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Karen W.

Salamanca, NY

$50/hour

Experienced literacy/dyslexia specialist & test prep tutor

200+ Hours
Background check passed as of 5/23/17
5.0 average from 106 ratings
Knowledgeable and patient and very accommodating.
— CHRISTINA, Spring Valley, NY on 5/13/17

$50/Hour


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The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C
B.Mus Vocal performance
State University of New York at Buffalo
MEd
State University of New York at Buffalo
PhD

Education

The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C (B.Mus Vocal performance)

State University of New York at Buffalo (MEd)

State University of New York at Buffalo (PhD)

About Karen

Hello! I am a NYS-certified teacher (Reading K-12) and a literacy specialist with a small independent practice in Salamanca, NY. I work in person and online/virtually with learners of all ages on reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary development, comprehension, executive function strategies, study skills, and test preparation, The tests I have tutored extensively include the newest forms of the SAT, ACT, GRE, MAT, TASC, GRE, TOEFL iBT, Praxis, and NYS teacher certification exams.

I have extensive background in working with individuals of all ages who experience dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties, and I am certified in Wilson Reading System. I was a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, and I ran a university reading center for 7 of those years. As a teacher educator, I helped to prepare several hundred other reading teachers and literacy specialists in NY and PA.

My interested in literacy and language instruction began with an Orton-Gillingham course I took years ago at The Gow School's Teacher Training Institute. I taught Orton-Gow (also known as Reconstructive Language, an Orton-based program for adolescents) for several years at The Gow School and The Gow School Summer Program. These experiences propelled me into graduate school at the University at Buffalo, where I earned my Ed.M as a reading specialist and my Ph.D in reading education.

If you are searching for a literacy specialist for individualized literacy instruction or test-preparation tutoring, face-to-face or online, I'd love to talk more with you about your goals and needs. Please send me a message.
Hello! I am a NYS-certified teacher (Reading K-12) and a literacy specialist with a small independent practice in Salamanca, NY. I work in person and online/virtually with learners of all ages on reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary development, comprehension, executive function strategies, study skills, and test preparation, The tests I have Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Salamanca, NY 14779
Background Check: Passed

"Knowledgeable and patient and very accommodating."

- CHRISTINA, Spring Valley, NY on 5/13/17

"Awesome Job With Adult Dyslexia"

- Mark, Saint Louis, MO on 9/6/16

"Great Lesson"

- Maureen, Audubon, NJ on 6/23/16

"Excellent Teacher!"

- Lance, Tampa, FL on 4/30/16

"Wonderful Writing Tutor"

- Amber, Tampa, FL on 3/4/16

"Diligent, prepared and extremely helpful tutor"

- Col, Bethesda, MD on 11/27/15

"Great personal touch"

- Kelsey, Alexandria, VA on 11/13/15

"Brilliant Wilson Reading Tutor"

- Ayden, Salamanca, NY on 10/26/15
Science:
ACT Science
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Reading,
ACT Science,
Common Core, GED, GRE, Praxis,
PSAT, SAT Reading,
SAT Writing,
TOEFL
Language:
ESL/ESOL,
TOEFL
Special Needs:
Dyslexia,
Phonics
Elementary Education:
Common Core, Grammar,
Handwriting,
Phonics,
Reading,
Spelling,
Study Skills, Vocabulary
Business:
GRE

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.

ACT English

I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages, and an avid reader and writer. I've tutored many individuals who are preparing for standardized college or graduate program admissions tests, including the ACT. I am familiar with the close reading, editing, and rhetorical writing strategies required on the current format of the ACT. I have access to ample prep materials and copies of many exams from the past couple of years to use during my tutoring. My approach to tutoring the ACT English subtest involves engaging clients in guided practice using previous official ACT exams. Based on areas of confusion, I develop mini-lessons to bolster specific grammar/writing/editing skills and strategies.

