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KAREN M.

Naples, FL

$50/hour

Certified Teacher, Librarian, Published Writer, Book Award Judge

20+ Hours
4.8 average from 16 ratings
Great communicator!
— LUCY, Naples, FL on 5/16/13

$50/Hour


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University of Northern Colorado
Elementary Education
San Diego State University
Master's

Education

University of Northern Colorado (Elementary Education)

San Diego State University (Master's)

About KAREN

I am a certified elementary teacher and school librarian with BA and MA degrees in Education. I taught elementary and secondary students in California, Germany, the Philippines, and Japan. I was a school librarian for K - 8th grades on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. I have tutored children from age 3 through college as well as foreign adults who need help with English skills. I have lived in six cultures. Recent students were two brothers ages 8 and 10 from the Czech republic who could speak NO English. Within days they were reading, writing, and speaking English.

I tutor all subjects in the elementary grades. I prefer working with middle school and high school students in history and language arts. I am an historian and have published fiction and nonfiction books such as my first, PIRATES, for grades 4-8. I also have reviewed books for several magazines such as Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin. And I have judged fiction, nonfiction, and multicultural books for the IPPY and Moonbeam Children's Book Awards as well as publishing standardized reading comprehension test questions.

Children learn when they are having FUN and feel relaxed. I am often FUNNY when working with students. I do not criticize and yell. Even children who dislike school make tremendous progress with me. I will get at the root of your child's problem and totally turn him/her into a good student. I also give parents ideas to use at home as well as books your kids will enjoy at home. I love to teach, and I can't wait to meet you!
I am a certified elementary teacher and school librarian with BA and MA degrees in Education. I taught elementary and secondary students in California, Germany, the Philippines, and Japan. I was a school librarian for K - 8th grades on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. I have tutored children from age 3 through college as well as foreign adults who Read more

Policies
Cancellation
1 hour notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 2 miles of Naples, FL 34116
Background Check: Passed

"Great communicator!"

- LUCY, Naples, FL on 5/16/13

"Awesome tutor"

- John, Naples, FL on 3/1/13
Math:
Common Core, Elementary (K-6th),
GED
Science:
Anthropology,
Elementary Science, Psychology,
Zoology
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading, English,
ESL/ESOL,
Grammar,
Literature,
Proofreading,
Reading,
Vocabulary,
Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Reading, Common Core, GED
Language:
ESL/ESOL,
Italian, Reading,
Spanish, Writing
Special Needs:
ADHD,
Common Core, Dyslexia,
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Science, Phonics,
Reading,
Special Needs, Study Skills
Elementary Education:
ADHD,
Common Core, Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Science, Grammar,
Phonics,
Reading,
Spelling,
Study Skills,
Vocabulary,
Writing
Business:
ESL/ESOL,
Writing

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ADHD

Attention deficit disorder and attention hyperactivity deficit disorder are psychological behavior disorders which can be found in children and adults who probably had the disorder when they were children. They manifest in people who have trouble focusing on projects, are easily distracted, and impulsive. They need to be treated by lifestyle changes, behavior modification, counseling, and sometimes medication such as Ritilin. ADD and ADHD are found in more boys than girls. I have worked with several ADD/ADHD students, and I found that when parents have strict schedules for their kids such as eating at the same time, going to bed at the same time each day, doing homework at the same time, and not letting their children become OVERLY TIRED, they will do better in school. Many schools have eliminated recess and physical education which is difficult for normal kids who need to have breaks to run and play, therefore normal kids today are sometimes diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

American History

Beginning in elementary school I read biographies of famous Americans, particularly explorers such as Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, the Swamp Fox, and the Pirates Lafitte. When I was in 8th grade I had a fantastic history teacher who told stories about events and people rather than make his class memorize the date of the Magna Carta. In high school I devoured James Michener's historical novels such as Tales of the South Pacific, Hawaii, Centennial, The Bridge at Andau, and Chesapeake. And throughout my childhood and teen years I traveled with my Air Force dad from base to base in New Mexico, Arizona, California, New York, Colorado, and Florida. And in our travels we always made stops at museums such as the Smithsonian, plantations such as Monticello and Mount Vernon, and historical landmarks like the famous Gettysburg battleground during the Civil War.

