March 2002 Vol. 5.8   
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Are You Listening

Managing Time Gets Results

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Standardized Test Prep

Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Superior Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 
President’s Message

It is hard to believe that we are into the middle of March....one feels as though you were sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for a play to unfold before you...as we anticipate Spring.  My flowers have been fighting to come up for weeks now, popping their green heads through the brown earth, only to be push back with freezing temperatures and snow.  It won't be too much longer and I will find it difficult to stay inside, wanting instead to go outside and feel the warmth of the sun and to delight in what Spring has to offer in my garden.  

We have heard from many of you during the past month and are delighted to learn about the successes your sons, daughters and pupils are having in their learning.  We continue to add new programs and lessons to our programs which will help you and your students.  You will want to take advantage of the first of a series of ebooks we will publish.  Details are at the end of this newsletter on how to receive a free copy of Recipes for Art.  

We continue to seek ways to avoid uninterrupted service for our subscribers and visitors and have recently upgraded  services so that you will have continual and fast access to all of Strategic Studies programs and services.  If at any time you experience delays or interrupted service, please contact us immediately.  

This is the time of year when many of our students are being tested and educational programs are being evaluated.  Our children need to understand the importance of this review.  It is important that they receive adequate rest and preparation for the process.  We've included some information that may be helpful to you and your children.

Enjoy  this month of transition from one season to another.  May each season in your life be filled with joy and harmony. 

Have you checked out the resources at  Education On Line?  You will find resources for Primary Grades, Higher Education, K-12 Resources,  Libraries, and Educational NewsGroups.  New links are added frequently so you will want to bookmark this site and return frequently.
 
Suggested Lessons at e-Tutor:

Primary

  • Animals in Spring
  • Egg Carton Numbers
  • Months of the Year - March
  • Rabbits - Nature's Little Rascals
  • Mining For Marshmallows         

High School                                                                                   

  • Testing 1, 2, 3
  • The Essay Card Report
  • Arithmetic Review:  Integers and Real Numbers
  • Organ Systems
  • Top Ten Lists

Intermediate

  • Word Wizards
  • Kinds of Sentences
  • What Do You Call It When....
  • Building Micro-Observational Skills
  • The Scientific Method

Middle/Junior High

  • Word Sleuths
  • Correct Use of Verbs
  • Fractions Just Crack Me Up
  • Introduction To Our Solar System   
  • Earth Facts                                                                      

New lessons are added on a regular basis.

Page 2

Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. 

Roger Lewin

Are You Listening?

If you want to listen so you really hear what others say, make sure you are not a:

  • Mind reader.  You will hear little or nothing as you think "What is this person really thinking or feeling?"
  • Rehearser.  Your mental tryouts for "Here is what I will say next" tune out the speaker.
  • Filterer.  Some call this selective listening...hearing only what you want to hear. 
  • Dreamer.  Drifting off during a face-to-face conversation can lead to an embarrassing "What did you say?" or "Could you repeat that?"
  • Identifier.  If you refer everything you hear to your experience, you probably didn't really hear what was said. 
  • Comparer.  When you get sidetracked assessing the messenger, you are sure to miss the message.
  • Derailer.  Changing the subject too quickly tells others you are not interested in anything they have to say. 
  • Sparrer. You hear what's said but quickly belittle it or discount it.  That puts you in the same class as the derailer.
  • Placater.  Agreeing with everything you hear just to be nice or to avoid conflict does not mean you are a good listener. 

Adapted from Communication Briefings

Enjoying childhood experiences to the full is the best preparation for becoming a mature adult. 

Bruno Bettelheim

Managing Time Gets Results

There seems to be less and less time for the things we want to do.  The following collection of tips will help you use your time more efficiently.   These work equally well for both children and adults.

  • Get more done by setting daily or weekly goals.  Self-imposed goals motivate and give a feeling of pride when goals are reached.  Just be sure they are realistic.
  • Set specific goals when planning.  Don't say, "I'll reduce the time to do a task."  Instead say, "I'll reduce the time by 10 minutes by May 1."  Just be sure the goals are achievable and compatible with what your task is.
  • Get feedback.  Be sure the person providing the feedback is someone you respect.  A study disclosed that even neutral feedback from an expert works better than positive feedback from a less expert source.  
  • Ask yourself if it is possible to reduce the amount of work required to complete the task.
  • Place a deadline for a task to  be finished, reminding yourself that time has value.
  • Reward yourself for meeting goals and completing tasks.  

