Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"I introduced the student to a little bit of the math portion of chemistry. When I arrived at her home, her mother informed me that she had trouble understanding the math (since I had assigned her the reading in preparation for our session) and would prefer to move on to the next topic. I thought I would try to challenge her and planned to explain the math in hopes that she might understand the material that way. We did a few problems, and she did quite well. We then moved on to molecules and compounds, which we will pick up next week."
"During this session, the student and I reviewed for a chemistry test she has tomorrow. We went over the quantum theory and principal energy levels. She had questions from the in-class review that we went over."
"In this session, we covered Lewis structures and nomenclature of chemical compounds and formulas. The student was quick to pick up how to make Lewis structures and, with a little guidance, was able to complete all the practice problems from his notes. After that, we worked on several problems concerning chemical nomenclature. He seemed comfortable with polyatomics, and I helped him with naming multiple anions and naming compounds with transition metal cations. I encouraged him to continue practicing the naming of chemical compounds."
"Because the student has an exam in this class tomorrow, we focused on chemistry today. He needed help with understanding how to calculate isotope abundance, mass number, and isotope mass by using an equation that helps calculate the weighted average of the product of the isotope mass and relative abundance. Lastly, we reviewed the difference between chemical and physical properties and especially between compounds and mixtures. He had struggled in differentiating between the two in a previous quiz he had taken. I was able to help him understand that even if a substance undergoes a phase change like from solid to liquid, liquid to gas, or solid to gas, they are still physical changes rather than chemical because the very composition/makeup of the substance has not changed. Once he grasped this, he quickly was able to discern between these two. Before leaving, I asked if he felt uncomfortable with anything else to make sure we didn't leave anything out in exam preparation, but he sounded at ease once he was able to understand the difference between physical and chemical changes."
"Today, we focused on finding moles and molar mass and balancing equations. The student struggled a bit with balancing equations and some dimensional analysis. For next time, I will give him some practice problems to work on and help him understand the material better."
"The student worked on her homework covering atomic structure. We looked at the Thomson's and Rutherford's experiments and talked about protons, neutrons, electrons, isotopes and atomic mass. The session went smoothly. She caught on quickly and seemed able to handle the material with no issue. She also asked some great inquisitive questions outside of the homework that I was happy to answer. We discussed what she covered in her previous units. I suggested we hold off on reviewing the previous unit until it comes back again later in the year. I think it is more important that she and I spend time focusing on current material and then return to the previous unit when it comes up again naturally in the course of class."