My name is Ellen and I am a retired Fairfax County Highly Qualified Teacher who has been teaching for over 30 years in both private and public school settings. During these thirty years, I have also served as a private tutor and have worked with elementary, high school, adults, and special education students. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to utilize various reading, math and technology programs. I truly enjoy the advantage of teaching in a one-to-one setting and I feel that my p... [more]
I happen to love all types of history and have taught grades 1-8 in American and World History. In addition, I have also tutored privately on the high school level. Having taught in Fairfax County, I am very familiar with the elementary history SOL curriculum and have made many types of study guides for both ESOL, special education and regular students. In addition, I have had experience with preparing high school students for the AP World History Exam.
I have been teaching reading for over thirty years. I am certified to teach Cognitive Reading Strategies, Read Naturally, Reading Mastery, Wilson Reading, Fundations, Visualization and Verbalization and other strategies. These strategies address comprehension, fluency, and phonics as well. I believe in using a variety of strategies to address my student's individual needs. In addition, I have had reading training from Lucy Calkins, the Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University's Teachers College. She is also the author of the book, The Art of Teaching Reading.
I have been teaching writing since 1978 and have worked with ESOL students and Special Education students since 1978. I have used various strategies but mostly used the Writing Process Workshop developed by Lucy Calkins, author of The Teaching of Writing. Ms. Calkins is known nationally in the field of writing and reading and is the founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University's Teachers College. The workshop, as defined by Ms Calkins: is an instructional model that views writing as an ongoing process in which students follow a given set of procedures for planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing their writing. It allows students to be at various stages of the writing process at one time. Process writing focuses primarily on what children want to communicate and student choice is critical. I have also utilized computer programs such as inspirations, Kidspirations, and Co-writer to assist my students in organizing their ideas. I have worked with elementary, secondary and adult students. In addition, I have also had training in the Orton-Gillingham Method. Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with persons who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing of the sort associated with dyslexia.
I have been teaching English since 1978. I even attended Oxford University in England and obtained 12 credits in English. This was accomplished after I had received my Master's Degree. In addition, I am considered a Highly Qualified Teacher of English.
I recently completed a 40 hour online course on Teaching English As a Foreign Language in November of 2013. In addition, I am currently pursuing A TESOL Certificate from Northern Virginia Community College and hope to complete the program in 2015. The three courses that I have completed are Introduction to TESOL, Tutoring ESOL Adults, and Teaching Realia as Content. I began my teaching career in New York City. For many of my students, English was their second language. Thus, I had to use numerous ESOL strategies to help them comprehend many of the subjects. I also taught science to second grade bilingual (ESOL) students by using numerous visuals. I also had my second graders say the terms in Spanish while I gave them the English translations and we learned together. In addition, I taught English to adults at a Korean after school program as well. We role played and we focused on daily living skills, such as getting a driving license, filling out a loan or job application or actually going to the supermarkets. Learning while doing was a very successful teaching technique! In addition, I am considered a Highly Qualified English Teacher in Fairfax County. I also taught English to ESOL special education students as well.
As stated previously, I have been teaching English since 1978 and am also a highly qualified Fairfax County English teacher. I have taught Elementary, Junior High and High school English. I also obtained 12 credits in English from Oxford University in England.
I have been trained in the Orton-Gillingham Method, which is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with persons who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing of the sort associated with dyslexia. The Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Method was developed in the early 1930's by Anna Gillingham and a group of master teachers. Dr. Samuel Orton assigned Anna's group the task of designing a whole new way of teaching the phonemic structure of our written language to people with dyslexia. The goal was to create a sequential system that builds on itself in an almost 3-dimensional way. It must show how sounds and letters are related and how they act in words; it must also show how to attack a word and break it into smaller pieces. And it must be a multi-sensory approach, as dyslexic people learn best by involving all of their senses: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic.
I am currently certified to teach k-6 students and have been doing so for over 25 years. I have taught math, science, language arts, art, social studies,and P.E. I have designed and adapted curriculum (including study guides) and have helped my students prepare for SOLS for over 17 years. I have also scored VGLA Tests and VAAP tests. In addition, I have administered and interpreted educational testing and have designed curriculum based on the results of these tests. I am a very experienced teacher and a highly qualified teacher who deserves this certification.
I am a certified Wilson Reading Instructor. The Wilson Reading Program is a highly structured remedial program that directly teaches the structure of language to grade 2 students through adulthood using a multitsensory approach based on the Orton-Gillingham Method. It provides a systematic and cumulative approach to teach total word structure for encoding and decoding. This program has controlled and decodable text. In addition, this program also includes a program called Fundations which caters to the kindergarten through third grade population. In the summer of 2014, I completed a training for the Fundations Program at the kindergarten level. This Wilson Extension Program is a carefully structured reading program which includes a spelling and phonics supplement as well. I have taught both programs for over ten years. My students have made great strides with this program.
I have utilized numerous study strategies with my students. However, I am not going to mention every single technique right now. We have made flash cards with visuals and the definitions on the cards. Each subject would be on different colored flashcards. I have also included the page number of the text where the essential vocabulary words were located so we would not have to continually refer back to the book. I have also had my students create study guides in lieu of flashcards with numerous visuals. I have designed power point presentations to help my students review for tests. Some of my PowerPoints were displayed in Jeopardy formats. I have had my students create their own PowerPoint study guides as well. I have had my students create their own reviews using student generated questions instead of the teacher generated ones. On study packets, we have used highlighters to highlight important vocabulary words and important headings. I have also had my students make questions out of the headings in their text book. We then found the answers as well. We have made our own history time lines with visuals and have made our own webs in order to remember important characters within the history or literature tests. When allowed, I have had my students tape lectures and then helped them transcribe these tapes into study guides.. Once in a while, I have used cliff notes, but I made sure that my students had completed reading their books before we used them. Of course I have also placed important weblinks on my blackboard sites to help my students study.In addition, I have accessed other teachers' blackboard sites to help my students if they were not in my own classes.
