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One of my favorite things to help young children learn to read is helping them make their own books.  Of course, we keep the books short to accommodate their short attention spans.  Using books they made helps to break up the monotony of rote/drill work, which is very important.  We start with books that only contain words with the same sound, for example, the "oo" sound.  I find that the "oo" sound is very exciting to start with because one can make words that a child loves.  Some "oo" words we start with are "boo", "zoo", "zoom", "moo", and "toot".  Children latch on to these words and really make a connection to the sounds because they are enjoying themselves. Our books progress from "My Own Word" books to short stories that contain phonetics and sight words. If you are needing beginning reading activities to add to your phonics program, please check my blog regularly...

I tutor a lot of "little learners:" students K-6.  In order to keep my costs of materials and resources low but maximize the expanse of my creative lessons, I recently signed up for a membership to my local public children's library.  Although I do not have any children of my own, I stop in once a week to pick up several books for my students to use during our lessons.  They love having a new book brought to them each week "just for them" and I appreciate not having to break the bank to bring new and exciting topics and activities to my students!  Memberships are usually free, so there is no reason why tutors of elementary age children should not take advantage of borrowing books/lesson ideas from their local libraries!

All students should enjoy a healthy and joyful summer break. It's important to take breaks. But it's also important to hone your writing skills before the next school season begins in the fall.   I remember one of my writing teachers telling me a long time ago that the best way to learn how to write was to read. And he was right. In addition to practicing writing -- because writing is a practice -- I was always reading a book.   So during the summer, try to catch up on a few good, well-written books that are age appropriate for you. It doesn't have to be a boring read. It can be a fun read. A librarian can help you make some choices.    Notice the author's sentence and paragraph structure. Take note of what kind of language the author is using: is it formal or informal? Or pick up a newspaper. Or a quality magazine like National Geographic. I do not recommend blogs unless the content is edited and curated. Not every blogger is... read more

Handwriting is a kinesthetic activity. Kinesthetic memory is thought to be the earliest, strongest, and most reliable form of memory within the human language learning experience.   Research results support the importance of learning handwriting, letter and word-forming skills activity as a factor in learning to read. Handwriting is thought to aid (spellers) in remembering orthographic patterns.   Specific frequent spellings are used for each of the consonant and vowel phonemes in English. Handwriting develops recognition for the patterns and application of the rules, increases fluency, improves legibility and assists in organization of thoughts.   Spelling typically improves with increased handwriting legibility. Letter tracing and copying aid fine and gross motor skill(s) development and promotes necessary skills for reading and writing. Instruction in writing and spelling often comes before instruction in reading thus efforts to promote... read more

EX: New Feature: Spelling /ay/ at end of word, as in play or stay.   Engaging guided discovery using magnets. Teaching spelling for a sound unit that has more than one spelling option requires imprinting with specificity. Guiding the student in a discovery experience, rather than ‘talking’ an explanation can accomplish this.   For example: There are many ways to spell the phonemic sound: long/a/. Where long/a/ comes at the end of a word like play, guided discovery technique using magnets is one recognized method for demonstrating to the student where the sound falls within the word, and on that basis, how to spell the sound when in that position.   In the word /play/, student pulls down one magnet for each phoneme (sound) heard (not the letter name). Student pulls down 3 magnets saying their individual sounds simultaneously to the movement of its corresponding magnet as follows: One magnet for /p/, one for /l/, and one for the long /a/ sound.... read more

i. Individual instruction: O.G. approach typically pairs teachers with students on a one to one basis.   ii. Diagnostic and prescriptive: As a warm-up and review at start of every lesson consisting of letters and sounds already taught: The process of learning to read goes from symbol to sound, thus symbol recognition must be the first drill segment engaged for instructional emphasis. Inclusion at the start of an O-G lesson plan provides the basic foundation for the remaining lesson plan. This Visual Flash-Card Phonogram Drill develops students' decoding ability through the constant random repetitive visual recognition of all the individual letter symbols while simultaneously performing the repetitive exercise of verbalizing their corresponding phonemic sounds. This is a support action, which serves to consistently reinforce cumulative integrated learning.    iii. Automaticity directed: As students confirm accuracy in decoding they move toward automaticity... read more

Developmental dyslexia is characterized by an unexpected difficulty in reading experienced by children and adults who otherwise possess the intelligence and motivation considered necessary for accurate and fluent reading. Dyslexia is a specific languagebased disorder affecting an individual’s ability for acquiring proficiency with different language forms including reading, writing and spelling. It is characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities owing to a congenital neurological disorder. These difficulties manifest in varying degrees and are typically unexpected in relation to age, cognitive and academic abilities.

I make it fun by: 1. starting with a couple of jokes 2. Giving them starbursts for working with me 3. Going to the treasure box once a week for doing homework 4. taking them places for rewards after 3,6,9, and 12 pages correct  3 is ice cream treat 6 is book 9 is a trip to the Library 12 is to the Governor’s Mansion 5. Having them set goals and working on the white bd one on one.  Come along with me and let’s get started.  

