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Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
The student and I reviewed her Chemistry lab report on balancing a chemical equation and finding the amount of moles used and produced in the reaction, both theoretically and experimentally. We also completed her math homework on finding the zeros of high order polynomials, both rational and complex.
The student and I went over some questions she had for her chemistry class. She is feeling more comfortable drawing out molecules and she was doing well with solubility problems so we moved on to look at her new entry exam study book. We talked about the essay and strategies used to write efficiently. I asked her to read the essay section and sampled essays when she has a chance. We also started review math concepts. She is doing well with the concepts themselves, it is just the wording that sometimes trips her up.
We continued to review and practice SSAT math solving strategies of PITA (Plugging in the Answer, aka Backsolving) and Picking Numbers. We also covered the topic of solving symbolic math problems on the SSAT
Today was my first meeting with the student. We went over his progress in the class and what he would like to achieve in our sessions together. We worked on his current assignment. We worked diligently on communicating clearly about what steps he needed to take to complete the assignment on his own.
I gave the student some practice problems on Newton's Laws to test her comprehension of last week's material to see how she retained it and she did a pretty good job. We spent the rest of the session going over work and energy and momentum and impulse. I taught her the concepts and had her do problems, explaining how to approach them if she had any difficulty. Told her to cover rotation and harmonic motion for our next session, and maybe elastic properties of solids if she had time.
I had previously instructed the student to complete a full exam replicating the conditions of the test as much as possible in terms of timing. I am happy to report that she got an average score of 1890 which is up from her previous estimate of 1500 from October. I was really happy to see her progress, especially with the math section. For next session, I assigned her one CR section, a Writing MC section, and a Math section with free response questions.
Reviewed the student's most recent paper which we worked on extensively. Discussed upcoming semester. Will be reading "The Great Gatsby" and "Death of a Salesman" and discussing the associated issues (dealing with problems in a prosperous society). Talked through a framework and mapped responses so he will have thought through some of these issues and be looking for them while reading his next books. Also discussed ideas for short essays, which we will do next week. Timed short-essay writing, in preparation for ACT and other short writing assignments that he anticipates.
We continued to study for the student's Earth Science test. She reviewed her study material made on Sunday. She seemed much more comfortable with the material. She also completed 2 Geometry review assignments.
Prior to this session I had instructed the student to complete two long passages and the 500-590 questions for writing and math. He missed only one out of 19 questions on the passages assignment and one writing question. After reviewing those two missed questions, we reviewed the vocabulary he has learned so far. He aced it. Then we ventured into some advanced math concepts, which he handled very well. I instructed him on how to model rate problems, then assigned him some more writing and math exercises for this week. Things are looking good!
The student is preparing for the math exam next Wednesday. His teacher has given him a website with practice test questions to study. On Wednesday we went through one of the practice tests that he had already completed. We reviewed skills ranging from two-step algebraic equations to finding the volume of a cylinder. The student had not covered some of these topics in school, but was able to follow along as I walked him through new skills. Because there is so much material, I asked him to focus on one and two-step algebraic equations for our next session.
We reviewed work, rotational motion, and conservation of angular motion. After that we started to work on simple harmonic motion and looking at the difference between pendulums and mass on a spring. The student seemed to grasp the concepts very quickly and struggled a little bit on what value to use for the length of the pendulum. I told him to review simple harmonic oscillators and the formulas that govern their motion.
Today's session was productive. The student completed her homework with ease. She was also assigned a 2-minute math challenge for 30 multiplication problems. She was able to complete 25 out of 30 problems in two minutes, and had a little trouble remembering that some of the facts had the same answer. We also finished reviewing her multiplication facts, but I will be introducing how to multiply double digit factors (i.e. 12x11) during our next session.