Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We went through his homework for chemistry first. I explained the concept to him then I asked him to answer each question by himself. He was able to do that. He solved almost 20 questions. It was about Ksp and solubility. Then we went through his algebra homework for hyperbolas. He solved 4 questions on them as well. He needs to practice more but he is doing well."
"This was our first session and we covered acid-bases. We began with some problems from school, involving dilution, molarity and moles. We then covered Arrhenius acid-bases, Bronsted-Lowry acid-base, and conjugate acids and bases. The student was struggling conceptually and just needed a review of some concepts. The student had a great attitude towards trying to better understand the material."
"On Tuesday, I met with the student to go over animal kingdom evolution, variety, and comparison. We covered all major animal groups of invertebrates and vertebrates. We spent time clarifying how a cladogram shows the relations among organisms. We spoke in more detail about cladograms for chordates and primates. I pointed out that the most simple organism in the family is always located on the left side of a cladogram. Each group of animals to the right in the cladogram gains a new major feature, separating the animals from their common ancestors and forming a new subdivision. For example, in Chordata, minnows accrued jaws and some cranial cartilage, as compared to their ancestors. Sharks got cartilage skeleton all over their body and got fins, as compared to minnows. Bony fish got solid bones instead of cartilage. In addition to this, amphibians developed limbs, lungs, a 3-chambered heart (instead of 2 chambers in fish), learned how to live on land instead of water, etc. We discussed early embryonic development in animals, signified by the formation of blastopore and three embryonic germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm). We spent some time learning the differences between protostomes ("first mouth," the majority of invertebrates) and deuterostomes ("second mouth," Echinodermata and Chordata). We compared different body systems in the earthworm, rat, and frog. We briefly covered evolutionary changes in circulatory (the heart evolving at some point in large complex animals, then increasing its number of chambers from one in invertebrates to four in mammals), respiratory, and excretory systems. In greater detail, we spoke about primates and Hominids. We discussed bipedal locomotion, skeletal changes, cranial transformation, the advantage of the opposable thumb, nails, and binocular vision. The student's analytical skills and organization were superior. We started from rather general discussions followed by answering more focused questions for test preparation. The student did not waste any time; he switched easily to writing answers rather than simply listening, and he asked important questions during discussions. I feel that he gained some understanding of animal evolution and classification. It looked like he navigated through his textbook a little bit easier by the end of our session. I suggested that he use tables to help compare the different animal types or a specific system's evolution. Overall, he did an amazing job learning new concepts."
"Today was my first session with the student and I feel it went very well. She and her mom were very good at communicating to me their needs and expectations for the tutoring session which made my job so much easier! The student is preparing for her physics final, and she emailed me a study guide to look at before our first session. Her mom also communicated to me that the student really needs the most help in learning to problem solve on her own; she understands the material when going over it with a teacher or tutor, but feels lost when trying to do the work by herself. As a result, when we began reviewing the study guide material today, I put specific emphasis on pointing out problem solving techniques such as how to set up problems, identify knowns and unknowns, and decided which equation to use. The student was very receptive and did well with the examples I gave her. However, keeping their specific goal in mind, I would like to make up a practice worksheet with problems similar to the ones we worked on today so that the student can try them on her own before next session and see how well she does. That way, we can assess whether or not the problem solving strategies are working for her."
"We had a productive session today in which we reviewed evolution concepts and terminology. In particular, we studied the evolution concept notes from yesterday's lesson, to solidify understanding of the theory of evolution, methods to study evidence of evolution, and types of selection mechanisms. We then looked over the notes from the student's class, to reinforce relevant concepts, completed a vocabulary chart and finished the session with a review quiz. Although there are lots of new concepts for the evolution unit, he is comfortable in their relationship to natural selection and understands/articulates the ideas well. We will continue in this notes and quiz taking approach in next weeks session before the exam."
"We worked through alkene problems and focused on E1 and E2 reactions and mechanisms. I gave the student two checklists for both reaction types that will hopefully help her in determining what is being asked. She showed improvement throughout the session and was drawing out products as well as mechanisms correctly without my help. She seemed to be understanding the material more."