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In The News
                        February 2005   Vol. 8-2

President’s Message

I can't remember when Winter has seemed as long as this one.  Perhaps its the bulbs I planted in the Fall.  It would be nice to see them burst out of their soil blankets.  Or maybe, it is the grayness of so many days this year.  It certainly has not been as cold in our part of the world as it has in past years.  Maybe I miss the sounds of the children playing in our neighborhood.  Or, maybe it is just the uncompleted tasks that continue to pile up.  Oh, the list could go on.  Needles to say, I am ready for a change.  

This week I received a special card from one of our students along with a box of candy.  The card is in a special place on my bulletin board.  The printed message does not mean as much as what she wrote, "Thank you for letting me be your student!"  We are the fortunate ones, as she shares her beautiful smile with us each week when she comes in the door.  All of our students are special.  We so enjoy working and learning from each of them.   How fortunate we are to be a part of their lives.  

As an organization we are constantly assessing, reviewing, adding to and editing the programs we offer students.  We have grown exponentially over the last year.  But it is important for us to keep our feet on the ground.  The feedback you give us is important and hope you will keep it coming. 

As the days stretch out from their winter nap, I hope you will find time to enjoy each one and embrace the energy and beauty in each change.  


Knowledge Headquarters Debuts

You won't want to miss the new format for the Knowledge Headquarters website.  In the weeks and months ahead we will be adding to this new addition in our family of websites.  Knowledge Headquarters is now our parent organization.  You will want to bookmark this site to keep current with our activities.                                  www.knowledgehq.com

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There is no speed limit on the pursuit of excellence.  


Learning with e-Tutor

Organizational Goals

The quality of education we provide students is the driving force behind the way online teaching and learning takes place. Knowledge HQ adheres to the following benchmarks.  They have been adapted from those identified in a study for higher education on the measures of quality in online education, however,  the benchmarks apply to the K-12 arena as well. We thought you might like to see how we measure ourselves.
Institutional Support Benchmarks 
∑ A documented technology plan that includes electronic security measures to ensure both quality standards and the integrity and validity of information. 
∑ The reliability of the technology delivery system is as failsafe as possible. 
∑ A centralized system provides support for building and maintaining the distance education infrastructure. 

Course Development Benchmarks 
∑ Guidelines regarding minimum standards are used for lesson development, design, and delivery, while learning outcomes -- not the availability of existing technology -- determine the technology being used to deliver lesson content. 
∑ Instructional materials are reviewed periodically to ensure they meet program standards. 
∑ Lessons are designed to require students to engage themselves in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation as part of their instructional requirements. 

Teaching/Learning Benchmarks 
∑ Student interaction with tutors is an essential characteristic and is facilitated through a variety of ways, including voice-mail and/or e-mail. 
∑ Feedback to student assessment is constructive and provided in a timely manner. 
Course Structure Benchmarks 
∑ Before starting the e-Tutor program, parents and/or students are advised about the program to determine if they have access to the minimal technology required to access the program. 
∑ Students are provided with supplemental course information that outlines course objectives, concepts, and ideas and learning outcomes for each course are summarized in a clearly written, straightforward statement. 
∑ Students have access to sufficient library resources that may include a "virtual library" accessible through the World Wide Web. 
Student Support Benchmarks 

∑ Parents and/or students receive information about programs, including fees, technical and requirements and student support services. 
∑ Students are provided with information to aid them in securing material through electronic databases, inter-library loans, government archives, news services and other sources. 
∑ Throughout the duration of the program, students have access to technical assistance, including detailed instructions regarding the use of the program and
convenient access to technical support staff. 
∑ Questions are answered accurately and quickly, with a structured system in place to address student email. 
Faculty Support Benchmarks 
∑ Technical assistance in lesson development is available to tutors, who are required to use it. 
∑ Tutors are assisted in the transition to online instruction and are assessed during the process. 
∑ Tutor training and assistance, including peer mentoring is offered. 
∑ Tutors are provided with written resources to deal with issues arising from student use of electronically-accessed data. 

Evaluation and Assessment Benchmarks 
∑ The program's educational effectiveness and teaching/learning process is assessed through an evaluation process that uses several methods and applies specific standards. 
∑ Data on enrollment, costs, and successful/innovative uses of technology are used to evaluate program effectiveness. 
∑ Intended learning outcomes are reviewed regularly to ensure clarity, utility and appropriateness. 

