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Past Introductions from 2015 to 2018

This forum includes copies of introductions by members in our Reading and Writing Community from 2015 to end of 2018. I haven't included the images, but you can access those by clicking on the person's name, which will take you to the profile section for each one. Thank you to those who posted their intros and for helping us build community.

You will find a new Introductions forum posted as a "Sticky," which is an ongoing thread posted in blue at the top of our discussion list.

I hope each one of you will read the introductions made to date and to comment on those if you haven't already.

Also, if you haven't introduced yourself, drop into our "New 2019 Introductions" forum and tell us about yourself following instructions in that forum.

Let the dialogue continue and thrive!!!  Leecy Wise, Moderator, Reading and Writing Community of Practice (CoP)

==================== From 2015 - 2018 ========================

Introduce Yourself as Member of Our Community!

Submitted by Leecy on April 18, 2015

Groups: Reading and Writing

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As a new or returning member of this growing and increasingly vibrant community, please introduce yourself to the rest of us! Use the Comment button on this “thread” (topic) to enter your information.

In your introduction, include aspects of yourself that will help you connect with others of like mind, experiences, and interests as we continue to interact on behalf of our own interests and those of the adults we serve!

To access my profile, fell free to visit me at

NOTE: To review earlier introductions, visit the Welcome to Reading and Writing entry posted by our former moderator Daryl Mellard in June, 2013, which is shown toward the top of the Discussions window.

On behalf of one and all represented here, Welcome!


Leecy Wise
Moderator, Reading and Writing CoP

Tags: introduction


Babcockm's picture

Greetings from Oregon! I am a GED(r) preparation instructor for La Pine Park and Recreation in rural La Pine, Oregon. I prepare students for all four of the GED(r) tests. La Pine use to be served by a community college, but the program was discontinued a few years ago. Local citizens of the La Pine community applied for and received a grant to start a GED(r) preparation program, and I am their first instructor/program coordinator. I am so very fortunate to provide these services as I care deeply about the individuals I serve!


Leecy's picture

Mary, thanks so much for taking the lead and introducing yourself to us. Not only that, but you completed your profile! Love those snow-capped mountains framing your lovely image in the pic! With two Master's degrees and wonderful specializations, you have much to contribute to this community!

Do you use your distance-learning skills where you are? I know that in my rural area of Colorado, distance ed is a must. We reach people all over the Reservations using live video and online instruction.

Tell us more about what you use for GED training and what GED exam is being used in Oregon.

Welcome back. I hope others will follow your lead and introduce themselves as well! Leecy


Babcockm's picture


Thank you for the warm welcome! My program is very small, but it is a new program. We only meet one night per week, so I do use Web tools for instruction outside of class. I use a blog, OER Commons,, and Khan Academy to support students in building basic skills and passing the four GED(r) tests via the GED(r) Testing Service. My focus for instruction is in the subject areas of math, reading, science, and social studies. 

In addition to the Web tools above, I use Google Drive, Blendspace, Symbaloo and Delicious. Symbaloo and Delicious are very effective tools for managing Web resources/sites. 

Again, thank you!


Leecy's picture

Congrats to you on using Web tools in your instruction, Mary. I love that you also use OER Commons. What OER resources have you found  that are useful? I'm a real OER advocate!

You have also posted two additional new tools that have peaked my interest: Blendspace and Symabaloo . I'm off to explore.

Let's hear from the rest of you in this community. What think? Leecy

Leecy Wise
Moderator, Reading and Writing Community


Virginia Dugan's picture

My name is Ginny Dugan, and I am an educator with Vermont Adult Learning in Rutland, VT. I have worked with adults for over fifteen years with this organization, and I am always looking for new methods and strategies to help in working with my students. I'm looking forward to learning from all of you and sharing what I've been doing with my students as well!

Leecy's picture

Ginny, thanks for introducing yourself to the rest of us and for already contributing ideas in this community!

With fifteen years of experience working with adults with Vermont Adult Learning, I suspect that you have taught every aspect of remediation and academic preparation! What has been your greatest challenge working with adult learners over the years? Leecy

Karen Shearer's picture

Hi!  My name is Karen Shearer and I work at Vermont Adult Learning in St.Albans, VT.  I work with students to increase basic skills in reading, writing and math and I also work with students on independent projects in our High School Completion Program (HSCP).  I've enjoyed reading the the comments, ideas and resources.

Leecy's picture

A big welcome to you, Karen. I am excited that we have both you and Ginny from Vermont Learning Centers. Do you know each other? If you and Ginny feel like dialoguing here regarding issues that you both face among adult learners in Vermont, it might raise issues that we all deal with in adult ed. Please feel free to either continue that discussion here or in a new discussion thread!

You say that you have an interest in multi-sensory instruction. Can you tell us more about that? Is that an approach you use among all learners or just for students with "special needs"?  How might you apply it in an activity among adult learners in your program?

Again, Karen, please feel free to share more about the topic here or by opening a new discussion (Discussion Tab -> Add Discussion). So glad you've joined us here. Leecy

Karen Shearer's picture

I am an Orton-Gillingham teacher at the Associate level.  Orton-Gillingham uses multi-sensory instruction to improve reading, spelling, and handwriting.  I use this approach with an adult student (age 57) who was unable to write the alphabet when she started last year.  She tested at the first grade level last year. She is starting to read second grade level books.

