Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student has a physics test on momentum on Wednesday. I did not get a chance to ask him how his past test went because we dove right into the material. We started by quickly going over the basic equations and went through the typical 1-dimensional momentum problems like in/elastic collisions and how that affects energy conservation and that sort of thing. He had a pretty good grasp of that. We did some of the problems his teacher assigned for extra help and some of the problems I prepared prior to the session. We then moved onto 2-dimensional collisions, which we probably should have spent more time on (about 1 hour), because they are just significantly harder and take much more time to solve. We did a few of the problems his teacher had assigned him. He seemed to have a very good understanding of the concepts behind momentum (conservation, impulse etc.) and 1-dimensional collision problems. The 2-dimensional practice problems were a little tricky, but I think he understands the idea that you need to break up all of the momentum of the "participants" involved in the collision into vectors and deal with the vertical and horizontal vectors separately. We only got a chance to work through 3 of these types of problems, but I provided him with a website that had many additional practice problems of this kind. I assured him that these problems are not all that difficult when you get the hang of them after plenty of practice, but each one does take a lot of time and that he needs to dedicate a good chunk of time to finishing up his studying. I told him to give me a call if he had any questions tomorrow before his test. I am hopeful that he'll do well on it, but it is essential that he invest a little more time doing 2-dimensional practice problems."
"This was my first session with the student. We began assessing his current standing in his Physics class, number and type of tests/quizzes given for the class, and what he felt he needed help with. The student is doing well overall, but needed some extra review before his upcoming test. Since there are only 2 tests per marking period (quarter), he wanted to make sure he does well. We reviewed Circular Motion and Centripetal Acceleration/Force, both conceptually and with calculation problems. We also did some review on unit conversion since he stated he had some struggles with this concept, and it is important for all topic areas within Physics. The student shows a good understanding of the material. We will continue working on remembering to write out the steps taken to solve a problem in an organized, cohesive manner. This will help him avoid small mistakes or omissions that can lead him to missing a problem he would otherwise have solved correctly. After working on Physics, we also spent some time discussing the student's college applications, since the deadlines are approaching and he was curious for input in the process. His parents joined me for this portion of the session. We had a productive discussion about weighing his options and preparing for making a choice between his 3 finalists."
"We continued to cover problems she was having issues with, and we used them to get at essential concepts that she was not grasping. We touched on work, energy, oscillators, and spent a large amount of time dealing with the conservation of momentum and energy and their implications. The session went as smoothly as the last; we plan on meeting tomorrow as well and have one more session before the final exam."