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Recent Tutoring Session Reviews

Today the student and I reviewed factoring binomials of special cases and trinomials. Then we discussed how to solve quadratic equations, such as: 1. guess, 2. factoring, 3. quadratic formula and 4. completing the square. Then we went over how to solve quadratic-like equations that have exponents bigger than a square. We did a lot of practice problems and ended the session by playing a math game involving logic.

We took a break from Math and worked on the section the student liked most: reading comprehension.  In fact, she did extremely well on this section, with the exception of poetry.  The student tends to rush into answers without thinking it through, so we are taking steps to correct that.  

Review:  vector addition, decomposition of vectors, & trigonometric rules.  Electrostatics:  origin of electromagnetic phenomena and classification of materials, charge conservation, Coulomb's Law, electric fields, field lines, charge distributions, example problems.

For our last lesson together, we wanted to do a final overview of all the application essays she has been working on.  She intends to turn in her applications next week and wanted to make sure everything was ready and up to par.  I think she was very happy with the way they turned out and only has to make minor changes on a couple of the short responses.  

Began working through the study guide for the student's physics final. We focused on problems involving kinematics (acceleration, velocity calcs) and energy/force balance. The student understands core concepts well. Final is on Friday, more sessions later in the week.

We reviewed a written piece on the subject of the movie. The general topics we covered included: phonetics and pronunciation, the French style of writing, and working to make sentences less wordy. Specifically, we covered the tricky "eu" sound, liaisons between words, idiomatic expressions, and negations. She continues to improve each session and really absorbs the material that we cover.

We have repeated the phrases and words that we learned in the previous three sessions and the student was able to communicate with me without significant issues. He still needs more improvement in pronunciation and takes a while to respond, but he knows how to answer and can have a small talk in German already. During the next sessions we are going to manifest the small talk phrases into him so that he will be prepared to surprise his hopefully future employer.

Today's session started with a review of what we had covered last week (numbers, pronunciation and, basic dialogue in a business setting). Then we moved on to new material. The vocabulary consisted of what the merchandise was made of (silver, gold, types of pens, jewelry, etc.) followed by more questions/responses one would encounter in a business setting. The student seems to be picking up the dialogue concepts pretty quickly.

The student and I went through some math concepts such as evaluating algebraic expressions, operations with negative numbers, and solving algebraic expressions. I then gave her a brief lesson on 30-60-90 and 45-45 right triangles, and we did a few practice problems with those. We then switched to the verbal portion of the exam. I taught her a strategy for approaching synonyms questions, and she began learning English vocab using flashcards.

Again with the split of SAT and schoolwork, the student and I worked on sentence diagramming for English. She had trouble differentiating modifiers from additive words, so we stripped down sentences into the basic subject and verb and worked with modifiers from there. We practiced over several sentence diagrams, and she had gotten a lot better as the session went on. I had her work through her homework and her review for her exam, so we went over quite a bit of sentence diagramming. I told her that this works beautifully in the SAT in terms of realizing when adverbs should be adjectives and vice versa, so as long as she knows what the modifier is and the object of the modification. She's a hard worker, and she has a huge course load!

Today we covered translating graphs and functions, which was very simple for the student. We reviewed most of his homework assignment, then went back and began reviewing exponential functions in preparation for his final.

After taking the ISEE practice test, we confirmed that she is likely to do very well on both math sections and the reading comprehension. Her area of weakness continues to be in the verbal section. We spent the majority of today's session on sentence completions, practicing the process of elimination so that she will be able to guess more effectively.

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