Connie’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
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Connie’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I have taught children with ADD/ADHD for over 10 years. One of the reasons that I have been successful is that I exude patience when teaching them. Some symptoms may include difficulty staying focused and paying attention to the teacher. One strategy that I implement in order to facilitate the student's learning is to seat the student in the front rows in the classroom. This enables the student to stay focused on the teacher and pay attention instead of daydreaming and losing focus. Another strategy is to walk by the student’s desk.
Since the ADD/ADHD child is predominantly inattentive, I call on the student and ask him/her questions to check that he/she understood and processed what I said.
When giving directions as well as teaching a concept, it is most important to keep directions simple and give examples and outcomes of what the assignment is as well as what the student is to do. I also have the student restate the directions in his/her own words to ensure that he/she understands the directions.
When teaching a child with ADD/ADHD it is important to keep the study area/classroom as simple and free of distractions on the walls and his surroundings. This will enable the student to focus on the task at hand.
Students with ADD/ADHD may have difficulty completing a task, I have them complete one task prior to beginning the next task. I often times ask them to express their feelings after they complete a task.
It is most important to have structure and predictability when teaching a student with ADD/ADHD. Rather than criticize, I encourage the student when he/she has done well regarding an academic or behavioral goal (improved on a reading test, refraining from shouting out, sitting still).
When working with a student I state the academic or behavioral outcome in positive terms. I tell the student what I want him to do-not just what NOT to do).
Often times a student with ADD/ADHD has low self-esteem. I use praise whenever the student has done well in any given task. I will ask the child to do small errands or chores for me, so that he/she can feel good about himself as well as help him redirect negative energy.
I have worked with children with dyslexia for over 10 years. During that time not only did I work one-on-one with the student, but I also was a support to the student's general education teacher by differentiating the curriculum, in order to better meet the needs of the dyslexic student, as well as suggesting ways of raising and preserving the child's self-esteem. In addition, I was instrumental in assisting the parents by laying out a home program for enhanced reading in order to guide how they can also be of support to their child.
Fluency is elusive to the dyslexic reader, so it is particularly urgent that the dyslexic child who has gained some degree of reading accuracy but still reads slowly and hesitantly receive ongoing fluency training. The goal is for the dyslexic child to become a fluent reader. My approaches emphasize repeated oral reading. I have found that giving feedback and guidance provide the strongest outcome. The principal that I am a strong advocate of is overlearning, which is just another way of saying that something becomes so ingrained and so automatic that it requires no active attention or conscious thought. Overlearning is the result of extensive repetition, drill, and practice. Each fluency training should require only minutes a day. It is most important to be consistent. Since fluency is built on accuracy, this means that the reader must be able to read the passage with a high degree of accuracy making no more than one error for every twenty words read. Practice means rereading the same passage at least four times (this need not be during the same practice session). I always have incentives built into my teaching.
Students need to see tangible signs of their own improvement. Having the child measuring their fluency rates and then graphing their results, provides a hardworking student with visible evidence of their progress and strong motivation to keep practicing.
One of the most effective methods to practice single words is speeded word training. The goal is to make a child a fast responder. In practice, a deadline is imposed on how quickly a word needs to be named, with shorter deadlines resulting in faster reading speeds. The goal is to bring naming times below one second per word so that the child names at least sixty words per minute. These can be single words on flash cards, or they can be rows of five or six words printed across a large card.
I have taught Elementary Education (K-6th) for over 15 years. I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and have a passion for teaching and working with children in order to help achieve success for all students. The elementary years are the most important in the child's life because this is the beginning of a child's academic experience after preschool. As an elementary education teacher I matched my teaching to my students' learning styles and differentiated the curriculum so that all of my students improved. I taught Reading, English (Grammar, Spelling), Creative Writing, Social Studies and Math.
In addition, I utilized a variety of sensory experiences in order to include the variety of learning styles (visual & auditory). Prior to teaching a lesson, my students were told the objective/outcome. My lessons mirrored the Illinois Learning Standards. I made it a point to pretest in order to see what concepts each student had mastered and then I had a post test. Some students' tests do not accurately reflect the achievement of the students, so I would also take into consideration the student's classroom work, participation and homework. My students think of me as being fun, fair and firm.