For several years I have been writing books about the New World's plantation era using the viewpoint of slave children. I have meticulously researched each book by reading books written by historians and college professors as well as slave narratives written by real slaves. The most famous slaves who wrote biographies were Frederik Douglas and W.E.B. Dubois. Each of the books I've written is based on events that few people know about like the explosion of the SULDANA river boat in April 1865 in the Mississippi River. The last half of that book is set in New Orleans during the Reconstruction Era when my protagonists worked as chimney sweeps, a very horrible dangerous occupation. The history of the New World is colorful. I have studied the early Spanish Conquistadores, hundreds of American Indian tribes, and "The Golden Age of Piracy". Most people are unaware that many fugitive slaves joined PIRATE ships where they were treated equally long before our country was a Democracy. Three of my books have pirate themes.

I've found many American history teachers know little about history and seem to bore their children to the extent they are not interested in reading historical novels. I hope you will let me work with your child who will receive a very colorful education. I will give him/her an exciting look at American history as well as a thirst for reading nonfiction history and historical novels.

Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of Homo Sapiens, or humans, their physical traits, behavior, culture, and social organizations. Scientists used to divide cultures into Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid. But anthropology has changed over the years and now has more subgroups. I have taken a number of anthropology courses at the university level. I particularly liked my classes in American Indians and African cultures and enjoyed learning about tribes who were patrilineal and matrilineal with many different customs. I also took a class in MONKEYS and APES at San Diego State University. They are not humans but are considered very intelligent and the highest animal species, a step below humans.

Dyslexia

I am a former elementary teacher and school librarian. I taught in California and for the Department of Defense Overseas Schools in Germany, the Philippines, and Japan. Dyslexia is also known as Developmental Reading Disorder. It is a brain disorder that causes a child to not process letters and letter sounds properly. However, this is not a brain problem which keeps the child from thinking and solving problems. A child may not be able to rhyme words or blend sounds such as ch, sh, br, th, etc. Dyslexia causes problems with sentence comprehension due to the child not being able to connect the letter sounds to the letters he/she sees.

A neurologist can give the official diagnoses of dyslexia. However, astute teachers and tutors, who have had experience with this disorder, will often know the child has dyslexia and teach appropriately. Often dyslexia is inherited. With proper and consistent teaching and tutoring, it will improve. The most acute cases still struggle with reading when they are adults.

Since students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia often have low self-esteem and behavioral problems, it is important for the tutor or special ed reading teacher to work on his/her self esteem while teaching letter sounds in relation to letters.

Patience and having FUN is what a teacher or tutor needs to BUILD the child's confidence to enable him/her to learn better. I always read with my students. Sometimes I alternate sentences and words and always point to the words, so his/her eyes don't wander all over the page. And of course I choose FUN BOOKS such as Dr. Seuss rhyming books and THE DUMB BUNNIES which all children adore. In the Dumb Bunnies there are many "mistakes" in the illustrations which kids love to find and correct. Giggles help children learn while having fun. When dyslexic kids know a few words, I begin teaching them SCRABBLE in which they have FUN learning how letters are connected to make words to earn more points.

Dyslexia is sometimes inherited. But it often improves after a good teacher or tutor has given months of instruction accompanied by praise. and encouragement. I have found that many reading teachers have too many kids to spend enough time with each. Therefore, an excellent tutor can be beneficial to the child and his classroom and special ed teachers. I always keep in touch with classroom and special ed teachers on a regular basis. I feel my goal is to bring a child to the point that he can navigate school on his own rather than keep him/her coming to me for years. I also give advice to parents about things they can do at home to help their child.

