My lessons are individualized, according to the needs and age of the student, but usually include attention to the following elements of early literacy:
- awareness of sounds and meaningful parts of words
- phonetic decoding
- vocabulary development
- sight word practice
My teaching approach is both highly structured and individualized. When lessons are consistent in design, the student knows what to expect and can therefore focus better on learning, with a minimum of stress. The predictable framework of the lessons fosters independence and a sense of competence in the student.
My experience as a reading specialist, Special Education instructor, and classroom teacher have contributed to my skills as a tutor. Having received training and practice in a variety of techniques, I am able to choose the best approach or combination of approaches for each student.
Here are some of the methods I draw from in tutoring:
- Reading Recovery: a trademarked one-on-one early intervention for at-risk first graders that teaches the child to use multiple cue sources when reading.
- Orton-Gillingham: a systematic multisensory approach that focuses primarily on teaching spelling and word analysis to read (abbreviated training).
- Lively Letters (Reading with TLC): a multisensory approach for teaching phonemic awareness and phonetic decoding. The method uses mneumonic cues to teach letter sounds.
- Brain Frames (Architects for Learning): graphic organizers that represent different ways we organize our thinking; can be used in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and notetaking. Part of the EmPOWER method of teaching expository writing.
- Reciprocal Teaching (Palincsar and Brown): an approach for teaching comprehension strategies of summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting.
At times I also add time-tested strategies that are not part of any particular approach. The overall design of the lesson plans can change as the student learns.
The tutoring schedule we set up will depend at least in part upon the age and attention span of the student. The length of the session can vary from 30 minutes for younger children to an hour for older students.
Most students, I find, need a bare minimum of two sessions per week, to ensure sufficient carryover and make the lessons worthwhile. Sometimes parents schedule three or four sessions per week for a quick, intensive jump start, then scale back to twice a week after a month or two.
I am available during the day, afternoon, and early evening.
I have found that tutoring in my home is most effective, as there are fewer distractions. I am also open to exploring online tutoring through Skype.
Unless an extensive evaluation has been conducted recently, I administer informal and sometimes formal tests before I begin working with a student. I usually conduct this assessment during the first one or two sessions together.
The specific tests I give depend on the age level of the student and purpose for tutoring, but I generally attempt to determine reading level, strengths, and weaknesses. With younger students, frequent running records during regular tutoring sessions also inform my teaching. A running record is a notation of someone’s oral reading.
We can also make arrangements for more extensive testing, with a written and/or oral report, if you are interested. My normal hourly rate would apply for both testing and writing the report.
If you would like to know more specifically which tests I give, feel free to contact me below.
Rates and Payment
My rates for tutoring and testing:
- $50 to $70 per hour, on sliding scale*
- $25 to $35 per half hour, on sliding scale*
I ask parents to please pay me in advance for each lesson. Some parents prefer to pay by the week or month. You have the option of paying by check, cash, credit card, or PayPal.
Parents are welcome to contact me with any questions about tutoring. You can call me at 413-549-0865 or use the contact form below to send me an email.
I've published leveled books (Handprints), phonics workbooks, and beginning comprehension workbooks. And I now have a Teachers Pay Teachers store!