In The News                         February 2013   Vol. 16-2

President’s Message 

One of my favorite things to do each evening is to delve into one of the books I have picked up from the local library. I long ago stopped buying books for myself as my shelves would not hold more. However, I still can't resist an early edition of classics or a well known author. So, although current books are not on my shopping list...I continue to watch for old favorites at estate and garage sales and flea markets.  To make room for these delightful finds, I recycle books to centers that circulate reading material for those who have a need.

I'm fortunate to be part of a reading group that encourages me to think outside the box when selecting reading material. So often, we focus on just one genre or author.  I have learned to enjoy all types of writing, topics and interests, as this group has pushed me .well beyond what I thought was my reading comfort zone.  And.. what a surprise?...I am learning and my mind is expanding.  Isn't it wonderful what are brains are able to do?  Reading new and different material has once again illustrated to me, that we continue to learn, grow and expand no matter what our age.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, as I have the privilege of having my three granddaughters stay with me while their parents take a well-deserved mini-vacation.  While reading expands my mind in one way, they show me different ways of thinking and doing things.  Their sense of imagination and innovation is delightful to watch. They teach me new ways of seeing what I thought I knew.  It is a refreshing time that I cherish and to which I always look forward.

This is the loveliest of months.  I hope you are surrounded by love.



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The person who makes the 'impossible'  possible is the true special educator. 


Learning with eTutor

Tracking your Work

Although most of your learning with e-Tutor will be online, you will be asked to do some paperwork in most of the lesson modules. Where are you going to put those papers? We suggest folders. These do not have to be fancy…..we use four simple manila folders, one for each curricular area. As you complete the Activities, Extended Learning, Vocabulary and Resource work, place your papers in the appropriate folder. Make sure your parent has a chance to review what you have done each day. 

You can ask your parent to print out the report card once a month. Put these in the appropriate folder so you can keep track of how you are doing. 

Finally, keep track of the hours you study each day. It is nice for you to be able to see what you have accomplished each day, week and month. You deserve to give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work.

Fourteen 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.

Building a Library for Online Learning with LessonPro

Each month more writers sign up to use the template at LessonPro. Since our last eNews, thirty-seven have joined Writers' Circle.  A few recent titles include:

  • Container Brainer
  • Viruses
  • Simile/Metaphor
  • Reflection and Mirrors
  • Angles and Lines

Take the initiative today and join other writers in using the LessonPro template to create lesson modules for your students.  There is no fee for using LessonPro. We provide the template as a service to educators throughout the world.

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

   The Book Case            

by Margery Bianco

Grades 4 and Up  

This story of a young family ""winterbound"" in the Connecticut farmhouse they had taken for a year while a limited budget found itself again. It is about two girls, still in their teenage years, who are called upon to assume adult responsibilities in caring for their young siblings, when the parents have to go away suddenly.   One feels that some of the adventures and misadventures have roots in personal experience, for they ring very true. It is a good story for a snowy winter.  The author also wrote The Velveteen Rabbit

Newbery Honor Book, 1937

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The best single social test of a nation's regard for the future is the way it treats its children.

Donald Kennedy


Why Fight It?

Perhaps the individual who wrote the following paragraph was voicing the anxieties of most people in an age of rapid change:

"The world is too big for us. There is too much doing, too many crimes, casualties, violence and excitements. Try as you will, you get behind the race in spite of yourself.  It is an incessant strain to keep pace and still you lose ground.  Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment.  The political world witnesses new science so rapidly that you are out of breath trying to keep up with them. Everything is high pressure. Human nature cannot endure much more"

Those words were published in the Atlantic Journal in 1837.  Probably the same sentiments were expressed when the wheel was discovered and the sail was used to move a ship.  So what is new about how people feel today. There is nothing virgin or modern about this problem of change. It probably existed when man started cooking food with fire.  It is not change but a person's reaction to change that is the problem. Change is a fact of life.  Society, culture, technology is going to change. Why fight it?  Why not accept it and learn to enjoy it as part of the adventure of life?

Adapted from the Public School Administrator

An Educated Society

One of the most pressing problems confronting societies worldwide is how to promote better relations among people who are diverse in background, appearance, and culture. An educated society works to promote inclusion that comes from recognizing the interdependence of groups and countries, and the "value added" that flows from diversity, particularly in today's era of increased technology, communications, and globalization.  Internet learning offers a change from the past through the exchange of ideas and information, ensuring equal opportunity for students and the promise of an educated population. Online learning levels the playing field for students no matter who they are or where they come from. The future depends on each of us, and what we are willing to do to make the ideals of equality in learning a reality for all students.  

Higher Order Thinking

Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning, and creative thinking involves creating something new or original. The following re higher order critical and creative thinking skills.

  • Application - The ability to use learned material in new abstract and concrete situations. This may include the application such things as rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, and theories.

  • Analysis - The ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood.  This skill may include the identification of the parts, analysis of the relationship between parts, and recognition of the organizational principles involved.

  • Synthesis - The ability to assemble elements or parts to form a whole; combine elements into a pattern not clearly there before.

  • Evaluation - The ability to make a judgment about the value of material or methods for a given purpose or situation. 

Taxonomy of Educational Objectives of the Cognitive Domain, Benjamin Bloom

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Hats off to the past;  coats off to the future.

So, You Want to Tutor Your Kids...

Parenting is a full-time job, of course, but many parents include the role of part-time teacher. What follows is a list of quick tips for tutoring your child. We suggest these when using eTutor with your child.

  • Designate routine homework time
  • Set up an environment conducive to learning
  • Help plan, organize assignments
  • Avoid procrastination and overworking
  • Be encouraging
  • Establish open dialogue with eTutor 
  • Determine a starting point
  • Understand you child's learning style
  • Encourage independence
  • Sty involved
  • Explore alternative resources 

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, a parent working extensively with his or her child simply isn't going to work. Tutoring is not an easy task, and, especially as your child gets older, it becomes more difficult to stay involved in a helpful way. 


Laughing Out Loud.....

A joke sent in from one of our students:

A mother and son are talking. The boy asks his mother, "Mom, did you have computers back when you were a kid?"  "No" answers the mother...."Mama, did you have DVD's when you were a kid?" ....The mother stops to think...."No-o-o" she manages to say.  "Mom, did you have CD's in your childhood?"  "No, no, no, son!" she answers...."Mom, did you get to see the dinosaurs when you were a kid?"   "NO-O-O- I DID NOT SON!!!"

submitted by Lana


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The less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. 

Fabulous February Links:

Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab:   Free science experiments for kids, parents, teachers, and children of all ages. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, and make yourself comfortable.  Be curious, explore and above all - HAVE FUN because - science rocks!

A Brush With Life: Presented by The National Museum of Wildlife Art, create a wildlife picture with the help of animation and a wildlife artist.  This site requires Flash.

Let's Make a Rocket:  From Alaska Science, students can learn to build a rocket, discover the mystery of the Aurora Borealis and enjoy some lectures.


Some of our students are preparing for required State testing of learning skills.  Although you may not live in one of these states, the information and skill drills are helpful for all students.  These links to reinforce learning are suggested by eTutor editors:

Language Arts Skills reinforcement in preparation for Minnesota State Testing, yet applicable for all testing.  - ro/pages/studentlinks/map/ reading.htm

More Language Arts reinforcement for Minnesota testing:

Reinforcement for the Reading Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). index.htm

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.

 Have a Lovely Month!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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