Parents, If you can't understand why "working harder" at reading with your child is NOT WORKING then watch this trailer and subsequent film to learn how your child may need to learn how to "work smarter" rather than "work harder." Children with Dyslexia need a different type of reading strategy than what is taught in most schools. Understanding and embracing Dyslexia releases the guilt students and parents feel on a regular basis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy5WxLf-r6g&feature=player_detailpage Then go to embracingdyslexia.com to see the full documentary.
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Did you ever wonder why your student sometimes yawns all throughout your session or when doing homework? He is not being disrespectful and I trust you are not being terribly boring! The reason why he is yawning (especially those with Dyslexia) is because his brain is working so hard to process this new information you are giving him. And, it is hard work! The human brain requires more oxygen when being mentally taxed and yawning is the body's reaction to get more oxygen. So, next time your student yawns through hisr session or homework time just know he is trying really hard.
Over the past two years, I have discovered some very effective methods for helping ADD/ADHD students improve their concentration levels and ultimately their, academic performance. When my ADD/ADHD students struggle to concentrate, my job as a tutor is to find a solution. Tutoring one-on-one gives me the opportunity to make what a student believes is difficult extremely easy. Many times, students do not understand because they are not processing the information correctly. As a special needs educator, I make learning much easier. While many classroom teachers advocate ADD/ADHD medication, I believe that medication should be used: (1) as a last resort and (2) as a temporary fix while a long term solution is being sought and (3) in conjunction with other therapy and teaching that fosters good academic skills, reduces anxiety and tension at home and at school. As an experienced teacher, I have proven methods for treating ADD/ADHD students and improving their ability to concentrate... 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.
Give positive feedback, use encouraging vocabulary Find success, and reinforce effort, in even minor accomplishment ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A tutor provides expertise, experience, and encouragement. They do not provide "answers," but rather assist in problem solving, in getting answers. The challenge is to focus on assignments within the context they are assigned. Tutors should not be expected to diagnose learning disabilities. Diagnosis should take place outside of the tutoring process by a professional academic counselor. If a larger problem becomes apparent, referral is the best strategy. Tutoring strategies: Seek out training to be a more effective tutor: This includes subject matter as well as the tutoring procedures Clearly establish expectations for your learner What are the expectations of the learner? of the teacher? and of those close to the learner (classmates,... read more
Parents of students living with learning difficulties qualify for various academic accommodations. These include things that classroom teachers can incorporate into daily lesson plans, like extra time to complete homework and ability to take tests in a quiet location, to things that state education laws delegate to specially trained teachers, aides, and nurses, such as care for students with feeding tubes. This article summarizes the kinds of learning differences that most tutors can handle and when parents should seek a qualified Special Education tutor. What most tutors can handle Many tutors are current or former teachers, college professors, or substitute teachers. State teacher licensing laws require teaching candidates to receive Special Education instruction and experience before granted a teaching license. They also have practical experience helping students who are living with a variety of learning differences. Licensed teachers have experience accommodating... read more
Massachusetts Specific Resources: · http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/ · http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/iep/proguide.pdf · http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/prb/pnps.pdf · http://www.masspac.org/ · http://www.mcpap.com/pdf/NavigatingTheSpecialEducationSystemInMassachusetts.pdf Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: · http://idea.ed.gov/ · http://nichcy.org/laws/idea · http://www.help4adhd.org/education/rights/idea General Learning Disabilities Information: · http://www.ncld.org/ · http://www.ldonline.org/ · http://www.ldanatl.org/ · http://nichcy.org/disability/specific/ld · http://www.cldinternational.org/ · http://www.cec.sped.org/am/template.cfm?section=Home ADHD/ADD: · http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/default.htm · http://www.add.org/ · http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml · http://www.chadd.org/ Dyslexia: · www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov · www... read more
I shared my WyzAnt profile with a friend the other day. She asked me why I included the term dyslexia in quotes. "Its not like you don't think it exists," she went on, "you've been working with dyslexic kids for so many years now! Isn't that a little bit dismissive?" I answered her as best I could, "Of course, I don't mean it dismissively, but the term "dyslexia" is over-used." I continued to ramble, "Some people describe themselves as dyslexic without having a formal diagnosis. For many people, the label "dyslexia" helps lessen feelings of insecurity they may have." Without going too much deeper, we moved on to a different conversation. In my mind, I have recently been going over that discussion, and I feel it is worth sharing my thinking in a little more depth. "Dyslexia" is a term that means many things to many people, even within a clinical setting. Reading is a complex cognitive process, one that combines many different processes to extract meaning from writing... read more
Sharing success stories can be a little bit heady – I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I am so very proud of my students and their accomplishments, it’s hard not to share! The following excerpt is taken from a student’s letter to the International Dyslexia Association in response to their “Honor A Teacher” campaign. Through mail and email, members, friends and supporters of IDA were invited to submit information about a special teacher, and “Unsung Hero” who has made significant contribution to their life or their child’s life. In my student’s letter to IDA she stated, “Kim is very patient, explains a lot, and never misses a day. She is kind, nice and friendly with a very warm personality. At first I was very nervous because I didn’t know the place or the people, but I was very comfortable with Kim. Kim is a very good teacher. I am thankful to have her versus any other teacher. I understand things the first time she explains them, my reading is much better now and I... read more
The Orton-Gillingham methodology is a method of reading instruction that focuses on multi-sensory learning. The basic idea is that some students, particularly students with learning issues like dyslexia, benefit from using their senses to activate and retrain parts of the brain that are used in reading. As a result, Orton-Gillingham based instruction features a lot of interesting hands-on activities. From my own experience as a teacher and tutor, Orton-Gillingham methodologies work very well when they are used as intended and when instruction is not rushed. Reading issues often develop over years and sometimes take years to successfully address. Students must be receive systematic instruction in phonics where they do not move onto the next step until they demonstrate mastery of the current step. Some students move through the levels in days while others can take months. Some tutors will be less than forthcoming about how long reading instruction can take, but I prefer... read more
The above-referenced subjects include different-aged PreK-College student needs I have experienced at the beginning of each school year since Fall 2010, when I first began tutoring in earnest via WyzAnt, instead of substituting daily for lesser pay in 18 area elementaries in our school district. I am not including higher math (Grade 7 and above) in my math tutoring experience. I also have helped adults with ESL/ESOL, general and academic reading/writing/comprehension/test preparation as well as public speaking for different-sized audiences, sometimes at-the-last-minute before "the big presentation day".