Thirteen 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


Oh,  No!  Wrong Again!

People who do the wrong thing at the wrong time usually are tackling activities in one part of their lives first, rather than attacking all the things they do in order of importance.  

Mistake caused by habit:  Parent B always finishes the day's planned work before he goes home for the night. .  So, he works late on a low-priority task that could wait for another day and misses his daughter's softball playoff game.  

As a countermeasure to this natural tendency to tackle tasks by category, make a list of all the roles you play, including friend, parent, spouse, child, manager, peer and subordinate.  Then make a list of upcoming tasks to perform within each category.  Rank all tasks in priority order, regardless of which categories they fall into and tackle them in that order. 

Working Smart

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression.


Charles Schultz Philosophy

This was sent to me by friends.  I think you will like it. You don't have to actually answer the questions.  Just read straight through and you will get the point. 

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

  6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners. 

How did you do?  The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.  These are no second-rate achievers.  They are the best in fields.  But the applause dies.  Awards tarnish.  Achievements are forgotten.  Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners. 

Here's another quiz.  Se how you do on this one:

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time. 

  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with. 

  6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?  The lesson:

The people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards.  They are the ones that care. 

Shared by my friends Barbara and Alan


 

Keeping Slang Out of Your Kids' Vocabulary

Plz practice your writing B4 U head bak 2 school.  CU in a few wkz.

Millions of children (and adults!) use language like this to chat with friends, make weekend plans and stay in touch with out-of-town relatives via e-mail and Instant messaging (IM).  It's important that this informal writing style of shortened words, improper grammar, lack of punctuation and use of "emoticons" such as smiley faces, does not follow them into their learning activities.  The following tips will help children boost their effective writing skills:

  • Talk to children about using different writing styles to communicate with different audiences.  Describe the importance of personalizing messages and why it's important that students know their audience.  While it's okay to close a letter with "C ya" to a friend in an IM, it is not okay to include this slang in learning assignments.  
  • Have fun with writing.  Provide children with enjoyable ways to practice their writing.  Involve your child with writing grocery lists, thank you notes, dates on calendars and messages.
  • Review learning activities for IM and e-mail style language.  Encourage your children to write properly and take the time to carefully review their written work. 
  • Talk with children to establish ground rules for using IM and e-mail.  Work with your child to develop a plan for using IM and e-mail to make sure other responsibilities such as completing learning activities and chores are met before going online to chat with friends.  Discuss time limits with your children and make sure they are kept.  Consider putting your family rules in writing and posting them near the computer. 
  • Create a writing zone.  Whether writing on a computer or with a notebook and pencil, it's important that your child has a well-organized place to write.  Set up an area in your home for writing....a desk or table with a flat surface and good lighting.  Make sure the area is free from potential distractions and that writing tools, including a dictionary, paper and pens, are at your child's fingertips.
  • Encourage your child to read.  Read with your child at least 15 minutes per day....or one hour per week....since reading will help teach them about sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary.  Reading and writing support each other and good readers become good writers.  The more your children do of each, the better will be a both. 

ARA Content, Pioneer Press Newspapers

 

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Many people spend their lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, when they get to the top, the ladder is leaning against the wrong building.

 

Classic  Memory Methods

These tips really work to increase how much sticks with you!

 

"Pegs" Design some rhyming pegs to hang facts on.  The classic is: one=run, two=shoe, three=tree, four=door and so on.  Think of the first thing you want to remember as running toward you, the second is stuck in your shoe and so forth.
Acronyms Take the first letter of each thing you want to remember and create a word or phrase that is easy to remember.  For example, the colors of the rainbow spell out Roy G. Biv.  Try this ASAP.
Telling a story When you want to remember a spelling or a sequence, use a goofy story.  For example, here's a story for the spelling of "arithmetic": A real individual thought he might eat turkey in church.
Associations Steve's last name is Wallis.  To remember his last name, I visualize him scaling a wall.  The more outrageous the association, the better you'll remember it (Just don't tell people how you remember their names; it might get weird.)

The Next Step Magazine


Harness the Positive Energy of Conflict

We learn early on that "Compromise is good; conflict is bad."  Conflict is a critical element in everything we do.  Without it there is no growth, no challenge.  Without conflict we would have boring sameness.  Conflict equals excitement.  Because conflict is inevitable, why not harness its positive energy?  To tap the positive energy of conflict, you must first identify the outward signs of conflict.  Keep in mind that agitation and resistance are triggers.  You must determine what preceded the trigger.  It's important to observe non-verbal signals.  It will help if you:

  • Ask the person:  "What is it you want me to do?" to find out his or her interests.
  • Observe the surroundings.  For example, are you in a family room, living room or bedroom.  
  •  Ask others in the family for input:  "What do you think about the problem?"