Elementary (K-6th)

I have taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. I was a school librarian for Kindergarten through 9th grade. The elementary grades, Kindergarten to fifth or sixth, primarily teach children socialization skills and basic skills in reading, spelling, creative writing, math, science, social studies, computers, and health/nutrition. Most schools also have classes in physical education, music, library science, and art as well as special classes for students having reading difficulties, the hearing impaired, ADD/ADHD, and mentally challenged. In addition some schools have psychologists who test students having difficulties learning and/or socializing with others. For several years I have been concerned about school districts dropping music, art, special ed teachers, as well as school nurses and regularly scheduled recesses in the morning, after lunch, and in the afternoon. Elementary students should not be expected to sit still at a desk all day with no break. They need to play and exercise outdoors to fully concentrate on their classroom studies. At my schools we had three short recesses every day. However, when my kids had what I called "Ants in their pants," I told them to put down their books, and we did jumping jacks, push ups, and stretches in addition to their recesses. Vigorous exercise helped with their concentration. If children do not learn basic study skills as well as satisfactory socialization skills in the elementary grades, they are headed for big trouble in middle school and high school where many give up and drop out. I have turned many poor students into good students. I believe the elementary grades are the most important time in everyone's life.

English

English is usually a combination of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and literature. I excel at all of the above. I am a published book author, writer of magazine articles, book reviewer, and judge of the Independent Publisher and Moonbeam children and Young Adult fiction and nonfiction book Awards.

ESL/ESOL

I have successfully tutored English to children and adults from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Haiti, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. I begin by speaking good English with them to determine how much English they know and understand. Some need basic vocabulary in English as well as help with correct pronunciation. Others who are more advanced may be completely bamboozled by our confusing idioms and slang. When I told my Haitian friend about the president having a landslide, I first explained the word had nothing to do with land or with a slide. Then I explained the meaning of landslide.

I have lived in England, Spain, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and the US Virgin Islands, so I know how difficult it is to learn a new language and to navigate in a new culture. Beyond teaching English I try to help foreigners understand our USA customs and laws. Most ESL teachers do not have the varied experiences I have had living and traveling abroad. My students have all been very happy with how I taught them as well as the additional information I have given them.

GED

I tutored one 45 year old student to pass her GED. For a reference book I used a GED study guide I purchased in a book store. It was divided into all the categories that would be on the test. I studied them, refreshed myself with each subject, then after a year of hard work, my student was able to pass her GED. She successfully found a better higher paying job in the medical field. I have BA and MA degrees in education. The MA took two years to complete, therefore I successfully completed six years of college at the University of Northern Colorado and San Diego State University.

Geography

I think I know geography better than most Americans. If you gave me a blank map of the USA,I'm sure I could write the names of all 50 states in the appropriate places. I grew up an Air Force brat and lived in Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, California, New York, Colorado, Virginia, and Florida.

If you gave me a blank map of Europe, I think I could write the European countries in the appropriate places. I lived in England, Spain, and Germany. I was a Dept. of Defense teacher in Germany, so I traveled all over Europe as well as East Africa. I can identify many of the countries of Africa due to taking two East Africa safaris as well as an anthropology class in African cultures.

When I was in Dept. of Defense, I also lived in the Philippines and Japan, so I know Asia fairly well. And I know about interesting customs in each place I lived as well as those I toured.

I was a school librarian for eight years on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. I think I could do the Caribbean Sea map test and get ninety percent of the islands accurate.

The only way to really learn geography, which includes interesting facts about the people, customs, and history is to live in a foreign country. During my travels I visited museums such as Dachau Concentration Camp near Munchen, Germany, the Atomic Bomb Museum in Hiroshima, Japan, Corrigidor Island, the Philippines, where General MacArthur's headquarters was located during WW II. I have also visited zoos in Europe, Japan, and the Philippines--not Africa because the animals were everywhere there.

The first time I was in Africa I didn't know tourists weren't supposed to walk around by themselves. Once late at night I walked into a herd of zebras and gazelles grazing outside my motel room. Another time I wandered off by myself and became acquainted with a troop of baboons that included babies. I talked to them. They didn't seem threatened, but I found out later the males could have killed me.

