In The News                           January 2013   Vol. 16-1

President’s Message 

Another year!  It is hard to imagine that we have been sending out our newsletters for sixteen years!  What will the next sixteen years bring?  We have seen many changes over the years....the most notable is the recognition that internet-based learning has a place in education.  There are many players in the market now....both public and private schools, book publishers, and business. And although the market is more crowded, not all programs benefit students.  In spite of best intentions, there is the tendency to get caught up in the hubris of the day and rush to get a program or product up and running.  The bottom line is to improve student learning.  If a program does not benefit students and the teaching-learning process then it is just taking advantage of the current frenzy for online learning.   

Beginning a new year gives one the opportunity to look back at the previous year and plan for a new, challenging and exciting future.  With the years passing so quickly, we often forget such a planning phase in our personal lives and in business.  It is so much easier to let the moment guide us rather than preparing for eventualities.  I have found that our productivity is much more effective when we have outcomes and a timeline in mind.  For me, it is much easier to write things down, so I can see what I have done and what is next.  The sense of accomplishment that I feel when I have completed the things on a list is my reward.  

We look forward to sharing with you in this new year some of the exciting ways we have been working for you and with you to improve online learning for students. 

May you find joy, good health and prosperity in this new year!






 Our Connected Community! 

Celebrate a new way of keeping connected with us.  Join one of our communication forums today. 

   Check everyday for new tips and information.     

   How about a short video of your child using eTutor?  We can help you download it to the eTutor page.  

   Short reminders for current news and links are posted daily.    

   Blogs are posted twice a week.  Information on parenting, online learning, curriculum, and more are hot topics.    

  Try repinning some of the things from the eTutor Pinterest page.  

Page 2

Life is like a bicycle. You don't fall off unless you stop peddling. 

Claude Pepper

Learning with eTutor

What does it mean to “fully complete" a lesson module?

e-Tutor lesson modules have several sections.  Each section is important to your learning and should be completed before moving on to the next section.  To fully complete a lesson module follow these guidelines:

  • Problem Statement: Respond in writing to the problem statement before and after completing each lesson module.  This acts a self check.  You will be able to quickly see how much you have learned.  
  • Vocabulary:   Keep a notebook with new words that you are trying to learn and remember.  Be sure to write a short description next to each word.  Use the vocabulary words for writing sentences or creating word puzzles.   Or, if you find writing difficult you can always draw a picture to go with each new word.  
  • Study Guide:  This teaches the concept or skill of the lesson module.  Carefully read the Study Guide and take notes.  Then study your notes.  You may even need to read the Study Guide several times.  You will notice some words that are blue with a line under them.  These are very important to your learning.  You should click on these links.  They will give you more information that will help you remember what you are learning in the Study Guide.  You will need to remember the information in the Study Guide and in the links because you will be tested on what you know at the end of the lesson module.      
  •  Resources:   You will be disappointed if you don’t check on every one of the resources!  These give you more information about the topic of the lesson module you are completing.  You may find a game or a song or something that really interests you.  Take your time when reviewing the resources.  They are important to your learning.  Write a short description of each of the resource links.  

  • Activity & Extended Learning:  These are most often completed off line.  You may be asked to write a story, draw a picture, complete an experiment, do a project or create something of your own.  This is where you get to practice what you have learned.  No skipping!  Complete the activity and extended learning for each lesson module.

  • Quiz/Exam:  Okay, now it is time to let us know what you have learned.  If you have fully completed everything up to this point you will ace both the quiz and exam.  There are no shortcuts to learning.  Take your time, do your own best work!  Take quiz and exam. 

Seventeen New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

More than 3400 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
the lesson modules.

Creating Lessons with LessonPro

So far during the month of January, we have welcomed over twenty-five new writers to Writers' Circle.  While not all have finished their lesson modules we anticipate the majority will have finished by the end of the month.  Some recent titles include:

  • Living Organisms and Their Surroundings
  • Letters and Lines
  • Cosmic Discoveries
  • Jacobs vs Douglass: Comparing Male and Female Slaves
  • Sources of Food
  • Color Chemistry
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe - Primary Resources

We hope you will take the initiative today to join other writers in using the LessonPro template to create lesson modules for your students.  

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.  We hope you will join The Writers' Circle today!

   The Book Case            

All Sail Set
A Romance of the Flying Cloud

by Armstrong Sperry

Grades 4 and Up  

Who can love the spread of canvas and the bend of oak and not thrill to the names of the great clippers built by Donald McKay: Great Republic, Sovereign of the Seas, Lightning, Star of Empire, and Westward Ho -- these names ring from an era when the windships were the queens of the ocean and sale was king. But the most famous, the one that most securely captured the hearts and imaginations of the entire nation, was McKay's masterpiece, the Flying Cloud.

Here is the story of Enoch Thatcher, a boy whose father lost his fortune at sea, whom McKay takes on during the lofting, building, and rigging of the Cloud, and who finally ships out on her for her maiden, record-breaking trip around the Horn, Accompanied by Sperry's wonderfully vigorous drawings, this realistic and riveting narrative will keep even landlubbers pegged to their seats.

Newbery Honor Book, 1936


Success is always started by
the battery of
ambition, and the spark
plug of purpose
It is powered by the
fuel of persistence,
lubricated by the
elbow grease of effort.
Guided by the steering
wheel of common sense
and smoothed by
the shock absorbers
of faith
and forgiveness.
W.A. Ward


Page 3

Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there.


