"Our first session went very well! We started by reviewing the different kinds of factoring that he's covering in his algebra 2 class. He said he felt comfortable with factoring when the first coefficient (on the x squared term) was one but not as much when it was something other than one. He had learned two different strategies to factor those types of problems but didn't quite understand how the second strategy worked. We practiced using this second strategy and he understood how it worked quickly. By the end, he preferred it to the first strategy. Then we talked about factoring perfect square trinomials and difference of squares. At first, he had difficulty with this, but I emphasized how to recognize the difference between the two types of problems, and he practiced again and had it straight. Next, we covered the sum and difference of cubes. He easily learned this concept. We also discussed grouping terms together to help make factoring easier when it's not immediately clear what to do. The hardest part for him was recognizing the problems where he needs to do that, but after the second one, he caught on. Then we practiced multiple factoring problems where there were different strategies needed so that he could figure out when to use which strategy. He did well with these problems. I think with more practice, he will have no problem with factoring. I also taught him a next strategy for multiplying factors using a square instead of FOIL. He really seemed to like this way of doing it, and I think it will help him quickly check his answers when factoring. Next, we covered grammar and writing. He has a grammar workbook that we looked through and we talked about the difference between independent and dependent clauses and practiced finding them in sentences. After a few examples, he did very well. Then we talked about noun clauses and practiced recognizing them in sentences. He was very confused about them at first, but I explained that a noun clause was answering the "what" in a sentence, which is why it's called a noun clause. This made it clear to him and by the end of our session he was finding the noun clause without problems and was able to correctly explain why it was the noun clause. We also discussed a paragraph that he had written about Oedipus Rex. There were some mistakes in his paragraph. We talked about each mistake and how to fix it. We will keep practicing his writing with assignments and editing to help not only with his grammar but also on formulating his ideas in a logical structure. At the very end of the session, his mother and I discussed her goals for his tutoring sessions and we set up a regular tutoring schedule."