 

Lesson Writer Becomes National Board Certified!

Carolyn Pistorius who has written lessons for e-Tutor became a National Board Certified Teacher in November.  This is a rigorous process where the candidate writes six entries just to be considered.  Two must be videotapes of classroom activities, two must be work samples from students and the last two are about community and parent interaction.  These entries are then measured against professional teaching standards.  It took Carolyn a year to complete the process. 

This accomplished teacher has taught in Illinois and Alabama and also is certified as an administrator.  Carolyn currently teaches 8th grade Science at Oak Park middle School in Decatur, Alabama and at the Calhoun Community College in Huntsville, Alabama.  

We are  very proud of Carolyn's achievements, as there aren't many who have met these high standards.  Students using the e-Tutor educational program have the advantage of learning from great teachers like Carolyn Pistorius.  

Page 3

In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through but rather how many can get through to you.

Mortimer Adler

Understanding the Reasoning Behind Actions

Even though all parents at some time or another face discipline problems, why do some parents successfully manage a problem where others seem to fail?

Children do not reason differently from adults.  They simply lack sufficient data.  To find their place in a world in which they arrive as completely helpless infants, children must observe what goes on and draw conclusions as to who they are, what they can do, and what the rules are for getting along.  Very often children draw the wrong conclusions; although marvelous observers, they tend to be poor interpreters.

Various kinds of misbehavior often represent a wrong idea on the part of the child as to how she or he can best find a place in the scheme of things...how he or she can belong.  When parents understand the reasons behind children's misbehavior, there is a basis for remedial action.  However, understanding the causes of misbehavior is not in and of itself a solution to the problem.  Firm steps and concrete action are necessary in order to turn parents' wishes into realities. 

Teenagers and Parties

Teenagers often run into serious discipline problems in connection with parties they attend or host.  Parents can help avoid these problems by taking a few precautions each time a party is planned.  Experts suggest when your teen goes to  a party:

  • Plan to be up to greet him or her when they come home.

  • When you take your teen to a party be sure to introduce yourself to the host. 

  • Call the host parent before the party to clarify ground rules such as no drugs or alcohol.

  • Be sure your children know that you expect them to leave a party if drugs or alcohol are used. 

  • Be sure your children know not to drive with someone who has been drinking.

  • Make it easy for your child to leave the party.  Be sure there is someone your child can call at any time for a ride home. 

Adapted from School Public Relations Service

A wise question is half of knowledge.

Lord Bacon

Standardized Test Preparation

This is the time of year when students are inundated with test preparation and testing.  Many experience test anxiety, while others find the process tiring and unimportant.  Whatever the feelings about testing, it is important for our children to do well on these tests.  

The standardized test was born out of the movement that demanded accountability in education.  Because there are those who believe that if you cannot measure and quantify a thing you cannot prove it exists, it was necessary to devise a way of measuring educational performance.  Grades and grading systems vary so much that it was impossible to use them as a standard; therefore a standard by which diverse students in all parts of the country could be compared was developed.  

The standardized test provides us with a standard measure of the performance of the average student at a given age and grade level.  This allows us to compare a student's score to the average performance score.  Then we can say the student is "above" or "below" standard.

Students in Texas can now go online to get help in preparing for the state's standardized assessment exams.  The Texas Business and Education Coalition has posted on its web site, practice questions based on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), a test taken by nearly all public school students in grades 3-8, as well as by high school seniors as part of their graduation requirements.  

Practice tests are designed to help students prepare for the tests, but also to help increase comfort level of both parents and students.  While the web sites offer potentially effective tools for students, there are no guarantees that good scores on the sample tests will translate into equally high marks on the real thing.  

SAT, ACT practice tests can be found at:
Kaplan Practice Tests  and Princeton Review.

 

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The little world of childhood with its familiar surroundings is a model of the greater world.  The more intensively the family has stamped its character upon the child, the more it will tend to feel and see its earlier miniature world again in the bigger world of adult life. 

