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Posts Tagged ‘summer school’

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.


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.

Where Are The Basic Math Facts?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

eTutor’s curriculum calls for the quick recall of basic facts by children at the end of third grade.  Learning of these skills is done best by teaching students about numbers in relation to everyday life activities and not exclusively by rote drills and memorization.  Their math horizons are expanding to include problem-solving skills, ratio and proportions, algebra, geometry, measurement, data collection, analysis and estimation.  eTutor challenges students to balance a strong knowledge of basic skills with the ability to solve day-to-day math problems with confidence.

It is appropriate for students to struggle once in a while with math problems.  This helps them learn from mistakes, practice persistence and accept challenges.

Numbers and operations on numbers play fundamental roles in helping us make sense of the world around us.  Operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as the ability to find powers and roots, extend the notion of numbers to create tools to model situations and solve problems in our everyday lives.  Discussing and solving problems related to budgets, comparing prices on merchandise, understanding the nature of interest charges, measuring fuel consumption and calculating the trajectory for space travel would all be impossible without a sense of numbers and numerical operations.  All people must develop this sense of numbers and operations and be able to use it to solve problems using mental computation, paper-and-pencil algorithms, calculators and computers. (from eTutor Goals for Mathematics)

Eight Ideas for Summer Learning

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Using the summer months to expand and enhance your child’s skills for learning will benefit your child year round.  Some ideas to get you started might include the following:

  • Select safe, educational toys…such as those that need to be put together.
  • Play games—especially those that have educational value, like number games, guessing games, word games.
  • Encourage your child to do projects with other children.  He/she will learn to cooperate and his/her social skills will improve.
  • Take your child on the train, bus, streetcar or airplane.
  • Listen to your child…encourage him or her to ask questions, discuss ideas and tell stories.
  • Select activities that fit your child’s level of development, ones that he or she can learn from and enjoy.
  • And be sure to set a good example.  If you are interested in learning, your child probably will be, too.  For instance, set a family reading time or some other organized learning activity and share experiences.
  • Learning is a skill and like other skills it improves with practice…so give your child the practice he or she needs to develop learning skills!

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.

Gifted and Talented

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Although we place high hopes for a worthwhile future on the gifted and talented youth of today, we often neglect this group.  Many gifted children are left to their own devices in school as well as at home.

Contrary to the popular misconceptions that they will do better without interference and that they will succeed on their own, some gifted children experience academic, social, and personal problems when they do not receive support from society and parents.  Gifted children display their abilities in a variety of ways, each unique to the individual child.  In general, for most children, giftedness is demonstrated by performance of tasks and understanding of concepts usually associated with much older children.  Reading signs, magazines, and books, and performing mathematical computations at ages three to five; speaking complete sentences and using abstract vocabulary at age two and three….all indicate superior intellectual abilities.

Often the gifted child feels isolated from the rest of the world because of the exceptional abilities he or she possesses.  Facing these feelings of difference alone can create emotional problems, disruptive behaviors, or withdrawal from the frustrating situation.  Parents play an important role in the development of exceptional abilities in children, especially in encouraging a favorable attitude toward these tendencies.

Because of their heightened perceptions and sensitivities, many gifted children need an environment that is secure emotionally and stimulating intellectually to allow their abilities to flourish.  Too many adults overlook their needs, however, assuming that these children already have advantages other lack.  Consequently, much is left to parents to provide for the gifted.  Working with the child and with other parents, they can accomplish this awesome, often frustrating, task.

A Word About Old Education – Dewey

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

I ran across this in my email this morning and wanted to share it with you:

Dewey (1899) (yes, that would be the 19th Century) wrote
<http://bit.ly/JvR3cG>:  ’I may have exaggerated somewhat in order to
make plain the typical points of the old education: its passivity of
attitude, its mechanical massing of children, its uniformity of
curriculum and method. It may be summed up by stating that the centre
of gravity is outside the child. It is in the teacher, the textbook,
anywhere and everywhere you please except in the immediate instincts
and activities of the child himself.’

We recently went through evaluation for accreditation.  One of the points the evaluators focused on was the compilation of student achievement in order to improve the educational program.   eTutor focuses on the individual student and makes improvements to the instructional program based on individual results.

Many students and parents, as well, view instruction and assessment as competition.  Learning is not a race and should not be viewed as such.  Each child is special and his/her instructional program should be special.  Comparisons between student learning result in a host of problems and issues that extend well beyond the school years.  It seems we have not changed much since the 19th Century.

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)

Six Steps Online Students Need to Follow

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Online learning is gaining acceptance in school districts around the country.  However,  school districts want to know students are actually spending their time learning.  When asked about your online learning program,  if your student has taken the following steps, you will have evidence of a very strong program.

  1. Plan to spend approximately five hours learning each day.
  2. Keep track of when you start to study and when you stop each day.  Keep record of sport and art activity on your list, as well.
  3. Have a notebook, pencil, paper and any other necessary materials available before starting online learning each day.
  4. Establish a schedule for learning and start, as much as possible, the same time each day.
  5. Share with your parents or another adult the goals and time management plan you have established for yourself.
  6. Keep a record of activities, assignments, and testing completed. Include examples when possible.

Ten Steps for Parents Using Online Learning Programs

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Ten Steps Parents Can Take For Student Success with Online Learning

You and your student have decided that online learning is an alternative to regular public and private schooling that must be tried.  What can you do to insure your student is successful?  Here are steps you will want to know before starting online learning.

  1. Understand that you are your child’s instructional and academic leader/coach.
  2. Create an atmosphere for learning at home.
  3. Establish learning goals with your student focusing on the subjects appropriate for his/her grade level.
  4. Get to know your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Review, daily, completed learning projects and activities.
  6. Expect your student to spend a minimum of approximately four and a half to five hours learning each day.
  7. Provide your student with adequate equipment and materials to be a successful learner.
  8. Monitor and review assessment scores with your student.
  9. Work with your child in designating specific blocks of time for studying.
  10. Enjoy the learning experience with your student!