Any child or teen who is having trouble with a class in geography will love to hear my stories about my travels.

I also experimented with the local cuisine and have eaten wildebeest in Kenya, whale in Japan, and camel in a Sahara west African country that was without electricity and is now part of Algeria.

A child or teen who has me for a tutor will have his whole attitude changed about "boring" history and geography!

Grammar

I received my BA degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. My minor was History. I received my MA degree in Educational Technology/Library Science from San Diego State University. My minor was Social Studies with an emphasis in Psychology and Anthropology.

I have taught English reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling to Kindergarten children through middle school, high school, and college as well as many Latinos and one middle age German man who already spoke fantastic English. He wanted me to teach him English idioms which are very confusing. He is a businessman and now has a much better insight into our language.

People who speak correct grammar are more likely to be respected by others; therefore, they are more apt to be promoted to responsible, higher paying jobs!

If you grew up in a family which used "ain't" alone or with double negatives such as "He ain't got no business doing nothing for no one," then you must practice speaking correctly in order to be taken seriously. The correct sentence would be "He doesn't have any business doing anything for anyone."

I had always dreamed of becoming an author. And when I finally decided to write full time, I brushed up on my English grammar by reading a wonderful classic, "Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. Go to an online bookstore and type in the title or the authors' names.

There are more than 70,000 books on English grammar to choose from on major online bookstores. Look at books in English and see what they have to offer. A good way to judge if a book is good, okay, or terrible is to read "Customer Reviews". Many reviewers write in detail what they like and don't like about specific books. Some titles which caught my eye were "Grammar for Dummies" and "Good Grammar for Busy People."

I strongly suggest reading "Elements of Style" because it is easy reading, and each grammatical rule is followed by examples of well-constructed sentences to show how that rule is applied.

Listen to your friends speak, then critique their language. If their language is barely understandable, then maybe you need new friends who speak properly. Then practice speaking correctly which may be difficult at first.

I have worked with children who have trouble expressing themselves as well as many foreigners learning to speak English. We discuss subjects the students are interested in, and then I tell them what they said correctly and what they need to work on. It is difficult to change bad habits such as "double negatives". But speaking with friends in person, on the phone, writing e-mails properly, and reading books and magazines will gradually improve your language skills.

Be your own critic and don't be afraid of making friends who speak correctly. Ask them questions about grammar. And for more help with learning to speak well, see me and send your kids to me.

I will take you from where you are to where you want to be in grammar. And your self-esteem will soar!!!

Literature

I was a voracious reader from kindergarten through college into my adulthood. In high school I noticed that very few people read anything that wasn't assigned, and many of those students did not read the assigned books. They watched movies about the books then guessed on tests and usually did not make good grades.

However, I read above and beyond the majority of students. I read classics which were not assigned like the series of Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle. I loved HOUNDS OF THE BASKERVILLES which took place in the beautiful but bleak Moors where we lived in England.

When I lived with my Air Force dad in Yorkshire, I read Bram Stoker's DRACULA after a MIDNIGHT VISIT with English girl friends to the Abbey ruins in my small fishing village where this first VAMPIRE emerged.

I loved Edgar Allen Poe's scary books such as THE BLACK CAT, THE TELLTALE HEART, and FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. The only Poe assignment I had in high school was the beautiful but sad poem, "ANNABELLE LEE" that everyone had to memorize.

I also loved Russian novels such as DR. ZHIVAGO and ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH. Russian novels are very difficult partially do to the characters having more than one long Russian difficult-to-pronounce name.

When I was in England, I also saw the Bronte family's home, and of course I had already read WUTHERING HEIGHTS and JANE EYRE, both unassigned. And I loved the morbid Daphne du Murier tales such as REBECCA. A TALE of TWO CITIES by another British writer, Charles Dickens,was one of my favorites.

When I was in junior high and high school I read a lot of AMERICAN HISTORICAL NONFICTION. But I also loved current historical fiction, especially the meticulously researched novels of James Michener. Hawaii, Chesapeake, Centennial, and Bridge at Andau were some of my favorites.

