Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We spent our session reviewing her algebra exam and going over any concepts that she may have forgotten or had confused in her work. We spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the quadratic equation and ways to remember it. We identified the variables needed for the quadratic equation when the function is placed in the standard form of a quadratic equation and practiced converting given functions to this form. Graphing was also a concept that we spent a considerable time reviewing as well as graphing transformations. We practiced solving equations for the given variable, identifying the vertex, and finding points for graphing. In reviewing graphing quadratics and their functions, we also practiced square roots, factoring, FOILing, and checking her work. She worked really hard and knew exactly where she made mistakes on her exam. We discussed going to her teacher to retake part of the exam or at least get some points returned back to her once she explained her work. I asked her to keep track of any areas on her homework that she may find difficult or confusing so we can review them next time. She seems to care more about her algebra work, and she improving in her attention and memorization skills."
"This session, we discussed two extremely large topics: energy and rotation. We began with an explanation about energy. We listed out the types of energy including kinetic energy, potential energy, and elastic potential energy. We wrote out equations for each of them, and made flashcards for them. We said that energy is always conserved, so that the initial total amount of energy you have is equal to the final amount of energy you have. We then wrote down a long equation relating the initial and final amounts of potential, kinetic, and elastic potential energy of a system. We then moved onto the definition of work. We then moved on to how you use energy to do a problem. We did a problem in which a box was being pushed by a force and we analyzed it via our method for forces, and then using energy. I stated that either way we would get the right answer, but that most commonly, it is easier to do questions with an approach of analyzing the energy states at different points in the system. We did a complicated problem involving children and sleds and hills that was made a lot easier by using energy. We also did a problem where you can tell how quickly a pendulum is swinging at the bottom of its swing using energy. We then moved onto the topic of rotation. We said that with rotation the acceleration is always pointing towards the center of rotation, and because the direction is always changing even though tangential velocity may be constant, it does not mean that the centripetal acceleration is zero. We talked more about the tangential velocity and that is always perpendicular to the radius from the object to the center of rotation. We reviewed our seven step process again and said that if you determine that if you have a rotation problem you set you sum of the forces equal to mass times the centripetal acceleration, instead of mass times the linear acceleration. We stated that otherwise our method is exactly the same. We did a couple of problems together including one problem about a whistle being swung around a string. I again assigned the student homework problems, this time which were a bit more difficult: one energy problem, one rotation problem, and then a difficult rotation problem. We made sure that we had created all of the necessary flashcards for the equations learned in this session and ended it there. A fine class."
"Today was my first meeting with the student. We met at his home and I was able to introduce myself to his family and begin our session. We began by looking through his textbook to discover what topics he and his classmates have covered as well as what will be coming in the future. Currently, he is working through Chapter 7. He expressed that he feels he is struggling with stoichiometry and unit conversion and that equations can be tough for him because his teacher does not give the students a "cheat sheet" to use during tests and quizzes. We made plans to work on equations so that he can be comfortable enough with them that he will know them by heart when the tests/quizzes come. We proceeded to review chapter 7, going over chemical structures, formulas, and nomenclature. He expressed feeling much more confident in his ability to work through the problems at the conclusion of our session. I showed him where in the book he can find more practice problems to work through that cover the material we worked on today. He starts school again this coming Monday and we made plans to meet again next Saturday."