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My name is Cathy, and I recently retired from a career in teaching. I majored in Elementary Education in college and have a B.A. in that field. I have over 90 college credits in classes related to my career.
My experience in teaching is varied and includes teaching first grade at Homestead Air Base, First and Second grade at Sheridan School District near Denver, CO, First Grade at Pittsburgh, PA.,Kindergarten at Center, CO, First Grade teacher at Berthoud Elementary for 20 years, and a mentor for new incoming teachers. I was a trainer for the volunteer program in our school and an active member of our professional organizations promoting
excellence in teaching. I believe in a PHONICS based program which includes teaching phonics as a separate subject and integrated into the reading instruction. I also use a writing system which is integrated into the reading instruction to help students value writing. I evaluate your child to see where their level of expertise is and then develop a program to fit their individual needs. The ability to read and write well is the first step in achieving your child's' dream for a successful tomorrow.
ADHD children are more visual and tactile so benefit from working in sand or oatmeal to spell and read. Phonics is basic to give them a lifeline to figuring out the word. The Dolch sight words are also basic. They can be taught in many fun tactile and visual ways. Since these children have short attention spans, one must take exercise breaks and not get stressed. Things need to be varied and
Dyslexia is when a person sees the words differently than we do. They usually turn the letters around and see the last letter first, etc. Sight words help because they can memorize them and don't have to try and sound them out. Tactile methods are the most successful because they can touch the letters and feel them to imprint on the brain. I use sand paper, clay, shaving cream, and patterning to help children learn to read.
I am an expert in teaching reading. I taught my first graders to read by employing many different methods, including Dolch sight words, whole language, phonics, poems, and songs. I mentored many new teachers through their first year to give them a good foundation.
I have years of experience in working with students who don't speak English as their primary language. I use an oral approach and then merge into the written part. I first emphasize simple written phrases that would be helpful in daily life. I also use Phonics and sight words that are commonly used in everyday conversations. Beginning readers are also most helpful as they repeat the common phonics rules and sight words.
I strongly believe that Phonics has to be taught as part of the Reading process. I include the Dolch words and the beginning and ending sounds. I also teach the long and short vowels. Not all words can be sounded out and therefore children need to have a firm grasp of the sight words for fluency.
I taught children how to read by using a multi media approach. My team and I used structured reading books and workbooks, a complete phonics program, songs and poems on charts. By using a multi media approach, we not only taught the children the mechanics of reading but they learned to LOVE reading. It opened up a whole new world of adventure.
When I was in the classroom, I would always have at least one special needs child. They would join in on the songs and poems and do one or two activities with the help of their BUDDY. Visual and tactile tasks worked the best and short assignments so they could complete them while being mainstreamed. I am used to breaking down assignments into smaller pieces so the child could experience some success.
I was a Licensed Primary teacher for over 30 years and always had special needs children in my class. I am very comfortable with addressing the challenges of these children. My grown son and my grandson both have a form of Autism. I know many strategies to use for successful learning. My teaching partners and I always used positive reinforcement to achieve the desirable behaviors.
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