I read biographies as well as biographical fiction such as Irving Stone's THE TWELFTH WIFE. It was about life in a polygamous Mormon family and one lady who escaped her abusive husband.

In addition to the classics and James Michener, I read bestsellers. newspapers, and magazines including TIME and NEWSWEEK.

Today many books are published for adults, children, and teens which I do not care for and don't like to see people reading. For instance, there is a new genre called diaspora, which are books about the world ending. I do not read them, and I do not read poorly written books about graphic sex and violence. I am hoping to find students who are reading good literature.

However, I am interested in literature written in the 1800's to the present. I also like to research dead and living authors. I am looking forward to helping you or your child with your literature assignments that include book reports and research papers.

Phonics

Phonics is the method of teaching reading through letter sounds in order to correspond the sounds into spelling patterns. Also, there are many letter blends in English which make the blended sounds entirely different than they are when they are not blended. English is one of the most difficult languages to learn to read and spell due to rules for each letter of the alphabet, and almost every rule is broken at least once. The British and Australians often sound letters differently from Americans. For children who have trouble spelling, I teach them to be crackerjack SCRABBLE players. It is an enjoyable way to teach them which letters go together. I have tutored elementary children who could not read and always got zeros on their spelling tests. They progressed to the point of beating me in Scrabble, and they became much more proficient in their school work.

Proofreading

I am a published writer in several areas--books, magazine articles, book reviews in print and online, standardized test questions for tests such as the SAT, as well as judging books for awards. I have worked with editors at Franklin Watts Publishers, Independent Publisher Magazine, Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement Company, Pearson Educational Measurement Company, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Writers Digest Magazine, The Writer Magazine, and Once Upon a Time Magazine.

I have worked with more than a dozen editors on various projects. Some have edited very little. Two have edited with a heavy hand. They all have their own style. I have liked, listened to, and learned from everyone I've worked with. And in the case of those who want to change my manuscripts extensively, I have compromised or convinced them why certain things should not be changed.

Occasionally I have been approached by authors who ask me to read their manuscripts and edit them. I edit syntax, grammar, spelling, punctuation, as well as make organizational suggestions in their manuscripts and suggest they use more details or fewer details and give more depth to characters.

How I edit depends on the manuscript's audience's age as well as type of manuscript. Editing a children's picture book is entirely different from editing a young adult novel, an adult novel, or a non-fiction magazine article. I also take into consideration the type and genre of each manuscript.

The authors I have worked with in the past have been appreciative of whatever I have been able to teach them. I will do my best with your work. Remember, I am an author too, and I know your writing is your "BABY". I will do my best with your work. And we can work together via e-mail and talking on the phone. I'm looking forward to meeting you.

Psychology

Psychology has always been a major interest of mine. When I was in high school I read DAVID and LISA, YOU DIDN'T PROMISE ME A ROSE GARDEN, and THE SNAKE PIT. They were books about teens who had mental problems and lived in horrible mental institutions and somehow managed to survive and become normal. Those books were made into movies.

When I was an undergrad at the University of Northern Colorado I began taking psychology courses. And ten years later when I was in grad school I took psychology courses to learn why people behaved the way they do and how to change their negative behavior into positive behavior.

The many books I read and the courses I took made me a much better teacher.

Reading

A person cannot read unless he or she knows how to pronounce the words in a particular language. And English is one of the most difficult languages for anyone to learn. Many languages have just one sound for each letter. English has a minimum of two sounds for each letter. and sometimes letters are silent.

Children need to be read to from the time they are babies, so they are used to pretty picture books before entering kindergarten. Then phonics need to be taught and reviewed from kindergarten through fifth grade. Scrabble is a fun way to supplement the teaching of phonics.

When I taught elementary school, I read to my kids after lunch EVERY DAY. I read with expression and excitement and suspense and humor. My kids usually begged for one more chapter. Beverly Cleary's humorous fun loving RAMONA, THE PEST, HENRY HUGGINS, OTIS SPOFFORD, RIBSY, and BEEZUS books are loved by both girls and boys of all ages.

