March 2004 Vol. 3

   

http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Nurturing Creativity

Pair Students With Mentors

Make a Date With Yourself

Lessons From Top Coaches

Are Spelling and Grammar Vital?

Strategic Communication

TRUST - A Cornerstone for Honesty

Impressions

Marvelous March Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Nurturing Creativity

Pair Students With Mentors

Make a Date With Yourself

Lessons From Top Coaches

Are Spelling and Grammar Vital?

Strategic Communication

TRUST - A Cornerstone for Honesty

Impressions

Marvelous March Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Nurturing Creativity

Pair Students With Mentors

Make a Date With Yourself

Lessons From Top Coaches

Are Spelling and Grammar Vital?

Strategic Communication

TRUST - A Cornerstone for Honesty

Impressions

Marvelous March Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message


Learning With e-Tutor

Nurturing Creativity

Pair Students With Mentors

Make a Date With Yourself

Lessons From Top Coaches

Are Spelling and Grammar Vital?

Strategic Communication

TRUST - A Cornerstone for Honesty

Impressions

Marvelous March Links

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
President’s Message

Spring has not fully blossomed in this part of the world.  The constant complaint we hear, "We are tired of Winter!"  In spite of cold weather and snow....the little green leaves of early blooming  flowers continue to spring from the brown earth.  When warm weather does appear we will be blessed with a profusion of color.   I have to admit....I would certainly enjoy a bit of warm weather and the bright light of the sun.  For most of you around the world, you are enjoying what we are anticipating.  We are envious.

It has been a busy month as we have been actively preparing our new headquarters.  As this is being written there is painting and new carpet being installed in the new offices.  There is still much to do, but we are hopeful to make our deadline for moving on April 1st.  The expanded space will give us an opportunity to explore new options for our services.  Watch your email around the first of the month for more news! 

This is the time of year when many parents worry that their child may not be ready for the next grade.   I think those feelings are normal and most often your child will surprise you.   All of a sudden the light will go on and all that learning will begin to make sense.   Even when we know it to be true....not all children learn at the same pace..... all of us....educators and parents tend to panic when we look at the calendar and realize there are less days than more until the end of the school year.  With your love and understanding, your child will blossom in learning, just as the flowers bloom in Spring. 

Enjoy the warmth and new growth that this time of year offers each of us.   

 


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.
 

Learning with e-Tutor:

The number of e-Tutor subscribers continues to grow.  This information which we have written before warrants repeating.  e-Tutor lessons cross all levels and all curricular areas.  Lessons are written by writers from across the United States.  A few international writers have even submitted lessons.  e-Tutor has nearly 1700 lessons now.  

Accreditation  -
All e-Tutor lessons follow National Goals for Learning.  These are broad statements of learning in the major curricular areas.  Goals and objectives can be viewed for each lesson completed by the student by going to the parent login, viewing the report card and the lessons the student has completed.

e-Tutor will give a Certificate of Completion for those who request it.  This can be used in lieu of a diploma if need be.  Report cards can be printed and should be kept with the student records.  

Entrance to Colleges and Universities -
Students who have been homeschooled are being accepted in universities and colleges across the country.  Students will have to take the SAT or ACT necessary for all entrants.  A diploma is no longer required.  However good records and a broad range of subject matter is expected.  e-Tutor provides parents and students with records that can be used as proof of learning for institutions and state or local education agencies. 

Studying with e-Tutor
Each e-Tutor lesson takes from one hour to one and a half hours to complete.  Some lessons may take longer, especially at the High School Level.  A literature lesson about "Animal Farm" will take the student four days to complete.  It is important that the student complete the Activity and Extended Learning parts of each lesson.  These reinforce the concept or skill taught in the lesson and build critical thinking skills.

Take a tour of e-Tutor and view four lessons.  Use the opportunity to subscribe for your student today!

www.e-tutor.com

Page 2


Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.  

Vesta M. Kelly

 

Nurturing Creativity

In today's competitive environment, our ability to generate and act on new ideas can make all the difference.  To nurture the needed creativity, don't:

  • Ignore an idea because of the who the person is.  If you do, you may never hear the one that could make a difference.
  • Demand creativity.  Avoid telling what you want and how to achieve it...rather than explaining the goal and allowing them to decide how to reach it.  They will stop seeking better solutions and simply do as they are told.
  • Set unrealistic deadlines.  When you schedule creativity, you get poor results.
  • Procrastinate.  Instead, use your best judgment and make timely decisions.  Errors can be costly.  But so can unnecessary delays and missed opportunities. 
  • Demand that all ideas fit a particular format.  Results can be more important that procedures.  Allow bending the rules when it serves the best interest. 
  • Fail to give credit where it's due.  Recognition will build enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication.
  • Dismiss of-the-wall ideas.  A message that says creativity is not worth the risk will cause ideas to die on the vine.

Training and Development, Frank K. Sonnenberg and Beverly Goldberg

 


Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow. 

Alice Swaim 

 

Pair Students with Mentors

To help students learn better and faster, assign a mentor to each student.  This real-world approach allows students to spend afternoons with mentors after learning in the classroom in the mornings.  Afternoons provide an opportunity for watching and getting hands-on experience related to the task covered in the morning training session. 

