HISTORY and READING
My primary focus is to connect details to the big picture - making the organization and arc of the curriculum more transparent.
READING AND RESEARCH
My strategy puts new information into an existing framework for the student, which helps them build meaning and identify what is important. This approach applies to absorbing language at all levels: learning new vocabulary, deciphering a primary source, and identifying what the teacher emphasizes in class.
Students learn to start with what they already know. I teach them to run through their mental files on the topic and develop an idea of where a text might go. Often, students dive in to reading without any context and then get frustrated - or more often bored - when they don’t see where the text is headed. If students begin with an idea, reading transforms from a passive absorption of information to an engaging, active evaluation of the material.
Readers then become text detectives for meaning and salience. Textbooks lend themselves to simpler detective strategies, using headers and chapter review questions. More difficult texts require closer attention to diction and nuance. Does the writer emphasize points with cues and transition words? Does he/she communicate essential information through sentence structure, putting the main point in the independent clause? Breaking down paragraphs, sentences, and even words into their parts can make intimidating and confusing language easier to understand.
FIND A GROOVE
Inspired approach: Before a student starts a text, I teach him/her to begin with an idea or theory. After speculating on what is coming, reading becomes an internal dialogue about the text, as opposed to a simple intake of information. This strategy can be especially difficult for younger students because their frame of reference is smaller. I help them to build their repertoire while connecting new information to analogous situations as well as directing them to their notes and recollections of class discussion. By organizing the material into patterns and themes, the student retains more information and learns to connect and analyze recurring ideas.
I encourage students to read for pleasure. All reading improves vocabulary, frame of reference and reading speed.
As an adult who works with adolescents, I have a penchant for young-adult literature. I offer customized lists of appropriate books along with pen-pal opportunities for my students to keep reading over holidays and vacations.
I can tutor all history courses and have supported many curricula, including U.S. History, Art History as well as Ancient China, the Classical World and various Global History studies. My experience spans many New York City independent schools, such as the Chapin School, Churchill School, Columbia Grammar, Horace Mann, Friends Seminary, and Trinity School.
Research papers are an essential component of any history curriculum. I walk students through the whole process: forming guiding questions, identifying reliable sources, organizing evidence, developing a working thesis, distilling information into supporting body paragraphs, and, most importantly, citing all sources accurately.
Test prep includes: AP US History - NY State Global History Regents Exam - NY State US History Regents Exam.