Sandra’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Sandra’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
With my two careers as Reference Librarian and Teacher, respectively, I have attained strong skills in grammar and the correct use of the English language. I thoroughly enjoy working with students to help them polish their English language skills and to prepare them for college level entrance exams in reading and writing.
As a longtime Reference Librarian and teacher, and an avid reader and writer, I feel that I am strongly qualified to help you or your student prepare for the ACT Reading test. I can help teach you strategies to read, reread, and focus on the questions being asked in a way that will help you feel confident as a student and test taker.
I have worked with many ADD/ADHD students during my years in the classroom and as a tutor. I have an assortment of techniques and interventions that I use to help keep students on task. They range from holding a squeeze ball or piece of clay, to taking frequent breaks and teaching students to self-monitor in order to maintain focus and attention.
My college major was Anthropology. I spent a summer working as a field worker on the Koster dig of a Hopewell Indian living site in Southern Illinois. During my junior and senior years of college,I focused on ethnology and linguistics, after spending some time in Tunisia among Bedouin tribes.
I spent a summer on the renowned Koster dig in Southern Illinois where our team excavated a Hopewell Indian living site (2,000-6,000 B.C.E.). We dug by day and analyzed artifacts in the lab in the evening, learning how archaeologists paint a picture of the lives of ancient peoples through their artifacts.
During my classroom teaching career, I had the privilege of teaching four students diagnosed with Asperger's. I learned a great deal from these bright, creative students, especially how to help them integrate socially in the mainstream classroom, how to accommodate their need for frequent breaks, and how to customize work in a way that maintained a high bar but made them feel more comfortable with learning.
I took and passed the CBEST on my first try without any tutoring and with a very high score. I prepared by reviewing math up through eighth grade and reviewing basic grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. I would make a good tutor for anyone trying to master the CBEST.
I have worked with many dyslexic students. I take a patient and calm approach and incorporate such techniques as chunking a word by syllables in order to decode it, coaching students on the nuts and bolts of writing good sentences and paragraphs, and checking for comprehension if they have a tendency to gloss over unknown or challenging words. I teach techniques of scanning or pre-reading before reading with closer attention and for full comprehension.
I have fourteen years of experience in an elementary classroom, as well as two years of substitute teaching in elementary classrooms. I have excellent classroom management skills and am very conversant with the California curriculum and best practices with this age group. I enjoy helping students one-on-one and am sensitive to their need to be accepted by and feel comfortable among their peers. I accomplish this by helping them to feel strong academically, which leads to social comfort.
I adore teaching math! I struggled with math in middle school but have become enamored of it since becoming a teacher. I can help you or your child relax around math, and find playful ways to master material using mnemonic devices. I also created a multi-step sequence for solving word problems. Math is a delightful puzzle! Let me help you overcome your math stress!
Teaching elementary science is great fun, especially when it's hands-on. Most of the lab work will no doubt be done in class. I can support your student by taking classroom learning and, through an organized process, help him or her to retain and be able to explain concepts as well as to retain big ideas in science.
English is one of my favorite subjects to teach and tutor. I adore literature and use of the language and its rich vocabulary, and I love to help students feel comfortable with using and understanding language. I particularly love teaching writing--expository, persuasive, prose, and poetry. I will help to remove the stress from writing assignments and replace it with joy and a sense of creative accomplishment.
I have worked with several couples from Mexico who had no English when we began working together. I use a combined approach of listening, speaking, explicit grammar lessons, and reading to teach all aspects of the English language as well as idioms and colloquial speech.
I would love to help you with your GED preparation. Having taken the CBEST before beginning my student teaching, I realize that the material in both of these tests is quite similar--a broad overview of basic K-12 information and concepts.
I adore travel and geography; the two go hand in hand. As a fourth-grade science and social studies teacher, I have many of experience in teaching geography through maps, reading, videos, and discussion. It's a fascinating subject when combined with history.
Grammar is a necessary part of good reading and writing, while not most people's favorite pastime! I can make grammar instruction and review playful and fun for you, helping you to retain rules and conventions and avoid the drudgery of most grammar texts. You will begin to enjoy it when you find that writing comes more easily as a result of your increased skill set.