I became an elementary school teacher in 1978. While teaching, I discovered that many of my students had special needs so I obtained my Master's Degree in special education at Marymount University in 1983. Since then, I have taught and tutored kids with Emotional Disabilities, Autism, ADHD, ADD, Learning Disabilities and Mental Retardation. I have also tutored and taught at the Lab School of Washington which was created for students with special needs. I also tutored at RICA, which was a residential school for students with emotional disabilities in Rockville, Maryland. I have taught students from nursery school through 12th grade and served as an adult literacy volunteer as well. Additionally, while teaching special ed students in Fairfax County, I also served as the head of the Local Screening Committee which determined which students needed to be tested to see if they could qualify for special services. I tested these students, interpreted their results and participated in their eligibility decisions. I also wrote their IEPS and 504s. Therefore, I have a great deal of experience with numerous students with special needs and look forward to working with them. These students require a great deal of patience and a sense of humor and I have plenty of both.
I have been a special education teacher since 1988. I even taught at the Lab School of Washington, which is a school that was started by Sally Smith, a former professor at American University and a mother of children with special needs. During these years, I have also taught many students with ADD/ADHD. As a matter of fact, I filled out numerous Conners' Rating Scale requests from parents and doctors for students who were suspected of having these conditions. I helped qualify these students for 504 plans while serving as a Local Screening Chairperson in Fairfax County. I have also written 504 plans and participated in many of the 504 plan conferences of my students. In addition, I have also administered 504 workshops to my colleagues. I have also taken classes on ADD/ADHD and how to create functional behavioral assessments. I have also taken classes on special education law which focused on section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
I have been a special education teacher since 1993 in Fairfax, Virginia. During these years, I have taught many autistic students on various levels of the spectrum. In addition, while serving as a Local Screening Chairperson, I was involved in the testing and eligibility process for these students. I also wrote IEPS for these students and conducted many social skills classes for them. I have also taken courses such as Autism Spectrum Disorders:Nature and Management and Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism.
Many students with dyslexia have difficulty visualizing letters within words. Thus, they have trouble with rapidly perceiving sounds in words. This difficulty can impact a student's spelling, comprehension, as well as their fluency. I am trained in several programs which were specifically designed to help dyslexic readers. Two of these programs are the Lindamood Seeing Stars Program and the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech. The Lindamood Seeing Stars Program was designed to develop symbol imagery and apply that sensory function to enhance sight word recognition, fluency and spelling. In addition, I am also trained in the Wilson Reading Program which is a multi-sensory reading program based on the Orton-Gillingham Method. This program appeals to all of the senses and uses color coding sound and syllable cards as well. I have found all of these methods exceedingly valuable in promoting the reading ability of dyslexic readers. I am confident that I can help students identified with dyslexia. I have used these programs with my special education students and have been amazed and pleased with my students' achievements.
As stated previously, I have been teaching elementary school students in Fairfax County for 17 years. During that time, I was involved in preparing numerous students for the SOLS. I have developed study packets and taught after school remedial SOL classes. I have also been involved in administering these tests and making appropriate accommodations for special education students. I have helped prepare students for reading, writing, math, social studies, and science SOLS. I have used such writing computer programs such as Inspirations and Kidspirations to help students prepare for the writing SOLS. In addition, I helped design practice SOL tests and Power Point Jeopardy games to improve my students' test scores. I have also served on school teams to coordinate and design techniques to improve our school's overall SOL scores. I also designed practice tests using ECART and Smartboard presentations.
I have been teaching social studies since 1978. I have taught New York State and City history, including units on immigration to Ellis Island and the history of the Hudson River. I took my students to visit Ellis Island and we made dioramas of the Island as well. I have also taught and tutored American History to high school students. In Fairfax County, I taught about China, Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia (third and fifth grade curriculum and posted power point presentations on the County website and on my personal Blackboard site. Both parents and other teachers and students could access the Blackboard Site. These presentations were made by my students. I have also taught units on the American Indian tribes in Virginia. I also took a course on Fourth Grade Social Studies Strategies that engage all learners. I developed my own social studies tests on ECART and developed second grade explorer unit web activities while taking a course on Building Lessons for the Smart board Interactive White board. In addition, I created Power point Jeopardy reviews for the fourth grade Virginia History SOLS. I also used BoardMaker to make flash cards for fourth grade history vocabulary words. These were especially helpful when we studied the Constitution. I also took pictures whenever we made a trip to Jamestown and Williamsburg and then incorporated them in SOL review units.
I have been trained to use The Handwriting Without Tears Program. The curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools and strategies for your classroom. The program follows research that demonstrates children learn more effectively by actively doing, with materials that address all styles of learning. Jan Olsen, an occupational therapist, who has been in the business for over 22 years, developed the program. She designed this program to help her son who had handwriting issues. In addition, I have been trained in the Orton-Gillingham Method, which is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with persons who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing of the sort associated with dyslexia. The Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Method was developed in the early 1930's by Anna Gillingham and a group of master teachers. Dr. Samuel Orton assigned Anna's group the task of designing a whole new way of teaching the phonemic structure of our written language to people with dyslexia. The goal was to create a sequential system that builds on itself in an almost 3-dimensional way. It must show how sounds and letters are related and how they act in words; it must also show how to attack a word and break it into smaller pieces. And it must be a multi-sensory approach, as dyslexic people learn best by involving all of their senses: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic.