Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we covered more practice problems including significant figure calculations, unit conversions, and some molar mass conversion word problems. We also worked on example problems in preparation for the student's exam tomorrow. These problems included determining the differences between a compound and mixture; physical and chemical changes; as well as changes vs. properties. He was incredibly confident about significant figure calculations today. I gave him some of the hardest significant figure problems I could think of and he breezed through them. He is also showing a growing comfort with conversions. He admitted the word problems were still giving him trouble. I wrote up a few more word problems that cover conversions and molar mass. We briefly discussed molar mass (a concept his class has not yet covered) in the context of common chemistry conversion problems. I will email both the problems we worked on today as well as a few more that cover the content of his test tomorrow. He seemed very confident and optimistic about his upcoming exam. I hope it goes well for him."
"We spent some time reviewing concepts for the student's test on Monday. She has a good handle on many of the concepts, but has trouble distilling her ideas down into compact and clear answers. We spent time working out the Bohr's model of electron orbits and Schrodinger's model of orbitals. We also talked a bit about electronegativity, ionization energy, and definitions and reasoning for trends on the periodic table down periods and across groups."
"At today's session, we continued to discuss Periodicity and Periodic trends, as relating to: atomic radius, electronegativity, ionization energy, and metallic/nonmetallic character. We discussed the definitions of each of these terms. We discussed how they changed when going across the table from left to right then going from up to down. I gave him several practice questions on this material, and he got them mostly right. I feel that his grasp of the material is not strong. He seems to "guess" the answers right, but he does not seem to have a solid grasp of the underlying concepts. I explained to him that he should read his textbook for this. Depending on notes/handouts isn't good because those don't tell the whole story; they will create gaps in your knowledge. The book explains everything systematically. He received back a quiz he had taken last week. He got an 8/22 on it. We went through all of the incorrect questions, and I had him explain to me where he went wrong and what he should have done instead. I think this was effective at getting him to understand his mistakes."