That’s one thing I noticed about Margaux as she helped her student with problems from the GMAT prep book. She often started her comments/questions with “So…” “So, what are they asking?” “So we know they’re asking about time…but what about cost?” Or some variations, like, “Can you say really quickly how you might work it out?” (Isn’t that step 8 of the Tutor Cycle?) and responding to the oft-asked questions, “Am I right?” and “Is this right?” with “It could be. We’ll find out.” Getting the student to do most of the thinking, assessing the next steps, seeing if she ‘s right or wrong–making her more of an independent learner.
Margaux’s student client was especially good at thinking out loud as she went through the steps. I commented/complimented her on this, and she said she thought Margaux had helped her develop that in previous sessions. It certainly helps Margaux see what she’s doing, where she’s going in the right and in the wrong directions. We know that many college students who drop out of (i.e. not persist in) science, math and engineering majors complain about professors working at the board, not talking through what they are doing. These think-alouds are good for the tutor and student client alike… and Margaux’s session was a model to follow in this respect, too.