QUEENS, NY, READING WRITING TUTORS SPECIALISTS
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In-home and at-school private pay literacy tutoring for school-aged students. We work with students, of all ages, in private and public schools teaching decoding, spelling, reading fluency, and reading comprehension skills.
We travel throughout Queens, NY to the following neighborhoods: Long Island City (LIC), Astoria, Ditmars Steinway, Sunnyside, Woodside, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Ridgewood, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Flushing, Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Bellerose and more!
Learning his or her ABCs is your child’s first step towards mastering reading and writing. But sometimes, teaching such an important skill can be confusing for parents. Do you start with the letter names or the letter sounds first? Is there a right way to teach a child the alphabet? Click here to read what speech-language pathologist Dr. Jan Wasowicz has to say on our blog!
Learning pods are not entirely new. But with the new school year approaching and Covid-19 cases still on the rise in many places across the country, more and more families are turning to learning pods to ensure the current health crisis does not hurt their children’s schooling even further. Click here to learn more and find out why pod parents find this new learning method appealing.
For many parents, pod learning is a great way to ensure academic growth without risking their children’s health and safety. If you’re wondering if pod learning is the right option for your family, we’re here to help. Brooklyn Letters and Themba Tutors Director Nicole, a homeschooling mom of four, talks to us about the benefits of pod learning and how to prepare your family for it. Click here to know more!
The Five Pillars of Reading
Just like a house needs strong support and foundation, developing literacy skills in young learners requires the Five Pillars of Reading. Recognized by the National Reading Panel as the “best approach to reading instruction,” these pillars include:
- Phonemic awareness
Backed by studies and scientific research, these five pillars make up the essential building blocks of reading. And by combining these techniques, teachers and parents can effectively introduce the concept of reading and language.
Here is a closer look at how the Five Pillars of Reading work to ensure successful reading instruction:
Phonemic awareness refers to the knowledge and understanding that words are built from and can be broken apart into smaller segments of a sound called phonemes. Phonemic awareness is one’s ability to hear, recognize, and manipulate sounds heard in words- think of it as the ears to brain connection.
Phonemic awareness can be taught even before a child learns to read or identify printed letters. When babies are born, they are processing phonemes when parents speak and sing to their bundle of joy. In the English language, phonemic awareness means being able to identify its approximately 44 phonemes. Additionally, teaching letter sounds with letter names is an effective way for students to grasp the concept of phonemes.
Whereas phonemic awareness refers to one’s ability to recognize sounds or phonemes in words, phonics mastery means understanding that letters (graphemes or printed letters) of the alphabet represent sounds (phonemes)- think of it as the ears, eyes, and brain connection. A child who has mastered phonics can sound out new or unfamiliar words on their own. The child is “cracking the code” and is receiving feedback by listening to oneself sound out words.
Teaching phonics is all about establishing the relationship between sounds and printed letters or printed letter combinations. Starting with the printed letter-sound correspondence, a child then learns how to match sounds to letters and uses this relationship to understand printed words.
Vocabulary refers to one’s understanding of words, including their definitions and context. Vocabulary is broken up into oral (speaking), understanding (listening), and print (reading vocabulary).
Needless to say, vocabulary is crucial in strengthening reading comprehension and fluency. In most instances, poor vocabulary can limit and interrupt a child’s learning and reading experience. And while it can grow naturally from daily reading and conversations, it is just as important to explicitly teach and expand vocabulary.
Strategies in teaching vocabulary can include word mapping (graphic display of words/concept relationships), word substitutions, semantic relationships (how words are related), acting out meanings, and focusing on word structure (root words and its derivations).
Learners achieve fluency when they recognize and read words with accuracy, intonation, fluidity, and speed, whether while reading aloud or silently to oneself. Hence, fluent readers are able to read automatically without needing to pause to decode words or look up definitions.
Fluency plays a key role in comprehension and is essential in keeping young learners motivated. When children are reading fluently, it frees up mental resources to allow them to improve their comprehension of what they are reading.
