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Suzanne Knoelk MS, CALP
Using Multi-Sensory Techniques to
Reach Struggling Readers

Meet Sue Knoelk....... Passionate educator, well versed Reading Specialist, and all around children's reading champion. Sue loves what she does on a daily basis. 
"As a classroom teacher, I was puzzled why some students struggled so much trying to apply phonics skills in their reading and spelling and why after dedicated instruction and practice, these students still were not fluent" ...............more
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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Plainfield School District 202, District wide Reading Specialist grades K-5
New Lenox School District 122, Building Reading Specialist grades 1-5
New Lenox School District 122, Teacher 2nd grade
University of St. Francis, Adjunct Professor and course developer
Private practice tutoring

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS:

  • Dyslexia Center of Chicago: Certified Orton Gillingham Tutor
  • Academic Language Therapy Association: Certified Academic Language Practitioner
  • International Dyslexia Association: Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist
  • Master of Science Degree in Reading from the University of St.Francis
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the University of St. Francis
  • Academic Language Therapy Assoc., Illinois chapter-Vice President 
  • Everyone Reading Illinois (ERI) board member


PRESENTATIONS & OTHER ACTIVITIES:

  • “An Introduction to Dyslexia” presentation for Illinois Reading Council chapter and at University of St. Francis R.E.A.D. Conferences
  • “What is Orton Gillingham Instruction?” presentation for Project Dyslexia parent support group

  • “Dyslexia Topics” presentation for dyslexia parent support group

  • “Multi-sensory Writing Strategies” presentation at University of St. Francis R.E.A.D. Conference

  • Create and present numerous professional development sessions on literacy topics for New Lenox and Plainfield School Districts’ staff

  • International Dyslexia Assoc. university program accreditation team member

  • Illinois State Board of Education Reading Specialist Stakeholder committee member

  • Developed and taught three dyslexia related graduate level courses for the University of St. Francis

MY PHILOSOPHY:

As a classroom teacher, I was puzzled why some students struggled so much trying to apply phonics skills in their reading and spelling and why after dedicated instruction and practice, these students still were not fluent readers. I empathized with parents who didn't know how to help their children. My heart broke as I saw my students’ self- esteem suffer and the gap continued to widen between their academic progress and that of their peers. I had to figure out how to help them!

In my search to find answers, I was led to the Children’s Dyslexia Center in LaGrange, IL. While I worked through the intensive Orton-Gillingham tutor training program, I learned what my struggling students needed was a different approach to teaching and learning. That different approach was multi-sensory, along with structured, and sequential techniques. These new tools would benefit all my students who have difficulty with reading!

I wondered why I hadn’t learned about language and these instructional techniques in any of my college coursework. I came to find out that most teacher preparation programs (even for special education teachers) do not include knowledge about dyslexia or multi-sensory structured language education. Therefore, in addition to my work with students, I became passionate about equipping other educators and parents to work with children who struggle. I developed and taught courses on these topics at the university level and am now able to offer them to everyone through my online courses. My mission is to put these effective strategies and teaching techniques into the hands and minds of the adults who work with children – anywhere! You don’t have to be an “expert” to make a difference in a child’s world.

Building a positive relationship with all my students is essential. We will go as fast as we can, but as slow as we must in order to foster their self- confidence. My instruction is tailored to each individual student to honor what is unique in every one of them.


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