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I am looking for opportunities to help elementary students with their studies.
I have extensive experience in teaching at the graduate level ranging from lectures to small and large classes to tutoring students one on one on special topics and in the laboratory. I particularly enjoyed the individual interactions with students where I could discuss concepts and probe their understanding of the material. I think this experience will translate well to working with younger students.
I have on occasion helped younger children with reading and basic math. I truly enjoyed seeing them catch on to an idea. My basic approach is to be patient and to encourage the child with frequent praise. I start with talking to the student and finding out what part of the subject is causing the problem and directing my efforts there. I also like to get the child to reading out loud and talking out a math problem. This also helps to pinpoint any weaknesses. In all these ways I keep the child engaged and interested in learning.
Good grammar is important for success in later life, so children need to learn it. If they do then it will come naturally to them in their speech. It will also help them to understand what they are reading and to write what they mean.
I had a wonderful English teacher in school who could work with us for the whole hour to write a single paragraph. She didn't teach grammar per se, but used it to help us say exactly what we meant. I would teach grammar in this same spirit.
I have always enjoyed math and thus enjoy teaching it too. There are some things to just memorize ( addition, subtraction, multiplication tables) and some rules to learn and then it's on to the challenge of solving problems using these skills.
Even learning addition etc can be a challenge for some; using visual aids can help in this situation as well as lots of patience!
Reading is the foundation of learning so many things and is therefore very important to be able to do well. First students need to be able to 'sound out' words and hear them. Then they need to know the meaning of the words and be encouraged to look up new words in the dictionary. Finally they need to understand what they are reading, appreciate arguments for and against an idea, appreciate when examples are being given, appreciate when conclusions are being made and whether or not they are justified by the given evidence.
Helping the child learn the method to solving a problem or finding a good approach to an assignment is often more important than teaching him/her the solution.
Other important study skills to help the student which I would emphasize include learning to pay attention to what one is reading, determining the real question that is being asked, outlining an answer or an essay. Learning to write neatly and clearly will also he emphasized in math as well as in language arts.
Students need to expand their vocabulary so that they can understand more of what they read or hear without resort to a dictionary. Exercises with vocabulary words and their meanings are a valuable way to improve this knowledge base.
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