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Posts Tagged ‘educating’

The Changing Face of Teaching and Learning

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Among the impacts of radical change is fundamental uncertainty, a knot-in-the-stomach feeling that what we normally do might not work this time. Fundamental uncertainty makes it easy to visualize a youngster, standing at the chalkboard with his hands in his pockets, completely stumped by the problem before him.

To complicate matters further, fundamental uncertainty has a companion malady …… uncertainty of role. In addition to not knowing what to do, many are beginning to question whether we should be doing (or not doing) what we’re doing (or not doing).  Online learning and the role of teachers exacerbates uncertainty.

America’s schools are not immune to the forces of radical change and the uncertainty it’s causing. In fact, some school people appear numbed by the magnitude of the events driving radical change. Like the young student, they’re stuck at the chalkboard, uncertain of what to do next.  Online learning is a force that educators need to reckon with.  Coming from the outside in, it will radically change the way schooling has traditionally taken place.  Yet, coming from the inside, the promises online learning offer will not be recognized.


Quality of Time

Monday, January 14th, 2013


Busy parents……especially those who are working or are single working parents…..have a limited amount of time to spend with their children. Spending time with your child, no matter what the age, is extremely important, but research suggests it is the quality of the time spent, not the quantity of time that is important.

The quality of the time you spend together can be enhanced by talking with and listening to your child. Communicating with your child encourages him or her to express ideas, improve vocabulary and develop thinking skills……all of which are important for success in school.

Quality time can occur at any time or any place. Driving in the car or riding in the bus, taking a walk in the park or a stroll through the neighborhood or going for an ice cream after dinner are all good opportunities for talking together. Cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, or washing the dishes together provide time to communicate with each other and keep in touch with each other’s activities. Children of all ages especially enjoy having your full attention at bedtime when you can read or talk together.

Holidays and the “Missing Parent”

Sunday, December 30th, 2012
Holidays can be difficult times for children when their parents are divorced or separated.  According to psychologists Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts”  “The child may be hurt or angry when the parent does not contact him on a holiday.  The parent who lives with the child may then be left to deal with the emotional reactions.  The child may have fantasies that the holiday would be much better with the missing parents.  or he may blame the parent he is with for the fact the other isn’t there.”

Ignoring the emotional stress may be tempting….especially if you yourself are still dealing with the stress and emotions of a divorce or separation.  But that only causes your child to feel worse, the authors say.

They suggest:  Sit down with the child and look at pictures of the missing parent and talk about what it would be like to have contact with him or her.  Set aside your own anger and simply listen to your child’s feeling, say the authors.  help make contact with relatives of the missing parent if they want to see the child.  if there is no chance of the child reconnecting with a missing parent at holidays, have an honest discussion about the subject.

“Family Change: Don’t Cancel Holidays,” Psychology Today

Preparing Students for Reading

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The best way to prepare students for reading instruction is to read interesting books to them. Nearly any book that youngsters can understand and relate to will do. Nursery rhymes and books with repetitive patterns lend themselves to preparation for reading.

Children begin acquiring literacy (reading and writing) long before they enter school. Most school-age children have acquired a fairly extensive vocabulary and sophisticated language system. They have seen traffic signs and billboard advertising, printed messages on television, and printing on cereal boxes. They can tell a McDonald’s logo from that of Burger King and distinguish a box of Fruit Loops from a box of Captain Crunch.

They have seen their parents read books, magazines, newspapers, letters, or bills, and observed them writing notes or letters, filling out forms, and making lists. The children may also have imitated some of these activities. Their parents may have read books to them and provided them with crayons, pencils, and other tools of literacy. All youngsters, no matter how impoverished their environment, have begun the journey along the path that begins with language acquisition and ends in formal literacy.

What Is Your SSQ (Study Skills Quotient)?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Smart is not something you are…smart is something you can become if you work at it.

Lots of techniques can help you study better, but nothing can take the place of a good attitude.  Read the following statements.  how many of these good study habits do you practice regularly, sometimes or never?  Your answers will reveal a lot about your attitude toward studying.

Yes or no….
I have a regular time for homework.  Even when I’m busy, I always manage to find some time to study.

If I get a bad grade on a test, I work harder.  I also seek help from a teacher, parent, a tutor or another student who is doing well with learning.

I have goals for what I want to do after graduation.  I know that studying will help me get closer to may goals.

I’m usually prepared for studying.

I know how to break a large project down into smaller, easier steps.

If I have a subject that I don’t really like, I work harder to make it interesting.

