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Archive for the ‘Learning Tools’ Category

Knowledge is Power

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you have the information, you can distinguish truth from lies, good from bad, safety from danger plus much, much more.  If you have the knowledge, then the world is at your fingertips.  Computers and the Internet, plus a rich and varied curriculum enable students to gain this power.   Knowledge comes in the form of information. If you can access the appropriate information for learning and solving problems, then you can be freed from dependence on others to give you information.

  • Read books downloaded from The Internet.
  • Seek employment.
  • Research school projects.
  • Take online courses for college credit.
  • Research legal matters..
  • Network with other people.
  • Correspond with family and friends all over the world.
  • Enjoy Internet Radio.
  • Increase your learning efficiency and understanding of skills on concepts needed for success.

Crowd Sourcing Online Instructional Content

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Even before it was known as crowd-sourcing, a unique and innovative model was created for developing educational content.  LessonPro, a website from Knowledge Headquarters, was launched in 1999 as a new and promising application for writing K-12 educational coursework over the Internet.  The company established the Internet site to promote its standards for Internet-based instructional content to the educational community.  Teachers from across the nation write lessons using the template at www.lessonpro.net.

The curriculum development model was new for education at the time, but a similar model   had been used successfully by other Internet companies such as eBay, AOL, Yahoo, epinions, and geocities.  Teachers from around the world write lessons using the template at www.lessonpro.net providing access for students to their online instruction.

The template is an easy-to-use fill-in-the-blank format that teachers complete using their own original material.  Students of writers may then access the lessons at no cost using the teacher assigned password.

The key to student success is engaging their interests through a wide range of topics, informational web sites and interesting activities, which help create a unique learning experience for each student.  Writers are encouraged to incorporate links within each lesson that reinforce the skills and concepts being emphasized in the lesson.   These online connections open a wide array of possibilities for learning, not limited to the confines of traditional instruction.  Students anticipate new discoveries that lie ahead as they proceed through each instructional lesson.  The visual instruction is designed to include all curricular disciplines, balance the transfer of certain basic skills and strengthen the value of online education.

Six Transition Tips For Students Moving to Online Learning

Thursday, October 4th, 2012


Online learning represents a new kind of challenge for students.  Expectations vary widely and the online program response may not always meet expectations.  There are some things all students should expect, however.  Students should be expected to be challenged academically.  They should expect not to understand everything they experience in their online educational program.  They can expect to not always see the relevance of what they are asked to do.  But, they should expect that resources will be available to help them.  lIn order to help your child embrace the online learning program they have chosen:

  • Empower your student to take the initiative and solve his or her own learning problems within reason.
  • Familiarize yourself with the online instructional program and resources in the event you will need to assist your student in them.
  • Advise the instructional program if you or your student experiences difficulty
  • Remember that students often change their minds and this is okay
  • Avoid too much advice, too much supervision, solving their problems, and second-guessing your student
  • Stay positive

TEN Ways to Make the Most of STUDY TIME!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Relax a bit after school before doing homework. Then….

1. Find the best time to study

After school, after dinner…..homework should have a definite start and finish time. If the homework is finished early, the remaining time should be used to double-check and review.

2. The best place to study

Homework headquarters should be away from television,  phone, and other distractions. A writing surface and good light are necessities. A small table may be the best place for a young student, while a desk or table, even the floor or a bed, may work for an older student.

3. Be prepared

Have all the materials needed to complete assignments. Pencils, sharpener, eraser and paper for younger students, a pen, ruler, dictionary, thesaurus, and more may be necessary for older students.

4. Make a homework list

Make an easy two-part homework checklist:

______ List homework assignments in each class each day as they are made.

______ Check over the list at the end of the school day to make sure you have all the materials necessary to take home.

Show the assignment sheet to educators. They can help to see that you have everything to complete assignments at home.

5. Keep a homework calendar

Record due dates for major long-range assignments on a special calendar brings the task into focus. Work backwards, identifying all the steps along the way to completion of the assignment.

If a short paper is due on Friday, the last step is to write the final draft on Thursday.  The first step is to begin reading and note taking on Monday.