With that in mind, here are five of the best ways to keep your child reading this summer: 1. Let your child choose what they want to read – or be read to – for 30 minutes each day. Children are much more likely to engage in material that interests them rather than materials that are forced on them. 2. Use language and reading opportunities throughout the day.  Talk often with your child and point out reading materials wherever possible:  on menus, magazines and newspapers, signs, brochures, maps, guidebooks, smartphones, ipads, etc. 3. Make daily reading a social event. Get the whole family to join in with their own books or take turns reading the same book aloud. Include telling stories as well. 4. Connect reading to other summer events. If you take your child to the zoo, think about reading a book about animals before and afterward. This will place your child’s reading within a larger context. 5. Make reading a lifestyle choice. Keep books all around... read more

Hi! My name is Miriam.  I tutor some studetns from Ethiopia currently.  I have a little system.  If they do their homework for the week, they get a something from the Treasure Box.  These are basically trinkets from the Dollar Store.  I also, give a starburst for working with me each time.  Then, I have a reward system.  If they get 3 pages correct, they get a trip for ice cream.  If they get 6 pages correct, they get a book of their choice (parens agreeing).  If they get 9 pages correct, they get a trip to the Library.  And if they get 12 pages correct, they get a trip to the Governor’s Mansion.

Hello. If you are reading this, then you most likely have some questions about school and education, and how to improve in the academic world. I really can help you do that. Like anything, school requires certain "bottom line" results- it seems unfair to me that we tell our students to "try harder" and to "put more effort in to your work," because in real life, some people DO try hard, and DO put a great deal of effort into their work- and yet, if they don't get results, they don't succeed. What any student needs comes down to the tools to achieve academic success. I can give you simple tools- such as how to take notes, how to read a textbook, how to study for a test. I can also be subject specific- I am able to tutor a student in a number of different subject areas, and I work with students with learning differences as well as students without any diagnosed learning disabilities. Please contact me if you have any questions. Best, Nivison...

I am a firm believer that technology is the way to a learners heart. We are a society that lives and breathes technology. When we get some new technology 'toy', who can program it, get the settings done quicker, and find the awesome games that are a part of it first? Yes, of course, it is your child. Children are natural techno geeks. Why not use their love for it to increase their Reading fluency and skills.    The links below are just a few items that can help you support your student(s) in their quest for Reading excellent on the iPad.    Using iPads to Improve Reading   15 of the Best Educational apps to Improve Reading   Fluency Timer Pro   One Minute Reader App   I would love to hear your thoughts, obstacles, successes, favorite apps, etc. regarding Reading using technology.    Cara

Years ago, there was never any dispute: when you listed a bunch of things in a sentence and finished with the word 'and ________.', there should always have been a comma before the 'and', i.e. "I have lived in France, Germany, Italy, and China." The modern grammarians (is that even a word, haha) seem to think that the final comma should be omitted because they claim it is redundant. They claim that without the comma, everything should be adequately clear, for example: "I have lived in France, Germany, Italy and China." Is that really clear? I beg to differ, and for two reasons. First, the comma's use is not just as a separator of things; it is also used as a pause device. Without the last comma, that sentence reads: "I have lived in France (pause) Germany (pause) Italy and China (said quickly together)." That's not correct at all and we all know it. It should read: "I have lived in France (pause) Germany (pause) Italy (pause)... read more

As a child, I did not like reading! We were taught using the sight word approach. We had to memorize every word read. The books we read were Alice and Jerry and later on, Dick and Jane. I laughed at the ridiculousness of the controlled vocabulary "Look, Alice look! See Spot run! Run, run, fun!" I use to think, "This is not how we speak, this is so boring!". I had no desire to read. That was a contributing factor in my becoming a reading specialist. I knew how it felt to not want to do the first thing I was asked to do in school. This so colored my attitude toward learning! Now I am a certified reading specialist with a B.S. and M.S. in reading and an additional certification in the WILSON Reading System. I have worked with elementary students for 25 years. When I am introduced to a child who's only experiences in school have been negative and he or she feels so horrible about themselves because they know how hard it is for them and not... read more

Hello! I wanted to share something with everybody which seems obvious to me, but I'm not sure everyone is on the same page. Have you ever had a terribly boring school teacher? I bet you have because we all have at some point! It doesn’t mean that these teachers are all uneducated in their subject, (although they might be…) it just means that either: A. They aren’t involved enough in their field to have passion for it or B. They don’t know how to transmit that passion to students effectively To be able to have fun or at least gain respect, understanding, or interest in a subject - the subject must be presented in an interesting way. It seems obvious when you put it that simply, but some or most teachers don’t care enough to even pretend to be excited, passionate or involved in their field. This makes learning from these teachers very difficult, especially if the students are self-sufficient learners. ——That is where... read more

My approach to each Physics Chapter: As I read the chapter I look for definitions - many times the text is in italics I work with 3 by 5 index cards and note the chapter and the definition of a new concept I also look for identified equations and write them on equation cards by chapter describing what the equation represents and the units I make unit cards which include the Physics term and the units and their equivalent in each unit system As I work through the chapter I read each sample question and try to do it without looking for the answer Then I check the answers and the methods used - sometimes my methods are different but the answers are the same This shows there are sometimes more than one approach to a problem When I finish a chapter I try the odd problems since they have answers in the back When I can not solve it I check the answer and try to work backwards. Unit analysis helps. Although... read more

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