Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We began by reviewing the last session and the homework assigned. The student has been doing the Question of the Day and procured flashcards, as requested. She answered today's Question (a writing/sentence improvement type) correctly and explained her thinking thoroughly and clearly. For the content review in chapters 15 (Numbers/Operations) and 18 (Data/Statistics/Probability), she demonstrated near mastery of all material, but needed to brush up on integer properties, permutations/ combinations vs. fundamental counting principle, and using averages to find a missing number, which we did experientially and together. In chapters 19 and 20, she answered most practice questions correctly, but we did identify a few areas for improvement: using the "pi" button on her calculator, using number lines and plugging in to deal with absolute value inequalities, and trusting her strong intuitive "number sense." In another practice book, she demonstrated comprehension and retention of several important principles/ strategies, including process of elimination, using the book as scratch paper, order of difficulty, pacing, looking for wrong vs. right answers, pacing charts, and personal order of difficulty. Finally, we worked on two of the hard-level questions that she answered incorrectly in the second math section of her old PSAT, and zeroed in on the importance of using plug-ins as a strategy. For homework, she will read and work in the chapters I assigned her."
"We had a productive session, focusing mostly on arithmetic and algebra strategies, along with some Critical Reading work."
"I started today's session by giving the student two short worksheets I had written to help her review two key concepts we had been discussing during our last session: linear equations and properties of exponents. A large portion of the PSAT math section presupposes the student's familiarity with linear equations in slope-intercept form, so it is critical that she practices enough to feel entirely comfortable with these concepts. For that reason, I had her put equations in slope-intercept form, find the slope of lines from two points on the line, and find the slopes of lines parallel and perpendicular to a given linear equation. Likewise, the second worksheet focused on crucial concepts of exponents, such as rules for multiplying and dividing bases, raising a power to a power, fractional exponents, and negative exponents. We spent the rest of this session going through practice PSAT math questions together. I tried to emphasize the conceptual reasoning behind each step in the problem-solving process, in the hopes that the student will connect the procedures to the logic of the underlying mathematics, and this will make it easier to remember how to proceed in different situations."