My undergraduate degree is in reading and English. Reading has been a passion of mine since I was an emerging reader. I love to read and I love to teach reading. Reading is the ability to make meaning from printed words. The ability to derive meaning from text is related to whether the reader can activate prior knowledge about the topic. School success depends on reading ability. Children learn to read by reading. An effective reading program is really a program of literacy development that combines several reading methods: Teacher-Directed Reading, Big Books, The Language Experience Method, Improving Fluency, Choral Reading, Rehearsed Reading, Buddy Reading and Whisper Reading. There is no such thing as one reading method that works for all kids, primarily because of different learning styles represented in our classroom. A variety of methods can be use to improve reading skills: spending time each day reading literature, reading in the content areas, understanding sound/letter/word relationships, and writing. When I teach reading, I utilize all of these components.
Teacher-Directed Reading- I select something that I know will appeal to the reader. In order to get the child hooked on reading, it is important that you know what interests the reader-adventure, mystery, survival, fantasy, real-life adventure, sports, wildlife, and humor. The selection is best read aloud to the struggling reader first. His/her ability to understand a story is strengthened when he hears it aloud in it’s entirely before he begins to read it himself. The next step is to have the student listen to a recording of a short section of the piece or have him read the section aloud to a reading buddy. After the section is read, it is important to discuss the meaning of what was read. It is important to expose the reader to the vocabulary of the section using visual aids such as "Vocabulary Attributes Chart."
The student can also create a story make in order to support him/her "see" how the various elements of the story-plot, setting, characters, conflict, ending. This map can be filled in as the story is being read.
Many publishers produce giant-size versions of books for young readers. These Big Books make it possible for students to see text and illustrations simultaneously as they read aloud. Before starting to read, show the cover of the book, read the title, and discuss the cover illustrations. Next have the student predict what might happen in the story based on the cover illustrations and also looking at all of the pictures before the story is read. Read the entire story through, using a pointer to indicate each word as I read it. It is important to be enthusiastic in reading and pointing. The story is reread immediately, asking the student to join in whenever he/she can. Repeat the story several more time over several days until the student is familiar enough with the text to "read" it on his/her own.
A variation can be to promote understanding of letter-sound relationships by having students point to all of the words on a page that begin with a particular letter.
The students can also create a chart version of the story or create a persona version of the story by drawing their own pictures for it.
Even when I teach the skills of reading in the context of the literature rather than as isolated skills, direct instruction is necessary to ensure comprehension and transfer. The following five steps will help to teach any new reading skill effectively:
1. Getting ready to teach the Skill. Activate student’s background knowledge about the skill.
2. Describing the Skill. Give the name of the skill, tell how it is useful in this particular reading selection, and explain how it might be used in other learning situations such as newspapers or magazines.
3. Applying the Skill. Demonstrate when and how to use the skill in the context of the current selection, "thinking out loud" the whole time.
4. Practicing the Skill. Practice, practice, and more practice is the key to mastering any new skill.
5. Transferring the Skill. The transfer of a skill learned in reading to other subject areas or learning contexts does not happen automatically. You must purposefully demonstrate the use of the skill in the new context.
I was a Special Needs Teacher for 15 years. I worked with children in Kindergarten through Grade 6. The setting was cross-categorical instructional program whereby the children had a variety of special needs from learning disabilities, social/emotional disorders and language. Some of the services were in a small group setting working with the student on a one-to-one basis. Other services were implemented in the general education classroom. I served as a support to the student as well as assisting the general education teacher in differentiating the program to the individual needs of the student.
I also served as a case manager whereby I provided direct/consultative services to the student in accordance with the IEP as well as utilized IEP Summary forms to provide an overview and discuss student's educational needs with the teacher(s). I monitored reevaluation and annual review time lines, scheduling IEP Team meetings, as appropriate. I also scheduled meetings of the IEP Team to problem-solve and plan for the student’s ongoing needs.
It is my mission to teach, motivate and inspire my students to perform to the best of their ability.
I have over 20 years of experience in teaching students study skills that they can apply to their work. I obtained my Master's Degree while working full time as a teacher. That gave me firsthand experience on how to apply practical study skills that any student can learn and implement on their own. I work with students to create a repeatable and definable process that enables the student to apply these skills in all subjects when trying to study for a test or prepare for a small quiz or general homework assignment. Some tools that I use with my students are keeping a daily homework journal, effective note taking, reviewing of different types of multiple choice questions, process of elimination and general organizations skills that the student can implement while at school. Having been a teacher for over 20 years I have helped a broad range of students implement effective study skills including: ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, LBD/EBD, and general education (k-9).