Every year I went to public libraries and checked out forty or fifty children's books which I kept for at least a month. The books were both fiction and nonfiction at all levels.

I had a special table in my classroom for the library books, and I displayed them. Then everyone listened while I explained what each book was about and how difficult or easy it was to read. I always had several books below grade level which "everyone can read" as well as several difficult books which only "Tommy and Susan can read."

I let one row at a time select books. And when all thirty of my kids were through selecting, they could come back to the table and exchange them if they wanted to. I had twice the number of books as kids in the class, so everyone had a good selection.

Once kids know basic phonics and can read early readers and are encouraged to read, their reading levels will go up. Sometimes reading levels will improve several years beyond their grade level in a short time. I had parents complain that they couldn't get their kids' noses out of books. That was great to hear especially if the child came into my class a nonreader.

Vocabulary is another component of reading. I always gave my students their regular boring spelling words from their spelling books as well as adding ten DIFFICULT MULTISYLLABIC INTERESTING words sometimes with strange meanings. The kids and I then discussed the words and used them in sentences.

The students liked nothing better than to go home and use words their parents didn't know. For instance, "Billy got a bloody proboscis, mom." I also noticed that hardly a child ever misspelled one of my additional difficult spelling words, though they may have made errors with the easy boring words.

I also gave my kids twenty or thirty minutes of "quiet reading time" EACH DAY where they could read books or appropriate magazines like "Ranger Rick" and "National Geographic."

When children raise their own reading levels through recreational reading on their own, their vocabulary, comprehension, and thought processes increased, and their standardized tests became much better. I never prompted my kids by practicing test questions months before they were tested. Instead I encouraged them to read recreationally and not worry about tests.

The reading methods I used usually caused many of my students to improve three, four, or five years within nine months in my class.

Also, reading recreationally when very young will make lifetime readers and thinkers!

If you let me work with your child, I will make him or her into a good reader as well as a good Scrabble player. I have dozens of books they can take home.

Years ago I babysat a three year old named Caroline. I had her reading when she was four. And her mom said she read DR. SEUSS' FOOT BOOK to everyone she saw including the customers at her women's designer apparel store.

I have tutored children beginning at age three as well as several foreign adults learning English. I am anxious to meet my new students whatever age you are!

Social Studies

I am very interested in several social studies subjects and took history, geography, and anthropology classes in my undergraduate work at the University of Northern Colorado.

Spelling

I have played SCRABBLE since I was 9 or 10 years old. My dad taught me how to play the word game, and over the years I played it with many friends and acquaintances.

I probably won fifty percent of the games until I met an engineer and voracious reader named CHARLIE. Charlie was brilliant, had an off the chart's vocabulary, and knew tricks to use on me to obtain the highest scores.

When Charlie and I were together, we played SCRABBLE once a day and sometimes twice. I won maybe ten percent of the games!

When Charlie and I parted ways, I played with other Scrabble players. And I found I had improved my vocabulary, spelling, and strategy to the extent I won over ninety percent of the games even with the most challenging players.

I became a teacher and school librarian and always had Scrabble games at the schools in which I worked. I found Scrabble was an excellent way for students to learn our very complex English spelling. Many languages have one sound per letter. Many English letters, such as the vowels a, e, i, o, and u, have many different sounds. English has many rules, all of which are broken more than once. It is amazing children and foreigners learn to read, write, and spell in English.

I now play Scrabble with my American students who have trouble spelling and reading as well as foreigners learning English.

Recently I taught a ten year old Bolivian boy how to play Scrabble. He went to an English speaking private school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He told me he had played Scrabble but hated the game. I told him I'd teach him tricks so he could go back to Santa Cruz and beat the other boys.

Carlos and I played Scrabble five times a week for almost two months. He returned to Bolivia and e-mailed me that not only did he win Scrabble twice playing with his English speaking dad, but he beat his ENGLISH TEACHER whose first language was English! Carlos' first language was Spanish. English was his second language!

I have tutored foreigners from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, as well as Switzerland and the Czech Republic. I am looking forward to working with more students of different nationalities as well as Americans who want to improve their spelling!

Study Skills

Individuals learn or are taught many different study skills mainly to prepare for exams. Some study better by themselves. Some have study partners. And some study in study groups.

The first basic study skill is memorization or learning facts or spelling words by rote.

Another method is to teach students critical thinking so that they question and evaluate everything they read. The students who study that way are more apt to retain what they learned for a long period of time. When a student or teacher makes boring facts funny, then they are most likely to learn the material.

A third way of learning is to have the students look at the designated chapter and the main headings and subheadings to get an overview of what the chapter is about. Some students take written or computer notes which may include diagrams that help explain a topic. Others underline or use a yellow marker to highlight important facts. And perhaps after thoroughly studying a chapter, they find an intelligent person to quiz them prior to a test.

Flashcards are excellent to teach younger students spelling or vocabulary words. Some learners learn visually, and some learners learn by ear. Either way is good.

Diagrams can be drawn to help a student to relate details of the lesson to be learned and tested. And some invent acronyms and mnemonics. For instance, in studying a map, globe, or compass and having trouble learning the directions, a student may tell himself to start at the top and to learn a phrase such as "Never eat shredded wheat." The beginning letters N, E, S, and W would stand for North, East, South, and West.

I've found all students need help with study skills. After the first tutoring session with them, I can figure out the best way the particular student would study for tests. Also, some of the above skills may be combined or alternated with each other.

The sooner kids learn good study skills, the better they will do in school and perhaps end up a college graduate. I did not know how to study when I went to college as a 17 year old freshman. And it took me about two years to learn study skills on my own.

Vocabulary

My vocabulary is above average due to two things: 1. I've been a voracious reader since Kindergarten and always have several dictionaries in which to look up new words. 2. I am an above average SCRABBLE player due to playing with the best of the best Scrabble players and learning several new words each game I play.

Also, I love to teach children new and interesting words which we practice by using them in sentences, so they can outperform their friends, siblings, and often their parents.

A good vocabulary helps build self-confidence.

I am a published writer who has published book reviews, articles in national magazines, and historical fiction and nonfiction books.

When I am writing, words pop into my head which seem to be perfect to convey a concept in a review, article, or book. I think of a synonym for the word. Sometimes I look it up in my THESAURUS which is placed next to my bed. Sometimes I look it up on Wikipedia. And always I check out my Oxford, American Heritage, or World Book dictionaries to make absolutely sure I know the exact meaning of the word to use in a manuscript.

When a person is in the habit of looking words up in dictionaries, they often find other words they never knew existed. They are checking on one word while discovering another word. That leads to having a very good vocabulary.

I also expand my vocabulary when I work with foreigners learning English as a second language. Sometimes we study English idioms that are difficult for foreigners to understand. So, I work on finding the precise words to explain idioms to them.

My vocabulary is expanding each day!

I would love to help you or your kids expand your vocabulary, improve your spelling, and become a creative writer if that is the goal. I am looking forward to meeting and learning WITH YOU and YOUR KIDS!

Writing

The first success I had with creative writing was when I was in the 4th grade and the class had an assignment to write a TALL TALE such as PECOS BILL or PAUL BUNYUN and HIS BLUE OX, BABE.

Well, that hot day in Yuma, Arizona, I wrote POCUS PIG that made my teacher literally "crack up," though that was not yet an expression. And Mrs. S., bless her heart, thought my tale was so funny that she asked if she could share it with other teachers to read to their classes.

I haven't seen that tale since the day I wrote it. I remember it was the hit of the school. However, I don't remember much about the story except POCUS PIG made bubble gum cookies he fed to the Wild and Wooly West's most infamous outlaws which stuck their animal teeth together so they could no longer growl, "This is a holdup. Give me your money!" They were run out of town by Sheriff POCUS PIG.

