I have a Bachelor's Degree with honors in Secondary Education Social Studies. My Master's Degree is Special Education-Cross Categories. I have worked with ADHD students at the elementary and middle school levels. Both students needed organizational skills, so I had each of them purchase file folders of different colors and assigned one subject to a particular color folder. Example- red folder was reading, blue folder was math and yellow folder was spelling. On the inside of the folder, one side was for homework assignments and the other side was for current classroom material, such as study notes, graphic organizers, lesson outlines, etc. After they completed the assignment the student was allowed to move to the back of the classroom for some personal time where they could choose between quietly roaming, doing their choice of art work. Various art materials were provided such as colored pencils, markers, art paper, stickers, craft sticks. Or, they could choose to work a puzzle, read a story, of their choosing, work with a partner on a math or reading project or get help from the partner with homework assignments.
I have worked with autistic students in the areas of communication and social behavior. This particular student, a kindergartner, chose not to speak, demonstrated inappropriate social behaviors, screaming, hitting and biting other students. With the help of his kindergarten teacher and speech therapist, using the Zoo-Phonics in the classroom and Hooked on Phonics program, in the Special Education classroom, this student learned the alphabet. I would use a lot of manipulatives with this student to accept tactile sensation. I used such things as shaving cream, sand, aquarium rocks, birdseed. Communication skills were taught through use of picture books, drawing lines, circles in the shave cream, fingerpainting, or play dough. Computer activities were also used to reinforce communication skills. Later simple puzzles were added to the routine. This student learned to work 25 piece puzzles. I read stories to him and afterward I would name a character or item in the story and he would identify the character/item by pointing to the correct picture. His language arts skills dramatically improved so that at the end of the school year, he was talking in short sentences, expressing his needs and wants. Other skills he accomplished were copying correctly from the whiteboard, reading kinder and first grade sight words, staying in his seat and raising his hand when he wanted something, appropriately interacting with classmates, holding a pencil, coloring pictures staying within the lines.
I have a Master's Degree is Special Education-Cross Categories and worked with numerous dyslexia students from kindergarten through high school. Most of my experience has been at the elementary level. I have found that these students need lots of repetition to help them to learn. For instance, I had a third grade student with dyslexia who demonstrated great difficulty in spelling and reading. To learn spelling words, I would have him use glitter glue, sticky letters, shave cream or alphabet tiles to practice writing his words. In reading, this student was reading at the kindergarten level. I used the game of Bingo for him to learn sight and vocabulary words. Another method for teaching reading was echo reading of paragraphs. I would read aloud a sentence at a time and he would repeat and read the sentence back to me. We started with very simple sentences and gradually increased sentence length as he improved his reading skills. Graphic organizers and reading cubes were used to improve his comprehension of reading material To help learn phonics, this student filled-in the the missing letter sounds with the help of a word box. The Hooked on Phonics reading program was also used to help this student to read. Search and Find worksheets and the matching of vocabulary word with their meaning worksheets were also used. One game he enjoyed was to spin a spinner and answer either a question about synonym, antonym, homonym or a prefix/suffix. After he answered at least five questions out of seven correctly, he would get to choose an item from the "treasure chest". Art was used as another reward system. One project he did was to make something for the veterans, at the veterans hospital here in Phoenix, each November. My class would make cards, or clay plaques for the veterans. In February, he and my other students made valentines and sent them to the veteran hospital.
This student made fantastic progress in spelling, going from F's to C's and B's on weekly spelling tests. By the end of the school year he was reading at grade level and passed on to the next grade.
I have 4 years of teaching 1-4 grades in the general education classroom. At the time of my interview at an elementary charter school (K-6) was openings for first and second grades. I took first grade and began getting ready to face first graders. I taught reading, phonics, writing, math. science to approximately 20 Hispanic first graders. For the class of Accelerated Reader, I made a bookworm for each student. After he/ she filled ten empty segments of the worm, they colored the segment. This way it was easier to check which students were ready and which one did not read. I taught first graders for two years.
