Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We began to go through the rather extensive review packet provided by the math department. The beginning of this packet is college algebra material and the student excels at this part. I had him go through the problems and explain them to me as he was doing them. I only had to step in and offer a solution for one problem and I fixed his notation a few times but other than that, he did an amazing job on the first few sections of this review packet. After doing all of that work, he felt much more confident, as I have been hoping for."
"In today's session the student completed a review sheet for her calculus test tomorrow. Most of the problems dealt with derivatives, specifically using the definition of the derivative, finding it graphically, and its use in word problems. She does really well with the calculus parts, but does struggle a little with the algebra and simplification needed for some of them. The biggest thing she needs to remember is to take her time with those parts and not rush through them. She is going to finish her review sheet and do extra problems from the last time she took the class and I think this will be a good review for her."
"The student's class has not moved on too far past the material we worked through on Wednesday, including interpreting derivatives of functions graphically. But they have done some further review with implicit differentiation and related rates problems. We worked for the most part on a couple of related rates problems, which involved using implicit differentiation to find certain rates of objects from word problems. Related rates problems are great ways to help students understand derivatives in a practical context, but because related rates show the first sign in calculus of a transition from abstract differentiation to practicality, students can sometimes fall a step behind. Not true of him. Though he has some more work and practice to be done before feeling completely comfortable with the topic, I don't consider him to be falling behind. He has kept up a good pace and though he may need guidance on a question here or there, he needs only guidance, that is helpful hints, then he's able to move forward on his own. Though I wanted to do some implicit differentiation problems separately from the related rates questions, I think the rates questions covered the topic to a sufficient extent. We also reviewed the same material we went over on Wednesday, that being finding minima or maxima on a function using the derivative. The only difference here was that he was now being introduced to what they call this method, that being the first derivative test. Other than that though the method and calculus involved are the same. He felt much more comfortable with the first derivative test than with related rates, but I would give him that the related rates problems are probably the most difficult he would ever see on his homework or other assignment. I sent him a couple of online practice problem sets to complete involving all of these topics. Confidence falls a bit sometimes at certain steps when solving a problem. But with due practice he will come to be more confident and thus more comfortable with his skills; I don't see him falling behind. He's told me that out of the two quizzes he's taken the last grade he's received is a 6 out of 7; and his homework seems to be up to and if not more than par with his quiz grades. Lastly, on the homework set I've given him extra parts on each problem, asking him to find the second, third, or fourth derivatives to functions, giving him an extra nudge so he won't feel like the material his teacher will go over next is foreign."
"The student had a packet of multiple-choice and free response problems to complete. We worked on this packet and it timed out perfectly in our 1.5 hr session."
"We reviewed the material from the last session for the student's quiz - finding the difference quotient. We also reviewed trig equations (mostly solving by factoring and using the unit circle) and log/exponential equations. The student remembered almost everything from last time and seemed very familiar with the new material from past courses. He is very prepared for his quiz."
"The student is doing very well. Today was just a small variation on the theme of using derivatives to find max/mins. The difference is now we have endpoints we have to check as well. We did a little review on solving equations with x's on both sides and re-writing exponential forms, which he is doing much better in. Very nice work today."