Recognizing Words and Using Context Clues.
One of my students is having problems with reading comprehension. I've started printing a varied selection of articles for us to work on together. Many of the articles I've found were online: timeforkids, kids.discovery, and middleschoolscience. I have the student read silently and then circle any words he doesn't know right away, then I have him make a few guesses before we read aloud the context clues. Most of the time he'll understand the word after reading aloud and hearing the context clues. On occasion there are still some tricky words for him: words lacking good context clues, larger words, and words beyond his grade level he has never been exposed to.
The above strategy has been helpful for him to identify what he is actually reading, and the importance of the information given. When he ignored the words that were unfamiliar he was missing what the passages/articles were trying to convey.
Another reading comprehension back set this student is working on is thinking he knows a word. Often he'll not circle a word in the passage because he thinks he understands how it is being used. I read the articles ahead and pinpoint words that I expect him to ask about. In the event that he skips one of my circled words I ask him to explain it to me,or give me the word in a different sentence.
This is an easy strategy to help your student get the most out of his/her tutoring. It not only helps them with their reading comprehension, but also helps them to use their own voice to explain the definition of words, and they learn that cutting corners is not the way to go.