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After tutoring for so long, it often gets tough to think up new ideas to keep young students interested. To get small children interested in learning, the best technique is to think like they do! And as any parent or grandparent knows, this means lots of hands on activities and being creative. In my specialty of beginning reading/phonics, here are some fun ways to get the little ones charged up: 1.Writing ABC's can be boring- making them is more fun! I like to let children shape letters out of various pliable/bendable materials, while we practice the phonetic sounds of each letter. This is a good progression activity that will introduce letter words to your child as well as the phonetic sound itself.  2.Talking can be tuned out- singing is entertaining! Students will retain theirs word sounds and progress to whole words/sentences a lot easier when they're musically sharing with you. It's even better when you can encourage them to come up with their... read more

For most fluent readers, it can be hard to imagine how the sight word "have" can be tricky for emerging readers. Yet many parents drilling the Dolch sight words find "have" is misread over and over again, made to rhyme with "gave" and "behave". The child is likely making this mistake because he or she is diligently applying the guidance that a silent final E makes the preceding vowel say its name. And for many English speakers, that's the only purpose known for a silent final E. But, that only explains half of the words with a silent final E and has nothing to do with why there is a silent final E in "have". So, why is there a silent final E in "have"? Check out rule #3 in the list posted here: Rule 3 states that English words do not end in I, U, V, or J. The silent final E in "have" is there to prevent the word from ending in V, just as... read more

Have you ever wondered what spelling bee champs know about spelling? I have, and my research led me straight to the 31 spelling rules as taught in the Logic of English method. These simple yet powerful rules explain 98% of English words when coupled with 74 phonograms. While that may not be enough to win an elite spelling bee, its a huge step forward for everyday literacy. The 31 rules are posted here: While most are remarkably simple, they are quite powerful. Consider how the very first rule explains the answers to these tricky word equations: picnic + ing = picnicking notice + able = noticeable Rule 1 states that "C always softens to /s/ when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise, C says /k/." Thus, picnicking gets its K because without it, the word would say /picnising/. Likewise, noticeable retains its E because without it, the word would say /notikable/. I'd love... read more

English is widely regarded as being full of exceptions, and often logical/literal learners struggle with the ways in which it is commonly taught. Fortunately, though, there is logic to our language, and methods have been developed that carefully distill it into a limited number of spelling rules and phonograms. These concepts are quite simple to learn but very powerful in application, transforming English from a confusing jumble of exceptions to a deliciously rich and robust code. An introduction to these concepts is posted at The entire video is informative and inspirational, but if you’re pressed for time and want to sample some of the real meat of the content, jump ahead to the 20 minute mark and watch for about 8 minutes. I'd love to hear what you think. Is this content helpful? Did you learn anything new? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Hi everyone!     I am Ms. Joyce.  It is the end of the year again. Finals and year end tests are coming. Before summer, kids sometimes need those important skills like phonics and writing to keep them on track. It is always a good idea to keep those skills up with a tutor before the progress reports and report cards start coming in next year, showing that they could have used help before the problem started. As a parent, you already know that your child struggles with certain things. It is perfectly normal to not be knowledgeable in all subjects. There are a rare few who are gifted at all things with out extra instruction.    Here are signs that your kids need a tutor:    1. Consistently confused when working on homework   2. Homework is taking unusually long to complete   3. Homework is not being completed   4. Tears happen every time they have to do homework   5. Your child... read more

"Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words." In order for a student to be able to read words off the page they must understand how words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes. Phonemic awareness is not something that comes easy for all children but if a student has a strong foundation in their phonemic awareness it will propel them forward in reading and writing. Playing with words and their sounds, for example, substituting sounds, deleting sounds, and adding on sounds will help students build that foundation.    Examples: Subbing sounds: "Change the n in nap to c. What word do we get?" "cap"   Deleting sounds: "take away the s in slip. What word do we get?" "lip"   Adding on sounds: "Add a s to the beginning of mile. What word do we get? "smile"   Make sure you model these... read more

The answer: Let them read what they like. Most kids have a preference. For instance, some children will not read chapter books, but they love non- fiction text with pictures and captions, great vocabulary, and scientific or historic content. Standards actually encourage this type of reading.  Some kid's love reading dictionaries, encyclopedias, magazines, and even religious stories. Video games have manuals and books on tips and strategies. Many include complex organization. Let them read!  Rarely, I have met a child who completely repels all literary content.      Watch what texts your child naturally gravitates towards; then feed that interest with diverse literary texts.     

I am very excited about the opportunity to work with your child or children. I love to take students from where they are and bring them up from there!  I have over 10 years elementary teaching experience from prekindergarten to fifth grade!  I love working with math and reading with students. I love watching a child's eyes light up when they learn something new!  I always try to use different strategies with students to match their learning style.  I would love to add your child to my tutoring profile!  I have availability this summer and fall during the weekdays and can also on some weekends! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 

The first things one should check in the assessing of phonemic awareness issues is the ability to hear the various sounds.  More and more children are have trouble hearing like and different sounds because their eustachian tubes are flatter than normal.  The tubes flatten for a variety of reasons, but one is obesity. Whether I am teaching an adult or a preschool student, if they can not differentiate between like and different sounds; I have their hearing checked. If hearing is an issue then The Linda Mood Bell programs "Seeing Stars" "Visualizing and Verbalizing" and "Phonics Sounds" help students to use other articulators to identify likenesses ad differences in sounds. These programs are marketed by Gander Publishing.

