_In The News                    January 2005   Vol. 8-1

President’s Message

January has been a formidable start for the New Year.  We have been extremely busy since that clock turned past midnight on the first day of the year.  I try to remind myself of the notion that it is better to be busy than not.  But, frankly, some days it is tempting to just curl up with a good novel.  

We were extremely pleased with the results of the Evaluation Team that visited our offices this month.  They found the e-Tutor Program to be exemplary and have recommended accreditation to the CITA-NCA Board.   As I understand it, the Board will meet the middle of February to discuss the results of the written report of the Evaluation Team.  They most often take the recommendation of the Evaluation Team.  We look forward to hearing from them toward the end of February or first of March.  Accreditation means that the e-Tutor has met the standards established by CITA-NCA for distance learning programs.  Students will now receive credit toward graduation from a diploma granting institution.  More information will follow in future newsletters.

A future goal will be to work toward granting diplomas through the e-Tutor Virtual Learning Program.   These are exciting times for online learning.  We see the arena growing in the years ahead.  This growth will give parents and educators more choices in the teaching/learning process. 

Over the last months we have been putting in place the protocols for a value-added program from e-Tutor.  Most of you are familiar with the very successful Self-Guided Program.  Tutors here in our Knowledge HQ Center have been working with students using an expanded version of e-Tutor called One2One.  We are now offering this program to students throughout the world.  Students will have the opportunity to access an extended number of e-Tutor lessons,  individualized assignments, communication tools and to work one on one with a tutor from Knowledge HQ.  We hope you will take advantage of this remarkable program.  

In addition, Knowledge HQ is offering additional courses, such as foreign languages, the arts and other electives.  This program is called e-Tutor One2OnePlus.  For either of these great new offerings, please call 877-687-7200 for more information.

There is more in the air, but I will wait and tell you about these activities and programs in the month's ahead. Once again, I want to thank each of you for your commitment and loyalty to education. I look forward to the exciting months and years ahead as we continue to explore new ways of meeting the needs of students around the world.

I hope this month provides you time to curl up with a good novel.  It would be fun to share our readings in the future.   Enjoy the experiences that January offers!

 

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It is not how many years we live, but what we do with them.  it is not what we receive, but what we give to others. 

Evangeline Booth 


 
Learning with e-Tutor:

Creating Lessons for e-Tutor

e-Tutor lessons are rich and varied.  Each lesson comes with a different voice because they are written by teachers throughout the country.  Lesson writers use a simple to use online template created by Strategic Studies.   LessonPro was developed to provide K-12 educators an easy way to write instructional lessons for the Internet. Our goal has been to make the Internet easy for educators to integrate into the teaching learning process. In that regard, teacher-writers may use the lessons they have created for their students.  At the same time writers whose lessons meet our high standards for quality and excellence are reimbursed. The lessons then are exported for use in the e-Tutor Program.  When you view an e-Tutor lesson, you may notice the name of the teacher-writer under the title.  

Each e-Tutor  lessons has nine parts with testing options at the end of each lesson.

  • Introduction:  A brief statement introducing the lesson

  • Grade Level:  The grade levels are -          
    Primary: Grades K - 3
    Intermediate: Grades 4 - 5
    Middle/Junior High: Grades 6 - 8
    High School: Grades 9 - 12

  • Lesson Goals: Learning goals and objectives have been established by e-Tutor and are aligned with the National Goals for Learning.  

  • Resources: A list of Internet sites referenced or relevant to the lesson.  These are helpful and informative for  the parent, as well. 

  • Lesson Problem: A key inquiry or main question that focuses the learner on the concept of the lesson.  Have your student write what he/she knows about the topic or concept of the lesson before beginning the Study Guide.  After taking the quiz and exam you might want to repeat this process. 

  • Vocabulary: A listing of vocabulary terms used in the study guide.  These are automatically linked to Webster's On-line Dictionary.  These are often used as spelling words or for writing sentences. 

  • Study Guide: The actual lesson itself.  The study guide include links, pictures, graphs and tables as appropriate. The links in the Study Guide add to the student's understanding of the concept or skill of the lesson. 

  • Activities: This 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 encourage parents to review these with their students.  They can be used as a springboard for discussion. 

