Suzanne’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Suzanne’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
Although I am certified K-8 as both a classroom and special education teacher and most of my teaching and tutoring experience has been in all subject areas K-6, I have also tutored middle and high school students. Currently, I work part-time in the public schools teaching math to 4th and 5th graders. We happen to use the Everyday Math series, but I am familiar with and have used many other math series and supplements. I specialize in a hands-on approach to deepen conceptual understanding rather than just rote learning.
I have taught math in grades K though 8 (34 years experience) and I am currently teaching math part-time to 4th and 5th graders. I am aware of the state standards and stay current with the best practices in teaching mathematics. I know how to instill confidence in my students by getting them to think like mathematicians.
My educational background includes teaching elementary science (K-5), including modifying science curricula to differentiate instruction and assessment for a diverse student population including students needing specialized instruction and modified assessments.
Grammar has always been part of the broader ELA curriculum and I have taught it separately as well, but always with the application of grammar in everyday writing in mind. Listening, speaking, reading and writing with correct grammar is essential in a good ELA program.
As an English Literature and Education major, my love for literature can be evidenced in all of my teaching. I have incorporated literature in math, social studies, and science, as well as in all of my guided reading lessons. There is an abundance of rich literature with robust vocabulary out there that enhances all subject areas so I tend to tie in literature with everything that I teach.
I am trained in the Wilson Reading System and Project Read with 34 years of experience teaching phonics to elementary students.
Once students have learned to read they read to learn so it is one of the most important skills that they will need to gain information independently. Just reading a lot of books isn't the answer. Students need teacher modeling, explicit instruction, guided practice, and a gradual release into independent reading. It is very important that this explicit instruction continue through the elementary and middle school years.
Students need to be able to activate their prior knowledge about a subject, identify main ideas and supporting details, make connections (text to text and text to self), summarize in their own words, pick out facts and opinions, and make inferences. They need to be exposed to many genres and to be able to understand figurative language, enjoy fine nuances, and visualize what they read in order to enhance their comprehension.
Although a great deal of my teaching experience has been co-teaching with classroom teachers K-5 and working with a wide variety of student learners helping teachers to differentiate instruction, I have also worked for many years providing direct instruction to students who were more challenged and in need of a parallel curriculum. My strengths lie in accurate assessment, proper instruction, and progress monitoring. That is the key to learning.
Teaching study skills is a specialty of mine. I believe that it is never too early to teach students how to organize their information and how to study for tests. It's one of the most important skills and should be taught early on.
Research tells us that we must be more intense and comprehensive in our approach to teaching vocabulary if our students are going to have the vocabulary that they need to succeed at the college level. In order for students' vocabularies to grow at an appropriate pace there must be a systematic, hierarchical approach that transcends all domains and includes rich vocabulary from all the content area subjects. Vocabulary is one of the key components of good reading comprehension and can be taught in many ways.
I have years of experience teaching highly structured process writing including narrative and expository, from outline to draft and revision, to final copy. Once the basic structure is taught and the purpose established, the student can concentrate on refining their writing and making it more interesting. Most of my experience has been with students in grades K through 8, but I have tutored high school students as well.