Come to Attention

Attention Students!!!  Paying attention is a skill, and it can be learned.   Here are some ways to learn to pay attention:

  • Ask Questions.  To focus your attention on what you're studying, try to find the main point in what is being covered.   Some questions you might ask include:  "What's this paragraph about?   What will I need to remember for a discussion?  Do I agree with what is being said?"  In American history, for example, you might ask yourself, "What were things like back then?  How did kids my age act?'

  • Set Specific Study Goals.  Know where you are going and what you are trying to learn.  Challenge yourself....say, "I am going to finish these ten math problems correctly in the next 20 minutes."   Then reward yourself: "Once I am sure these problems are correct, I am going to take a break and relax."

  • Imagine Yourself as a Successful Student.   Professional athletes use this technique; they imagine themselves being successful...perhaps hitting a home run.  It works!  You can use this method, too.  You might say to yourself, "After I read this page, I am going to be able to look away and remember the meaning of what I just read."  You can also imagine yourself calmly and confidently taking a test on the material you are studying, knowing all the answers because you studied the material thoroughly.  


 Helping Children Cope With Death

Children growing up today are more aware of death than adults may realize. They see it on television, over the internet and on movie screens. Many of them will have to face the death of someone they know before they reach maturity.  Whether the death is of a loved one or someone in the school or community the child knows, it is important that a child be guided to an understanding of what has happened and what it means.  It isn't always easy for adults to know how to do that.

Like adults, children react to traumatic situations with disbelief, bodily distress, anger, guilt, anxiety and panic.  Children and adults follow  common process as they work through their grief.  A child's initial reaction may be denial and protest. The child cannot quite believe the loved on is dead and attempts, sometimes with anger, to regain this person. Pain, fear, and despair my follow as the child begins to understand that the person really is gone forever.  Finally, there maybe hope as the child begins to accept the death and reorganize life without the loved one. 

However, it would be misleading to suggest that all children will follow a predictable pattern. Children often act out their feelings about death in ways that seem inappropriate to adults.  A child in denial may simply go outside and play as if nothing happened. Children may not be able to say what they feel in words and may depend on body language and behavior to vent feelings. 

Childhood bereavement may also be more long-term than an adult's. Do not be surprised to see grief return on special occasions such as birthdays and holidays and during significant life events such s graduation.  Also, do not be surprised to hear more detailed questions as the child grows and is better able to comprehend the answers.  

Adapted from Illinois Association of School Boards

Page 4

Nothing is interesting if you're not interested.


Handling Stress

To develop a strong self-image that can handle stress that seems to accompany bad days, you might want to consider these suggestions from a national speaker on management and sales:

  • Remember that it’s not what happens to you in life...good or bad...that matters. It’s how you react to it.
  • Strive for at least one success before you leave the office each day.
  • Don’t rush. Schedule appointments with 10 minutes between them so you can gather your thoughts.
  • Compliment someone every day. You’ll feel better about yourself and those you work with.
  • Listen to cassettes that offer positive suggestions. Injecting yourself with someone else’s positive convictions might help improve your self-esteem.
  • Make a list of 10 key life goals; then visualize yourself accompishing them.
  • Spend at least one hour a week on a hobby or something else you just enjoy doing. Be a little selfish and block out at least one hour out of the 168 in the week for yourself.
  • Find a 40-hour block of time each month and get away from office pressures. But schedule that weekend just the way you do everything else. You owe it to yourself.

Happy and relax

The Last Word...

One night at sea, the ship’s captain saw what looked like the lights of another ship heading toward him. He had his signalman blink to the other ship: "Change your course 10 degrees south." The reply came back: "Change your course 10 degrees north." The ship’s captain answered: "I am a captain. Change your course south. " To which the reply was: "Well, I am a seaman first class. Change your course north." This infuriated the captain, so he signaled back: "I say change your course south. I am on a battleship!" To which the reply came back: "And I say change your course north. I am in a lighthouse."


Page 5

Pride is something we have. Vanity is something others have.. 

Jazzy January Links:

Making Snow Crystals :  It is simple, inexpensive, and fun to grow your own snow crystals, using little more than some dry ice, a plastic Coke bottle, and some styrofoam cups.  This page describes how to set up this experiment, and what you can expect to see. atomic/snowcrystals/project/ project.htm

Kid Test:  Parents can help their school-age children do better on achievement tests on this site, which offers online testing tools for children from kindergarten through college.  Tests include the Kidtest Benchmarked Sequence, a proprietary series of achievement test based on national standards, and practice state achievement tests.  The site features detailed scoring reports for each subject and confidential, free record keeping for each test-taker.  Also included o the site are an online educational supplies store and electronic flashcards.

Walk Through Time:  This site presented by BBC this is a  history website for 7-9 year old.  The  website is based on the BBC series of the same name, but can be used independently to explore streets, people and houses of the Roman, Viking, Tudor, Victorian times and the 1950s. These periods are compared and contrasted using games and activities. The site does not aim to be a comprehensive guide to any one particular period, but rather an exploration of change, development and chronology . walk/index.shtml

Play-Doh Time line:  The Play-doh brand has been helping imagination take shape for over 50years! This site  offers highlights from the colorful lhistory.  You will also find things to do and make for prents and teachers. en_US/about.cfm    

These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.

 Stay warm and enjoy this month!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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