Students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD do not fit into the mold of “sit in your chair quietly and read a book”; innovative activity based learning introduced into their repertoire for education has been my approach. For example, when I teach math I might include physically counting objects (such as coins) or drawing multiple identical pictures instead of just counting pictures on a paper. In especially active children I have taped squares and/or different shapes on the floor in which the student can hop around the room from shape to shape. I might say, "Find the three circles and hop to each one or Count the squares as you hop to each one"; thus, burning off some energy while learning to count.
These children are a joy for me to work with. Having taught in the school system for a number of years, I have worked with numerous students who struggled with ADD/ADHD. These student are some of the most energetic students I’ve ever taught. When I creatively tapped into that energy, they've become some of the most productive students I’ve worked with.
In 1984, I started my college career at a small Bible college out east in a program of biblical ministry (I planned to be a teacher to missionary children.) This was after graduating at 16 years old from a Christian high school. In high school, I was required to memorize various passages of scripture. I also attended different Bible classes studying topics such as the history of the scriptures. Throughout high school, I assisted the teachers in coaching other students on their scriptures. That occurred during my college career as well.
After finishing my previous education in 1995, I pursued what I consider the mission field on American soil. My belief…we often travel overseas when our people right here need our help. Over the years, I have taught numerous bible classes ranging from Sunday school to Adult Ministries. For two years, I coached our junior high “Bible Bowl Team” to the finals in my local church. I love studying, discussing and helping others learn all they can in this arena. My background is vast; however, bible studying is a journey not a destination. Today, I continue to learn more and more. Knowledge I desire to share.
In 1991, I began pursuing degrees in business. I hold a Bachelor’s of Business Management; as well as a Master’s in Business Administration (obtained in 1995.) After completing my education I pursued employment in my field. I’ve worked in multiple arenas from retail to law. Medical has been my primary area of choice due to my physician husband owning a clinical practice. I have managed his practice at various times from 1999 to present. As a manager I’ve done everything; from changing toilet paper to drawing blood to billing insurance, etc... Knowing all aspects of the organization I’m managing has helped me direct my employees well. Business encompasses a wide variety of knowledge. An area that keeps evolving requiring a willingness to learn and flow with constant change. With my educational background and subsequent management experience I bring a great deal of knowledge to the table. When I choose to share this information with others I have an opportunity to benefit society as a whole.
For 5 years, I guest taught at a charter school in Northern Michigan. Even though I substituted for all grades in multiple subjects; I primarily loved the elementary level. Working with elementary students is very rewarding. Young minds are like sponges. They truly enjoy soaking up every word said or action performed; as always, this confirmed the importance of teaching the subjects thoroughly. The first three years of my college career were spent studying music education. Two of those three were predominantly basic prerequisites to the teaching program. Originally, my intent was to teach at the elementary level. During those years, I took several courses that have helped me cultivate lesson techniques such as: child development, lesson planning and design, communication, and basic classroom procedure / setup.
One of my basic techniques provides activity based learning that requires movement. Over the years, I have discovered the more active I keep my students, the more motivated and engaged they are in the lessons at hand. Sometimes our activity has little to do with the lesson topic and other times it has everything to do with it. For instance; when working with English and Grammar I might invite them to role play what we’ve just went over. Asking them to think of someone in their life that would be interested in what they have been learning. Then I role play as that person, allowing them to teach me what we have just covered. Additionally, when teaching Grammar, I invite them to keep a journal of their exciting daily activities. During their next session we review multiple topics from this journal. This includes handwriting techniques, punctuation, grammar usage, and sentence formation to name a few.
The elementary level encompasses all subjects; providing the basis for further education. Most things taught in elementary will be revisited later in their scholastic career. Giving them a strong basis to grow on helps develop strong study skills/habits. I help them achieve this on multiple levels. First, their journal will help them with subject retention. Furthermore, we make lists of goals at each session for homework between lessons. This keeps the new information studied at the forefront and repetition enhances retention. There are many other ideas as well that can help.
Children are our best learners; because, they have limited prior knowledge to base their schooling on. This fact allows me to facilitate them in investigating the great unknown, everything new--learning what they’ve never heard or rarely heard before.
I use innovative activity based learning for education as my approach. For example, when I teach math I might include physically counting objects (such as coins) or drawing multiple identical pictures instead of just counting pictures on a paper. In especially active children I have taped squares and/or different shapes on the floor in which the student can hop around the room from shape to shape. I might say, "Find the three circles and hop to each one or Count the squares as you hop to each one"; thus, burning off some energy while learning to count. For older children who might be working on story problems, we create stories relevant to their lives and present a math equation.
