Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we reviewed main concepts of the digestive and excretory systems, using pathway diagrams and enzyme charts. In order to foster retention for both these pathways, the student recited the mechanisms for digestion and the key steps along the GI tract, in addition to answering questions about the excretory system tubules. He also worked through several homework problems that tested these concepts, and he will continue increasing his comfort and familiarity with both pathways in preparation for the Digestive and Excretory System exam this Thursday. He also was happy with his performance on the lab practical last week, so we are anticipating a high score soon."
"This was our first session. The student said that she's struggling in biology. She has frequent open-note quizzes. We chose to discuss a worksheet based on her book chapter 10.1 on genetic engineering, which is due Wednesday. This assignment would be one of the "notes" she could use during her quizzes. The worksheet included definitions of key terms and short answers to questions. We read the chapter together. We dissected each sentence in each paragraph, often turning to her glossary for definitions of words she was supposed to know. We plugged along sentence by sentence; the student was not allowed to progress to the next sentence until she fully understood the sentence she just read. At the end of each paragraph we reviewed what we were supposed to learn before continuing. When a key term or answer came up for her worksheet, she wrote it down. After a while, the student was able to foreshadow what would be said in the next paragraph so there was definitely a connection going on with the concepts. The student is going to need this kind of guided reading for a while to break old patterns and make up for not learning previously the building-block concepts that the book assumes in each new chapter. I think the student will show a marked improvement with this approach, and as time goes on, we'll add to her bank of success strategies. The student has a multi-chapter unit test. I will be working with her on Wednesday of this week as well as next Monday to prepare for this."
"Today, we went over of the subunits that were going to be covered on the student's upcoming test. It mostly focused on the chemistry of biology, including properties of water, solution concentration, stoichiometry, and functional groups. She had been looking at the material extensively on her own and knew how important it was for the course, but she had been struggling with some of the concepts. We discussed those in particular, and she found that she was able to connect all the information she had when it was presented to her in a novel way. She was able to describe the difference between hydrogen bonds and covalent bonds, calculate percent solution, and identify major functional groups on a practice sheet before the session ended. I encouraged her to review the material and make a chart of the functional groups to help further organize the information on her test."