Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We discussed: chirality, R/S nomenclature and how to assign, how to go from standard carbon skeleton with wedge-dash drawings to Fischer Projections, and how to go from Fischer Projections to Newman Projection and back. We also discussed radical halogenation and why some chiral compounds can become racemic mixtures after radical halogenation."
"The student answered specific questions from worksheets, and homework problems, dipole moments, resonance, types of isomers, pKas, comparing pKas in similar structures and factors affecting the pKas, acid base reactions, why they are important, determining which way a reaction goes (review for an upcoming exam)."
"This session focused on translating structures between different notations. We practiced converting formulas from condensed, expanded, and line/ skeleton structures. The student slightly struggled with organizing the molecule given a formula. For example, she was aware of exactly how much of each atom was present, but was unsure of how to branch carbon substituents off the main carbon chain. By the end of the session, she was able to do those types of problems on her own without guidance from me. As we're nearing concepts surrounding functional groups, I highly encouraged her to start making flash cards of those that are found in the book. Aside from that, I did not ask her to do more work. Progress is apparent within each session we've had thus far. She comes to me with questions about the homework problems, but she is always able to do them on her own by the end of the session."
"Today we covered melting point, boiling point, nomenclature, and functional groups. The student understood the material better after our session."
"Today we went over a lot of last minute concepts that the student was still feeling a little rusty on for the MCAT. We talked about tautomerization, imines, enamines, keto-enol reactions, reviewed acetoacetic-ester synthesis, and reactivities of acyl derivatives. We spent a large amount of time focusing on questions from an MCAT textbook resource that she had, and we worked through them together. I focused on making sure she knew the concepts by guiding her through the thought process of the problems."
"The student and I went over her new material involving Newman projections and the different conformers of cyclohexane. She said she did well on her exam, and seemed to make a lot of progress in terms of visualizing the different structures today!"
"Today we prepared for the student's exam on Wednesday. We reviewed topics relating to structures, molecular formulas, stability, solubility, and reactions. I also gave some test taking advice. Specifically I advised reading the answers to multiple choice questions before attempting them. This helps eliminate obviously wrong choices and helps to frame the question in a way that might make it easier to attempt. I also recommended against memorizing rules; instead I advocated for building off simple concepts we had already covered. We will meet again at the normal time next Sunday."
"We went through practice problems and the student was able to grasp the concept. We reviewed alkane, cycloalkane and nomenclature."
"We went further into proton NMR spectroscopy. The main theme was using signal coupling along with the chemical shifts to determine the structure of a molecule. The approach needs to be systematic, and thorough."
"Today we covered concepts about chromatography (specifically thin-layer chromatography) and how to draw resonance structures. The student was open to interaction and really seemed to get the concepts once we started reviewing some problems. In this session, I tried to get her to interact through the online interface so I could see whether or not she was learning. By the end of our session, I believe that she had gotten a decent grasp on electron pushing and drawing resonance structures. I hope to continue reviewing this until structure drawing becomes second nature to her. Organic chemistry is a difficult class, and I understand that it can be difficult to find the time to study for it. I would encourage her to set aside a few hours each week where she can minimize other assignments or engagements and focus her efforts on the study of organic chemistry. I would also advise that she utilize our sessions together to only focus on her organic chemistry lecture. I will also try to keep our sessions on track and focused on concerns. I asked her to email me specific concerns/ problems she had before our next session. I will also start utilizing the question bank and pull some example problems we can work through together."
"Today, we covered nomenclature and reactions and properties of carbonyl groups and reviewed the content stated above for hydrocarbons, alcohols, ethers, and thiols. We reviewed her homework and bonus quizzes on the material. Also, I made a study document for her upcoming exam on the chapters covered thus far in class. The student is doing an excellent job of grasping and understanding the material as she studies and does homework."
"Much of the material that has been covered up to this point has been review, so the emphasis during our session was mostly on practice with projections. Develop a solid strategy that is consistent and easy-to-follow as you translate a space model into a projection."