Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today was my first meeting with the student. Since his class started only two weeks ago, we began going over conceptual information from Chapter 1. We went section by section through the material to see what he was familiar with and what he needed more in depth instruction on. I noticed he did not take notes during his class lectures and for a course like chemistry, where notes are the best tools to learn the material. We discussed the scientific method, measuring, SI units, and significant figures. We only got through sections 1.1-1.6 and that is mainly because he spends a considerable amount of time writing out his notes. I understand that he wants to be neat and organized but the pace at which he writes is far too slow. This is undoubtedly why he does not take notes in class. I asked him to work on learning to write faster so that we can get through more material during our sessions. Any material that we did cover, when asked practice problems on those topics, he did very well in being able to answer them correctly as well as explain how he found the answer. I think his main problem right now is that he is not taking notes in class and that he is not putting in the time necessary for a class like chemistry. We went over his syllabus so that we can determine when his assignments were due so that we can have a working timeline. Next session we will work on his practice test for Chapter 1 material."
"Today we went over kinetics. We started with the definition of rate, which is the change of concentration (either consumption of reactants or production of products) over the change of time. The concept of instantaneous rate was explained and how to use the rate equation with the coefficients of molecules. Then we went over the overall rate and what order is and how to find the K constant. Even though K is a "constant" I explained that is specific for a specific reaction at a specific time. We next did a little algebra to show how to find the units of K for different order of reactions. The rest of the time we went into discussion on how to solve rate problems. Notes from classed finally clicked and the student realized it was more simple than she was making it out to be. For now, we spoke about getting in the practice. I am sending her multiple choice questions."
"The student and I met for the first time this semester. We first discussed the grade she would like in the course and she told me that she is shooting for a B, but I told her that we should shoot for an A. She has the potential to do really well in the course if she keeps up the same study habits she used for the final last semester. Next we jumped into the current topics she is covering in class. Specifically, she is covering balancing reactions, mass-mass conversions and mole-mole conversions. We reviewed two homework assignments where she had to balance the equation, if necessary, then solve a problem starting with a given molar amount or mass amount of product or reactant and, using the molar ratio, find another product or reactant. We went step by step through her work, and I made sure she understood every logical step through the problem. By the end of going over the assignments, she seemed to have a good grasp on the material. After we finished the topics she had already covered in class, she asked if we could get a head start on the next day's material: mole-volume and conversions. She had a handout that they were going to go over the next day, and we went through the problems, again step by step. These problems concerned gases in chemical reactions and using the ideal gas equation to find the number of moles of gas, then find the mass or moles of the starting material or products using the molar ratio. She was not familiar with using the ideal gas equation, but she seemed to get it after a few practice problems. I think after her class goes over the material, and she has to do the homework, she will definitely understand it. She showed initiative today and really wants to comprehend the material better. She will do great this year."
"The student had a test on bonding, Lewis diagrams, molecular geometry, etc. We also reviewed the VSEPR model and resonance. We then worked on a practice exam. Some of the questions were a bit tricky, but he understood them after we discussed the questions together."
"Today we finished review for the student's exam. We covered topics like entropy and enthalpy, pH, pOH, algebra of logs, and other topics. We wrapped up today's session with a few problems on acids and bases, as the student felt weak on those. Our next session will take place when the student starts a new chemistry class."
"We covered thermochemistry including Hess' Law problems by using heats of formation to solve for the heat of reaction, then we used the form of Hess' Law to rearrange equations, in order to obtain the final reaction. We spent about an hour on this, and I feel that the student was able to understand the problems and solve them with only a little coaching towards the end. Next we covered organic chemistry, which is the section they will be covering next in class. I started off by teaching him the root names for aliphatic alkanes with 1-10 carbons. Then we learned the variation on those names for the alkenes and the alcohols. Since this was all new material, we stopped there, and decided to pick up there next time."