Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student has finished chapters 1 and 2 over the previous weeks, so our session today was focused on applying her knowledge and practice towards a sample exam provided by the Chemistry department at her school. She does well on 95% of the material but she is still unsure about the principles behind resonance forms. She understands isomer forms, which is similar idea, but she still struggles on how to identify resonance forms and the movement of the electrons between atoms. I have given her a reference on how to start looking at the problems and most times she gets the answers correctly but every so often, she puts the electrons and bonds in the wrong place and it is due to a conceptual misunderstanding about the properties of resonance. Her professor moves quickly so I always slow it down for her and make sure she knows where her electrons are going. This is the most important part of resonance and this will build the foundation of how she will learn mechanisms of the various reactions discussed in Organic Chemistry 1 and 2. Every session, I will provide her will some practice resonance structures until this topic is embedded in her brain because if she can learn this, she will do very well in this course. We began discussing Chapter 3 on naming compounds, drawing isomers and learning about functional groups. She had already read through this chapter over the previous weeks and had a good basis of understanding when we went over the material. For this chapter, practice makes perfect because there are a few ideas that need to be memorized in order for the whole topic to be learned. Drawing structures over and over while learning to name them is the best strategy for learning this material. I have been including little bits and pieces of this chapter's material in our sessions over the last week so that she can see how it relates to what we cover in each chapter. I don't want her to treat the chapters as if they are separate, I want her to connect all of this information so that at the end of the course, she has truly learned organic chemistry, not simply memorized information to pass exams. Since she will be moving onto further chemistry courses, I want her to find an appreciation for what she is learning now so I try to incorporate this material into real-world applications as well as ideas that she will encounter in future courses along her academic journey."
"Today, the student and I went over the quiz that he took last week. He has a test coming up next week, so in order to prepare him, we continued on with reviewing alkene reactions. We also covered chair conformations as well as determining whether a reaction would undergo SN1, SN2, E1, E2 reactions. The student has a worksheet that he'll have to complete by our next session, which is designed to help him reason why a reaction would undergo one of the 4 types of reactions."
"We covered chemical concentration equilibrium (Kc) conceptually, and in terms of adding different reactions together. The student had a great attitude - she's very bright. I gave her online resources that focused on the material we covered."