I find that many students, not just ESL students, need to work on vocabulary. Sometimes a reading comprehension problem is actually poor knowledge of the vocabulary used, even words we’d expect the student to know. When you ask students comprehension questions, also pick out several words and ask them give you the meaning. If you find they often don't have a clear understanding of the words you choose, then work on vocabulary before you work on comprehension, preferably before they read the passage. "Children’s books have more rare words for each 1000 words than educated adult speech!" For more information about teaching vocabulary, go to: http://21stcenturyhiteachers.wikispaces.com/Vocabulary and at the top of the page, click on "Partial Vocabulary Workshop". There are also links to a number of good websites on the same wiki.
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In my work as a teacher, I cannot help but notice that many of the reading selections written for our students include words that are beyond our students' experience. Students simply do not have & could not usually acquire the background knowledge necessary for understanding some words they encounter in subject-specific reading selections, such as social studies & science. Reading instruction in language arts classes cannot adequately address all the words students need to know, as language arts teachers have other specific concerns to address every day. This is why every teacher must be a reading teacher & consider reading an integral part of their subject. Certain subjects are the best place for students to encounter, learn, and understand some of the vocabulary they need to know, while context clues are only useful if students already have the needed background knowledge. In other words, a context clue is not really a clue at all if students do not have the background knowledge... read more
I just picked up (and started reading!) a book I would recommend for vocab study: "Hot Words for the SAT." The author is Linda Carnevale, M.A. The book is published by Barrons; I got my copy from Barnes and Noble. Briefly, the author advocates learning new vocabulary words by clusters which have similar meanings to one another. So for example, under "Words Relating to Friendly and Agreeable," she puts "affable, amiable, amicable, congenial, convivial, cordial, gregarious, jocular, levity." This is a great way to teach and to learn new things! I briefly tried this approach in the past with New Testament studies (I am agnostic today:) in attempting to learn clusters of Greek words. Yes, I think I'm better with English:) For students of religion who are interested though, I do recommend Louw and (Eugene A.) Nida, "Greek Words According to Semantic Domains," and (Bishop) Richard C. Trench, "Synonyms of the New Testament." So check Carnevale's book/approach out... read more
The most important part of preparation to go back to school is to keep a list of vocabulary words related to each subject, define those words, and use them in a sentence. Doing this one thing will almost ensure a student of making good grades in the school year. This is because many tests at elementary and high school level are vocabulary questions, such as matching, fill in the blank, or define. If a student is not very familiar with the vocabulary of a subject, that student cannot hope for more than an "average" grade. However, if a student will apply himself and learn relevant vocabulary, he will excel. For example, in social studies, what is meant by "latitude" and "longitude"? In science, what is meant by "density" and "atomic structure"? In math, what is meant by "place value" or "least common multiple"? In reading, what is meant by "genre" or "details"? In English, what is meant by "preposition" or "predicate"? If a student... read more
There is a lot to be said for knowing vocabulary. Just about any profession you enter will have its own "lingo", and being able to break sentences down word by word is incredibly helpful. There are reasons why teachers push basic knowledge, like knowing how to alphabetize quickly, doing your multiplication tables in your head, and understanding how to break sentences apart. Unfortunately, a lot of students come and go through school without learning the basics. THIS is your opportunity to improve your communication skills; written and verbal. If you know your vocabulary, you can discuss topics in a professional manner, and get your point across in a more understandable way. It's harder to be misinterpreted when you use words appropriately. If you're reading a textbook, look for underlined or highlighted and/or bolded words. Read them out loud several times. Make sure that you are pronouncing them correctly. Try using them in sentences. Learn their definitions,... read more
Despite the title of this post, I’m not actually suggesting that parents hire an SAT tutor for their preschoolers or that they drill their preschool children on SAT practice questions. Rather, I’m suggesting there is one important skill essential to doing well on the SAT that is a lifelong skill and should be started early: vocabulary building. The average SAT test preparation book contains about 2,000 vocabulary words to study. If your child has an especially poor vocabulary in high school, hiring a tutor three months before the SATs will only do so much. Creating a good vocabulary must start as early as possible. Helping your preschooler develop a good vocabulary doesn’t mean using flash cards or lists of vocabulary words. The best way to learn new words is through exposure to them. Baby talk has its place, of course. When babies and toddlers are first learning to talk, listening to baby talk encourages them to imitate basic sounds that make up our language. However,... read more
Philosophy of Education for M.J. T. To me the purpose of education is threefold: (1) provide students with a basis of knowledge, (2) teach students how to reason so that they can continue their education throughout their lives, and (3) instill in them a life-long excitement about and love of learning. Students must acquire a basis of knowledge, a framework on which to sort out and understand how various aspects of information in any subject area fit together to make the whole picture of where we have been and where we are going as a civilization. Science affects philosophy which affects the arts … ad infinitum. Nothing exists in a vacuum-sealed box. All knowledge is recursive and intertwined - reaches out and affects many areas outside the discipline in which it begins. I liken this basis of knowledge to a needlepoint tapestry mesh framework. The threads of different strands of information are worked in at various points. In some way every thread touches every... read more
Five tips for surviving the summer slump! 1. Spend time getting physical exercise - it keeps the brain active. 2. Read as much as possible - choose books that interest you, not just what might be on your school's summer reading list. 3. WRITE - write a journal about what you did during the summer, places you went, reflections on books you read. 4. Limit the time you spend on computer games. 5. HAVE FUN.
