Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Semester Reflection

          So far, the last couple months of tutoring with my learner have been going quite well. We have bonded well together and have become closer as tutor and learner. This bonding has helped us better understand each other and has increased our potential to work together as a team. I think we have achieved a lot so far. I am happy with all of our progress and I believe my learner has been pleased with everything we've done. We've already blown through two thirty page mathematics book and we are almost finished with two other reading and writing workbooks.

          When we first met, my learner specified that she wanted to focus mainly on improving her mathematics skills along with sentence and paragraph formation. Since then, we have focused mainly on building these skills and I have seen a great improvement. She has done well with the mathematics but is still uneasy when it comes to writing. I remembered when we first started writing, I asked her to write a little about herself and her family. She was very hesitant and nervous to show me her writing abilities. I was trying to get a good evaluation of where she stood as a writer but it was hard because of her disinterest in writing. As we progressed through the following weeks I realized that her ability to write was there but she struggled to get these ideas down and paper and express her thoughts. So, we started working on brainstorming her thoughts. We practiced outlining and I showed her different ways to get her ideas, which she all had in her head, down on paper. This was something she was never shown before and found this new outlining conception to be extremely useful. This strategy has improved her ability to write dramatically and she can now formulate long paragraphs and sentences all on her own.

          As we head into the next semester I plan to continue our success at the CFL and strengthen my learners ability to write and complete more complex math problems. I think we have grown together as a tutor and learner and this has enabled us to work on more and more things and complete material at a faster rate. I look forward to the coming weeks and am excited to see the growth in my learners ability as we work on more challenging material.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CFL Object

          The object that I noticed today, and really never realized that my learner, R, had carried with her before to service, was her blue handbag that she puts all her material in. I like to think of that blue handbag as a representation of her continued drive in her learning expedition and the push it gives her to get a better overall knowledge of math, reading and writing. In the bag, she has her six workbooks that she borrowed from her cousin that went to the CFL last year. She cherishes these books and always makes sure to do a count at the conclusion of each session to make sure she's never missing any. When I first saw these books, I never thought much of them. To me, they were just any other workbook someone could pick-up at the library or some other writing center. The books were used and had some of the exercises were already done. When she first opened them up, back in September, I was saddened by the fact that I would have to tell her that those wouldn't do us any good in teaching her new material; but I was wrong. As she flipped through, she showed me that many pages toward the back weren't filled out and she told me that those were the problems she wanted to work on, the hard ones her cousin never finished. So we began looking at some of the sentences and math problems. We started out slow but now she's doing well and is speeding though all the unfinished problems.
          Today, as my learner and I continue our learning experience, I realize the importance and value each one of those books has to her. Over the last couple weeks I've noticed a dramatic change in R's ability to complete fraction problems and form her own paragraphs and sentences; and I credit those six books to being the primary factor that has helped her succeed so much over the last coupe sessions.