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This tutor graduated from Chicago State University (BA Degree; 24 hrs. Elem. Ed., 18 hrs in Library-media), 12 hrs. linguistics at UTA (Arlington, Tx) and has worked in CPS Elementary Schools for about 14 yeas (K-8th grades) as a Computer Lab (Reading/Math) Library and Art teacher. While I received an Elem. K-9 IL Teaching Certificate (Art endorsement), tutoring grades K-5 is really my comfort range. I’ve tutored Reading, Math, Writing and Instructed Art at Family Focus (Bond Elem. in Englewood for 1.5 yrs, and Firman Community Services for 5 years. I've had exceptional Tutoring Evaluations and am a detailed and thorough in my work, from subject skills assessments, to sequenced-learning progress reports. Both of these 21st Century Programs expired their funding.
I've written/copyrighted a 200+ page Fun Phonics resource book with some correlated low-end software, and have *designed an interactive 2-sided Tutorial computer device that students in my Firman tutoring position have greatly enjoyed, which utilizes multi-sensory learning styles. (*Provisional patent applied with US patent office 4-2009)
So often, in most elementary/primary class settings I've observed some 12+ years in CPS schools, students are bombarded with complex/"higher-order level" Thinking, Reading, Grammar, Math, Social Studies, skills long before they've been given the opportunity or time to master the basics. Using effective diagnostic and step-by-step print materials can greatly close the deficiency "learning gap" for struggling students.
I've seen numerous students who hate grammar or writing, yet love to express themselves visually (i.e.,via picture-stories), that can sometimes be a great starting point to introduce sentence-building grammar skills when their interest is peaked, especially for visually-oriented children. Similar to Reading skills, understanding grammar and outlining skills are essential for developing good writing techniques, regardless of the what writing style the student is pursuing.
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This drawing tutor can instruct almost any type of sketching, drawing, color pencil, pen illustrations, on paper or in most digital software formats, from Photoshop, Painter Classic,
Corel Draw, etc. From sketch gesturing on white paper, or light blue background grids, to overlay tracings, perspective drawings primaries through adults can learn how to develop their natural artistic inclinations into a fun hobby or possible career. Do you like to draw Animals, faces,
simple figure drawings, buildings, vehicles, trees or nature scenes? How about basic animation,
story boarding or charachature sketches?
This artist/academic educator has been drawing since age 7-8; over 40 yesrs, including a few
years as a CPS Art teacher and a few summers at Firman Community Services (grades 1-6)including numerous colorful carton aimaml charachatures.
I do not beleive in charging much for private tutoring, as many people without alot of financial
means ought to have an opportunity as much as anyone else!
As with any subject this tutor tracks student Math progress to modify learning steps and strategies in order to close specific skills gaps and increase functional learning levels, (especially basic Math operations). I often use a 2-sided interactive Touch Tablet for tutoring - with a "digital chalk board" to make learning various math facts more fun. "Skip-counting" is a technique to help students learn their multiplication and division facts' easier than "rote memory".
Take Math (3-5 digit subtraction, for instance). A student may only need to review / practice basic regrouping steps that he/she may not have yet mastered. Sometimes, "skip-counting" using counting patterns may help students with multiplication operational skills. Or maybe the student is a visual learner and needs mini visual clues/drawings in solving Math word problems. These are all factors to consider in tutoring Math, in addition to specific skills/sub-set skills pre-/post assessments. In addition to Write-on-Screen Movable MathTiles. I generally use Spectrum Math workbook series for follow-up "independent practice".
Phonics is not merely a simple first-grade letter-sound activity, but is primarily a method of teaching beginners (or anyone) how to read and pronounce words, by learning the value of letters, letter groups, including syllables.
A well instructed phonics program enables a student to read or decode printed words (a reflection of a spoken / verbal vocabulary) with both fluency and understanding. Pronouncing a series of words, phrases and sentences fairly smoothly, without word-guessing, hesitation, or mental interruption, empowers the reader to then focus on meaning, context clues, etc.
An effective phonics program, as this tutor utilizes, should be sequenced from a relatively simple to complex order of phonetic skills (such as: beginning consonants, short vowels plus ending consonants; C-V-C patterns, consonant digraphs, blends, long vowel patterns, blends, dipthongs, multi-syllabic word structure, basic dictionary skills, homographs, homophones, etc.) Word-family and sentence reading / writing practice need to be developed but not at an advanced paragraph level for beginning primaries. This phonics tutor employs a phonetically-arranged sight-word section, which includes sight words in sentence contexts so the student is not attempting to merely "memorize" randomly-arranged sight words, as generally taught in primary grades. Students then decode these phonetically-arranged sight words with some degree of phonetic awareness, (such as words like: one, once, some, come, become).
While many effective phonics programs have been developed in recent years, when it comes
to tutoring phonics, phonetic assessments are essential diagnostic tools to pin-point specific phonetic deficiencies, regardless of a student's age or grade level. This tutor has developed and utilizes several verbal and written phonetic pre-/post-assessments which accomplishes exactly that. The assessed student can then focus on those specific phonetic or word-structure deficiencies (gaps he/she may have missed in school), in order to improve reading fluency, reading rate and comprehension skills.
Often, early elementary students (even 5th graders or above) struggle to read and comprehend, primarily due to poor reading fluency and deficient phonetic skills. But once phonetic decoding and reading fluency (without "word-guessing") is well mastered, basic comprehension skills are likely to improve as well. Learning to focus on the main idea of any selected reading passage is a good start. Making quick mental notes of sequence of events is also very important. But learning what to "look for" before one begins a reading assignment along with short note-taking are also key comprehension strategies and study skills.
One of the ways a student can better remember sequence of events, details, drawing conclusions, etc., is to jot down a few notes, based on the follow-up questions asked by a given reading comprehension workbook. But generally, especially for primary-4th graders, it is recommended that one read a passage the first time to get the "main idea" or overview of the story or content. In literary vs. informative types of reading, one also needs to know the story setting, background, characters, and story plot/areas of conflict. But again, it's generally smart to jot down a few notes on a small notepad based on the "follow-up" questions as well as "unfamiliar" vocabulary words - to either learn their meanings "by their context" or looking them up in a dictionary or student workbook. Except for very short paragraph passages (i.e., primaries), reading "followup" workbook questions and/or writing short notes can help most readers to FOCUS their ATTENTION on any given material vs. letting the mind "drift" while reading. Yet, it never hurts to read a given material a 2nd time to focus on specific details.
Similar to drawing, an artist that learns to "lightly sketch" before he/she fills in drawing details, is similar to one taking/making notes while reading, vs. "going all over the place". Sketching and taking mental or written notes provides structure for focusing, often lacking in today's media-filled culture.
I generally utilize Spectrum workbooks to enhance my tutoring effectiveness.
Great tutor, very organized. — Steve is always on time and prepared. My son loves working with him and I can already see progress after just under 8 weeks. I would definitely recommend. ...
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