For parents who are trying to do any of the following: 1. Engage your child in reading 2. Increase your child's reading skills (fluency, comprehension, rhythm, expression, tempo, etc.) 3. Increase your child's language acquisition, vocabulary, grammar skills, and spelling skills This blog post is for you!!! There are some really unique ways to help your child become a "reader." I myself wasn't a "reader" until about the age of 10. Up to that point, though I loved books and collected books and asked for books for birthdays/holidays, I was not a reading self-starter. However, I loved being read TO! At the age of 6, I took a great interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. Not only, was I fascinated with the time period (late 1800's), I also found a kindred spirit of sorts in Laura. She stood up for things in which she believed strongly, she was stubborn, and she was short! I found a heroine that was very much like me! So every night, my mom would... read more
Spanish, French, English, Language Arts and Test Preparation Tutor. Contact me today to schedule a lesson!
Hello! Thank you for visiting my site! I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best regards, Valerie
My students and I are celebrating my first month with WyzAnt! Although I have tutored extensively in the past, these past 30 days with WyzAnt have been the most seamless tutoring experience so far. I am loving getting connected with students all over the five boroughs, as well as Westchester! Tutoring is an excellent way to get out and see the City. I've met with students in small coffee shops, huge bookstores, the New York Public Library, and my own cozy study space in my Upper East Side apartment. I have students of all ages, and they all have one thing in common: they are looking toward a bright, grammatically perfect future. :-)
This entry will focus on some interesting vocabulary in the A section of the dictionary. I choose words for many reasons: they have interesting meanings; they have amusing pronunciations; they just generally tickle my funny bone. These are words most people won’t use in daily life, but which are fascinating anyway. Enjoy this first entry as I work my way through the alphabet! Abstriction: [ab-strik-shuhn] noun- a method of spore formation in fungi in which successive portions of the sporophore are cut off through the growth of septa; abjunction. Found in the field of mycology. Acto: [ak-toh; Spanish ahk-taw] noun- a short, realistic play, usually in Spanish, that dramatizes the social and economic problems of Chicanos. Plural actos [ak-tohz; Spanish ahk-taws]. Specific to the southwestern U.S. Aggrade: [uh-greyd] verb (used with object)- to raise the grade or level of (a river valley, a stream bed, etc.) by depositing detritus, sediment, or the like. Forms: aggraded, aggrading... read more
Just like learning a new language, every year students try to learn CBS: College Board Speak. The College Board is the name of the company that creates the SAT. In order to make gains on the SAT, one may have to try new ways of learning. One of the best ways to learn a language is to create an immersive experience by surrounding yourself with speakers of that language, by traveling to an area in which the language is spoken for an extended period of time, or by attempting conversational level fluency prior to learning the written language. Ways that have worked for me and for students I have helped in the past are the following: SAT words on a shower curtain, flash cards wallpapering a bathroom or bedroom wall, and 30-60 minutes of sustained work daily for a prolonged period of time. Just doing to prolonged work won't help all students because some students need a multi-sensory approach to learning. In my classes, I reach students of all learning styles using color-coded... read more
When working with children (especially 7 and below) it can be vital to their memory retention to take a break every thirty minutes. I have had great success with my younger students who become stir crazy after half an hour of reading by leaving the study are and going outside or in a space where we wont bother others and doing some physical activities. Since time is a concern it is important to only do this for ten minutes or so. Sometimes we run and play tag, or we will do some jumping jacks, or just do some silly dancing. When the student returns they are feeling a little more refreshed, lighthearted, and ready to continue. That being said, it is very important to make it clear that the activity is is only supposed to be for a few minutes then it's right back to studying. I hope this helps! Miss Jessica
After an absence due to the busiest part of the academic year, I am back in search of tutoring clients for the spring/summer. Before June 17, I will have hours available after school. As of June 17, my hours are much more flexible!
I learned in my human development class that babies learn through repetition = Rote memory You may have also witnessed the ease with which the ABC's were learned. Mary Had a Little Lamb? Twinkle Twinkle? It is easier to commit something to memory through a song. Why is it so easy to remember that annoying tune on the radio? To better memorize - Words - Phrases - Rules (Grammatical, mathematical etc) Try putting it to a simple song tune. Ex My 2 year old learned how to spell his name BINGO style. L-O-G-A-N.
Special needs tutoring available with individual who has a master's degree in special education as well as employment history
Please review my profile credentials to see if I am a candidate for your tutoring needs. With both a master's degree in special education and several years of hands on experience in a variety of work environments, my education and experience make me a flexible individual who is readily available to discuss your tutoring needs. I enjoy working with individuals of all ages, and have consistently had a tremendous rapport with all age groups. Please advise me if you feel that I am the right person to assist you. Thank you in advance for your consideration. Deb R.
IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful... read more
How many of you, and be honest, still have trouble deciding which is correct there, their, or they’re? I know from experience that many students, even adult ones, still struggle with this. Well, let me see if I can clarify the situation just a bit. There: This is used to indicate a place or a location, where something goes or belongs. Examples: The store down the street sold candy for a penny. Stan went there to buy some candy. Mary dropped her books on the table and mother told her not to put them there. Their: This is a possessive. To be exact, the possessive form of they. It shows ownership or belonging. Example: Mark and Marion are going with mom and dad to the airport. Their grandmother is coming to town. They’re: This is a contraction for they are. The apostrophe shows where the letter “a” has been left out. Example: The boys are straining to see out of the window, because they’re very excited to see the beach. So, you say... read more
When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.