Carl Gustav Jung

Skills for Life:  Help Your Child Learn to Learn

Some children do well with learning....others don't.  What makes the difference?  Many studies show that one of the most important factors is the way parents or guardians interact with their children.  Research shows that one of the most important things you can teach your child is to have a good attitude toward learning.  

Help your child learn to take an active approach to learning.  instead of providing solutions, help your child find them for himself or herself.  When Jenny faces a new problem....such as, a complicated game or puzzle...point out ways she can use what she already knows to learn new skills.  For example:  "This new game is really a lot like (a game the child has previously enjoyed)."

Make sure children have the basic information they need, then offer support and help as needed.  The best way to help a child learn is to keep adjusting the level of help you offer...that is, don't step in and help until he has stretched a little beyond what he thinks he can handle.  But do offer support, encouragement and tips along the way.

For example, if Bobby is trying to learn a new skill, he might become discouraged and demand, "Show me how."  Instead of jumping in and showing him exactly how to do it, try using this kind of approach:  "Do you remember how you learned to (name a skill Bobby has mastered or a problem he has solved)."  Or, ask questions.  "How do you think you might do that?"  You can also invoke Bobby's heroes, whether these be fictional characters or real-life people:  "What do you think (hero) would do?"

Questions are valuable learning tools because they force a child to think and become actively involved in learning. With older children, you can explain that working out problems for themselves is an important step toward becoming a self-sufficient adult.  Asking children of all ages to take part in family problem-solving gives an important boost to their self-esteem. 

As you teach your children how to learn, you are also teaching them how you feel about learning.  If you regard learning as an adventure, so will your children.  These simple methods will help your children learn how to learn...and that is a skill that will prepare them not just for learning, but for life.  

Adapted from "The Role of Parent Involvement in Children's Academic Achievement" 
by Janice Bempechat

Free..... Recipes For Art 

Strategic Studies Corporation is creating a series of ebooks that will supplement the popular educational program, e-Tutor. The first in the series has been developed for parents and teachers. 

Recipes for Art is a collection of recipes for art materials that can be made from anyone’s kitchen using common everyday ingredients. This ebook will be of primary interest to parents and teachers who want an inexpensive way to provide a number of different art materials for their children. There are hours of fun presented in this book. 

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The most important product that America has been able to produce is not the automobile or television or the computer.  It is hope...hope not only for ourselves but for the world. .

Superior Spring Links!

Ocean Explorer:    Dive into our world's oceans with this site form the national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Ninety-five percent of the world's oceans remain unexplored,  it is NOAA's hope that this site will encourage students to want to learn more.  http://www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov

SparkNotes:  This site created by Harvard University students and alumni, provides a collection of free online study guides to approximately 100 literature classics.  Each SparkNote contains sections on context, characters, overall summary, chapter-by-chapter summary and commentary, study questions, and a message board for collaborative learning. 
http://www.thespark.com/sparknotes/

Mr. Pitonyak's Pyramid Puzzle: This site features an interdisciplinary Web-based project designed for math students to determine how much it would cost to build  an Egyptian pyramid today. 
http://wcvt.com/~tiggr

Thrills and Chills Without the Spills - Rollercoaster Physics:  At this site create your dream roller coaster ride and test it in a virtual amusement park. Explore physics and math through a roller coaster design competition by building a working scale model. http://www.angelfire.com/on2/thrillsandchills

Extrasolar Planets:  Astronomers can detect the planets by observing the parent star's wobble. The SFSU planet search Web site, provides news and a graph of the orbits and masses of all known extrasolar planets. 
http://exoplanets.org/

Chilling Fields -  Adventures in Antarctica:  For an adventurous look at Antarctica, visit the Chilling Fields, an account of a science expedition to explore one of Antarctica's submerged lakes. 
http://www.discovery.com/exp/antarctica/dispatch1.html

Eco Challenge 2002:  The Eco Challenge this year is in the wilds of Fiji. The official Web site coverage features reports from the field, course maps, and plenty of photos. 
http://www.ecochallenge.com/

Science @ NASA:  This site features daily news about NASA research, live sky events, space weather, and opportunities for readers to participate in real NASA science. 
http://iofly
by.com/

Enjoy a Wonderful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2001 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com