Second grade became available the following year. I took the. opportunity. A new adventure. I taught reading,reading comprehension, grammar, writing, science/life. The students would go to the computer Lab once a week and learned how to speak English. 98% of the students were from Mexico, Central and South America. The program was Rosette Stone. My job was to monitor my second-graders, insuring they were on the correct lessons and helping when a student had difficulties. One thing my second graders liked was when it was time for reading. I would break students into small groups of five or less. Each group was given a different book. They had to first take turns and read the book. Then they completed the writing assignment about the book and any extra activities. Lastly, the students presented a summary of their book to the whole group.
Fourth grade I team-taught with a colleague; I would teach Language Arts in the morning and he would teach history, geography, social studies etc. in the afternoon.
I have taught Preschool for a church within my church affiliate. This was a starter class. I had 10 - 12 students. I taught numbers, shapes, alphabet, colors, read stories and students participated in a revised physical exercise program. Length of my stay was two years.
When teaching grammar, I first give the student a pretest to determine the level at which the student is working. Methods I use are visual, hands-on, examples, worksheets. I use games such as Boggle, Scrabble Jr., Chunks,and Silly Sentences. Subjects covered include: writing a complete sentence, capitalization end marks, singular and plural nouns, verb endings, and proper and common nouns.
I use different models for teaching phonics. I use the Hooked on Phonics system, materials from Remedia and Evan-Moore. Strategies for teaching phonics require hands-on work; worksheets, model clay letters, use of magnetic letters, "Make -a-Word", glitter glue writing blends, and digraphs, and Zoo Phonics. I have taught phonics to most of my SLD students in order to read. They are most of the time, below or far-below grade level in reading because they do not know their phonics. Courses I have taken are: GeoLiteracy ELL (4/22/2008), workshop: Development & Remediation of Literacy Skills in Differing Population (2/14/2004, New Orleans, LA.), Member of Learning Disabilities Association of America, and Guided Reading/ Tips and Tricks (Southwest Human Development). I still have students, 4th grade and up, who are working on long vowel sounds, blending of two and three letters.
I have had many successes of helping students to reach their potential in reading. I feel Phonics is the most important part of reading, so I dwell extensively on students learning this stage. I have found the Hooked-on-Phonics program too be a real asset for this stage of reading. I had an autistic kindergarten student, I was able to help him learn how to read by the end of the school year. I have worked with numerous third and fourth graders. Methods I have successfully used are having students to identify pictures starting with the requested letter sound, use letter tiles that represent the letter sound. Vocabulary learning consists of reading daily sight words. words from the Fry's list of required words, worksheets where students supply the missing letters in a word, match words to a picture and playing word games such as Boggle, and Scrabble. Comprehension methods include retelling the story in student's own words, supply missing words to complete the story and writing a story using vocabulary words. Fluency is learned by continual reading out loud, with a partner or in small group activities.
This love affair started in 1974. I began working with Mental Retardation students from categories of moderate, severe, and profound. At first, I provided daily personal grooming then, range of motion activities, sensory therapy, and some occupational activities. I managed two cottages of severe behavioral females and cottage 2 severe behavioral males.
Next,I worked with Specific Learning Disability students in junior high, helping students with math, reading, writing activities. Various special needs students controlling behavior,some very aggressive.
After the next ten years, I moved to a public charter high school where I taught Language Arts for junior and seniors. This time I am at a charter elementary school where I taught SLD students with Asperger Syndrome, dyslexia students which one of them exited out of the program. Again here I was Supervisor of the Special Ed. Program for 8 years. I have attended many conferences, workshops, and seminars.
This is the one class that all students and maybe teachers too need. How many times have you, as a teacher asked the student to clean out his/her desk in an attempt to find a pencil or a missing assignments. The first step is to organize your time. Make a list of what it is you need to organize (time, assignments) prioritize list to study. I have my students to use a highlighter to mark important information. I break down the assignment into smaller parts. I encourage students to preview the material before reading or writing is to be done. Reading a history book, for example, I have the student to read the summary at the end of the chapter. If reading for reading comprehension, the student is to read the questions at the end of the story, first.
I have taken workshops in this area : 1. English Language Learners / GeoLiteracy, 2. Study Skills workshop for the Millennium, 3. Back-to-School Workshops/several,4. Member of Learning Disabilities Association of America for a number of years,attended LDA-AZ Annual Conference (New Orleans, LA.and Southwest Human Development/ Guided Reading /Tips and Tricks.