When developing reading fluency, it is crucial to provide a child with frequent oral reading opportunities and to monitor progress. This involves reading out loud while being guided and receiving feedback from an adult. It is important to provide the student with opportunities to self-correct. This combination of consistent practice and regular feedback is critical in promoting fluency.
The ultimate goal for literacy is to comprehend well what one is reading. Reading comprehension enables a child to predict outcomes, evaluate characters, deduce, and make connections to real-world events.
A child’s comprehension skills can begin to develop before becoming an independent reader. One way to do this is by reading to a child and discussing the story’s main idea, characters, and setting. Explicit teaching, modeling, and guided practice of comprehension skills are also crucial. This is especially true for students whose reading comprehension skills lag behind their peers.
SPECIAL EDUCATOR AND ELEMENTARY EDUCATION & CERTIFIED WILSON READING SPECIALIST
Shelley is a New York dual licensed Elementary Education (Pre K, Kindergarten, Grades 1-6)/Special Education teacher (K-12), earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education from Buffalo State College and a Masters of Science from Adelphi University. In addition, she is a Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P). Shelley found her love for teaching by becoming involved in Special Education since an early age, working as a camp counselor in Special Ed camps, and subsequently has taught special needs children and children with reading difficulties, e.g. dyslexia, in various school settings around the country, including self-contained classrooms for elementary grades, resource room for grades K-5, and reading instruction grades 6 through 12. She has also tutored reading at children’s homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island.
Shelley achieved Certified Wilson Instructor status (very few have obtained this status in NYC), including being trained in the Wilson Fundations Program; a phonics-based program for young children (K-3), and supported teachers using this program. Additionally Shelley trained other teachers in the Wilson Reading Program at a K-12 Special Education school, the Child School, located on Roosevelt Island.
The Wilson Reading System directly and systematically teaches students to achieve success in reading. Unlike traditional phonics programs, Wilson Reading instruction is very interactive and multi-sensory, thus teaching total word construction and not just phonics. Students learn to encode (spell) and they learn to decode (take words apart) as part of their reading process. Evidence shows that when a direct systematic, code-based instruction is skillfully implemented by a Wilson Reading knowledgeable teacher, it is the most effective approach for problem readers. This system is based on the multi-sensory language techniques and principals first described by Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham (Orton Gillingham philosophy)
Shelley excels at changing the lives of children that have difficulty in reading by allowing them to see how being a better reader can affect many areas of their lives especially in education. Shelley utilizes her skills to collaborate with teachers, therapists and parents in order to maximize the achievements of students in their educational and emotional needs. Shelley really knows how to make learning to read fun and exciting while showing her students all the possibilities available to them when they learn to appreciate the world of reading.
Read more about her reviews
TYPE OF SERVICES: Initial reading evaluation and reading intervention.
EXPERTISE: Working with children who have difficulty with decoding (deciphering letters when reading), reading fluency, reading comprehension, and/or encoding (spelling) issues, including working with students with dyslexia.
AGES: Kindergarten through high school
M.S. Early Childhood Education
Michelle is certified in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education and Special Education (Birth-Grade 6). She holds a Bachelor s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University, and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Hofstra University. Michelle is trained in Fountas and Pinell, Fundations, Wilson, Orton-Gillingham and Go-Math. Michelle has a passion for working with children and families.
Michelle has experience working with a diverse population of general and special education students. She has been teaching since 2012. Michelle has taught preschool, kindergarten, first grade and third grade. Michelle works with both general education and special education students. She has experience working with students who are emotionally disturbed, have autism, have speech and language impairments, struggling readers and students who struggle in all academic areas. She teaches small reading groups throughout each day using a systematic, multi-sensory, phonemic-based approach in order to improve spelling, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Michelle also teaches math in small groups using interactive centers and manipulatives. She also collaborates with speech, occupational and physical therapists in order to better meet each child’s needs. She has experience being one of the parent/ family involvement chairs in her school and enjoys working side by side with many different families.