I continued to write through eighth grade and had one or two more successes such as "A FROG'S TALE". It was about my cousin Mitchell who caught a frog and let it loose in Grandma's kitchen with six or seven cousins trying to corral it. I have that tale, and found at age 10 I included quotes from my cousins such as, "Get the Broom."

Yep, I became a teacher and thoroughly enjoyed teaching creative writing. Unlike most teachers, I listed six topics on the chalk board, so children could have a choice and write about something that interested them.

I once knew an elementary teacher who said she got wonderful stories from her classes' topic, "WATER." No, my topics were such things as "Aliens," "A Haunted House," "Teaching My Puppy Tricks," and "My Adventure Spending the Night ALONE in a Dark Cave." I imagine some of my students became writers. I doubt if Ms. WATER had one student who became a writer.

I don't remember writing stories in high school or college. But after becoming a teacher and school librarian, I took a Creative Writing course, and I am now a published writer.

I have had four books published and several completed ones waiting for publication. I have also written magazine articles for INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER, WRITERS DIGEST, ONCE UPON A TIME, and THE WRITER magazines. And I have written dozens of online and print BOOK REVIEWS.

I can teach YOU or YOUR CHILD creative writing. I know how to organize a story, make it interesting and suspenseful, and use correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

Several years ago the NAPLES DAILY NEWS had a before school began contest for children to write essays about "What I Hope My Teacher Will Be Like." I had three students at that time and asked all three to write essays for the contest. I read, criticized, asked questions about past teachers, then had the kids redo and redo the essays. Finally when the essays were completed without my help, I sent them to the NDN. I didn't expect anything except my kids to improve their writing with my guidance. However, two out of three of my students won FIRST PLACE in their age categories. And the NDN did stories accompanied by color photos. The kids were not good students. They had to struggle with school, so that contest was a huge ACHIEVEMENT. I don't remember exactly what prizes they won, but I do remember that they were walking on clouds for a few weeks!

Zoology

Zoology is the study of the world's huge animal kingdom. It is broken down into several parts such as the history of zoology from ancient times to modern times and always includes the study of the most famous zoologist, Charles Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution through animal selection. Darwin sailed to remote islands throughout the world and gathered species of fauna as well as flora which he meticulously documented then wrote about in his book, ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES.

Also, an important part of zoology is animal physiology, the study of the physical, mechanical, and behavioral structures of animal species and how they function together as a whole.

Usually scientists of zoology specialize in a particular species such as herpetology, amphibians and reptiles, ornithology, birds, and my favorite primatology, the study of monkey's and apes, which falls under the category of mammalogy.

I had a small taste of primatology zoology when I took a Monkeys and Apes graduate class at San Diego State. The students in that class were allowed into the world famous San Diego Zoo free for the length of the course. Each student selected a monkey or ape to observe and record behaviors. I chose a species of ape, Pygmy Chimpanzees. And on a daily basis I observed everything the small family of chimpanzees did. This class was one of the most detailed and difficult classes I've ever had, and somehow I got an A!

Evolutionary research is primarily concerned with the origin of the species and based on paleontology such as the history of Dr. Lewis Leakey who spent many years at Olduvai Gorge, a few miles from Mt. Kilmanjaro, Africa. I was there and saw the HUGE prehistoric skulls of a giraffe and a saber-tooth tiger! Tigers no longer live in Africa.

University of Northern Colorado
Elementary Education
San Diego State University
Master's

Education

University of Northern Colorado (Elementary Education)

San Diego State University (Master's)

Great communicator!

Karen understands how to adapt to kids needs and establishes a communication style that allows them to relax and be in charge. My son has been able to pick up a grade in reading this past 2 months by gaining reading techniques from Karen and by selecting books that interest him. Karen is very flexible with our time and always willing to share new ideas to help him.

— LUCY, Naples, FL on 5/16/13

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KAREN will travel within 2 miles of Naples, FL 34116.