As a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, I ran a university reading center and helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and reading teachers in NY and PA. Prior to teaching at university, I taught high school or 16 years. I have also worked with adult learners and volunteer tutors through our local Literacy Volunteers affiliate. I have a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my M.Ed reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution.

ACT Reading

I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages. As a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, I ran a university reading center and helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and reading teachers in NY and PA. I have also worked with adult learners and volunteer tutors through our local Literacy Volunteers affiliate.

In my role as a literacy specialist, I've tutored many individuals who are preparing for standardized college or graduate program admissions tests, including the ACT. I am familiar with the close reading and argumentative writing strategies required on the current format of the exam. I have access to ample prep materials and copies of many exams from the past couple of years to use during my tutoring.

I have a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my M.Ed reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution.

ACT Science

I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages. I've tutored many individuals who are preparing for standardized college or graduate program admissions tests, including the ACT.

The surprising thing about the ACT Science exam is that it is NOT a test of scientific content knowledge. It is a test of multimodal reading comprehension. Another challenging aspect of the ACT Science exam is that its time parameters do not allow for close reading of the provided passages. For this reason, I teach my clients to scan for key ideas within the passages but rely more so on the information in the various data displays. I use a guided-practice approach to teach clients to analyze these data displays and scan supporting text, using examples from recent past exams.

Dyslexia

I am an enthusiastic and caring reading/literacy specialist with 20+ years experience working with students of all ages who experience dyslexia and other reading difficulties. I earned a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my MEd reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution.

Ear Training

I earned my B. Music in vocal performance from Catholic University in Washington DC. As part of my major, I took 4 semesters of ear training and sight singing, as well as music theory, music history, music notation, and other discipline-specific coursework. After college, I taught choral music at the high school level for many years and also taught hundreds of singers in my private studio. In all my work with ensembles and individuals, I incorporated ear training. This is because students competing in state competitions are asked to show proficiency in ear training and sight reading. Those auditioning for music schools at the college level are also required to pass ear training and sight singing tests. So ear training had to be a part of my classroom curriculum and one of the things I taught as a private practitioner. I use Edwin Gordon's Music Learning Theory and the instructional resources that correspond to that approach with learners. This approach involves using moveable DO in major (ionian) and minor (aeolian) tonalities and in the other modes (dorian, phrygian, mixolydian, lydian, locrian) less commonly heard in Western music. I have a strong collection of instructional materials related to ear training that I incorporate into my tutoring.

ESL/ESOL

As a tutor, literacy specialist, and college teacher, I have worked with dozens of English language learners from various backgrounds. In this work, I foster communicative competence by using both explicit instruction and lots of authentic discussion, reading, and writing activities. It is very important for learners to have ample opportunities to practice using new words, expressions, and constructions, and to receive ongoing formative feedback, as well.

If you want to practice and extend your English fluency, I would be very happy to work with you!! Please let me know if I can help.

Grammar

Individuals who struggle with writing tend to struggle with composition aspects, or with transcription aspects. Some struggle with both. In other words, for some writers, getting their ideas organized is the hardest things, and for others, getting the words onto the paper or the screen is the biggest challenge. Grammar is both a composition challenge and a transcription challenge. Word choice, word order (syntax), and sentence construction are all things that happen when the writer is trying to compose. Mechanics like punctuation and spelling become challenging when the writer tries to put the composition down on paper or on the screen. In my work with literacy learners of all ages, I try to support both the composition and transcription aspects of the writing process.

Handwriting

I have the Wilson Cursive Writing Kit and have used those materials and approaches with several clients. (It is similar to the D'Nealian approach, which I learned about during the Orton-Gillingham teacher training course I took years ago at The Gow School). I am an advocate of cursive - I believe that it helps people spell, because the entire arm is involved in writing the word.