Hard Of Hearing
During my classroom teaching years, I had two students who had severe hearing challenges. I learned to speak clearly and directly in front of the students, so they could read my lips as well as hear my voice. I supplemented my oral teaching with diagrams and frequent written backup of material on the board, which benefited all the students in the classroom. I helped other students to accept and be sensitive to their hearing-impaired classmates' special challenges.
As a librarian and teacher, I have been an avid life-long reader. I still consider the library to be my second home. I enjoy literature of the United States, Europe, Asia and the world over. I can help you decipher foreign literary styles, teach you about symbolism and theme, and help you form your own set of reading behaviors to increase comprehension and enjoyment of literature.
I spent one year of my elementary classroom teaching tenure teaching first graders. We taught the basics of reading and decoding, using a combined phonics and whole-language-based approach. After many years of teaching and tutoring, I employ my knowledge of phonics instruction at every level, even with older readings who struggle with decoding. I use it with ESL students as well.
Reading is an important key to all learning. Reading for pleasure can enhance your life in many ways, but reading for information, via textbooks and periodicals, is crucial for mastery from the early grades through college. Becoming a strong reader is imperative for learning and retaining information and more importantly, for becoming a critical thinker and strong writer, skills which you will be expected to have as you enter high school.
Prior to my tenure as an elementary school teacher and tutor of all-age students, I was a Reference Librarian. I have been a lifelong reader and have helped many library users and students become stronger readers. I am a voracious reader, and pride myself on my strong grammar skills. I am skilled at teaching students correct grammar and usage, employing techniques that are fun and easy to remember, and avoiding drudgery. I scored very high on my Reading SAT in high school, and earned a score of over 700 on my English Achievement Test.
I have been a creative writer since high school and have published three books of poetry. I also write memoir and essays. My work has been published in online journals, and I have had two letters published in the print edition of Time Magazine. I adore writing and helping students with their writing. I am especially skilled at helping students "clean up" and edit their writing. Cluttered or overly verbose writing often obscures the desired meaning. I will help you to become a powerful and skilled writer.
Learning Spanish can be a lot of fun. I learned it via the "sink or swim" method, as an exchange student to Chile, living with a family who spoke only Spanish and German (while I spoke English and French). I learned by listening and repeating, and feel that the spoken part of the language is the most important for beginners. I can help you will all aspects of the language: reading, writing, speaking, and cultural extensions. I hope to help you gain love and appreciation for this beautiful and expressive language.
I have substitute taught in special needs classrooms from elementary school through high school. I enjoy the one-on-one focused interaction with special needs students. I find them as a group to be very appreciative and excited about their mastery of new material and ideas. I find creativity and growth in my own understanding while working with this group of students, because they force me to rethink conventional approaches to teaching and to put myself in their shoes.
Spelling is largely visual and presents many challenges. I always tell students that, had I written the language, I would have made English spelling more phonetic! I teach visual and chunking skills, breaking words down by isolating their prefixes and suffixes and use mnemonic devices to help retain spelling knowledge.
Teaching study skills and organization is a very strong area of tutoring for me, and one for which my services have been in demand. I begin each tutoring session by clarifying the assignments and work due, prioritizing items in terms of importance and due dates, and assigning an approximate time period in which students will complete their work. In math, I teach a multi-step approach to working word problems, which I created. I help students organize their ideas in written work by teaching them to use various prewriting tools such as clustering, using Venn diagrams, etc.
Vocabulary is best obtained by avid reading and stopping to look up new words and record them in your notes. It can also be learned using lists and workbooks. I teach vocabulary by using the technique of association...moving from known words to new words that are related in meaning, either as synonyms, homophones, or antonyms.
Writing is one of my favorite ways to use my free time. I am an avid poet and memoir writer, and I write the occasional short story and essay. I adore teaching writing from the early grades on up. I have helped numerous students discover their inner writer, and I have seen some fantastic pieces over the years. I taught a summer class in poetry collage, where students wrote poetry and then incorporated it into a painting. I write daily and attend many poetry readings; it is really a large part of my creative life. I hope to bring this gift to you.