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Private In-Home and Online Algebra Tutoring in Placentia, CA

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Session Summaries by Algebra Tutors

Placentia, CA Algebra tutoring
This was my first meeting with the student. She is currently working on factoring techniques for polynomials with up to 4 terms, and while the focus is mostly on quadratics, there are also higher degree equations. She has learned how to factor out a GCF, identify a binomial difference of two squares and perfect square trinomials, factor by grouping and 'guess and check', and reduce higher order polynomials to smaller exponents factors until they can no longer be reduced. She has completed all the homework problems for each section, however, the teacher has not collected and graded the homework (although she does seem to allot time during class to work on problems and ask for help). Like most textbooks, it only provides selected answers. Therefore, after watching her solve different types of problems, we agreed we can work on creating If - Then rules for factoring and speeding up her problem solving (which is dependent on the first action item) so she has time to check over her answers during the exams. I'm going to provide an outline with practice problems and answers by the end of the week for her to work on this weekend.
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Placentia, CA Algebra tutoring
Today I met with Student 1 first for about an hour. He has just started doing algebra in equations and inequalities as well as graphing lines. We went through his class notes and did a few practice exercises. Then we did a worksheet on algebraic word problems. He understands the topics pretty well at this point, so I always try to push the subject matter towards the future whenever possible. He seems to really like when I give him small examples of things he will learn later on. She has a test on Friday on imaginary numbers. She got her midterm from last week back and unfortunately got an 82. She said she felt like she did well during/afterwards, but got a handful of multiple choice questions wrong. On the other hand, she did extremely well on the short answer section, getting 46/50 points. We have a session tomorrow during which we will continue to go over imaginary/complex numbers.
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Placentia, CA Algebra tutoring
The student and I continued with radical expressions. We began investigating the nature of functions involving radicals and how to graph them.
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Placentia, CA Algebra tutoring
Today, we discussed the student's assignment on graphing exponential functions. We began the session by talking about how to get from equation to graph using a table of values. After the first couple of functions, the student began to recognize the way that changes from the parent function related to changes from the parent graph. From there, he was able to simply change the table values from the parent function corresponding to each new equation and graph accordingly. I was very impressed with how quickly he became accustomed to the different kinds of exponential functions.
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Placentia, CA Algebra tutoring
The student and I worked on topics in algebra and biology. In algebra, our objective was to get him through his assigned homework. His class is currently covering the methods involved in solving quadratic equations. Specifically, we focused on the factoring method. This method requires the solver to be very comfortable with factoring quadratic polynomials. We discussed which term multiplications were responsible for the each term in the resultant quadratic equation and highlighted the hints that would allow us to easily factor. I laid out a three step process where each step was a question whose answer would help factor the polynomial into two binomials. He learned quickly and could factor easy polynomials quickly and once polynomials were factored, he had no problem using the zero-product property to solve the equations. In biology, I guided him through a biology lab report rewrite. Mainly, I read through the lab procedure and his lab report to see whether he was completed the objectives required. Every section was okay except the conclusion. He wrote a good synopsis of the lab procedures, but failed to relate its results to the biological principle of natural selection. To help him, I asked a series of questions that the lab sought to resolve and told him to type down the answers. We then converted his answers into paragraph form and the resultant conclusions was much better.
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Placentia, CA Algebra tutoring
Today, we worked with logarithms. I noticed that the student understood the addition, subtraction and power properties of logarithms well. Also, I noticed that he had forgotten some of the materials we went over last time, particularly rules about exponents. I encouraged him to make a sheet of all of the algebra rules he has learned thus far, including the name, application, and examples of the rules. He is doing well. He is motivated and has a positive attitude.
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