Calandra’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Calandra’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
Whether it's helping students write papers or improving their understanding of grammar basics, I love working on English! I enjoy helping students of all age and grade levels-- from elementary school through college.
Some of my areas of strength include:
-Reading/ Understanding Shakespearean plays
-Paper/ Essay writing
-Mastering the art of the "5-paragraph-essay"
-Learning to create an effective outline
-Teaching critical reading/ thinking skills
Grammar is, by definition, "the whole system or structure of a language or languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics."
Whew! It takes courage and a good dictionary just to get through that definition! Learning about grammar-- what it is, how it works, why it works and how to wield it-- shouldn't be as difficult (or obscure) as its definition.
My aim is to make grammar more accessible to you. By breaking it down into its various components-- prepositions, articles, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, relative clauses, independent and dependent phrases, etc-- and learning how each part works, you'll start to develop a clear understanding of what all those fancy terms actually mean (and what they do in a sentence!).
The rest, as they say, is history.
I have a wealth of experience helping students prep for the ISEE and HSPT exams. I like to help students identify both their areas of strength and weakness and then go from there. My primary goals when preparing students to take these exams are to provide my students with a working knowledge of how the test works, in addition to presenting a variety of test-taking strategies, so that they can build confidence in themselves and their personal ability to do well on these exams.
I have proofread everything from elementary homework to short responses to essays, to books. I work well under limited time constraints; if you need a last minute read-through, don't hesitate to contact me!
I think the best approach for teaching kids how to read is to read WITH them! Fostering a love of reading in children will help motivate them to want to read on their own. I have had great success in teaching children how to read simply by getting into a good book with them. Once kids are interested in reading, I like to introduce letter sounds and work toward letter and sight word recognition, all while having FUN!
Learning how to spell is kind of like playing with Legos (except that in this case, the Legos are actually letters... ) Once you're familiar with all the blocks, you can start to build really cool things-- words like, "scintillating" and "effervescent." (Two personal favorites.)
I think repetition is KEY in teaching (and mastering) spelling, but in addition to repetition, I like to employ a variety of techniques-- things like:
-making up clever rhymes or riddles to remind the student how to spell certain words that are especially challenging to remember
- memorizing little "ditties" (such as, "'I' before 'E' except after 'C'". It works.... I promise!)
- helping the student make associations between words s/he is learning and words s/he already knows
-multi-sensory learning: inventing fun games that will allow students to absorb the information through sight, sound, even touch.
I believe that the more active students are in constructing their learning environment, the more effective their learning will be, so let's start building! :)
I have learned that the best approach to building vocabulary is to give words meaning. I like to help my students come up with associations-- like a memory, or a movie, or a homonym-- anything that will help them remember what a word means. When students can come up with their own definitions or word associations, they'll retain meanings much better than rote memorization.