Phonics

Teaching reading is my passion, and I hope I can share that with you or with you child. I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages. As a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, I ran a university reading center and helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and reading teachers in NY and PA. I have also worked with adult learners and volunteer tutors through our local Literacy Volunteers affiliate. I have a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my M.Ed reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution. I have considerable training and experience using Orton-based structured, systematic, sequential, multisensory phonics approaches with individuals who experience dyslexia and other language -based learning disabilities, including Level 1 Wilson Reading System certification (2013), which I have been using WRS with seven clients across the past five years.

Praxis

Do you need to take the Praxis exams to qualify for admission to a teacher preparation program or to gain teaching certification in your state? If so, I can help you prepare for the exam. I am an experienced teacher educator, a literacy specialist, and a patient and diligent tutor who has helped students of all ages to prepare for standardized tests. I am very familiar with the Praxis and can incorporate a range of excellent resources into our tutoring sessions. Please touch bases so we can discuss your plans and needs.

Reading

Teaching reading is my passion, and I hope I can share that with you or with you child. I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages. As a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, I ran a university reading center and helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and reading teachers in NY and PA. I have also worked with adult learners and volunteer tutors through our local Literacy Volunteers affiliate. I have a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my M.Ed reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution.

SAT Reading

Teaching literacy learners has been my passion for 20+ years, and I hope I can share that with you or with you child. Through my independent literacy specialist practice, I work with many teens and adults who strive to become more effective readers and writers. I also work with individuals who are preparing for standardized college or graduate program admissions tests and standardized teacher certification exams.

As a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, I ran a university reading center and helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and reading teachers in NY and PA. I have also worked with adult learners and volunteer tutors through our local Literacy Volunteers affiliate. I have a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my M.Ed reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution.

SAT Writing

I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages. As a full-time teacher educator for 10 years, I ran a university reading center and helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and reading teachers in NY and PA. I have also worked with adult learners and volunteer tutors through our local Literacy Volunteers affiliate.

In my role as a literacy specialist, I've tutored many individuals who are preparing for standardized college or graduate program admissions tests, including the SAT. I am familiar with the close reading and argumentative writing strategies required on the current format of the exam, and I've been familiarizing myself with the new SAT that is being released in a few months, as well. I have access to ample prep materials and copies of many exams from the past couple of years to use during my tutoring.

I have a PhD in reading education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2008), as well as my M.Ed reading specialist degree (2003) from that same institution.

Sight Singing

I earned my B.Music in vocal performance from Catholic University in Washington DC in 1986. After college, I developed a thriving vocal studio practice in Buffalo. I taught vocal music half-time at The Gow School in South Wales, NY for 8 years (then Reconstructive Language full-time for 4 years at the same school - so I taught at Gow between 1991-2002). I also taught choral music at Nichols [Upper] School in Buffalo, NY between 2002-2006. From 1990 to 2006, I vocal-coached the Swing Choir and spring musicals at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY (assisting James V. Deiotte, the choral director, on an independent contractor basis). I directed SJCI's alumni ensemble, The LaSallian Singers, for 11 of its 13 years, beginning in 1990, as well. In all my work with ensembles and individuals, I incorporated sight singing (sight reading) instruction. I use Edwin Gordon's Music Learning Theory and the instructional resources that correspond to that approach with learners. This involves is a moveable-do system, so it involves work with solfeggio. The Gordon approach treats ear training and sight reading as two sides of the same coin, so as an instructor, I integrate both into every lesson.

Spelling

Spelling is not a matter of memorization - it requires knowledge of English language structure. One of the great features of any Orton-based approach to literacy instruction, such as Orton-Gillingham or Wilson Reading System (which I am certified in and can use if the situation warrants) is that instruction focuses both on the decoding (word recognition) and encoding (spelling) sides of the coin. Clients learn about the structure of the English language through the study of syllable types in the Wilson System. Another approach that I use with struggling spellers is the Words Their Way approach (Bear et al, 2016), which organizes word study and spelling instruction according to studies of how and when, developmentally, spellers in general master common English patterns. Both the Wilson approach and the Words Their Way approach garner similar results. Over time, both approaches build deep understanding of how and why English words are spelled the way they are spelled.

