# Blogs

## Chemistry Blogs

Sometimes the same procedure shows up in two different contexts. This is especially common in the fields of math and science, as science employs in real-world application many of the techniques we learn in their abstract form in math class. For some reason, the principle as shown in a high-school science class is often much harder for students to understand than it was in the math class. (My personal theory is that science teachers are applying the concept in a way that changes how they explain how it works, and they probably have not collaborated with the student's math teacher to ensure they're reinforcing the same terminology.) Last week one of my students ran into this phenomenon in her own work; a concept from last year's math class showed up in her physics class. To help her understand it, we went back to the original math concept and talked about proportions. The science homework she was struggling with was the old chestnut about unit conversions; rows and rows of fractions... read more

Here is a study tip for all you science students.     Go to the library and find all the textbooks you can on your given subject - especially for Organic Chemistry.  Since I am referencing Organic, I will use the subject as an example.   When I was in first semester Organic Chemistry, there was an Emeritus Professor who left the department.  He was a great teacher, but more than that, he was a mentor and a friend to many of the undergraduate students.  When he left, his office still had all of his books in it and come to find out, he left all the books to the department.     There were only a handful of students who went to collect books and see if we wanted any of them.  I found a page labeled with the semester, year and exam number next to a problem.  That gave me the idea that there are books with old exam questions.   So, I not only took all the books that I could to practice the problems... read more

Here is the thing about watching Zig Ziglar in video: "He makes me feel like a kid in the 70's." But, his principles for success ring true:   Identify the Goal (Clear, identify the target, nothing nebulous and be specific) List the Benefits  (For you, what you want, vitally important) List the Obstacles to Overcome (Anticipate in advance, things that could prevent you, find accountability) List the Skills and Knowledge Required (Knowledge = power , skills = tools , knowing + doing = powerful combination) Identify the People and Groups to Work with ( Who can help you? , knowledge + skill = value needed for success) Develop a Plan of Action (Critical, step-by-step details to achieve your goal) Set a Deadline (For accountability sake to yourself and who you are working with , unaccountable = unsuccessful)   To conclude with a simple math formula:   Knowledge + tools + doing + accountability...

Hi all!   Another semester down and a fairly successful one at that. I had a strong performance on the SAT bio by a student (This student plans to take it again to go for the 800. I'm excited to help her get it this time!), I met some great new students for Biochemistry, Genetics, Inorganic chemistry, and bioinformatics, substantially improved my library of AP physics materials as well as organic chemistry materials, had the opportunity to help with a college essay as well as science project submissions for the Sieman's competition and Intel competition, and made real headway on my SAT chemistry prep book! Only 160 more problems to go.... There were a number of other successes throughout the semester as well, but my goal here was to just share some of the different flavors of tutoring I'm currently having fun with.    I'm only going to be taking on 6 students this Spring so that I have more time to finish the book and make progress on educational... read more

As a student of Chemistry, I would take the approach of Science is Art.  Now being a scientist you might not think of Science as Art, but I would argue that you have to look at every element, molecule, compound, etc as building blocks to creating whatever masterpiece that you want.   Whatever you do, make sure that you remember that a piece of paper is a two-dimensional plane, and you have to make three-dimensional art.  In addition, things on the paper are moving with animation - enjoy the mystery.   Please start your Organic career right by picking up "The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms" by Robert B. Grossman.  You will never miss an electron, understand orbitals better or write a better mechanism with this book.  In addition, this book points out common errors so you don't make the same mistakes.

I am excited for the semester break, but I am more excited for next semester.  Are you ready for next semester chemistry?  How well did you do last semester?     I am pleased to say -and I was very hesitant being that one of the students approached me with 5 days until their exam- that both of my students passed with flying colors last semester.   I am looking for students who are excited for the material; they want to learn the material, and they want more than a good start.  I am very engaged with my students.  I spend hours behind the scenes to get them to where they need to be, want to be and have to be.

Factors                        SN1                                SN2                         E1                             E2 nucleophile:               any(often weak)     ;    good, strong base:                        any (often weak)    ;   must have strong substrate                    3>2                      ;    methyl > 1 > 2          ;    3 > 2                ;  ... read more

Hello Students!    My name is Vanessa and I am a Pharmaceutical Chemist/Chemistry Curriculum Illustrator and Animator. I would love to solve any homework questions you have while also explaining all the concepts you need to understand to successfully replicate what you've learned on a test or exam.    Take care!

