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Archive for the ‘Learning Activities’ Category

eTutor Offers New App – eTutor Unplugged!

Thursday, March 13th, 2014


In an effort to provide more access to the wealth of instructional content in the eTutor bank of lesson modules we have created an additional program. eTutor Unplugged has been developed to give students and parents another way to access instruction over the Internet. Individual lessons may be purchased for a nominal fee and can be accessed unlimited times for one year.

For instance, in this lesson module on Figurative Language, you can see how the use of graphics and pictures enhance the information and skills being taught. The use of internet links within the Study Guide and in the Resource section provide additional information for student learning.

Lesson Modules cover 27 subjects in the four major areas of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Subjects are recommended based on the grade level of your student. Of course you may adapt your selections based on student need.

eTutor Unplugged offers users the option of receiving credit for lessons completed. When enrolling in eTutor Virtual School for a minimum of three months, students may transfer their work for credit which is accepted in public and private schools, universities and colleges, military and when applying for jobs. eTutor Virtual School is accredited through AdvancEd and North Central Association (NCA).

Making Time Count

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

time.gif (19378 bytes)What is the one thing you give your child that you can never replace? Time. You cannot buy it, sell it, rent it or change it. All you can do is use it!

You cannot change the quantity of time you have, but you can change the quality of your time.

  • Write down the things that are most important in your life. Chances are that your family will be at the top of the list.
  • Try to remember how you have spent your time during the past few days, hour by hour. Does the way you spend your time reflect your priorities? How much time was spent with your children? How important were the things that you cannot remember?
  • Make a plan for how you will use your time in the week ahead. Write it down. Include time with children in your plan. Check to see how you did at the end of the week.

We do what we think is important. Deciding what we think is important can be the first step in making time count.

Individuality as a Source of Value

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

There is no such thing as a value unless there are people involved. A value is something that provides benefit or opens up the possibility of benefit for someone. Values do not hang like clouds in the air. The have to be attached to people. Values require a constant asking of questions.

  • Who is going to be affected by this?
  • Who is going to benefit?
  • Who is going to be inconvenienced?
  • What will the perceptions be?
  • What are the immediate effects, both short and long term?
  • Will this value be noticed, will people talk about it?
  • Are there any special circumstances where the value will be different?
  • Are there special people for whom this could be a value?

Every educator knows….or should know….that there is no “average” student. If there are characteristics of intelligence, discipline, laziness, energy, trouble making, or boredom, troubles at home, and so on, then an educator knows that every possible combination of these factors will be exhibited in an individual.

The trick is to recognize individuality as a source of value.

By Edward de Bono

Happy Columbus Day!

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Columbus Day is celebrated on October 14 this year. Since 1920 the day has been celebrated annually. The history of Columbus, first landing in the New World on October 12, will be retold in many social studies classes in October.  The following is a brief account of its history.

On August 3, 1492 Columbus and 90 men set sail to find an easier route to Asia for the spice merchants. The expedition was sponsored by Queen Isabella of Spain, provided that Columbus would conquer some of the islands and mainland for Spain. On October 12 the ships landed on the island of Guanahani (in the Caribbean Islands) which Columbus immediately christened San Salvador and claimed it for Spain. When they landed on what is now Cuba they thought it was Japan! After 3 subsequent voyages, Columbus died rich and famous but not knowing that he had discovered lands that few people had imagined were there.

There are many holidays celebrated in the United States. Each holiday has an interesting history, and learning about holidays can help us understand the country and its people. Happy Columbus Day!

Seeing With Words

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

At a recent dinner meeting I was seated at a table with a visually impaired woman. She graciously helped all of us at the table understand her needs and quickly learned a lot about us. When communicating with visually impaired people, these suggestions might help:

  • Identify yourself and introduce anyone else who is present.
  • When offering a handshake, say, “Shall we shake hands?”
  • When offering a seat, place the person’s hand on the back or arm of the seat.
  • Tell the person when you need to end the conversation or when you move.

Have a Good Laugh!

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Having a good laugh is a great way to reduce the stress of family life.

Create your own “humor first aid kit” for days that don’t go well. Collect items that will make you and your kids laugh….silly books, squeaky toys, cartoons, and funny videos.

Find a special place to tape up cartoons and other funny items….if your kids like silly poems, they’ll love Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends (Harper & Row).

Some families like to write stories about funny things that have happened to them….you may want to create your own silly stories.

Every library is full of humorous stories and songs that your children will love. And don’t forget the joke and riddle books. Ask your librarian to recommend a few.

Laughter is not a cure-all, but it certainly helps.

Two Methods of Reading Instruction

Wednesday, October 2nd, 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.

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Does using shorter sentences and smaller words make a political candidate more attractive to voters? According to a study by two college researchers, it makes candidates more successful in getting their messages across to voters. Mary-Ann Leon and T. Harrell Allen of California State Polytechnic University studied the speeches of President Bush and Michael Dukakis during their two 1988 debates: They found: Bush’s remarks scored at the 8th grade level….making them clear to more than two-thirds of the audience. Dukakis tested at the 10th and 12thgrade levels….comprehensible to less than 50 percent of Americans. The difference: Dukakis used longer, more complex sentences and words than Bush did.

So Much to Do…So Little Time

Friday, September 27th, 2013
In the fast-paced world in which we live, adults often are hard pressed to find the time to work, manage a household, raise a family and pursue leisure activities….all within the confines of a 24 – hour day. Children are no different. Between going to school, doing homework, working part time, visiting with friends, attending athletic practice, participating in school clubs, taking music or dance lessons, doing household chores and watching a favorite television……a child can find himself without a minute to spare during a typical day.
Children need their parents’ help in learning how to organize their time. By equipping them with some vital time management skills now, they will be better prepared to meet the increasing demands placed on their lives as they grow older.
  • Weekly chart. Map out a schedule each week, with specific times allotted for school, homework, work, chores, extracurricular activities, television, dating and going out with friends.
  • Permanent work space. By mid-elementary age, your child should have his own palace for studying.
  • Organized notebooks.
  • Regular homework time
Learning comes first. If your child starts producing incomplete assignments, neglecting his homework or slacking off in his grades, it is time to make hip drop some activities. If schoolwork improves, he can resume the disrupted activity.
Do not let your child over structure her time after school and on weekends. Children need a few moments to wind down between activities. Encourage them to have a healthy snack, listen to music or read a magazine before rushing off to soccer practice or a music lesson. Remember that part of the joy in being young is the freedom to do nothing at all.

Outsmarting Stress

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
Relieve stress by understanding which brain hemisphere is stressed. If you feel depressed or emotionally overwrought, your stress is in the right hemisphere….the creative, emotional, holistic side.
What to do:
  1. Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.
  2. If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.
Jane Cole-Hamilton, Wellspring Seminars