Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I went over how to do electron configuration, orbital diagrams, and noble gas configurations. We reviewed a worksheet that her teacher gave her. She got an 88 on her last exam, which was significantly better than her previous exam. She did not seem to struggle with the current material and is getting it pretty easily."
"Today, we covered balancing equations, common chemical suffixes, polyatomic ions, charges and locations of elements on the periodic table, and solubility rules. Several equations needed to be balanced for the student's homework, some including the chemical formula, while others only had the name. We worked through these and discussed different fundamental chemistry principles as they come up. After that, we worked on a solubility rules assignment. I gave her my book to use, which includes a table outlining the general solubility guidelines for various ions. She found it quite helpful. She seems to understand how to balance equations and solubility rules well enough; however, it is the memorization of polyatomic ion and common chemical names that she finds difficult. I think her biggest issue is memorizing these things. These provide the basis for a lot of future chemistry concepts and there is no real way to learn them except by memorization. We will continue to review them in future sessions until she has them down."
"Student and I covered some basic study skills to help him memorize. Specifically the proper use of mnemonics, the use of flash cards, the use of reviewing notes right after class and right before bed. We also discussed equations relating to entropy and enthalpy and how to approach chemistry as if one was doing math. When he uses the symbols in his equations to find the answer and then plugs in the numbers he does quite well. I think learning to do the equations step-by-step and then plugging in numbers made it apparent that the same question was being asked multiple times--just in a different format or with different numbers. We also discussed state changes such as change from solid to liquid to gas and we discussed by combustion is a process where the item being combusted looses energy and so joules are negative in the equation. I think he can do quite well in this class if he approaches it like a math course--solves the equations for the answer and then plugs in numbers. I told him to reach me by email before his test if he has further questions."
"The student and I had a great session. She is beginning a lab in chemistry dealing with titrations. We worked through several pre-lab questions and covered some basics of titrations. We then went on to continue working through the AP test review that her teacher has provided."
"The student and I continued to work on stoichiometry this morning, and I feel that he has had a few breakthroughs on the subject this week! Specifically, his ability to write down chemical formulas, balance equations, and find limiting reactants/excess reagents/products has vastly improved. His test is tomorrow, so I'm fairly confident that he will do well!"
"I showed the student what happens in a solution with strong acids, strong bases, and salts. We went over when a salt forms a basic, neutral, or acidic solution. Once she understood the reaction that was going on in the water, she had a better understanding of how to write the reaction. She started off very confused with the concepts, but as the lesson went on, she realized that she had a better grasp of the material than she thought."