TYPES OF SERVICES: Initial reading assessment, Fundations/Orton-Gillingham/Wilson based reading instruction, including individualized reading instruction and intervention in phonemic awareness, phonics, and decoding strategies; individualized instruction in reading fluency and comprehension instruction; writing instruction, and math instruction and intervention
EXPERTISE: Working with students with and without learning disabilities and students who need extra literacy support; working with students who need extra math support
AGES: Pre-k-6th Grade
HOURS: After school
MPS, PD NYS CERTIFIED PRE-K-6TH GRADE, NYS CERTIFIED CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Derek has a master’s in Professional Studies a Professional Diploma in Educational Leadership from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. He has the following New York State certifications: Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities Grades 1-6; Early Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities Birth-Grade 2: and as a School Building and School District Leader. Derek has been teaching and tutoring for seven years in many different instructional capacities including a 3rd-5th
grade self-contained classroom, an education consultant for grades 2-4, and 4th grade integrated co-teaching classroom (ICT) and general education classrooms. Currently, Derek is a 4th grade ICT teacher in a New York City public school in Brooklyn.
Derek has taught students using a multitude of literacy and mathematics programs including Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project, Ready Gen, Lit Life, Go Math, enVision Math, and the Engage NY ELA and Math modules. He has extensive literacy experience using Core Knowledge Language Arts, Orton-Gillingham, Reading A-Z, Read Works, Wilson, Fundations, as well as Edmark for supplemental ELA intervention. Additionally, he has experience with integrated instructional technology programs such as Lexia, I-Ready, and Achieve 3,000 into his daily small group and individualized classroom instruction.
Derek has a strong understanding of how to support children with special needs through his work with parents and other special education teachers. His experience includes advising parents on appropriate services for their children; leading workshops for general education and special education teachers focused on differentiating instruction in the classroom; and presenting workshops for parents on reading comprehension and literacy strategies which provided a plethora of strategies to support their children at home.
NYS CERTIFIED CHILDHOOD GENERAL AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER, MS ED
Andrea is a tenured NYS certified teacher, she is professionally certified in General Education and Special Education grades 1-6. Andrea completed her bachelors of education with a minor in Psychology at St. John’s University and graduated Cum Lade. She was also on the Dean s List all 4 years of her undergraduate program. She then completed her masters in Special Education at St. John’s University. Recently Andrea furthered her education and completed her 30 and above in education through Midwest Teachers Institute.
Andrea currently works for the NYC Department of Education as a Third Grade special education self-contained teacher. She has over six years of experience teaching students with diverse needs including Autism, students with learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety disorders and emotional/behavioral disorders. In her 6 years of teaching: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. She is experienced in working with students struggling with literacy, writing and reading skills (decoding, fluency, reading comprehension). Andrea is very familiar with IEP s and working towards meeting student’s specific goals.
Andrea has been trained in the Fundations program, Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, as well as Fountas & Pinnell. She also has 6 years of experience with the GoMath and Exemplars programs to support learning in math. Along with being trained in these programs, she provides numerous scaffolds to aide children in learning. She will provide manipulatives as well as making charts tailored to a child’s specific needs.
Andrea is experienced in test preparation for the ELA and Math state tests and for preparing English language learners for NYSESLAT. When working with English Language Learners as well as students with learning disabilities, she feels it is extremely important to provide visuals to support their learning.
In her daily practice as a teacher, she uses many approaches to motivate and maintain appropriate behaviors. By getting to know her students it allows her to engage them and best learn their interests. She truly enjoys building strong relationships with her students and working with them to meet their individualized learning goals. When needed, she uses a positive reinforcement and a positive reward system to help with students confidence and self-esteem. She is also trained in applied behavior analysis approach (ABA). She is excited to help your child with his or her literacy and math skills.
