toll
free
(877) 687-7200
Forgot password?
Username: Password:

Archive for the ‘Online Learning’ Category

Learning the eTutor Way!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

eTutor lesson modules are grouped at Primary (about K-3), Intermediate (about 4-5), Middle/Junior High (about 6-8) and High School.  This cross-aging of lesson modules has been very successful for eTutor students as they can work at their own pace.  Some lesson modules may be easier and can be used for review and some will be more challenging. Students should do no more than four lesson modules each day.  We recommend one lesson module in each of the four major curricular areas.  One lesson module a day is sufficient for those who use eTutor for supplemental work or credit recovery. All curricular areas support one another.

Lesson modules take from one hour to one and a half hours to complete. Some may even take several days to complete.  The default for passing quizzes and exams is set at eighty percent.  Students are expected to fully complete lesson modules.  Parents or another adult are asked to review the finished Activities and Extended Learning with each lesson module since these are most often completed off line.  They can be used as a springboard for discussion, ‘What did you learn by completing this,” “How could you have done this differently,”  ”Explain this concept to me,” etc.

There is much reading and writing in the eTutor program and users will haveexcellent reading and writing skills if the program is used consistently. We suggest the student respond in writing to the Problem Statement before and after completing each lesson module to act as a self-check. The vocabulary words can be used for writing sentences or creating word puzzles.  Students should write a short description of each of the resource links.   eTutor is a Pass/Fail program.  Completed lessons are reflective of those where the student has successfully completed Quizzes and Exams.  Students are expected to spend approximately four to five hours studying each day when using eTutor for their full curriculum.   We suggest that the student keep track of his hours of study each day on a piece of paper or a calendar.


Imagine It!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

The part of your mind that plays the greatest role in achieving the things that you want from life is that part of your mind that imagines.  It is a strange fact, in view of this, that this part of your mind is the one that is developed and controlled the least.  You spend years developing the part of your mind that stores knowledge, reasons, analyzes, judges, memorizes, and learns but almost no time in developing the immense power of your imagination.  Here are some interesting facts about this enormous personal power and the benefits you will receive by tapping its potential.

Fact No. 1:  Your imagination affects your emotions.  Scientists have discovered there is a kind of “hot line” running from the part of the mind that imagines to the part of the mind that controls your emotions.  This explains why you can imagine yourself in a frightening situation and actually get emotionally upset.  It is simply because your imagination is sending pictures directly to your emotional control center which, in turn, affects the feelings and functions of the body.

Fact No. 2:  Your imagination is more apt to act destructively rather than constructively unless managed by you.  All of your problems in living are rooted in your imagination. It is the imagination acting negatively that becomes congested by fear, doubt, worry, and makes you feel inferior, unhappy, and depressed.  It even keeps you from getting along with others and is the breeding place for jealousy, envy, suspicion and hate.  Letting your imagination run wild can be one of the most destructive forces in your life.

Fact No. 3:   The untapped power of your imagination is almost unlimited. Psychologists say that, at the very most, people use only 10% to 20% of their mental potential.  They must certainly be referring to the imagination.  Your imagination is a rich source of ideas, mental pictures, and dormant forces that yu can use to develo9p0 your life into abundance and happiness.



Frame Their Art

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Have you ever noticed that all young children are artists?  Creative geniuses ready to bloom and be discovered.  Children can teach us so much about creativity…just watch them when they paint a picture.  They become completely absorbed in the drawing and put their complete attention, concentration, and love into that one picture.  They don’t worry about what others think…they give it their all.

Creativity takes many forms.  A four-year-old boy I know can take a watch apart and put it back together almost exactly the way it was.  When his father discovered this curiosity, he recognized his son’s mechanical ability.  He buys old watches and clocks at garage sales;  the little boy loves them better than toys.

With art children learn to solve problems.  When your child is angry, frustrated, or scared, drawing a picture and telling a story can help him work it through.  Always encourage creativity, for you never know where it might lead.  A top Seattle department store carries jewelry designed with the drawings of a twelve-year-old girl.  One mother used her son’s pictures to make greeting cards; he now works on movies.  A father designed his business cards using a logo that his daughter had scribbled on paper.  It gave her quit a boost…today she is a graphic designer.