6. Study rhythms

Tackle the most difficult assignments when you are most alert and save easier tasks for off-peak times. Schedule several smaller segments of time for memorization. It is easier to learn in short stretches than at one long session. Try using an easier assignment as a break from something more difficult.

7. When you get stuck – Ask these questions…..

  • Have you read and followed directions carefully?
  • Are you taking short cuts that are confusing you?
  • Are you using your book properly?
  • Read the directions aloud….now do they make sense?
  • Have you tried making a picture, table, graph, or diagram to represent the known facts and relationships?
  • Have you tried to sold a similar, but less difficult problem?
  • Have you checked the glossaries, the table of contents or the indexes for help?
  • Did you copy the words or numbers correctly?
  • Are you trying to do too much of the work in your head?
  • Have you checked for careless mistakes?

Still stuck? Do other homework assignments for awhile. Go to learning program early and check with the educator. Remember…..educators want success from their students.

8. Ask for help

It is okay to ask for help. Ask parents, older brothers and sisters, just ask.

9. Take a break

Schedule one or more short breaks during the study time. Stretching the mind for an hour, calls for stretching the body for a few minutes. Do jumping jacks, play ping pong or the drums…..get up and move.

10. Book bag at bedtime

Create a fail-proof method for getting completed homework assignments to school on time. A good slogan is “homework goes in the book bag at bedtime.”

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Portfolios are powerful because they help students learn about their learning.  They provide an opportunity for students to share the responsibility for collecting proof or evidence of learning.  Portfolios are worth doing well because they are a rich resource for reporting…they help student and parents see the results of student learning for themselves.

All portfolios are a collection of evidence of student learning.  They become powerful when they have a purpose.  There are three major purposes for portfolios:  to display student work around a theme or subject, to show the process of learning and to show growth or progress.

e-Tutor provides a portfolio for each student that the parent can access.  The portfolio gives a report of the lessons completed and the results of quizzes and exams.   We also encourage our students to keep their own  progress portfolio.  We suggest that the student create a folder for each one of the major curricular areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  As the Activity and Extended Learning sections are completed for each lesson,  these are placed in the folders.  Parents know where to find their child’s work, they can review what their child has done,  the child can refer back to what has been achieved and they provide a basis for discussion.

As time goes by other things can be added to the portfolio, such as a time sheet to record the time the child began and ended a learning session.  Parents can add copies of the e-Tutor portfolio, so that comparisons can be made between accomplishments in  the two types of assessment.

Such a portfolio showcases the learner and his or her own learning, rather than who they could be by making comparisons with others.

Seven Steps to Increase Brain Activity

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

The brain and skin are the first organs to develop in a fetus.  They emerge simultaneously out of the same layer of embryonic tissue.  The skin is often called the outside layer of the brain.  Let your child “experiment” with touch as a sensory system of the brain.

  1. Gather 16 samples of different textures….sandpaper, cloth, carpet, wood, etc.  and two large pieces of cardboard.
  2. Cut two, 2-inch squares from each of the textured materials so that you have two identical sets of 16 pieces.
  3. In rows of four, glue one set of 16 onto each  cardboard.  Be sure to arrange the textures in different order on each cardboard.
  4. Blindfold your child.  Ask your child to use his/her fingers to find four matches on the two cardboard sheets.  Time how long it takes to find four matches.
  5. Let your child use their palms or elbows.
  6. Involve other members of the family to see who has the fastest speed.
  7. Have a family discussion about the experiment and what was learned.

Six Ways to Increase Oral Reading Skills

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

When reading orally, children must not only decode the printed words on a page, they must also communicate the author’s meaning to others by varying the voice volume, pitch, phrasing, pauses, tone and reading rate.  When reading orally, children must understand what they are reading in order to communicate the meaning successfully.  As a result, the regular practice of oral reading boosts children’s comprehension, producing gains that will transfer to their silent, independent reading of fiction or nonfiction.

