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Hello! My name is Amy and I am certified to teach social studies in NYS on the secondary level. This past May, I graduated from Stony Brook University with a Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies. To complete my degree, I had the opportunity to teach 9th grade Global History and Geography, 11th grade US History and 12th grade Government. My experience student teaching has helped me to better understand how students learn, and to anticipate the difficulties they will have when approaching the different areas of the social studies.
Over the summer, I was able to successfully tutor three students who needed to pass their regents exams. I planned sessions for both the Global exam and the US exam. These sessions focused on reviewing the content and on helping the students develop the necessary study skills and test- taking strategies for the exam. Ultimately, I am a firm believer in taking every opportunity to help students develop study methods that work best for them. I have employed various techniques when tutoring, and always consider the students input and learning styles when planning tutoring sessions. One technique that I found worked best for most students was having them create "mind maps" to demonstrate their understanding of how everything in the unit that was taught was connected. A lot of times students see social studies as a random mass of information without fully understanding how ideas and events are related through cause and effect, comparison/contrast, and global connections. Having students create a map that illustrates with arrows (and illustrations if that helps them) these connections works wonders. Not only do they learn the subject matter with mind-mapping, they also develop higher-order thinking skills that are needed for writing essays on the regents exams. Beyond simply passing a test, these skills are essential to their success in college and the real world. Mind-mapping can also lets students assess their own strengths and weaknesses, which helps them to develop better studying habits. Since I cannot simply study for them, helping students create their own study guides like mind maps has proved to be an effective approach to helping students learn and achieve academic success!
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