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Most parents look to the public schools to educate their child, but when a young child is not acquiring the expected literacy skills, it can be very troubling to the parent and frustrating for the child. Where can they go?
I have worked in LAUSD as a teacher and literacy coach for more than 30 years. Firsthand, I have seen many young students struggle while learning to read and write. And I have taught them. I offer tutoring for children in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, early reading, and writing.
Currently, I am working in a pull-out reading program for Title 1 students.
I know that with the right mixture of specific instruction, motivation, and appropriate materials, great strides can be made! Early intervention is the key!
Understanding how to "break the code" of the English language is essential in learning to read. One needs to master the phonemes of the language by hearing and isolating the discrete sounds. Then, by learning that each of these 48 sounds, or phonemes, is represented by one or more spelling patterns, children begin to unravel the alphabetic principle.
Phonics is not best taught through worksheets and drill. It should be taught systematically, in a fun way, through a myriad of materials, games and activities. When children become detectives and learn to investigate the sounds and spellings of English, they will apply their knowledge of phonics.
I have successfully taught phonics for more than thirty years. As a literacy coach for eight years, I attended and presented many seminars to teachers and parents on the subject of phonics. I believe strongly that phonics should be taught and mastered as a separate subject; it is a gateway skill.
Teaching reading is my first love. I have taught students to read for more than thirty years as a classroom teacher, a reading intervention teacher, a Title 1 teacher, and as a literacy coach. Furthermore, I have conducted many trainings on reading instruction to teachers and parents.
When children struggle in reading, it is important to drill down and discover where the learning gaps are. Once this is brought to light, incremental steps are made to fill these gaps. Developing a systematic plan and teaching a child with specificity is critical in reading intervention.
Building student confidence, making the lessons engaging, and maintaining a positive rapport with the student are other keys to gaining success.
Teachers and parents need to get on board and intervene early when children struggle in reading. Through home, tutor, and school partnerships we can turn around a reading delay. I welcome parents who would like to work together with me to help their child become a successful reader.
Writing is a critical gateway skill. However, it is very common to see students who cannot write a cogent, cohesive paragraph that effectively communicates ideas.
My specialty is in teaching expository and persuasive writing using more than the 6 Traits in the 5 Step Writing Process. Discussing the topic and ensuring that the student can effectively communicate his ideas is the first step. Before a student picks up the pen, his ideas must be formulated and articulated. Once this takes place, the child is better prepared to tackle the writing assignment.
I have taught writing instruction to elementary teachers and literacy coaches by using the lessons that I developed for students in elementary school. I have a curriculum with organizational maps, criteria charts, proofreading and editing guides, and rubrics for scoring. All of my lessons are California Standards based.
If your child struggles in writing, here is an opportunity for him to learn how to approach a writing assignment. I welcome parents who would like learn these steps, along with your child, so that you will have the tools to assist your child in the future.
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