with the stories."
"The student made a lot of progress today. We chose to read one of his books, which I think he enjoyed because it was interesting to him. The book was at his reading level, so it was easy for him to read, and he read fluently with little problems. After that, we worked with sight phrases, which are small phrases to help increase reading fluency, or speed. The student got through a list of about 30 words without stopping or mistaking any words at all. This is huge progress because fluency was his only problem with reading, so with the problem diminishing, he is becoming a much stronger reader. Finally, we worked on starting to learn multiplication, which he seemed to successfully grasp. With a little work on phonetics and spelling, he will be ready for third grade."