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Archive for the ‘Learning Activities’ Category

Six Developmental Needs of Young Adolescents

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
What are the specialized needs of young adolescents ages 10-15? Why do we need to develop curricula and instructional programs tailored to those unique needs? Researchers have found that young adolescents have the following developmental needs:
  • Positive social interaction with adults and peers
  • Creative expression
  • Structure and clear limits to physical activity
  • Meaningful participation in families and learning programs
  • Opportunities for self definition
  • Competence and achievement
Programs which meet the developmental needs of young adolescents use a variety of activities and strategies. As young adolescents have an orientation toward peers and a concern about social acceptance, work in small groups and advisory programs promote opportunities for interaction with peers and adults. Interdisciplinary team organization fosters feelings of belonging while advisory groups allow time and a small group for discussion of issues.
Achievement and competence is achieved through authentic assessment based on personal goals, challenging intellectual material focused on relevant problems and issues, and with recognition by peers and adults. The increase in the desire for autonomy can be addressed through learning strategies involving choice, a curriculum based on social and individual interests. Service projects and project based learning capitalize upon young adolescent’s creative expression and need for meaningful participation.

Outsmarting Stress

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

We don’t know where we got this wonderful reminder….but it is something we wish we could remember when pressures get too great.

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: Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.

If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.


Wisdom from Helen Keller

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes, with a will, the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks.

Helen Keller

Competition

Friday, July 26th, 2013

With the beginning of school, comes another season of sports of all kinds for our youngsters. We have come to believe that competition is good for us. But research show that “offensive competition.” which involves aggressive gamesmanship, can be counterproductive. A study conducted at the University of Texas disclosed that people who were more concerned with winning than with performing well had lower levels of achievement. If you are competitive or your child is competitive, consider the following:

Keep in mind that competition is not the opposite of cooperation. Using cooperative strategies will often help one be more “competitive.”

Learn to believe in yourself. Do not strive to prove yourself in others’ eyes.

Accept that other people are needed to get ahead. A combination of healthy competition and cooperation can go a long way.

Keep an open mind to new ideas, information and feedback. Offensively competitive people often resist others’ suggestions.

Help others to achieve their goals.

Ten Ways to Improve Writing Skills

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Why is writing important? It is functional. It helps us get practical things done. It is stimulating. Writing not only helps provoke thoughts, but helps us organize those thoughts in a logical, concise manner. It is therapeutic. It allows us to express feelings that may not be easily expressed in face-to-face communication.

  • Spend time on activities that require real writing rather than on short answers and fill-in-the blank exercises.
  • Spend time putting thoughts on paper in a logical, well-organized way.
  • Include research and brainstorming as part of writing.
  • Make writing useful.
  • Use drafts. Revising and editing are done by all good writers.
  • Respond to the ideas expressed in writing. The true
  • function of writing is to convey ideas.
  • Write about something that is of interest.
  • Take advantage of skills that lead to writing, such as, rhythms, reading, music, listening.
  • Reward writing that is clear and concise.
  • Write for real world applications, such as a letter to the editor, writing a resume or a job application.

Face to Face Communications

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

When dealing with people, be ready to react to the actions of different personalities. Here are some examples:

  • Dealing with the aggressor who is intimidating, hostile

and loves to threaten.

What to do: Listen to everything the person has to say. Avoid arguments and be formal, calling the person by name. Be concise and clear with your reactions.

  • Dealing with the under-miner who takes pride in criticism and is sarcastic and devious.

What to do: Focus on the issues and don’t acknowledge sarcasm. Don’t overreact.

  • Dealing with the unresponsive person who is difficult to talk to and never reveals his or her ideas.

What to do: Ask open-ended questions and learn to be silent.  Wait for the other person to say something. Be patient and friendly.

  • Dealing with the egotist who knows it all and feels and acts superior.

What to do: Make sure you know the facts. Agree when possible and ask questions and listen. Disagree only when you know you’re right.

Courtesy of Business Marketing Reference Manual

Measuring Our Students Educational Program

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

The other day a neighbor visited me while I was working in the garden. She wanted to talk about the changes occurring at the local school. Comparing the education she and her husband received with that her children were receiving, she had determined that they were getting an excellent education. Both parents were pleased their children were learning “so much more” than they had.

I had to agree with my friend, that, we most often use this standard of measurement for our children’s schooling. I certainly did when my children were young. But is this the best measure for quality in education? I asked the neighbor to consider how the world had changed, in the time since she was in school, and the amount of information we and our children have at our finger tips. It seems reasonable to assume that our children should be learning a great deal more of the information that took us years to assimilate. For the most part, our children begin school having access to more information than we had. By the time a child has completed one year of schooling that information has almost doubled. When I was in school it took many years for information to change. That provided me and those of my generation a certain consistency with learning information that is not available today. Therefore, I’m not certain that the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are adequate for today’s student.

Unfortunately, I do not have an easy answer for what should be or could be. I do know that when I hear about educators who continue to teach the way they have for many years, it concerns me. I have seen wonderful teachers who are very good with their students, but who are missing the mark in preparing their students for this fast-paced world. That human aspect is so very important to teaching, but what of the child who does not receive adequate information to be successful in ensuing years. What a dilemma it raises for those of us who work with these well intentioned people on a daily basis. The tried and true paradigms of the past, that served us well, that prepared our youngster for a successful future, are not adequate today. We all have to try harder to challenge our own methods of educating and of evaluating schooling.

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.


Traveling With Math

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Will you be traveling this summer?  Here are a few math activities that you can do with your child…

  1. Discuss directions (north, south, east, and west) to give your child a sense of coordinates.  Use street maps to find travel routes and addresses.  Have your child estimate the time of your arrival and compare that to the actual time it took to arrive at a given destination.
  2. Have competitions when traveling.  Count red cars or see who can find the largest number formed by the numerals on a license plate.
  3. Have your child practice record and read the large number on license plates viewed.  Find the largest number in a given time period of travel.
  4. Estimate, then time how long before a street light changes.  Estimate, then count how many stores are in a block.
  5. Point out speed limits and distances between towns.  Talk about the time it takes to get from one town to another when you drive at different speeds.
  6. Have your child check the odometer in the car to determine distances on a trip….starting point and ending destination.
  7. Find the differences between certain distances traveled.  Find out how much farther you traveled on the first day than you did on the second day.
  8. Practice reading the numbers on the odometer.


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.