Is Your Child Ready for Schooling?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Learning was on the minds of everyone this month as the children in the neighborhood started school again. Backpacks bulged with new books and supplies, girls wore the latest fashions and boys found the baggiest jeans. Happy faces and anticipation as the little ones trooped off to catch the bus.

A neighbor stopped over and asked about her child who is three. With a birthday in September, she has been told that it might be better if she holds him back from attending school a year. Her concern is that he will be the youngest child in the class and may be immature and not do well in the school. This is a difficult question for me…..my own children have October birthdays and I did not hold either back. I know they struggled not only through elementary and high school, but college as well. Nevertheless, they both were bright enough and I didn’t see the problem as theirs, but that of the schools. In hindsight would I have done things differently….probably not. It is painful, though, as a parent, to see your child struggle.

So, my response to my neighbor was “wait and see, he is still young.” My children are adults now and there weren’t as many options then. However, it saddens me to think that a parent has to even consider this question today. Many parents choose to keep their children home for schooling, but others are unable to do this. So, do they have to worry that their child may not be ready? “Who is not ready, the child or the school?”

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.”

Don’t Pop Our Balloon!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Over the years we have met with many skeptics. We find the following helpful when someone has tried to “pop our balloon.” It is far better to give an idea a chance….or at least to not immediately shoot it down….than to be one of those who always says “Won’t work,” “Bad idea,” or “Too risky;” and so, never doing anything great!

  • This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920’s.
  • “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.” A Yale management professor in response to Fred Smith’s proposal for an overnight delivery service. Smith is the founder of Federal Express Corporation.
  • “A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” Response to Debbi Field’s idea about starting Little Debbi Cookies.
  • “We didn’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” Decca Recording Company rejection of the Beatles, 1962.
  • “If had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.” Spencer Silver on his invention of the Post-It Notes
  • “So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or, we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary; we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So, then we went to Hewlett-Packard and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t gotten through college yet.’ ” Apple Computer Inc. Founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
  • “Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” 1921 New York Times on Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.
  • “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Office of patents, 1899.

From Phi Delta Kappa

Summary of the World

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

This came to me many years ago from a fifth grade teacher in Illinois.  I think it bears repeating.  Interestingly, I wonder if the demographics are still the same after several years. 

If we could, at this time, shrink the Earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:

There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere (North and South) and 8 Africans.

1.         70 would be nonwhite; 30 white

2.         70 would be non-Christian; 30 Christian

3.         50% of the entire world wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people

4.         All 6 would be citizens of the United States

5.         70 would be unable to read

6.         50 would suffer from malnutrition

7.         80 would live in substandard housing

8.         Only 1 would have a college education

When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent.

Monday, July 30th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:

Dr. Martha Angulo, 877-687-7200

eTUTOR VIRTUAL LEARNING EARNS CONTINUING NCA-CASI ACCREDITATION

Boulder, CO – July 30, 2012– Dr. Martha Angulo, President of Knowledge Headquarters, Inc. parent organization, announced today that eTutor Virtual Learning earned continuing accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.  eTutor Virtual Learning has been accredited since 2002.

NCA CASI provides nationally-recognized accreditation, the purpose of which is continuous school improvement focused on increasing student performance.  To earn accreditation, schools must meet NCA CASI’s high standards, be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school, and implement a continuous process of school improvement.  Accreditation is granted on a five-year term,

“Accreditation demonstrates to our students, parents, and online community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation staffed by highly qualified educators,” stated Dr. Angulo.

NCA CASI accreditation is recognized across state lines, which not only eases the transfer process as students move from accredited school to accredited school but also assures parents that the school is meeting nationally accepted standards for quality and successful professional practice.

Dr. Mark Elgart, President/CEO of AdvancED, the parent organization of NCA CASI, stated, “NCA CASI Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school on the primary goal of creating lifelong learners.  eTutor Virtual Learning is to be commended for engaging in this process and demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.”

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About KNOWLEDGE HEADQUARTERS, INC. and  ETUTOR VIRTUAL LEARNING

eTutor uses the Internet to deliver and manage student instruction, track assessments, provide opportunities for direct instruction by tutors, communicate, make assignments, and provide required curriculum materials and activities.  Over 10,000 students from around the world have benefited from the eTutor program since its inception. eTutor is the flagship program of Knowledge HQ, a corporate organization committed to enhancing education through Internet technology.  More information can be found at www.etutor.com.

About AdvancED and NCA CASI

Dedicated to advancing excellence in education through accreditation, research, and professional services, AdvancED is the world’s largest education community, serving and engaging over 27,000 public and private schools and districts in 69 countries and serving nearly 16 million students. AdvancED is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).   NCA CASI is a non-governmental, voluntary association of nearly 10,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools throughout the world.