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As a content specialist, I am uniquely qualified to help your child, be it simple tutoring to catch up, observing and assessing the educational environment in the classroom, communicating with your child’s teacher about an IEP or advocating for parents and students needing services.
I am a credentialed teacher (in California and New Jersey) and have taught elementary grades for twelve years. I have a unique ability to connect with young kids and communicate with them in a way that puts them at ease. As a teacher, I understand what motivates young students and what does not.
When I was in the classroom, I would often use humor (a powerful tool) and music to engage my students. I never use rewards; rather, I find ways to present concepts organically, creating an intrinsic motivation to learn. Kids are built to learn; I simply try to find a way to help all concerned harness their abilities.
If your child is receiving services, or you feel your child qualifies for services but is being denied or under-served, I may be able to help with your IEP or 504 plan. Often a classroom visit by a Content Specialist will result in more attention paid to the plan that is in place.
In a classroom visit I will watch for evidence of implementation of the plan. I will be able to help determine if the plan is effective or needs tweaking, or if school personnel need to focus a bit more on implementation (which is often the case).
It is important to make sure you have support in your IEP meeting; reports and observations from professionals, family, teachers and counselors all must be considered in any IEP or 504 plan. It is your right and obligation to be fully prepared for the meetings, and you may bring others to the meeting.
On the sidebar of this blog there are many links to organizations that have in-depth articles and information on IEP, 504 and other service-related issues facing students with special needs.
I hold a California Multiple Subject Clear credential and an Elementary Credential in New Jersey.
I taught public school in the bay area for 13 years and left due to cancer. I beat the cancer and now work with students who need extra support, have developmental issues, IEPs and 504 plans.
I also have a Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology from SFSU, and am CLAD certified.
I love working with young kids. I create a fun atmosphere where learning is low-pressure, fun and exciting. Teaching is an art. I am a great artist!
I have taught phonics for many years, both as a credentialed classroom teacher for 13 years and in my current work with young children.
Phonemic awareness, knowing the 44 sounds the 26 letters in our alphabet make, is the necessary prerequisite for reading and writing.
Phonemes are often confusing, especially when trying to pronounce a consonant, and often kids are confused when listening to discreet letter sounds. Teachers and parents must be careful to truncate the sound correctly to reduce confusion.
Inventive spelling ("wuz" instead of "was" for example) is fine for your young one. It means they are engaging with the phonemes and on their way to literacy.
Phonemic awareness allows us to "sound out" words using the phonemes (sounds).
When making the sound of the letter 'b' for example, one must be careful to resist the temptation to include the "uh" sound after the "b" sound--the "b" sound should be short and harsh and basically breathless--no "uh" at the end. If you stick an "uh" st the end one should then be looking for a "u" to be there, but it's not there! So don't make its sound!
Little conventions like this can make the teaching of phonics much clearer for young students.
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