TYPES OF SERVICES: Administering reading and writing assessments, developing individualized and effective literacy instruction, individualized reading instruction, building phonemic awareness and phonics skills, helping with homework
EXPERTISE: working with all students with disabilities, improving decoding skills and reading fluency. Strengthen reading comprehension, and writing assessment and intervention for children struggling with decoding, reading comprehension, and fluency
AGES: preschool-6th grade
M.A. & NYS Certified in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language), Special Education, Early Childhood Education, and Childhood Education
Lauren is a NYC Department of Education teacher and holds 5 NYS Certifications: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Pre K to Grade 12), Students with Disabilities (Birth to Grade 2), Students with Disabilities (Grades 1-6), Early Childhood General Education (Birth to Grade 2), and Childhood General Education (Grades 1-6). She received her Master’s Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language) from Hunter College in Manhattan. She also received a B.A. in Child Study/Mathematics from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. Lauren is currently an ENL (English as a New Language) teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She works with English Language Learners and modifies instruction so that her diverse students can grasp the content being taught.
Lauren has experience working with many diverse cultures and backgrounds, currently working with students speaking 27 different languages. Lauren specializes in small-group guided reading instruction working on specific students’ needs. She understands that students learn in different ways and incorporates a variety of learning styles in her instruction such as, visual, linguistic, and kinesthetic. For reading struggles, Lauren uses multi-sensory instruction with various hands-on techniques (play-doh, sand writing, air writing, magnetic letter tiles) to aid in word memory and building and engages with the students in interactive shared reading.
Lauren is trained using multiple assessments and curriculum including Teacher’s College, Words Their Way, Fundations, Fountas and Pinnell, Go Math, Metamorphosis Math, and Envisions. She works with students who struggle with decoding, spelling, and writing by building on each student’s current skill level. Lauren has experience working with students who have learning disabilities, ADHD, and intellectual disabilities.
LOCATION: Queens: Woodside, Astoria, Sunnyside, Glendale, Middle Village, Forest Hills, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights
TYPE OF SERVICE: ENL support, Administering reading and writing assessments, phonics work, individualized reading instruction, providing math help, language building, vocabulary instruction, test prep for NYSESLAT and State ELA & Math exams
EXPERTISE: Working with English Language Learners and helping them build language, Intervention for children struggling with decoding, comprehension, and fluency
AGES: Preschool-4th Grade
NYS CERTIFIED in Childhood Education and Special Education (1-6)
Giana Marie Schenone is from Carle Place, NY and entering her third year as a 2nd grade Special Education Teacher in the New York City Department of Education. She is certified in Childhood Education and Special Education (1-6). Giana Marie has many years of experience tutoring students with multiple disabilities including autism, learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, and ADHD. Prior to teaching, she worked in a life-skills and vocational program. Giana Marie implements a multi-sensory approach to instruction by providing the students with multiple entry points to learning. This includes assessing children, determining the students strengths and areas of needs and tailoring instruction accordingly. She has experience with integrating Orton Gillingham strategies utilizing programs such as Reading A-Z, Fundations, Wilson, and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI). Giana Marie assesses her students with a variety of tools including Teacher’s College running records, LLI, and Fundations assessments.
Giana Marie also has expertise providing quality direct instruction with phonological awareness, sight word recognition, guided reading, writing development, and reading fluency and comprehension. For example, she is proficient with using Teacher’s College and technology programs such as Lexia and Raz-Kids to support her students with phonics, reading fluency, and vocabulary development. Also, Giana Marie has experience in mathematics instruction where she uses manipulatives and various strategies from the Go Math and enVision curriculum. Furthermore, she uses ABA methodologies, visual schedules, and positive reinforcement systems to support student learning. For instance, Giana Marie uses a token economy system with academic tasks for students who require behavior modifications to support their academic and social-emotional needs.
