Adventures in Tutoring

Contact: Erin Jackson 801-376-9765
Located in Spanish Fork, UT

Individual and group tutoring services for students with mild (resource)-severe disabilities.

Speech Therapy for students of all ages.

Preschool services available for children with or without disabilities. Sign up now for fall preschool sessions. Monday, Wednesday, & Friday $75 a month (2 days) $100 a month (3 days). Ages 3-5
In preschool we will work on Zoo-Phonics, beginning numbers, shapes, colors, social skills, behavioral skills, language, communication, fine and gross motor, coloring, writing, cutting, crafts, and music.

Are you worried about your child's progress or regression over the summer months sign up for tutoring to give your kiddos that extra help to put them on the right track for the next school year

Group tutoring with 2-6 students is $15 per hour
Individual tutoring is $25 per hour
Individual tutoring at the child's home starts at $45 per hour
Half Hour Individual tutoring - $15 per half hour

Services Available: Academic Tutoring, Social Skills, Motor Skills both fine and gross motor, Language Skills (speech background), Behavioral Skills (including behavior plans for home/school), Augmentative Communication (PECS-High end Technology) IEP help and support

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Magnetic Wall

Magnetic Wall
When I taught for the local school district I had walls covered with carpet which was amazing because I could put Velcro on everything and it would stick to the wall. It also allowed me to move things around with great ease. Now that I have my own business my walls are just typical walls and I disliked putting up bulletin boards, calendar items, and more because I either had to use the putty stuff that sticks to the wall or push pins. This did not allow for much flexibility. My amazing assistant said that we should get some sheet metal to install on our walls. I procured 2 large sheets of metal to cover almost one entire wall. We love our magnetic wall. In addition to our calendar items it can be used for so many more things. I can easily move the calendar items around to give space so the students can use fun magnets on the board. I have animal magnets. We also use the board with magnetic letters and numbers. We use these for practice to spell simple words and simple identification. Yep I love my magnetic wall!  
Magnetic Bulletin Board

Monday, October 28, 2013

Frankenstein Footprint Art

Frankenstein Footprint Art
Last week our letter of the week was Ff for Frankenstein. The kiddos made their own Frankenstein. The first day we painted their toes black and the rest of their foot green and named their monster "first name, stein". The following day the kiddos added the eyes, nose, mouth, bolts, and scar to their monster. This art project was fun and sensory.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle painting activity. This project took more than one day. First we read many of Eric Carle books and we talked about the many textures used in his pictures. We made guesses about how those textures were created. Online at the Eric Carle website you can watch him create some of his textures. After we learned about textures I had the students create their own various textures. We used painting tools such as combs, sponges, bumpy balls, paintbrushes, and anything else that would create a fun texture. The students layered the paint on their papers. The results were very interesting. Once the papers were dry we cut out the shapes of the caterpillar which are simple ovals, triangles, and teardrops. I drew a curvy line on their paper to show the shape of a caterpillar and they glued the pieces along the line.  

Audio Books

I love reading and seeing the joy in reading in my students. I have found that some of the difficulties with my struggling readers is that as they grow up they remain reading books that are meant for a much younger audience. By the time they are in 4th, 5th, 6th, ... grades the books are boring and will not hold their interest. Plus these kiddos see their friends reading awesome books like Ranger's Apprentice, Michael Vey, Septimus Heap, Percy Jackson, and so much more. I love audio books and have been listening to books for years. I purchased 2 little ipod shuffles. Then I asked one of my students that has dyslexia and is in Jr. High what book he would choose to read if he could read anything. He didn't even hesitate he know exactly the book and sure enough it was 5 levels higher than where he could read independently. He then said but I can't read that book. I told him my plan to have him check out and ipod shuffle with the audio book and the book. I told him that he needed to follow along in the book while listening this way he would have much more exposure to text and would hear the fluency of the reader. We have now been using audio books for 8 months and his reading has improved drastically. His mom told me recently that before she couldn't get him to want to pick up a book because they are too challenging and frustrating. Now it seems every time she turns around he is in his room with a book. Currently he reads/listens to a book in about 7-10 days. This past week he was so excited about 2 new books that were just published that he is listening to both. I now am using audio books with several students and have seen similar results with all of them. I have one kiddo with autism that is listening to an audio book and he loves it because the reader is very expressive. When you have a struggling reader try an audio book it is amazing how much growth you will see simply because they are engaged.    

printing problems

I have been a bit scattered lately with work. 2 full time jobs keeps me going. I am working to resolve the problems that have occurred with printing. Some of the files on my computer were recently corrupted. Once I fix this then I will create new links that are available to download. Keep checking back and I will let you know when these problems have been resolved.

