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Reading is key to writing, thinking, and solving problems Why is everyone always bugging us to read? Because becoming a powerful reader is the best way to become a powerful writer, thinker, and problem solver. When we read, we reach into the author’s mind—not to suck out her brain like a zombie—but to learn how she thinks.     Only then can we compare her thinking to our own. Only then can we learn from it. Only then can we argue with it, be persuaded by it, and enjoy it.      So, how do we do it? How do we become powerful readers? Dig in How? When you come across a word that you don’t know, look it up. I ran into pleonasmyesterday. The point is gobble down its meaning and rush back to the text. The point is to spend time understanding the word and why it was chosen. Trace its etymology—its roots. Why? So you’ll be empowered to understand any word that shares those roots. See? Getting more powerful already after just... read more

  One of my favorite things to help young children learn to read, in addition to drilling phonics, is helping them make their own books.  Of course, I 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", boom, "zoo", "zoom", "moo", moon", and  the word " boot".   Children latch on to these words and really make a connection to the sounds because these are fun words.    Next, I make another book using two sight words .  For example, introduce the words  "I like".  On each page,... read more

* When answering reading comprehension questions, read the questions before you read the article. This may sound odd, however, it keeps the student from being overwhelmed. This strategy allows them to focus on finding the answers.   * When moving from question to question, start reading from the beginning of the article for EVERY question. This increases comprehension and fluency.   * Answer questions that ask: what's the main topic, last, no matter what order that question is asked. Using the strategies above will increase the ability to comprehend the article and correct answers.

Happy mid-April!   Can you believe the school year is already winding down? Because the end of the year is upon us, I am looking for some summer tutoring experiences with any student who is looking to gain some success over the summer! I love working with students in the summer months. Sometimes I even bring popsicles :)   Whether you want to increase a reading level, work on some extra writing skills, or just practice some great studying techniques, I am sure we can find success.    Please contact me via my profile for information! Thanks! 

As a former camp director (references available), and as a published writer and college English instructor, I can customize a reading and writing group to engage your teen this summer. This will keep them in a safe environment, and they will be learning and practicing their writing and analytical skills for future high school and college success. I will design a custom plan and schedule for your needs. Why not contact another parent and see if their teens would be interested. We can select some appropriate books together, and I will design discussion questions and writing exercises for the workshop meetings. We can decide on public meeting places: libraries, coffee shops, etc. Contact me here through WyzAnt and I will create a special package rate for my services, especially if you introduce additional students that might be interested. There is no obligation to discuss this idea. Please e-mail me if you have questions or to discuss further! -... read more

The reading comprehension sections of standardized testing can be intimidating. Here are a few tips to help you with them.      First of all, read the title of the passage, and all headings and summaries. These often give you an idea of what the passage covers.      Then, if your test allows, read the comprehension questions before you read the passage. When you read the questions first, your brain may notice the answers automatically as you read the passage. If you see the answer to a question while you're reading, underline the answer, and then keep reading. Do not stop reading to answer the questions until you reach the end of the passage. If you stop, you may lose the flow of the passage as a whole. Remember, you can always read it again once you understand the context.      If you cannot read the questions before you begin, then underline any important information and main ideas as you read. It may also be... read more

1. Hopscotch Draw a hopscotch outline with chalk or tape and write the letters of a spelling word in the squares. Your child says the letters out loud as he hops. Erase one letter at a time until he can successfully spell the word without hopping, and then move onto the next spelling word. 2. Ball Toss Toss a ball back and forth to reinforce spelling in a fun way. Each time your child catches the ball, they say the next letter of the spelling word. 3. Hide and Seek Write their spelling words on note cards, and tape them in unusual places, such as on the back of cabinet doors, in your child's closet or in her pencil or jewelry box. When they find a word, they bring the card to you and spells the word. 4. Street Signs/Store Names   Have your child learn to read street signs and store names around your neighborhood. This will help them learn where they live, colors and sight words all at the same time!  ...

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.     

From an article I wrote for ' The Alternative' last year:   Have you ever considered a world where you couldn’t read? Not just books or newspapers, but menus, the labels on your medicine bottle, signs, subtitles or even the latest issue of your favourite magazine. Words permeate the world we live in. As a special educator, I started working with children who have learning difficulties in 2004 and the inaccessibility of a reluctant reader to the world of books, ideas and the company of visionary thinkers has both troubled and motivated me. As thinkers like Oprah Winfrey have shared, books can become the beacon of hope for those who live in hard, colourless and impoverished worlds. The lessons of tolerance, harmony, hope and possibilities exist within the pages of a book as do characters and settings of every hue. Books allow us to experience the catharsis and depth of our emotions through the life journeys of those we read about. Consider Rohan, a 11 year old who... read more

Hi, I'm new to blogging but not new to tutoring. However, I am brand new to Wyzant. Being one-on-one with a student gives the two of us some of what just can't be accomplished in the classroom possible. A gradual understanding of the concepts and the regular opportunity to learn as is best for you. I can also tutor you without the distractions that tend to take precious time away from the enjoyment of grasping and achieving a great outcome. Contact me. I'd am ready now to work with You!!

As a former camp director (references available), and as a published writer and college English instructor, I can customize a reading and writing group to engage your teen. This will keep them in a safe environment, and they will be learning and practicing their writing and analytical skills.   I will design a custom plan and schedule for your needs. Why not contact another parent and see if their teens would be interested. We can select some appropriate books together, and I will design discussion questions and writing exercises for the workshop meetings. We can decide on public meeting places: libraries, coffee shops, etc.   Contact me here through WyzAnt and I will create a special package rate for my services, especially if you introduce additional students that might be interested. There is no obligation to discuss this idea. Please e-mail me if you have questions or to discuss further!     - Tim 

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