Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student had a take home quiz to work on. Her quiz consisted of solely two types of problems: using the zero product property and completing the square to solve a quadratic equation. In doing so, the problems also involved factoring and solving an algebraic expression. I tried to teach her how to do the problems very slowly by providing my own examples. I taught her the material rather than telling her how to do it, and tried to help her see what was coming next. She seemed to really understand it all at the end by following her own work. The last problem was much tougher than the rest because it involved fractions being squared and multiplied."
"We went over homework from the previous night and the one due the following day, plus reviewed some topics discussed last week."
"Today I proctored an exam for the student and she did very well. From what we worked out, she has raised her exam grades from a low D from the last one to a B for this one."
"The student and I covered an abundance of material this session. We learned how to find the x and y intercepts of a line, how to use the midpoint formula to find the slope of a line, and how to translate an equation into slope-intercept form. I was very impressed with the student's ability to handle the progression in material, especially when it came to the materials on slope and graphing, as these were trouble areas for him in school. We concluded our session with some review on complex fractions (a topic we covered in our first session) to ensure retention. As is typical of these session, we discussed numerous topics and the student proposed some serious theoretical/philosophical questions and I have the self-imposed task of trying to figure out some answers for the both of us. Like for instance, why do mathematicians use the letters x and y instead of a and b in graphing and equations of lines? Did this allocation begin with Euclid? Descartes? For further study and practice, I will send the student the SSAT Lower level assessments so that we can continue to test his knowledge and iron out all trouble areas that surface. He admitted to having troubles with the Upper Level ISEE Reading and the geometry of the Upper Level Math assessment. We will begin focusing on these areas tomorrow afternoon."
"The student and I went over what she's been doing in math. She has been out of school for two days but they've been working on graphing with calculators. She said that she feels comfortable with the functions on her calculator. She and I then reviewed solving systems of 3 equations. The first problem we did, she had some difficulty using signs correctly. We went back through her work and were able to find the errors. In general, she needs to be careful about following the rules for signs. This was useful though for her to be able to check her work when something seems incorrect. This is an important skill. The final problem we did, she was able to do quickly."
"We spent about 45 minutes learning and practicing the completing the square method for solving quadratic equations. I then worked through the derivation for the quadratic formula, which uses the completing the square method. We did several examples of solving quadratic equations using the quadratic formula. For the final 20 minutes of our session, we did some more practice problems with the completing the square method."