Updated Summer Availability: Mon: No Available Sessions Tues: No Available Sessions Wed: After 3:30 pm Thurs: After 3:30 pm Fri: After 1pm Weekends: 10am-5pm (Some flexibility required for recurring weekend sessions due to prescheduled out of town obligations) Please message me to inquire about setting up a tutoring session! Having your payment information on file will allow us to begin more quickly.
Summer Availability: - Weekends flexible Mon-Tues: Limited availability pending graduate coursework times. (I will have a clearer sense of this by 6/25/12) Wed-Fri: Anytime after 3pm Prefer to meet in public place such as a library or coffee shop for initial session. I will consider private residences after the first meeting.
I am so excited that I found WyzAnt!! It has been wonderful! I have met so many new people and love helping work with my students to see them advance! I worked in the public schools for 7 years and loved every minute of it when I had my SPED Resource Room for Learning Disabled, Dyslexic, and ADD/ADHD students. I got to see so many young people better themselves and get passed that learning barrier to advance and become great students that even went on to college. That is what I am about!! I want my students to have the best opportunities that are out there! Just because your child may need a tutor, that does not mean that they will not surpass your ideas or their ideas for their future!! I have very HIGH expectations for my students and love to challenge them to surpass those goals to go on to new heights. Looking forward to working with more students! WyzAnt is terrific!
What nice things were said today about my teaching. This by a former Principal. "Rosemary was a very dedicated teacher with good moral values and a passion for teaching. She was always prepared for class, punctual, responsible and was able to motivate children to learn. She was also very creative in her approach and the children were drawn to her. I was very fortunate to have her ... in both programs I have supervised. The students and their parents respected her and learned a lot under her leadership. I would highly recommend Rosemary ... She is a team player who sets high standards for herself and is a hard worker. She would be a valuable addition to your program."
You are not alone! Many parents and teachers struggle with this all-too-common phrase. I have attached a link to a short and proactive article that will help you keep your child interested in reading. http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/give-kids-their-reading-choice/
Celebrating the little things. Today was a great day! One of my students read a list of words that she could not have read four months ago. She also read to her small group and used word attack skills to sound out almost all of the words. This may sound small, but to see her improvement, just made my day. She was reversing several letters when we began working together. The other kids would just give her the words when she read, because she was so slow. To me, seeing her succeed is what teaching is all about! I guess I want to encourage you to look for the small gains. They do add up. When raising children with special needs, the pace can seem very slow. As long as you are going forward, trust that it will pay off. There have been many days raising my son with ADHD that I thought he would never read. He now reads on grade level. It is hard to explain how it feels when you can't make progress happen as quickly as we'd like. It's even harder when we feel so much pressure... read more
Celebrating our gifts can be a good way to put things in perspective. Sometimes I ask myself if my life would be different if I didn't have ADHD. Well, yes, it probably would look very different! Would I want that though? Not really. What I hope to do in this blog, is to share why having a learning difference, special need, ADHD, LD, or anything that makes us different can be celebrated. Since most of us reading this are raising children with learning differences, I hope to help you celebrate that as well. Sometimes humor helps, sometimes just knowing you are not alone in this helps. I have ADHD and I decided to make a difference in peoples lives so they would not feel bad about who they are. I grew up feeling like I had to prove my worth daily. I was the last to finish most of my assignments, or worse turned them in late. I would try to focus on my HW, but drift off into a more interesting world inside of my head. I managed to do well in school through sheer persistence.... read more
One question I'm often asked about SAT I Math test results is: "Why did my son/daughter miss so many easy questions and get the majority of hard questions right?" For me, this was the most difficult obstacle to overcome when it came to peak performance on test day. After drilling countless practice problems and tests, it is a natural inclination to race through the first "easy" math questions and spend more time on the "hard" ones. The blame is often assigned to "careless errors"--as if students didn't care enough to go back and check the answers. Sometimes dyslexia or ADD/ADHD is blamed. In reality, the test makers are teaching students an important lesson on pacing and discipline. Initially, I had thought that the key to the best scores was pattern recognition. That is, work enough problems, and you'll have seen it all. This actually isn't so far from the truth; however, the devil lies in the details. The problems I was getting wrong the most often were the ones that... read more
According to The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, dyslexia is the "difficulty in learning to read in a person who has good intelligence, strong motivation, and who has received appropriate teaching." I appreciate this definition because it recognizes that children with dyslexia are not stupid, but usually very intelligent. Additionally, this definition notes the broadness of this learning difference and does not narrowly categorize it as simply switching letters. The center further describes dyslexic learners as being excellent “at problem solving, reasoning, seeing the big picture, and thinking out of the box.” This needs to be considered when working with dyslexic children. It is important to use “out of the box” methods when tutoring and teaching these learners. Another interesting idea to keep in mind is nutrition. Is there a link between proper nutrition and managing dyslexia? Many would argue yes. Ontrackreading.com suggests that there is a "widespread deficiency... read more