  • Extended Learning: 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.  Again, use these to frame a discussion with your student.  We suggest that both Activity and Extended Learning be kept in folders, one for each of the main curricular areas. 

Test Bank:
Each lesson has between 20 to 60 multiple-choice questions relating to the lesson, so there are ample questions for rotation.  The computer randomly generates quizzes and exams from the questions provided by the writer.  The test is then automatically scored on-line for the student to view.  The questions are multiple-choice with five answer options.  At the end of each answer choice is a brief explanation of the correct choice.

Seven new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  

www.e-tutor.com

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A man's dreams are an index to his greatness.

Zadok Rabinowitz


Seeking Reasonable Behavior

Perhaps more than anything else, parents want to teach their children personal responsibility.  How can they do this in a society that urges instant gratification?  Here is some advice from the experts:

  • Communicate your values openly.  Discuss how values such as honesty, self-reliance, self-respect and respect for others help people make good decisions. 
  • Help your child contribute their skills.  Involve them in household chores and show them that you consider homework an important responsibility.  Children who fulfill responsibilities in a timely manner learn to see themselves as a valuable part of a team. 
  • Create financial awareness.   An allowance teaches lessons about budgeting money.  Give children as young as three a piggy bank.  Encourage older children to open their own bank accounts.  Allow them to make their own choices about how they spend their money. 
  • Instill ambition.  discuss your job and let them visit you at work on occasion, if your employer permits.  Emphasize how basic skills such as reading and math are important in all jobs.  Encourage older children to do volunteer work or seek part-time summer employment. 
  • Set reasonable limits.  Studies have shown that, contrary to popular belief, children want structure in their lives.  let them know exactly what kind of behavior is and is not permitted. 
  • Help them understand the logical consequences for both positive and negative behavior.  Go over in advance what may happen as a result of certain actions.  Don't protect children from the consequences of their behavior.  This will prevent them from learning from their mistakes
  • Be consistent.  Try to make the consequences for a particular action the same each time it occurs.  And, try to make sure both parents discipline in the same fashion. 
  • Have reasonable expectations.  Periodically review and update, with your child's participation, your house rules and responsibilities regarding chores, homework, time limit on TV watching, and the curfew on school and weekend nights.  
  • Promote self-esteem.  Don't forget to praise responsible behavior.  Reprimand a misbehaving child privately.  When correcting, criticize the action, not the child.
  • Respect your child's growing independence.  Let him participate in decision making by allowing him to pick from a range of options acceptable to you. 
  • Guide through example.  Children recognize and resent contradictions between what you say and what you do.  they may be more willing to acknowledge their mistakes if you can admit yours.  

Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention, U.S. Dept. of Education 
The National PTA Talks to Parents, Melitta J. Cutright, Ph.D.


 

What's Your Spin on Learning?

One thing we have learned over the years is that students as well as adults employ a wide variety of methods for absorbing and using new information.  Some very common methods are often ignored in the teaching learning process.  The learners who naturally tend to these "offbeat" learning modes often suffer as a result.  

So how do we guarantee quality learning?  The following illustrates a well-rounded approach to learning:

  • Experiencing:  
    Connect -  Engage in experience
    Examine - Reflect, analyze, experience
  • Conceptualizing:
    Image - Imagine or "picture" the concept
    Define - Learn concepts and skills
  • Applying:
    Try - Practice with content
    Extend - Develop unique, original applications
  • Creating:
    Refine - Analyze application for relevance, usefulness
    Integrate - Share and celebrate learning

By employing a variety of instructional methods you will give learners equal access to knowledge and ultimately success. 

About Learning, Excel, Inc. 

 

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Light tomorrow with today.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Getting Into the Spirit of Writing

Most school-aged children are interested in printed symbols and are eager to compose meaningful messages with those symbols.  Reading and writing abilities develop simultaneously.  The development of abilities in one process facilitates growth in the other language processes.  

Writing experiences and instruction should enable students to use written language for:

  • Exploring and expressing personal opinions, feelings and experiences through forms such as diaries, journals, cards and letters, stories and poems;
  • Communicating information to others through captions, charts, stories and reports;
  • learning in all subjects by recalling, organizing, interpreting and recording ideas or information in reading logs, learning logs, notes and reports. 