I try to use as many modalities as possible in class with all students.  Many of my students need to be moving or doing something to pay attention, so I have fidgets and try to structure classes so they are more active.  One example is taking a typical worksheet on complex sentences, enlarging the sheet before copying it, then cutting the sentences into parts.  Students put the sentences together and we talk about the punctuation.  I save the sentences for future use. 

I also found a game called "You've Been Sentenced!" The game awards points for the longest (grammatical) sentence they can create from 10 random cards.  The sentences can be very funny. 

Ginny and I do know each other.  We work in different parts of the state, but are trying to find ways to collaborate on lessons.



Leecy's picture

Kathy, thanks for telling us more about your success with Orton-Gillingham. Both activities that you listed re sentence construction remind me of how effective Excel can be to help learners move words, phrases, or clauses around to create complete thoughts!

Imagine an Excel sheet, where you or students enter text into different cells. Then students "grab" the text and drag it down the sheet to join other text to make complete thoughts. The filled-in cells from which they choose items can also include punctuation symbols. The activity is very enjoyable, and I think your "fidgets" would become engaged.

I hope others will add ideas to using multi sensory approaches in reading and writing. Let's hear more! Leecy

Nicole Mannino Johnson's picture


My name is Nicole Johnson. I am a Volunteer ESL tutor for Suffolk Literacy located in Suffolk County, Long Island. I currently tutor four adults with varying educational backgrounds and I wish to learn new techniques to assist my students in reading and writing. I have a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and have completed basic TESL instruction geared toward volunteers.

One of my students is high intermediate level in speaking English, however has very poor writing skills due to a lack of formal education. This student would like to earn a GED and we are working together through workbooks to gain skills. Another student is also high intermediate in speaking and also has poor writing skills. This student is interested in communicating with schools on behalf of her children. The other students are beginning ESL, but both have earned degrees in higher education in their native language, so their literacy skills are more advanced.

I look forward to learning from this group.

-Nicole Johnson

Leecy's picture

Welcome to this community, Nicole! I notice that you are also a member of the AELL group, where you'll also find excellent dialogue to address your interests.

Anyone else here from NY? (I can't give it an accent here!) What interests do you share with Nicole? What ideas do you have to addressing some of the issues she mentions?

Please start a new discussion thread (use the Discussion Tab to do that) providing helpful ideas, resources, or case studies open the dialogue around Nicole's interests. Thanks!


Miranda Marshall's picture

I'm an adult education instructor in Salina, KS (right in the middle of where Interstates 70 and 135 meet).  I currently am teaching advanced level ESL and basic college mathematics courses, but have also taught ABE/GED classes for our students with a wide range of disabilities and struggles.  

I have a degree in elementary education, with 5 years experience in the K-3rd-grade setting, 3 years in the preschool setting, and now almost 2 full years in adult education.  I have to say that adult ed is not where I thought I'd be, but I love it!  It's the best job I've had yet.  

We are using Canvas as our LMS in our building, which I get the great privilege of working with to help create online instruction for our students.  I was even able to attend InstructureCon this past year and found out numerous tips and tricks about the system.  I enjoy that part of my work time almost as much as I enjoy teaching!  :)  

I have found numerous valuable resources through LINCS and hope to be able to further my reach for resources through the discussion features.  

Leecy's picture

Welcome, welcome, Miranda. I hope that others will follow your lead in introducing themselves to the community so that we can get to know each other better! 

I use Canvas with a couple of institutions for whom I teach. Now that I've become very familiar with it, I like many of its features, especially those that make it easy for instructors to provide feedback to learners! 

I agree that adult education has a way of hooking us into it. The challenges are many, but for those of us who love problem solving, those are gifts! One thing is for sure; we are never bored!

I hope others will join me here is laying out the red carpet for you! :) Leecy

litchick66's picture

Hello members of the Reading and Writing Group! I hope you will excuse me for not introducing myself earlier.

I am a former English and Spanish teacher at the secondary level, with experience (brief) and education in student and daily newspaper journalism also. Presently I am a literacy assistant (with an Adult Educator's license) for a small nonprofit headquartered in Huntington, WV. I do intakes and assessments, drop-in tutoring in reading/writing, math, and ESL, and some external communications, among other responsibilities.

I have been a volunteer tutor for most of the years I have been employed as the literacy assistant.

I have also been a member of this group before, but with wearing the many different hats that I do as a literacy assistant, I found I had joined too many groups at LINCS, and I just could not keep up. After taking a break, and receiving the announcement about the Phonics videos and discussion, I decided to rejoin this particular group, especially because reading and writing are the heart of my nonprofit; although, we try to also serve in math/numeracy, life skills, computer skills, and high school equivalency as requested occasionally.

Pleased to be a part of this group again! Nice to meet you all.

Leecy's picture

I'm so glad that you've decided to rejoin us, Carrie! I hope that you get hooked on becoming part of this active learning community to which you have a lot to contribute and to take away. Welcome again! Leecy

litchick66's picture

Hi Leecy,

Thank you for the welcome, and I am excited to be a participating member of this community!

Leecy's picture

Wonderful, Carrie. You are a breath of fresh air. Do you prefer to have us use your User Name instead of Carrie? Leecy

litchick66's picture

Carrie is fine! My user name is associated with my Twitter account primarily.

Thanks for asking, Leecy!

Leecy's picture

Whew! Glad to hear that. Thanks, Carrie, my daughter's name! Leecy