Want to be published? I am the editor of three on-line science journals, published through the CK-12 Foundation (www.ck12.org). These journals, Understanding Biodiversity, Profiles in Science (early 2016), and Current Trends in the Biomedical Sciences (late 2016) are opportunities for students to become published.  I am available to assist students nationwide through the research, writing and publishing process - just sent me an email to find out more.

Hello all!   I am super excited to sign-up for The New MCAT.  I can't tutor on the new exam without taking it, so I will be on a journey to make sure that the exam is everything the committee says it is.   I will be posting different material, study questions and strategies that I find useful for preparing for this exam.  I hope this will help you to, and I will give feedback on the different subject problem areas that I see in my current students.   I have exactly 4 months until the exam.  This is a good amount of time - planning is crucial for the exam - because there are 4 sections on the new MCAT.  Here they are:   Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills   There is a small video to describe The New MCAT, and... read more

As an experienced teacher of over 15 years, it's easy to recognize frustration in students.  Some of that frustration is admittedly self-imposed, but let's face it; some is teacher/environment imposed.  Not all students learn the same way.  As a teacher and tutor, I modify my approach to meet the needs of individual students.  This task can be quite daunting when you have a classroom full of 25, less than fully engaged pupils; however, when tutoring one on one or in a small group dynamic the task is quite masterfully attained.   I love teaching, I love seeing those "light bulb" moments.  Successful teaching/tutoring is measured by student success and learning is gauged by how well mastery has been achieved.  That's my goal.

Sodium Sulfide  (Na2S)  Iron (III) Nitrate   (Fe(NO3)3    Na2S (aq) + Fe(NO3)3 → 2Na+ + S2- + Fe2+ + 3NO3    As long as the charges are equivalent from both sides of the equation then you are done. We know the charges are equivalent because Na = +, S = 2+, Fe = 2-, and NO3 = -

I was just thinking about this questions yesterday. Being a scientist, the comment was made that when you love science, you love the exciting and you love the tedious. So, I have my five things... 1. Make it personal. I start by listening to the student and what gets them excited and what they are fearful of in that environment. For example: I have a Math student who loves basketball. He hates math and is very athletic. I ask him "what would you do to increase your free-throw percentage from 52% to 91%?" His response, "I would do anything!" But, he is bad at math on paper, so we come up with a way for him to track his free-throws, shooting percentage, overall efficiency, etc and he calculates these items. 2. Use Analogies. After listening to my student, I start putting all my questions in form that they will understand and love. The student starts forming their own questions because they have learned how to think rather than have a blank... read more

Hi all,     So my experiment with the waiting list was a mixed success.  I had some students remain interested when I contacted them as availability popped up later in the semester, but it was about 20% of the people. It was still a useful way to remain visible to students so I'm going to continue it.   I have room this Fall for another student or two, so please contact me ASAP to avoid the waiting list! I'll have the most available time slots for the least amount of traveling.  This means that students who want to meet in Manhattan will have the easiest time / find my schedule the most flexible.  I've started doing a little tutoring in Python programming, so if anybody is interested in working on that at a discounted rate please contact me!  Cheers! Chris

Hi!   If you are interested in a healthcare career, I definitely encourage you to pursue it! Don't let the fact that you may still be in high school or that you already may have a career in another field, stop you from exploring the possibilities in healthcare. If you want to succeed in the competitive environment surrounding most healthcare careers, academic preparation is very important. If you have any questions related to healthcare, please let me know, and I will answer them or refer you to other resources. I love helping students in science and healthcare related studies!

1. Not studying early enough. I often compare chemistry to TV shows like Game of Thrones or Mad Men—you have to watch the series from the beginning or else you'd be completely lost. Chemistry classes and textbooks are set up in a very linear way. The harder you work earlier in the class, the less work you have to do the rest of the semester.   2. Hating the class too early. Don't be a member of the sheep repeating, "Ugh, this class sucks!" If you're a first-time chem student, how do you know this class sucks? Do you actually find the material uninteresting, or are you just repeating what everyone else says?    3. Not practicing. Studying for chemistry is kind of like perfecting a good jump shot or learning a new song on a piano. The more time you spend with it, the better you'll be.

Alegbra: http://www.nysedregents.org/algebraone/   Algebra 2/Trigonometry: http://www.nysedregents.org/a2trig/home.html   Geometry: http://www.nysedregents.org/geometrycc/   Math A, Math B, Integrated Algebra, Other Math: http://www.nysedregents.org/regents_math.html   Chemistry: http://www.nysedregents.org/Chemistry/   Earth Science: http://www.nysedregents.org/EarthScience/   Physics: http://www.nysedregents.org/Physics/