Next, find out how the person wants to be treated and treat him that way.  Ask him:

  • "How do you want to be treated?"
  • "What changes do you think need to be made?"

Use the information you collect to figure out creative solutions and devise a plan for action and accountability.  Also, get an agreement to prevent similar conflicts, affirm the positives and thank the person for doing a difficult thing.  When you attempt to resolve a conflict, you must have enormous maturity.  You must be able to find out the way the other person wants to be treated and then be mature enough to treat them that way.  Increasing tension, especially, requires great control.  

Communication Briefings

 


Sincerity and Mutual Trust

From honesty comes sincerity, a quality that builds mutual trust.  Doctors must have sincerity to instill confidence in their patients; lawyers must have it to create rapport with clients; executives must have it to inspire employees; salespeople must have it to persuade customers to buy; great politicians have attracted votes with it.  Sincere people are those who have ideals, values, beliefs and conform to them.  They project these characteristics to others. 

The story is told about Abraham Lincoln, who, after listening to the case of a would-be client, responded, "You have a pretty good case technically.  But it just isn't right in justice and equity.  So you'll have to find another lawyer to handle it for you.  Because all the time I was standing there talking to the jury I'd be thinking, 'Lincoln, you're a liar!'  And I'm afraid I'd forget myself and say it out loud!"  You wouldn't have any trouble trusting a person like that, would you?

So if a person-to-person relationship is going to be worthwhile and productive it must be constructed with mutual trust.  Mutual trust is nothing more important than one's own egotism, self-concern or personal ambition.  Suspicion, doubt and envy must be set aside.  Above all, the relationship must be based on honesty....not only to others but one's own self.  As the father said to his son in Shakespeare's Hamlet:  "This above all; to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Adapted from Public School Administrator

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Experience is not what happens to a man.  It's what a man does with what happens to him. 

Aldous Huxley

Fabulous February Links

Scholastic Winter Storms:  Students hear all sorts of stories about winter storms. This is your chance to tie those stories into the science of storms, and look at severe storms over the past three hundred years. My two favorite areas are the Interactive Weather Maker and the Winter Storms Timeline. 
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/winter/index.htm

Book Adventure:   This website houses a free motivational reading program for children in grades K-8. Reviews help children pick a book to read, either from a library or bookstore. After the book is read, children can take a quiz online, with the incentive of prizes after a number of quizzes are completed. Parents can monitor their child's activities and find resources for reading challenges in their families. 
http://www.bookadventure.org/

Dino Directory:   Search by body type, or location where dinosaur bones/fossils have been found. A great activity would be to look at different type of dinosaurs, and map the countries where their bones and fossils were discovered.
http://flood.nhm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/dino/

Last Expressions: Art from Auschwitz:    The Block Museum at Northwestern University features the art created by prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau during their incarceration during the Holocaust. You can browse the art by media, artist or location.  Included are biographies of the artists that explain how they came to create the artwork, often being transferred by guards to office duty. Students can examine re-occurring themes found in the artwork.
http://lastexpression.northwestern.edu/

National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center:    The National Youth Violence Prevention Center organizes current statistics, publications, and research on violence committed by and against children and teens. Find the latest information and programs from all the US Agencies that deal with the issue of violence and minors, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and the Department of Justice. Resources are grouped for use by parents, professionals and teens.

http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/index.asp

The Little Shop of Physics: Online Physics Experiments:   Colorado State has some great experiments here. Choose from experiments using common household items, experiments you can do with your computer, or shockwave experiments (requiring a shockwave plugin that works with your browser). Demonstrate Bernoulli's principle or find out how those annoying sounds are generated for the Emergency Broadcast System. Enjoy these fun activities for all ages.
http://littleshop.physics.colostate.edu/default.html

Create a Graph:    The National Center for Education Statistics created this online tool so that anyone can make an area, bar, pie or line graph and print it out or download the image to a computer or disk. Older students can benefit 
from the link that shows how graphs can be used in probability. Younger students will quickly learn the difference between the left X and Y axis when they need to create their own line graphs.
http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing/

Best Wishes for a Happy Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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