When a child explores her creativity she discovers her potential.  When her potential is recognized and acknowledged, her future is secured.  Frame their art and suddenly it looks suitable for any gallery.  Hang it on the walls and they are ready to fly.


Super Heroes

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Symbols of action hero favorites decorate shirts and pajamas, wallpaper and sheets. Heroes are huge with kids…both small and of the grown-up variety. A “hero” is anyone worthy of being respected and honored for his or her courage, noble exploits or outstanding qualities. On a TV screen or through a child at play cartoon characters and fictional action-figure heroes routinely exhibit great courage. But the contrived and scripted stages on which they act are so artificial their actions are usually of little value in guiding the real world behavior of kids. Children, though, don’t always draw this distinction clearly. So, it is a wise parent who builds “thought bridges” across which these heroic actions of fantasy champions can be translated into real life principles and acts a child can imitate on the stages of their own family, school, community and social relationships.

Use questions like these to help you and your children notice and value everyday heroes and heroics:

After you have watched a hero perform in a game, a movie, on a TV show, or in a newspaper or news report, ask:

  • What do you think he/she was thinking at that moment?
  • What is the lesson to be learned from what happened?
  • What would prevent me from doing the same thing?

When a friend, neighbor or family member does something “heroic” (selfless, of true value and worthy of emulation), ask:

  • How can I/we best applaud and truly appreciate what this person has done? (Imitation is the highest form of flattery.)
  • Is jealousy or rivalry coloring the value of this act?

When your “hero” fails to perform, ask:

  • Should this failure or mistake change my “hero’s” status?
  • Did my hero have the character to express regret/apologize?

Summer School Offers Critical Thinking – Problem Solving Activities + Extended Learning

Monday, May 6th, 2013

When it’s time to go beyond learning facts and to get into the grayer matter of a topic or skill, your student is ready for an inquiry activity that presents the student with a challenging task, provides access to online resources and scaffolds the learning process to prompt higher order thinking. The best online learning programs include both an activity and extended learning section. These are an important part of learning. Students will not fully comprehend the concept or skill being taught unless they can apply critical thinking and problem solving skill.

Activities:

These can include a worksheet, hands-on activity, project, problems, questions or sites relevant to the study guide. This is a chance for students to apply what they have learned.  e-Tutor does not grade or evaluate activities, but encourages tutors to review these with their students. They should be used as a springboard for discussion.  Questions asked of the student might be:  “What did you learn by doing this?”  “How could you have done this differently?”  “Explain this concept to me.”

Extended Learning:

This might consist of a critical thinking project, problem or discussion that goes beyond the scope of the lesson. e-Tutor does not grade or evaluate extended learning activities.   Rather, these are used to frame a discussion between the student, parent and tutor. We suggest that both Activity and Extended Learning  activities be kept in folders, one for each of the main curricular areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.

Students begin by learning background knowledge presented in the Study Guide, they are then given a specific task to complete. They synthesize their learning by presenting their interpretation of the Activity and Extended Learning to a parent or another adult..

Anything that requires evaluation or scientific hypothesizing will evoke a variety of interpretations. The reason the e-Tutor Activities and Extended Learning are so critical to the lesson is because they offer the breadth of perspectives and viewpoints that are usually needed to construct meaning on complex topics. Students benefit from completing these sections of each lesson so that they can explore and make sense of the concepts or skills introduced in the Study Guide.

Students are encouraged to keep track of the time they spend learning. They can jot down the time they start to study and the time they finish on a piece of paper or a calendar. Make sure and include time spent in physical development and the arts.

Tutors will quickly know which areas their students are struggling in and which topics they favor by frequently checking their portfolios. You might need to make recommendations to your students about trying new subjects or topics. New lesson modules are added frequently.

Credit Recovery – Guides and Directs Student Learning

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

e-Tutor students say that online credit recovery courses have characteristics their teachers do not offer.  The online program is always available.  The program has a “patient” character and is nonjudgmental.  e-Tutor allows students to be anonymous and allows them to do many things at the same time.  e-Tutor aligns online information to the student’s learning program.