Activities to increase oral reading skills:

  1. Reading Specific Sentences Aloud. Have your child read a passage silently.  Ask questions and direct him/her to locate and read the sentence that has the answer.
  2. Multimedia Models. Play records and tape recordings of poetry, prose and plays.  Encourage discussion of  the way the speakers use their voices to convey meaning.
  3. Reading Duets. Have your child choose a reading partner.  Alternate the partners as readers and listeners.
  4. One Minute or Less Oral Reading Fun. Provide daily opportunities for your child to read orally, such as reading notices, signs or advertisements.
  5. Choral Reading and Play-Reading. Select poems, dramatic scenes from stories or story description to rehearse for choral readings.  Model the chosen selection.  Have your child choose a part to practice reading orally.
  6. Recording Oral Reading. Tape or video record plays, choral readings or radio dramas that your child has prepared and practiced.

Seven Questions for Your Child’s Reading

Monday, April 30th, 2012

In choosing books for children the following was recently found in a book of poetry.  Although aimed at boys of the period the guidelines are worthy  today of consideration by all parents:

Read your children’s books yourself.  Or better still, get your child to read them aloud to you.  Ask yourself during the reading:

  • Does this book lay stress on villainy, deception or treachery?
  • Are all the incidents wholesome, probable and true to life?
  • Does it show young people contemptuous toward their elders and successfully opposing them?
  • Do the young characters in the book show respect for teachers and others in authority?
  • Are these characters the kind of young people you wish your children to associate with?
  • Does the book speak of and describe pranks, practical jokes and pieces of thoughtless and cruel mischief as though they were funny and worthy of imitation.
  • Is the English good and is the story written in good style?

Adapted from One Hundred and One Famous Poems (1958)

3 Useful and Fun Online Tools and Resources for Educators

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The internet has so much to offer the world of education. With a countless number of tools and resources accessible online, at all hours of the day, and at no cost, it is no wonder so many people praise the internet for its endless contributions to education and learning. While there are numerous articles dedicated to sharing online tools and resources with students, many of us overlook how useful the internet and online resources can be for educators. Teachers too can benefit greatly from easy and instant access to web tools, teacher networks, and various resources online. These three educational web tools and resources hold endless possibilities for educators and teachers at almost any grade level.

Audible

This web tool offers one of the widest selections of digital audiobook available for download online. While this tool may not be applicable to every classroom, many reading and language arts instructors may find assistance from Audible’s services. Though Audible runs at a fee, the services the site provides are extremely useful to the average user and to educators. With an Audible account gain access to a huge collection of digital audiobooks as well as radio shows, podcasts, stand-up comedy, and speeches from cultural, political, and business icons throughout the world. Many studies argue that reading books aloud provides young language learners with a different and more beneficial kind of language and linguistic experience. Teachers can use these audio books during their lessons to help engage students in their literature. The podcasts and famous speeches can also offer worthwhile material for many different classrooms.

Wordle

Wordle is a fun and creative tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. These clouds can be used in many different ways and for many different purposes. They are sure to offer unique and engaging elements to many different lessons in any subject. You can completely customize the word cloud that you create, using various fonts, layouts, and color schemes. Wordle will give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the text that you provide. This can offer great insight into literary analysis of almost any text, selection, prose, or poem. This fun tool is free to use and applicable to various different creative arenas within the classroom.

ReadWriteThink

This online resource seeks to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to some of the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering free materials and guidance. The ReadWriteThink website is a partner of the International Reading Association and the National Council for Teachers of English. With a troupe of dedicated and intelligent advisors and authors, the ReadWriteThink community has a lot to offer. The site offers classroom resources, including lesson plans, student interactives, calendar activities, and printouts. Providing educators with professional development tools such as strategy guides, a professional library, news about meetings and events, and online e-workshops on professional development and pathways for advancing adolescent literacy, ReadWriteThink is an extremely useful resource for teachers from all backgrounds and at all levels. The site even offers resources for parents and afterschool administrators, concerning each grade kindergarten through 12th grade.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes for online universities blog.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87@gmail.com.

Single File – One Moment at a Time

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

We never shall have any more time.  We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.

- Arnold Bennett

Most of us think of ourselves as standing, wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyances, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us.  At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure.  We see ourselves as over-driven, overburdened, overtired.

This is a common mental picture…and it is totally false.  No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence,  even of a super-busy day.  The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time.  That is the only way they can come.  The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file.