Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we covered more practice problems including significant figure calculations, unit conversions, and some molar mass conversion word problems. We also worked on example problems in preparation for the student's exam tomorrow. These problems included determining the differences between a compound and mixture; physical and chemical changes; as well as changes vs. properties. He was incredibly confident about significant figure calculations today. I gave him some of the hardest significant figure problems I could think of and he breezed through them. He is also showing a growing comfort with conversions. He admitted the word problems were still giving him trouble. I wrote up a few more word problems that cover conversions and molar mass. We briefly discussed molar mass (a concept his class has not yet covered) in the context of common chemistry conversion problems. I will email both the problems we worked on today as well as a few more that cover the content of his test tomorrow. He seemed very confident and optimistic about his upcoming exam. I hope it goes well for him."
"We spent some time reviewing concepts for the student's test on Monday. She has a good handle on many of the concepts, but has trouble distilling her ideas down into compact and clear answers. We spent time working out the Bohr's model of electron orbits and Schrodinger's model of orbitals. We also talked a bit about electronegativity, ionization energy, and definitions and reasoning for trends on the periodic table down periods and across groups."
"At today's session, we continued to discuss Periodicity and Periodic trends, as relating to: atomic radius, electronegativity, ionization energy, and metallic/nonmetallic character. We discussed the definitions of each of these terms. We discussed how they changed when going across the table from left to right then going from up to down. I gave him several practice questions on this material, and he got them mostly right. I feel that his grasp of the material is not strong. He seems to "guess" the answers right, but he does not seem to have a solid grasp of the underlying concepts. I explained to him that he should read his textbook for this. Depending on notes/handouts isn't good because those don't tell the whole story; they will create gaps in your knowledge. The book explains everything systematically. He received back a quiz he had taken last week. He got an 8/22 on it. We went through all of the incorrect questions, and I had him explain to me where he went wrong and what he should have done instead. I think this was effective at getting him to understand his mistakes."
"The student and I worked on his English essay which involved reading two short stories (The Possibility of Evil and The Interlopers), identifying the theme of each story and then relating this to a literary device used by each author to convey the theme. I pre-read the stories prior to the tutoring session, and we were able to brainstorm the literary devices of foreshadowing and situational irony used in The Interlopers and The Possibility of Evil respectively. We then brainstormed themes and related these literary devices to the themes. We were able to write the introduction, first paragraph and second paragraph during the time of the tutoring session. The student will be writing the conclusion on his own time tonight and submitting the essay tomorrow."
"The student and myself reviewed and practiced concepts from her Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 from her General Chemistry course. We heavily utilized the Periodic Table to assist with reviewing these concepts. The concepts that were discussed were focused on formally naming ionic compounds, differentiating between cations and anions, knowing how to write them, differentiating between metals and nonmetals, how to identify their location on the Periodic Table, and, lastly, understanding ionization, energy, and electron affinity trends. We reviewed her PowerPoint notes, as well as used her Chemistry textbook; we utilized tables and charts in it to comprehend concepts better. We practiced understanding of concepts through Mastering Chemistry practice problems. She shows great comprehension, and with the tips and notes I suggested, this should help her retain this information better."
"The student came prepared with a list of things she wanted to go over. We went over the basics of unit conversions and then into the more complex stoichiometry. After that, we covered some compound naming stuff and we went over how to name things with polyatomic ions. We finished up with net chemical equations. We lightly touched on empirical formula stuff with a small example. It seemed that she was glad we could talk about everything, and we got through all of her questions."