Student writers need varied readers or audiences to provide feedback and encouragement. Suggestions and opinions shared through discussions with parents, siblings, peers and other adults, contribute greatly to the development of writing abilities.  

Writing is a complex process of composing meaning.  It is a process that demands intellectual activity that is shaped and structured by language patterns, usage and conventions.  

 


Oral Interpretation

There are six basic vocal elements:  volume, rate, pitch, inflection, stress and pause.  Although young students do not need to know these labels, all students' oral language will benefit from at least an understanding of the vocal elements. 

Volume is the softness or loudness of the voice.  A soft voice can indicate smallness, gentleness, carefulness or reluctance; a loud voice can indicate largeness and power.  Rate is the speed at which a speaker talks.  A quick rate suggest excitement or hastiness; a slow rate suggests sadness or calmness.  Pitch is the highness or lowness of a voice.  High pitch can indicate youth and tininess; low pitch can indicate maturity and hugeness. Inflection, or change in the pitch of a voice, allows the speaker to convey different shades of meaning.  Stress refers to the amount of emphasis given to a word or words.  A pause can indicate uncertainty if it is short, and confusion, sadness, or deliberation if it is long.

Students, while reading aloud,  should try to use different voices to indicate a variety of characters and moods.  Ask your child to use a 'whispery' voice, a 'whiny' voice and a 'squeaky' voice.  The intent of practicing voice types is not to prepare our children for a career on the stage but to have fun with oral language while increasing students' reading ability. 

Idea Factory for Teachers, Silver Burdett & Ginn


How Disciplined is Your Memory?

It is truly a joy to remember fun and satisfying things.  Then again, it's really awful to be plagued by negative memories.  People with undisciplined memories will recall things randomly.  They may also have trouble remembering specific things when they want to.  People with disciplined memories:

  • Believe that they will remember ("I never forget a face");
  • Integrate new information using specific techniques (essentially attaching a "flag" to it) so they can draw it out when they need it;
  • review the information regularly; 
  • Congratulate themselves when they get it right ("I knew I'd seen your face somewhere").

The Next Step Magazine

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Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. 

Francis P. Church

Wonderful Winter Links

Environmental Inquiry:   The mission of Environmental Inquiry (EI) is to support teaching and learning about the environmental sciences through teacher education, curriculum research and development, and scientific inquiry by students and educators in grades 7-16. This site offers resources to aid development of meaningful research projects in the areas of toxicology, watersheds, ecology and biodegradation.
http://ei.cornell.edu/


Know Play? Reference Lookup:  Some pages hit at just the right time. Where else can you access online dictionaries, thesauruses, rhyming dictionary, acronym and artist lookup? The goal of this site is to simplify your life. It works for me.
http://www.kplay.cc/reference.html

Mount Rushmore: American Experience:  This online exhibit chronicles the planning, design, implementation and minutiae of Mount Rushmore, the U.S. monument commemorating four 
presidents.  There is also an activity for students to 
design a memorial commemorating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These activities, as well as activities in the disciplines of civics, history, economics, and geography can be found under Teacher's Guide.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rushmore/

Recipes 4 Learning:  This site is loaded with recipes for crafts, holidays, learning and songs. There is some advertising on this site, but the clean design makes up for any distraction the advertising provides. If you are enjoying a little warm weather in your part of the world, try the Ice Cream in a Bag.
http://www.recipes4learning.com

Web Publishing Curriculum Resources:  If you want to learn web page design, or if you just want to get that image placed just so on a page, this is a great resource for you. Nine instructors at the University of Oregon collaborated on this website with workshop outlines, resources, and guidelines for good practice.
http://libweb.uoregon.edu/it/webpub/

Planet Quest:  Created at the Jet Propulsion Labs, this website offers online resources as well as offline activities for middle school and high school students. Highlighting the technology of interferometry (a method employing the interference of electromagnetic radiation to make highly precise measurements of the angle between the two rays of light), students can begin to understand how this technology can change our knowledge of the universe and the search for life on other planets. Virtual tours, 3D models and animations have been created to more clearly show students the work being done by JPL.
http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/

Wishing You a Warm Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

Copyright © 2005 Knowledge Headquarters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.knowledgehq.com