Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We went over the same material we practiced last session - ratios and measurement conversions. The student said that they had been doing something off-topic in her class between our last session and today, so she had forgotten how to do the ratio problems and wanted me to help her practice some of them. She picked it up quickly. I'm trying to get her to practice writing everything out, even if in her mind it seems redundant, because it will become very important as the material gets harder."
"Today we covered both linear and nonlinear functions. After going through questions in the workbook and working ahead, the student seemed to have a clear grasp of initial value, and y intercept. He also did well with the rate of change/slope."
"We reviewed what the student has learned through the past week in both Algebra 2 and physics. We started off with Algebra 2, in which she's currently working on chapter 5. This chapter deals with radicals and powers, in terms of simplifying and manipulating them. After going through some of the exponent and root rules, we practiced problems given by her teacher. Her greatest challenge for now was using the rules incorrectly. We kept practicing and she got much better near the end. She said she would keep going through problems to get better at using the rules. For simplifying terms, we worked on problems that required setting both terms to an exponent with the same base. Once that was done, it was a lot easier to simplify or solve for the exponent itself. Next, we moved on to physics, in which she was learning kinetic and potential energies. We reviewed the equations for both and then tried some problems. I explained the concepts behind both energies. For example, kinetic energy dealt with movement and velocity while potential energy dealt with height and gravity. We practiced interchanging between the two energies given different circumstances. We then even incorporated friction into the problems by subtracting out work from the overall system, which is defined as Force of friction multiplied by displacement. Although she doesn't have any assessments coming up, I told her to keep reviewing the key concepts, especially for algebra 2, over the weekend to be prepared for more difficult upcoming topics."
"We covered his homework, which was over the vertex equation for parabolas. He had a worksheet that asked many different questions about the equation such as axis of symmetry, zeros, range, domain, increasing domain, decreasing domain, vertex. Having all of these questions on each problem allowed me to go in depth into explaining the different parts of a parabola. It took about 75 minutes to complete the sheet. He was generally good and upbeat throughout the lesson. He still needs more practice with adding negative numbers at times. Afterward, we had a bit of time, so I started teaching him about the standard form for parabolas instead of the vertex form. Also, how to expand the vertex form into the standard form. All in all, it was a good session, and his teacher has sent worksheets for what they will do in future classes, so I will be working with him on those in future sessions."
"We covered ellipses and hyperbolas. I feel like the student had the basics of the topic down, and we went over some things that were not quite as clear, like understanding how to graph an ellipse with given points. I believe the student is comfortable with the algebra that is involved with graphing the conic equations (which include completing the square). So we focused more on graphing. We briefly reviewed her past quizzes as well. I recommended that she memorize the rules for simplifying exponentials. Overall, she asks the right questions, and I think she can do well on her upcoming exam."
"The student and I spent our first session talking about how she feels about math and what she hopes to accomplish by meeting with me on a weekly basis. In speaking with her and her mother, it is clear that she has a very important placement test to take in the spring which will determine the level of mathematics she enters into for middle school. In going over her previous night's homework in addition to the homework she had assigned for tonight, it became evident that she is exceptionally bright. She is willing and able to solve a problem at hand by more than one method and is not discouraged when something proves difficult. In fact, her intelligence may be the source of her occasional lower scores! Because she is able to do much of the math she is given in her head, she is prone to making "silly" mistakes. She is also not in the habit of checking over her answers or double-checking a problem by plugging her answer back into a given equation. These are all strategies I can reinforce on a regular basis during our sessions. Additionally, I will plan to create and send practice problems sets for her to complete when and if she has time to ensure that she is getting as much exposure to these types of problems as possible. She is bright and excited about doing well, and I look forward to working with her."