Sometimes the problem may be that the child has difficulty discriminating between sounds and that difficulty needs to be addressed first. Some children cannot perceive if two sounds are the same or different and need a lot of guided practice to learn to do this. Here are a couple of suggestions. Go to the website: On this site a child practices discriminating between two words or phrases, for example “thirty/thirteen” and “a brown coat/a green coat”. The second website I recommend is: Have your child play the following games. Sound Dominoes -- "Sound Dominoes is a phoneme matching game that builds short term memory and sound and word recognition ability." Memory -- "In the memory game, listen carefully and find the animal sounds. Click on the window to make the animal appear and hear its sound. Click... read more

I had difficulty with phonics throughout school. I learned to read by sight ("Dick and Jane") and was a very good reader. I could not spell because I tried, unsuccessfully, to "sound out" words. I had problems learning French once we went to a Language Lab and put on earphones and was no longer able to see the teacher's face for lessons. I remember listening to phonics records and working with teachers throughout elementary school, none of which worked.    I learned phonics once I decided to start teaching. I taught myself through pictures and information on the use of voice or breath, the position of the tongue, and where in the mouth each sound is produced. The information is the same that speech therapists use. Once I could see and feel the sound, I could finally begin to discriminate between the sounds I heard and then use the information for decoding difficult unfamiliar words, spelling, and learning the sounds of Spanish.    As... read more

Have you ever heard of a Victory Drill book? I can still remember bringing mine home and drilling every night. We were timed and most of the time I didn't mind it. I suppose it was a great tool for teaching phonics, although at the time I didn't recognize that as its purpose. When my own kids started to learn how to read, I noticed they brought home what the schools were then calling "sight words." The same concept was applied, although on a much smaller scale. They didn't have columns of the words to read, and they weren't timed. Phonics were pushed heavily when I was a kid. Knowing how to sound out letters enables children to read better. If a child doesn't know how to sound out letters, they are more likely to skip over words they haven't memorized by sight. If your child is in kindergarten - 2nd grade, ask their teacher if they focus on phonics.  Is your child being taught phonics? Do... read more

Hello fellow scholars! This is my first blog for WyzAnt Tutoring services and I just applied to my first student request! This is so exciting. I love to learn and read about new places and moving to Milwaukee has been very interesting. Let me fill you in on who I am...I grew up in Delavan, Wisconsin. After I was married my husbands job moved us all over the southern parts of the U.S.A. Our own children went to school in six different states and I was licensed to teach in each of those states as well. Each new location gave me a chance to learn more local state history and explore new cities and state parks. My children and I loved camping and hiking. I spent time being a scout leader for the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scout organizations. My profile picture was taken on a family trip to Hawaii...I'm standing on the edge of a volcano! I sure hope that I have lots of new learning experiences with my next new scholar! Mrs. B

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.

What a way to start off the New Year! First I met with a student for US History and Living Environment. She is taking the Regents exams in three weeks. When I first met with her, Cee had a fear of taking exams, and was very nervous. She struggled with understanding both subjects; the Historical Events and dates, as well as the vocabulary words for Biology. Her next struggles were understanding and answering the document based questions for US History and the short responses for LE. Now she answers them much more confidently and accurately, and has even improved in writing her document based and thematic essays for US History. I am so proud of her and is certain that she will pass both Regents exams. Then I met with my grade 4 student for Math, English Language Art and Science. He has gone from scoring 31% to 83% on his practice science exam. He is much more confident with doing Math and ELA assignments. I am so proud of him. Then it was on to my grade 6 Math student. When I... read more

It's a Bright New Year, with many new learning experiences and opportunities! Embrace them all! I have seen so much growth and improvement in all my Students this year. It makes the possibilities of this New Year so exciting I can't wait to get started! Don't waste another minute, if you have not scheduled your time, call today a few slots are open. Remember, I do have some daytime hours for younger children, and if your child is home sick, I can help catch them up if they have missed time and assignments. Call, I am here to help each child meet their potential. Have a Super New Year! Diana

Hi Everyone! I am excited to to say that I met my first student. He was awesome! One thing I will do to help improve the lessons is to use the ideas in "Comprehension Going Forward: Where We Are and What's Next" which has one of my favorite authors in it. I hope that her ideas improve my ability to be effect. Also, I want to say that my student's family is so nice. I was honored to be accepted into their presence.

This is what my student, Alysa, told me on Monday, December 3rd. She has been struggling with fractions, and so I would give her several practice exercises, and show her some new ways to do them. I had her convert mix numbers to improper fractions and vice versa. I had Alysa add, subtract, multiply and divide a variety of fractions. Just when she seems to understand them a bit, I had her cross divide. At first she was a bit confused and resistant because her teacher was not teaching her to cross divide/cancel. As she began realizing how much easier it makes arriving at the final answer, she began to gravitate towards this method. Now her teacher is teaching this method in class, and she is so excited. Not only did she understand and pass her quiz, she was able to assist her best friend. She came to the tutoring session beaming with pride. I am so proud of her. Now we are on to decimals and percentage. So far so good :).

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