Vocabulary

Word meaning (vocabulary) knowledge is critical to reading comprehension. It is also something people gain through reading. So people who struggle with reading may not have as many opportunities to learn new words from print contexts as others who do not struggle. Similarly, English language learners may not have had as many opportunities to gain new vocabulary knowledge through wide reading in English. For that reason, it is important for a tutor to develop a learner's meaning vocabulary knowledge through lots of discussion, as well as through providing lots of guided practice using context to draw inferences about unknown word meanings. As a tutor, I also support clients in their acquisition of robust vocabulary by encouraging them to keep track of new words and their meanings and usages. Vocabulary learning is not just a personal passion of mine and a major focus of the work I do with learners as a literacy specialist, but it is my major scholarly research topic, as well. I wrote my doctoral dissertation about contextual vocabulary learning approaches, and I have done several studies of the contextual vocabulary acquisition and analysis strategies used by high-school and college-age readers. So I am an expert at helping learners of any age grow their mental lexicons (their mental storehouses of words and word meanings).

Voice (Music)

I earned my B.Music in vocal performance from Catholic University in Washington DC in 1986. After college, I developed a thriving vocal studio practice in Buffalo, NY. Over the years, I have worked with many hundreds of aspiring singers, mostly teenagers and young adults. I am well-versed in both classical and musical theatre repertoire, and I have excellent lyric diction in Italian, German, French, and Spanish.

I have been privileged to study with voice teachers Katherine Hansel and Jane White in Washington, DC; Beverly Behringer-Panten and Genia Las in Buffalo, NY; and Cristen Gregory in Toronto, Ontario. I also worked extensively with vocal coaches Thomas Reilly in Washington, DC and James V. Deiotte and Debi Overton in Buffalo, NY. I have performed with many area arts organizations, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Cheektowaga Symphony, Greater Buffalo Opera, Opera Sacra, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Summerfare Theater, and Kavinoky.

Several dozen of my students have gone on to major in music or musical theater at Baldwin-Wallace Carnegie Mellon, Catholic University, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University-Bloomington, Marymount Manhattan, New York University, Niagara University, Oberlin Conservatory, Roosevelt University, Shenandoah University, SUNY Buffalo,SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam, University of the Arts, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and West Virginia University. More than a dozen now make their livings as concert, stage, or screen performers, and a larger number work full-time in the performing arts in management and technical capacities.

In addition to teaching voice privately, I taught choral music at The Gow School in South Wales, NY and Nichols [Upper] School in Buffalo, NY for a combined total of 12 years. For 22 years, I also vocal-coached the Swing Choir and spring musicals at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY (assisting James V. Deiotte, the choral director, on an independent contractor basis). I directed SJCI's alumni ensemble, The LaSallian Singers, for 11 of its 13 years.

Please get in touch so we can discuss how I can help you to achieve your goals.

Writing

I am a literacy specialist with 20+ years working with learners of all ages. As a full-time teacher educator for 10 of those years, I helped to train several hundred other literacy specialists and ran a university reading center that served hundreds of K-12 children from the surrounding area. I love to write and to work with writers on developing their craft. I provide support with all parts of the writing process (brainstorming/prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, or publishing).

The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C
B.Mus Vocal performance
State University of New York at Buffalo
MEd
State University of New York at Buffalo
PhD

Education

The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C (B.Mus Vocal performance)

State University of New York at Buffalo (MEd)

State University of New York at Buffalo (PhD)

Knowledgeable and patient and very accommodating.

What I like most about Dr. Karen's tutoring sessions, is that she is patient and relates our content session with real life examples and puts things in simple terms for me to understand. I like that we brain-storm together

— CHRISTINA, Spring Valley, NY on 5/13/17

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $50.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Karen will travel within 20 miles of Salamanca, NY 14779.