Thank you,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wikki Stix and Coloring

Wikki Stix Coloring
Another skill I have been focusing on is coloring within the lines. A young boy I work with will not look and scribbles all over his page. In the past I have used a hot glue gun to create a barrier to the shapes so the kiddos will stop when they hit the barrier. I like this idea however there are several downfalls first it takes planning ahead to create the coloring pages, second the glue is clear which makes it more challenging to see, and third when you are finished coloring, the page still has the glue on the paper. Next I decided to try Wikki Stix. These are great they provide a nice barrier. I can apply them at a moments notice. When finished coloring I can also remove them from the paper. On the example in the picture I was having the child color the box to match the color of wikki stix. To make a thicker barrier use more than one layer of wikki stix.

Fine Motor Motivation

Fine Motor and Motivation
I have been working with a girl with autism. She needs to improve her fine motor skills however every time we work on fine motor she goes limp and just lets the teacher do all the work. I have tried different types of motivation but nothing was working to motivate this child. This past week I had a brain burst. She loves books especially books with the sound buttons. I placed painters tape all over the buttons. At first she was highly frustrated but I showed her how to peel the tape back. Next thing I knew she was attacking the tape. She used her pincer skills to rip the tape off. I would let her get some of the tape off and play with the buttons as reinforcement but then I covered them back up. The great thing about this is that I can increase the strength of the tape that I use from things like painters tape which is easy to  packing tape, and duct tape. This idea of covering up things with tape can also be used for other toys or favorite objects to work on the fine motor skills.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Marshmallows and Toothpicks

Fine Motor - Marshmallows and Toothpicks
Fine Motor - Marshmallows and Toothmpicks
Oh the things you can create when you are given marshmallows and toothpicks. I began this lesson by asking the kiddos to create letters with their marshmallows and toothpicks. They spelled things like their names and simple words. Next I said they could be creative and create anything they wanted to create. The kiddos created balls, shapes, monkey bars, people, toys, and more. They were highly creative. This activity was great for several reasons. We worked on fine motor and sensory skills. The marshmallows were the flavored ones and of course they are sticky too. I had a few kiddos that didn't want to be sticky and wanted to go wash their hands multiple times however once they got into the project they forgot about being sticky and created some amazing things. In the end I let them eat their marshmallows which is a great built in reward. This project also took great motor memory to create the letters which helped to solidify the letters and shapes into the kiddos heads. I will definitely be using this activity in the future they had fun and learned lots.

Fine Motor - Marshmallows and Toothpicks

Jellyfish Art

Ocean Art - Jellyfish
Another art project to go along with the ocean theme. This one, my wonderful assistant created. She used a paper bowl that the kiddos covered with small pieces of tissue paper and mod podge. Tissue paper comes in so many prints and colors that the kiddos were able to create fun unique jellyfish. Then they chose different types of ribbon and curling ribbon to use as the tentacles for their jellyfish. Finally eyes were added and then the jellyfish could be hung from the ceiling, if you turn on a fan they look like they are pulsing in the water.

You are My Sunshine

I work with a parent that loves hand print art, so I am always trying to figure out new ways to use her son's hand prints to create art. I had the 2 brothers paint their hands yellow to make yellow hand prints. Once dry I helped them cut out each hand print to create a sun. The boys made 2 suns that day one for their mom and one for grandma.

Hand print Art - Sunshine

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PVC Phones

PVC Phone - DIY
I made enough pvc phones for my class to use while we work on speech, phonics, and independent reading. These are simple to make I bought one length of 1" pvc pipe, lots of elbow, and pvc glue. You can spray paint the pvc, I just added a fun piece of duct tape to the middle. I made different lengths of phones to accommodate my little toddlers and the older kiddos. The little guy in the picture picked up the phone and babbled nonstop to himself. These phones help kiddos with articulation errors so that they can hear all the sounds they are making. I use these for reading to work on fluency which is rate, smoothness, expression, and accuracy. Because these are so simple and inexpensive to make I have been able to have extras to send home with kiddos that need a little extra help.

PVC Phone - DIY

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Starfish Art Project

Starfish Art project
We have been learning about ocean animals. This past week the preschoolers learned all about starfish. This was our art project that went along with starfish. I created several starfish shaped templates out of paper plates. We talked about how not all starfish have 5 legs, and they are different shapes too. The students chose a template, traced, and cut it out of a paper plate. Next we took colored pasta to create a pattern as the border. The pasta was glued on with craft glue we realized that it held better than Elmer's for this art project. Then the kiddos measured a cup of Acini de pepe pasta, 1tsp. rubbing alcohol, and several drops of food coloring. We were working on mixing colors so to create green we used blue and yellow, orange was created with red and yellow, and purple was red and blue. Everything was dumped in a ziplock bag, sealed and mixed together. We then let this dry overnight. The next day the students glued on eyes and rubbed glue all over their starfish, dumped the acini de pepe pasta on top and let it dry.

