Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We started working through the student's weekly homework assignment today. The first set of problems dealt with molar mass and using the molecular mass to convert from grams to moles and visa versa. The student did well with these problems. The second set of problems dealt with Lewis dot structures and VSPER. She seems to understand how to do the Lewis dot structures. She is sometimes hesitant when doing them, but is able to correctly work through the problems. I did tell her to be very careful when calculating the total number of electrons for a molecule so as not to miswrite numbers. I had to explain some of the VSPER electron geometry and molecule shapes because she had not gotten beyond linear shapes in class yet. We went through the shapes for 3 and 4 total electron groups and discussed how the molecule shape could be different from the electron geometry depending upon the number of bonding versus nonbonding electron pairs. Once we went over the chart in her text and worked through a few problems, the student seemed to get the concept and did well working through the remaining problems that we got to. We will continue with her homework problems in our next session."
"Sunday, the student and I finished the study guide for his final. We went through Chapter 11, which he has a pretty good handle on. There was only one equation that gave him difficulty, and we worked through a couple of problems so that he felt more comfortable with it. We also talked about how he should study for his final."
"The student and I had a very good session today. We reviewed differences betweens molecules/elements/compounds and the differences between anions and cations. A major focus of the lesson was on working with moles in conversions that involve determining a molecular formula and molar mass, percent composition, and empirical formulas vs. molecular formulas. The student was very receptive to the work we did with the calculations in finding the molar masses and even said it was "kind of fun." His math skills are solid and he had no problem solving problems once we had done a couple example problems. He did have some difficulty understanding the concept and use of a mole and would want to use Avogadro's number without warrant in calculations, but we worked past this as we compared it to the significance of finding the weight of a half dozen eggs if you knew the weight of a full dozen (you ignore the 12, focus on manipulating the weight). Another theme of the session that he and I determined was the role of ratios in a lot of calculations and in stoichiometry. He had a few extra practice problems that were example problems for the concepts we swiftly covered (limiting reactants and a few other different units to convert to). He showed a lot of progress during this session."