Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We created a thesis statement and topic sentences for body paragraphs for the essay. I sent notes home with the student to have him finish the essay."
"The student's English work at home has improved, but he is still having difficulties with in class writing assignments. Today, our focus was on organizing and producing more spontaneous writing assignments where he has limited time to prepare. This should help him with his writing assignments in class where he has a time limit. His warm up was to write a short paragraph describing his snow days away from school. He wrote a sentence, which we built a paragraph around. We focused on paragraph structure, details, and self-editing. Next, he wrote a narrative about an experience he and his friends had building a snow man. Unlike the warm-up, we began with an outline to help him organize his thoughts. We also talked about tone before he started writing. With the extra planning and organization, he was able to write pages, a huge improvement from the initial sentence he wrote for his warm up! Lastly, we did a short compare and contrast essay. Before making an outline, he prepared by making a chart of similarities and differences. We then talked about the structure of a compare and contrast essay, as well as identifying the audience and tone. With this preparation, he was able to elevate the level of his writing. In class, he will prepare for his writing assignments by (1) making an outline of his ideas, (2) identifying his audience to use the appropriate tone, and (3) being sure to use a formal structure for his writing."
"The student asked me for help completing his rough outline consisting of a thesis statement, and three topic sentences for his history essay on the political, social and economic motivations for the modern Olympics. He said that he has difficulty with writing, specifically with topic sentences and "putting things into his own words." I briefly discussed one strategy for putting information into your own words and he seemed genuinely interested. While we went through his research, we determined that it would much easier if he wrote about the political, social and economic IMPACTS of the modern Olympics. We brainstormed and conducted a little research. Next, we altered his original thesis statement and then together we wrote three topic sentences to support his thesis statement. We also outlined some evidence to support his body paragraphs, and one connection he can use. Tomorrow, he is going to talk to his teacher and ask him if he approves of the thesis statement change. He will have to do some more research to support his new thesis statement. I asked him to email me the assignment directions and contact me if he has any problems. He will let me know when he needs to see me again (possibly Wednesday and/or Saturday). It was a pleasure working with him today. He was very open and receptive to feedback, and was able to articulate his difficulties. I look forward to working with him in the future."
"The student had drafted two more sections and we spent most of the time reviewing the content of these for fitting the structure of his paper. I had marked sentences requiring revision for clarity, grammar, or other syntax issues in the previous draft."
"The student had great retention of concepts from yesterday, and he was enthusiastic to begin. We began reading a favorite book together. We proceeded to a review of letters and words, then to distinguishing uppercase and lowercase letters, which he has a good initial grasp upon. We practiced writing As and Ds in both uppercase and lowercase, and as homework, he will complete the worksheets practicing those letters. He also has a challenging fill in the blank letter worksheet, which we can review at the next session. He also has begun tentatively to string together some letter sounds, which is very exciting!"
"The student had her journal written when I arrived. It was well thought out and ready to be edited for grammar and format. We spent the first hour and a half getting that ready to be submitted. Then we continued working on the longer paper. I helped her to find the third source and showed her how to copy and paste to match the format of the template her teacher sent."