Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tutoring: First Session with Two New Students

As I mentioned previously, I started working with a new family this week.  This family has two little girls: one in 3rd grade and one four-year-old rising to pre-K this fall.  We started with a short interview / planning session to decide how many hours per week, how many sessions, and how to split the time up between the two girls.  Since my schedule is already heavy, I am only working with this family one day a week, for two hours.  For the sake of the preschooler's attention span, I will work with her for half an hour, and work with the third-grader the rest of the session.

Initial assessment was a little bit of a challenge; both girls were a little shy at first.  I look forward to our next session to get a better idea of the girls' weaker areas and strengths.  I found a small stack of wordless picture books at the library to illicit some vocabulary and syntax, which is my prefered method of assessment for this age.  My 3rd-grader chose Barbara Lehman's The Secret Box

The parents requested weekly homework for the 3rd-grader, so I have been thinking about what to assign.  Since I already make vocabulary lists from words that we go over during our sessions, I've decided to have the 3rd-grader keep the list herself and define the vocabulary in her own words in between sessions.  If that plan isn't ideal, I'm always happy to reassess later, as long as we start somewhere.

For the 4-year-old, I read her A Lion Named Shirley Williamson and asked her to participate in the story to check for comprehension.  This is where my students' intial shyness made assessment difficult: my prompt of "Can I hear you roar like Shirley Williamson?" and "Who is this lion?" were initially met with head-shaking.  Not ashamed to look silly all by myself, I did a lot of solo roaring. 

All in all, our first meeting made me excited to get to know my new students better.

Here's a Kid Quote from a past session:
10-year-old: "If I keep doing Tai Kwon Do, when I go to middle school, nothing can hurt me. . . except FIRE ANTS."

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