Ocean Art Project

Starfish Pasta Art

Roll & Write

Math made fun with games
Number Game
Dice - Clear Pocket
I created pictures to go inside my clear pocket dice. Then all around the room I placed colored pieces of paper with a single number in the center. Each student took a turn rolling the dice, one dice was for counting and the second was for how they would move around the room. They counted the pictures on the dice, and moved to find the correct paper with their number. Once they found the number they wrote the number on the paper with a fun colorful pen. The pictures I used went along with the story Brown Bear Brown Bear. We even elaborated on the story and said, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, How many do you see, I see 3 yellow ducks looking at me." The students had so much fun finding and writing their numbers that during play time they continued to do this activity. If you would like the printable that I used for this activity you can find it here. Dice Printable 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Shark art project - paper cups
We are learning about all kinds of ocean animals. This week we learned about different kinds of sharks like the bull shark, great white, tiger shark, and more. Then for our art project we pretended that we were oceanographers and had discovered a new kind of shark. I hot glued 2 paper cups together. We talked about how many sharks have their names because of their appearance or attributes. So I showed the students lots of different stickers and had them choose one kind to create their own shark. Using card stock they traced and cut out shapes for the fins and teeth. We colored the inside of the mouth (end of the cup) red with a marker. Everything was glued on and now they named their sharks. We had "Popcorn Shark" this type of shark is friendly and likes to "pop" out of the water. We made "paw-ee shark" "laughy shark" "fishy fishy shark" and more. All the names represented the stickers the students chose.

Shark Art Project for Kids

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Goop, messy goop

So I found a recipe on pinterest for finger paints. The recipe was:

Sensory Play with Homemade Goop
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan heat until mixture thickens. Cool & pour in small containers. Add food coloring to create desired colors.

Well when I finished my "finger paint" was a gelatinous glob. Originally I was considering throwing out the mixture and then figured the kiddos would still have fun smooshing it all around. When they began to play the mixture was thick and chunky. If you rub the mixture on the table it becomes smooth  which is perfect for a writing/drawing surface. The great thing was that it did not dry out and they could write in the goop over and over. Next time I plan to add an olfactory sense as well by including either essential oils for kiddos that need calming or sucker flavoring for a fun scent.

Sensory writing with Goop

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bingo with Stamps

Bingo with Stamps
Once the students had learned their letters and numbers to 20. I had the kiddos create their own Bingo boards. I have several sets of stamps both letters and numbers. I set out ink pads, stamps, and papers and let the students fill in their own unique bingo boards. You could also have the students write their letters or numbers on the boards. Once every square was filled we then played bingo. Below you will find the printable. There are 3 sizes of bingo boards - 5x5, 4x4, and 3x3.
Bingo Card Printable

Bingo letters and numbers

Oral Motor Fun

Whiteboard Math Activities
Since the end of the school year is near the preschoolers are becoming more fidgety. I have tried to change things up. We were doing math on large whiteboards. I would tell them a number and they had to draw that many shapes or I drew shapes on my whiteboard and they had to write the number. We have used the small whiteboards previously however I wanted the kiddos to learn to share space and work together. (Initially there was considerable whining about people in they way) After a few tries they did a great job working together and even helping each other when the need arose. I then had an idea to use the whiteboard for an oral motor game. I put the kiddos on 2 teams and told them they needed team names. They became the Dogs vs. the Tigers. I placed 3 large pompoms on the whiteboard and gave each student a straw. Their goal was to blow the pompoms across the board into the other teams goal zone. They loved this game and it work on breath control, lung capacity, and the ability to work together. This game would work on most surfaces.

Oral Motor Games

Monday, May 6, 2013

Clothespins on Hangers

TEACCH Clothespins & Hangers
Clothespins are great fine motor practice and can be utilized in so many diverse ways. I placed this activity in my TEACCH system. With these two sets of letter I created 3 different tasks. One the students were given just uppercase letters or lowercase letters and they place them in ABC order or the students are given both and they matched the uppercase to the lowercase. This can be easily changed up for things like numbers, matching color words to colored clothespins, matching math problem to the number answers and more.

TEACCH Clothespins &  Hangers

Little Critter Pillows

Animal Pillows
I love my mom! For my birthday she made me these fun and fabulous little critter pillows. I received an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and frog. As soon as my preschoolers walked in they picked a pillow to play with. The only dilemma was that I have more than 4 preschool students. They have already put in a request for more pillows, so that they can all play with one. The pattern can be found in Simplicity #2197.
Animal Pillows

Mother's Day Art Project

Mother's Day Art Project
Flowerpot Art Project
This is a fun and simple art project.  The students painted their hand green to create the flower stem. Once dry they made the flowers using their fingerprints. Make sure they dot the flower center first and then the flower petals. I found a simple flowerpot template that you can either print on colored paper or have the students color. The final step is to have the kiddos write a message on the flowerpot to their mom's. Ideas for this include, I love you, Happy Mother's Day, Thanks for Helping Me Grow, etc.