The English language offers many complexities. It encompasses many aspects; such as, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and writing. This leads to a lot of proofreading and correcting of techniques. Studying English invites me to explore my capabilities and understand our language better.
In both undergrad and graduate school, I specialized in writing proficiently. While doing this it became necessary to develop competency in grammar techniques and eliminate spelling errors. To accomplish this, I studied the MLA and APA handbooks for literally hours to assure correct punctuation and sentence structure. Today--as a mother--my children get frustrated when asking me to proof their papers because no stone is left unturned! =My love for English and Grammar continues to grow through continued writing, research and furthering my own education.
Microsoft Office has been my preferred format for years. Having utilized the program since 1993 many, many techniques have changed. I update very quickly when a new version debuts. I'm currently using the most recent version on both PC and Mac. Although my Mac experience has been minimal.
Both my Bachelor's and Master's programs focused on computer use and I have given numerous presentations with PowerPoint using Excel spreadsheets throughout my education; previously as well as currently. I've utilized it throughout my various employment positions from elementary education to office management to research design for opening a new business. Excel has vast potential and offers many techniques for number crunching. Excels graphing capabilities are incredible. If you input the data correctly the possibilities seem endless.
In 1993, during undergrad, I was part of a fairly new movement to make laptops a vital part in education. Throughout undergrad and then graduate school, I was required to complete weekly Power Point presentations regarding the week's work.
As the years have progressed the updates have been phenomenal. Today, the presentation capabilities that Power Point offers cannot be surpassed. This has become by far my favorite software. One of my most favorite parts involves the transitions from slide-to-slide. We now have so many options, it's hard to decide. Do I want this animated or not? Bold or not? What speed should I move the slides along? The possibilities are endless!
I love to read and actually started helping others learn to read in 3rd grade. Until 2009, I was a full-time equivalent substitute teacher. I've worked a great deal with K-6th grades. I really enjoy this age because they have active minds and imaginations.
After getting to know my student and their family I find age appropriate reading material. This sparks interest because it compares to real life. We sometimes write stories and read them to their parents... as well as many other projects to inspire reading.
I’m studying to get a Doctorate in Psychology. In junior high and high school, the curriculum used was individual and self-paced. We met daily for class; (following public school scheduling, including holidays); however, we self-taught the material. Although this sounds like home schooling; it was not. Meeting in a classroom facility, instructors were available when needed. Coming from public school, I found myself 1-2 years behind for their junior high program. I learned rapidly the fine art of good study habits. Over the next four years (7th -10th grade); my efforts for success paid off tremendously. By my sophomore year I found myself caught up the 1-2 years I started behind; as well as, completing my junior and half of my senior years. Promoted from sophomore to senior for half the year; the school allowed me to work as a teacher’s aid the last half. This allowed me to graduate at 16 with a college prep diploma.
The skills I acquired in High School carried over into my college days. My home and work life have been blessed with them as well. Some of the techniques I utilized include:
*Make detailed lists divided into multiple tasks per project, checking off as completed. This confirms my progress and motivates me to work harder to get the job done. In school the motivation…to complete lessons to take the subjects final exam!
*Home-made flash cards for quizzing. This allowed me to study thoroughly on my own when no one was available to help me.
*Go through the text and highlight bolded areas. Generally, if it’s bolded it must be important. When completed, I’d start over by taking notes on the bolded areas; writing a brief summary of each.
*If available, a study partner for accountability helps too. The two of you do not need to meet regularly; however, check in daily about study progress.
The above encompasses just a few of my suggested study habits for development. In my approach for teaching these techniques, getting to know the student’s lifestyle making the skills more relevant to them provides greater success.
Writing has always been a passion of mine. It all started in upper elementary through writing poetry. Then over the years, I've written 100's of them. One poem was featured in our local newspaper at 18. In college, fellow students would give me a scenario such as an anniversary and I would put it into eloquent words. A poetic story you might say.
In undergrad and graduate school, I specialized in grammar and writing. I've written business correspondence for years and have also produced several business proposals for my husband as well as others. I just love to write.
The first thing I teach my students consists of changing their being verbs to action words utilizing adverbs as well as adjectives in their sentence structure. Next I teach how to stop starting so many sentences in the first person.
Currently, I have three books in process; one of them offers poetry utilizing illustrative work. Working with you or your student would be a pleasure.