Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"As usual, last night's session with the student was very productive. Her class had just begun electrochemistry (galvanic and electrolytic cells. First, we went over a few basic concepts, like how to draw the cells, the function of the salt bridge, and how to tell which of two half-reactions occurred at the cathode. After learning this information and reviewing the equation for electric potential, the student was easily able to understand the AP problems in this week's homework set. These problems did get tricky when they incorporated material from previous chapters, but the student's thought process was what I would expect from a student who is very prepared for the AP exam. It went great!"
"The student and I reviewed for her test in Solutions. We went over the content on her test and went over her homework questions. She had a good grasp of the material and I felt confident that she would do well on her test."
"The student and I went through samples problems in a Final Exam course review that I created via PowerPoint. Next, we went through problems on a review sheet from her teacher. Moving forward, we will need to reemphasize previously taught concepts."
"The student and I covered the integrated rate law and reaction rate expressions. We discussed the various formulas needed and the units for each of the rate constants for various reaction orders. In addition, we discussed some theory to help clarify the underlying issues of the subject matter."
"During this session, the student and I covered reactions and solubility. Some of the reactions we covered were redox reactions, addition reactions, combustion reactions, acid-base reactions, and decomposition reactions. In the future, we will continue to work on reactions and titrations, as she mentioned that these two topics are a bit difficult for her, at the moment. There were quite a few topics covered in first semester, that we will have to go back to review, with reactions being one of them."
"The student and I covered thermochemistry in our session. She and I also covered work, heat, and their relationship to enthalpy. We reviewed when work is being done on systems or by systems as well as when heat is released from or transferred to systems. No concerns were noted. The student was preparing to take an exam after our session."
"The student and I continued to work on stoichiometry, and expand into concepts that directly relate to stoichiometry questions. We covered how to discover limiting reactants, and how to determine the percent yield for a reaction. The main focus for today centered around the use of dimensional analysis. I told the student that dimensional analysis was his best tool in order to solve a large amount of chemistry problems. We practiced using the technique with stoichiometry, and I showed him how to approach the issues with a set beginning as well as a set goal. The student approached the material much better after implementing dimensional analysis, and I feel it helps him understand the material in a different way. We will continue to cover concepts that add more detail to the basic stoichiometry until we can move onto more detailed aspects of chemistry."
"We covered acid and base reactions, including equilibrium and whether or not combinations of salts dissolved in water would yield an acidic or basic solution. The student already had a good grasp of the math, and by the end of the session he could predict which portion of the salt (cation or anion) could result in the solution becoming acidic or basic."
"The student and I were going over acid base reactions. We talked about both buffers and titrations. He definitely had the most problems with titrations, as once you recognize a buffer, there is really just one equation to apply. However, titrations require a lot of attention to detail. Since we were only able to get through the strong acid and strong base titrations, I left him with work to go over weak acid, weak base titrations in his book."
"Last time we met, the student was working on pre-lab questions. This time he had the post-lab questions for the same labs. Topics included stoichiometry, balancing re-dox equations, percent yield, deciding on a "greener" reactants to use, and family properties. He commented that he is really feeling like he understands how the topics all come together and he feels is getting to the point where he feels ready for the test."
"Today was the first time I met with the student. She expressed that her AP chem class had finished, but that she didn't really understand it; she could do some of the problems but didn't understand what was going on. We began going over atomic concepts that build up to molecular concepts like, atomic structure, electron configuration, ions and isotopes, and periodic trends as they relate to basic atomic structure (including concepts such as effective nuclear charge). I explained some concepts, while asking her to derive the trends to other answers based off of basic atomic structure. We then began to apply the concept of electronegativity to bonds. She was quick to pick up the information."
"We went over the student's Chemistry lab involving titrations of strong and weak acids and bases. We went over the meaning behind the titration curves, as well as how to find pKa and pKb. We also went over buffer solution equations and pH at various points on the titration curve. The student did his homework packet involving pH as well. Overall, the student seems to understand the material very well."