Tutors are all teachers who have been trained in online learning.  Tutors are available at times that are convenient for both student and tutor.

e-Tutor Credit Recovery Program includes Online Tutoring

  • Effective one-to-one learning
  • Direct contact with your tutor a minimum of one hour each week
  • ‘Talk” to your tutor 24/7 via email
  • Includes expanded access to e-Tutor lesson modules
  • Tutors emphasize skill building and reinforcement of concepts
  • Assignments aligned to e-Tutor lesson modules
  • Online communication and completion of assignments through the e-Tutor bulletin board/chat room
  • Parents have access to and can view assignments and tutor comments and grades

Plus: All of the features from the Regular eTutor Independent Study Program

  • Complete K-12 accredited curriculum
  • Interactive online lesson modules
  • Access from anywhere, at any time:
    All you need is a web browser
  • Special parent login allows progress tracking and report card generation
  • Automatically graded quizzes and exams

Leisure-Time Reading

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Leisure-time reading outside of educational activities is a key to superior learning performance, according to a study which examined the reading habits of 155 ten-year-olds. The most surprising finding was not the link between outside reading and educational proficiency, but rather the low amount of outside reading that is actually needed to improve instructional performance.

Astonishingly, ten minutes a day of outside book reading makes a vast difference, according to the study published in Reading Research Quarterly. Improvement tends to level off as outside reading time increases beyond twenty minutes a day.

Unfortunately most students read very little on their own. Therefore, the study suggests, parents and educators should make sure children have access to interesting books at a suitable vocabulary and comprehension level, and that adults read aloud to them and provide time for reading during each day.

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Decision-makers frequently underestimate the costs of doing nothing, of maintaining the status quo. The price of not changing is often less obvious and harder to quantify than the expense of change.  In an ideal world, improvement and new opportunity decisions are made on a rational basis: cost effectiveness – monetary and human. Accurate estimates of costs and benefits for each proposed alternative must be calculated. The costs are relatively easy to isolate.

But what about the alternative that doesn’t involve change, the status quo option? Underestimated costs of doing nothing include downtime, clinging to outgrown systems, incompatible mixes of old and new programs and procedures, or using outdated procedures.  An apt description of our educational system.

The demands on education have increased greatly in recent years. Student populations have changed, and community complexity has increased. Instead of adopting new methods and procedures, some organizations stretch their old systems to accommodate the change they have experienced. Eventually the organization slows down, becomes less efficient or effective, and gives poor service. The costs are public dissatisfaction, more complaints and pressure for privatization.

If an organization prefers to maintain the status quo, it will only change when forced to. This will result in a mishmash of new, old and totally obsolete practices. One way to be prepared for change is to have procedures to respond to new requirements and opportunities……built into the organization. There is no such thing as cost-free status quo.

A Balanced Approach to Teaching Reading

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Consider the following two teaching methods in English Language Arts. Mr. Brown hands out a worksheet exercise to his first grade students on circling words that contain the same “ch” sound. This is an explicit exercise on phonics or basic skills instruction in reading. Mrs. Kato reads to the class and asks her first graders to write about the topic after the reading. Mrs. Kato was using the whole language approach to teaching reading. Which is a better method of teaching reading to children?

Research says that a combination of the two methods or balanced instruction may be the most effective way to teach the beginning reader. This balanced instruction involves teaching the relationship between letters and sounds in a systematic fashion, and at the same time, children are being read to and reading interesting stories and writing at the same time. Researchers claim that the combination method presents the best of both worlds in teaching reading.

Achieving Succes

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Levels of student achievement have continued to decrease despite increases in the school resources applied to the learning process over the years.  Few educators would argue that standardized tests are the best measure of school effectiveness.  Yet, there are many technical issues involved in the tests themselves ad how the scores are reported and analyzed.

The reality is that the test results are concise and appealing to the public….. hence important to the school. They also are consequential for individual students, who need good scores to qualify for high school graduation, colleges, and scholarships. So, new approaches to assessment and better tests may be needed in the long run, but in the short run it would be of benefit simply to achieve higher scores. Two effective means to this end currently are available. The first focuses on the test scores directly, while the second reaches beyond the tests to each school’s curriculum and preparation of students to lead productive and fulfilling lives.  This is the technique that eTutor uses to improve the online teaching-learning process

Another effective approach is to develop the study skills which facilitate the learning process…..skills which are not covered in most school curricula. The deeper issue behind raising test scores is the instructional effectiveness of the school. Improvements here mean better-prepared individuals, lifelong learning, and progress for society. An important part of this improvement process involves assessing the needs in various aspects of the instructional program and its operation, then evaluating the progress which results from improvement efforts.