LOCATION: Long Island, Queens
TYPE OF SERVICES: Elementary reading, writing, and math
TEST PREP: 3-5 ELA and Math test prep
EXPERTISE: Learning disabilities, Speech and Language impairments, ADHD, autism, guided reading, writing development, curriculum modification, assessment, and data analysis
M.S. Elementary and Special Education
Sohayla graduated from Saint John’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education and a Masters of Science in Special Education. She is certified in New York State to teach 1st through 6th grade and also has extensive experience working with students all the way up to the doctoral level. Sohayla built her academic career and gained leadership experience during her 5 years as a Saint John’s student. While being an after school teacher, and a graduate assistant at Saint John’s University’s Writing Center, Sohayla has learned the skills necessary to facilitate a culturally responsive and inclusive learning environment for all her students. Her experiences as a Writing Consultant have allowed her to view learning through multiple interconnected perspectives. She has held writer’s workshops for elementary age students. Sohayla has an ability to work with students with various ranges of abilities and she is known for her patience and creativity.
Sohayla has worked in various classroom settings including self-contained, inclusive, ICT, and general. Within these classroom settings, Sohayla has taught students using literacy and mathematics programs/strategies including Teachers College, Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD), Go Math, and enVision Math. Sohayla is familiar with tools such as What Works Clearinghouse and is able to implement evidence-based practices. She also has experience working one-to-one with students or in larger group settings specifically in literacy and math. Sohayla’s teaching style is unique in that it is student-centered and can apply to a wide range of ages and abilities. Sohayla’s top priority is for her students to master new concepts while simultaneously building self-efficacy.
Sohayla knows that each student learns differently. She believes in designing accommodations and modifying content to meet the needs of her students. When it comes to math or literacy, Sohayla focuses on the concepts being taught and works with students to determine their abilities. Sohayla is able to highlight a student’s strengths and uses those strengths to hone their weaknesses in math or literacy. When a student seems to not grasp a concept, Sohayla first analyzes her own teaching and checks to see how she can design a re-teach to meet the student’s specific needs.
Sohayla has proven effective communication through her success with clients, and she updates parents on all significant matters in a timely manner. She believes that her love for student curiosity, coupled with helping others to succeed, makes her passionate and driven in the field. Sohayla works with students to learn their interests and applies those interests within her lessons when appropriate. She works hard to make learning intriguing for her students, and she understands the importance of building teacher to student rapport. Sohayla’s admiration for teaching extends far beyond her own philosophy and exists to help the voices of others be realized and expressed. She believes in order to set students up for success, a positive classroom environment that meets the needs of all learners regardless of race, language, or ability needs to be established.
LOCATION: Queens, Long Island, and Brooklyn
TYPES OF SERVICES: Literacy, Reading Comprehension, writing, spelling, vocabulary, math skills, and concepts.
EXPERTISE: Specializing in working with students with learning disabilities. Following systematic and explicit instruction. Implementing Evidence-based practices.
AGES: K-6 also works with 12th grade and & students on writing assignments.
Lora is a certified paraprofessional with over 5 years of experience working one-to-one with children with Individualized Education Plans. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Health Education and Promotion while working full-time during her undergraduate years. She is currently enrolled in New York University for her Masters in Occupational Therapy.
Lora is passionate about working with students with different neurological, behavioral, physical, cognitive, psychological and developmental disabilities. She believes that behind every amazing teacher is a supportive and knowledgeable paraprofessional. Paraprofessionals work very closely with students and give students more one-to-one assistance while the teacher is mainly focused on the class as a whole. On the job, she has worked with different students/groups every year with many different strengths and weaknesses. She has taken many courses and workshops on how to approach students who are struggling with learning disabilities. She is passionate about encouraging students by highlighting their strengths and working on their weaknesses.
As a paraprofessional, she assisted students academically and socially inside as well as outside of the classroom.
She also accompanied students to multiple Speech therapy sessions where she gained knowledge on speech therapy as well as the students she was working with. She has learned programs for literacy such as Fundations and SIPPS. She also assisted in Math programs such as GoMath and Envisions. Her main goal was to assist students and teachers to successfully complete lesson goals.
Location: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan
Types of Services: Homework help, individualized reading and writing instruction, phonic skills, math problem-solving skills, reading and math comprehension
Expertise: Working one-on-one with students of all different kinds of disabilities, improving reading, writing and math skills
Ages: Preschool-4th grade