Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In this session, we first did a quick review of the periodic table - in particular, how we can determine the number of valence electrons of an atom by looking at it, and then, how to apply that information to drawing molecular representations in the form of Lewis Dot Structures. I gave the student a set of 4 "rules" to help her establish a systemic approach to drawing the dot structures and to help her solve any of these types of problem. After establishing our method or system for drawing the structures, we did about 12 practice problems. She was able to complete many of the problems with only a little help, and as we moved on, she became more efficient and accurate. Most of her errors were simple mistakes and not due to a lack of understanding of the concept. I urged her to be disciplined with using the steps of the system to ensure accuracy and minimize small errors. When mistakes were made, I asked her questions to challenge her thinking, and she was able to correct the problem herself in almost all situations."
"As it was our first session, the student had a lot of different topics she wanted to touch on for clarification. For the most part, we worked on subject matter that had to do with ions or ionic compounds (naming compounds, lattice energy, ionization energy, oxidation numbers). We looked at some worksheets and quizzes that she had questions on and most of them she did fairly well on, but there were a few of the aforementioned concepts that she didn't quite get. Talking through the problems and really stressing the fundamentals (e.g. electronegativity) really seemed to help her. We also spent some time reviewing covalent bonds, dipole moments, and polar vs non polar. Overall, she seems to be doing fairly well in the class."
"The student is almost done with the first semester of his online Chemistry course. This week we are meeting frequently for shorter periods of time to knock out each chapter and its subsequent quizzes before he returns to school next week. He has opted to return to in-class labs and lectures for his Chemistry course, though he will continue to meet with me once a week for retention of the material. We will be utilizing our upcoming sessions to review material from his school textbook (specifically chapters 6 & 7--moles, stoichiometry, etc.). What we covered this week-- Monday: the lab on ionic and covalent bonds, as well as the quiz on covalent bonds (100%). Tuesday: the lab on molecular modeling VSEPR theory with clay, as well as the quiz on compound structures (100%). I committed to sending the student a study guide for this chapter by Thursday afternoon so that he can use the weekend to review material and be ready to take his chapter exam next week. Looking to the final, I will make study guide material over previous chapters as well. However, catching him up on the material his high school covered this past semester is our number one priority so that he has a smooth transition back to school."