Although the approach takes time for mentors, surveys show that most enjoy the role and feel that the program provides a refresher course for their own skills.  

Bonus:  The relationship built between the mentor and the student frequently endures past the classroom.

Adapted from Creative Training Techniques, Diane Thiele Moe, Sentry Insurance

 


Make a Date With Yourself

Instead of "Things to Do" lists for all the chores you never get around to, enter them on your desk or appointment calendar.  By assigning them a specific time, you are more likely to do them because they now have a apriority. 

If you make at least one 30-60 minute "appointment" with yourself each day and devote it to a certain task, you may never have a "things to do" list again.  Those accumulating piles will cease to worry you because you know when you will tackle them.  That a great stress-reliever.

it is also a good strategy if you are a chronic procrastinator.  If you agree to schedule "chore time," you will know if you have to reschedule any missed "appointments."

Adapted from Working Smart

Page 3


The reason dogs have so many friends is because they wag their tails and not their tongues.

Anonymous

 

Lessons From Top Coaches 

We have watched many winning coaches through the years.  What you might not know, however, is that good management probably contributed most to those victories. Excellent coaching can be attributed to perseverance....a "refusal to give up'" a determination to find a way to make things happen.  An analysis of good coaching offers these lessons for educators:

  • Work hard, but leave the job at the classroom....and take some time off.  Otherwise, you will burn out.
  • Set ambitious...but realistic...goals.  Don't attempt to force students to do things they can't do.
  • Communicate well.  Let students know what you expect.  But avoid hype. 
  • Be well-prepared and well-organized.  Pay great attention to detail.
  • Stay focused.  Know exactly what you are going to do and let nothing distract you.
  • Be flexible.  Implement major changes in strategy if conditions require them.
  • Motivate by example and encouragement.  But don't rant and rave.  And give students credit when it's due. 

Adapted from The Washington Post, Mark Potts

 


Are Spelling and Grammar Vital?

Are spelling and grammar important to advancing a person's career?  Yes, say 98 percent of executives surveyed in a national poll developed by Robert Half International, a personnel recruiting firm.

The survey of 200 executives from the nation's 1,000 largest companies disclosed that 59 percent rated spelling and grammar "very important," and 39 percent rated them "somewhat important.  The survey clearly shows that companies still prize traditional communication skills.   According to the Chairman of Robert Half International, professionals at all career levels should remember that they are never to senior to improve basic skills when needed. 

Communication Briefings


Friendships multiply joys and divide griefs.

Thomas Fuller


Strategic Communication 

Do you or a family member:

  • Act as if communication is a one-way street running from "us" to "them"....with no return flow?

  • Operate as if the speaker is the only thing happening to the listener at the moment.

  • Function as if what the speaker says and does are the only things that determine the other person's reactions?

Those who answer "yes" to these questions become so focused on what to say that they ignore the most crucial problem: "How to get others to listen in the first place, to put their needs aside to consider ours."

When speaking to others keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Those who receive our messages want to feel that what we have to say relates to what is already on their minds.  So we must learn as much as can about the topic at hand.

  • Ideas can't be pounded in from the outside.  The best messages are like the best sales pitches...never out to sell anything.  They work to create a climate in which people sell themselves.

  • Three basic categories of need underlie most human interactions.  They are the needs for:

    • Inclusion.  The need to be noticed and recognized. 

    • Control.  The desire to run the show and hunger to influence the topic.

    • Affection.  The need to be part of a group and to be liked. 

Adapted from Strategic Communication, by Burton Kaplan

Page 4


Only the educated are free.

Epictetus

 

TRUST A Cornerstone for Honesty

Mutual trust is the basic ingredient of all honest and effective human relationships.  Mutual trust means each person having trust in the other.  If you are to achieve this relationship with others then it must begin with you.  You must be basically honest.  Honesty crops out into sincerity.  And sincerity is the mold for mutual trust.  

Most people believe themselves to be honest.  But, on the other hand, they do not think there is anything wrong with being a little bit dishonest.  Little white lies, exaggerations, minor distortions of the truth, are not really being dishonest many seem to rationalize. 

Children cannot tell the difference between little dishonesty and big dishonesty.  Can anyone?  Don't you have a feeling of insecurity in someone you know does not respect absolute truthfulness and honesty?  Mutual trust starts with your total honesty,  even at your expense.  No exaggerations, no cover-ups, no distortions, no little white lies...just complete honesty.  It is a contagious characteristic that will spread to others.  

If you know the other person will admit being wrong you feel more secure in that relationship.  You have more trust in that person.  Others will feel the same way about you if they know you are honest enough to admit it when you are wrong.

Try saying to your family when you are on the losing end of a discussion, "You are right and I am wrong!"  Step forward on your job and say, "I have made an error.  I would like your advice and help to correct it!"  Try saying to your children, "I don't know" or "This mistake is mine."  Don't shift it on others. 

From honesty comes sincerity a quality that builds mutual trust.  Sincere people are those who have ideals, values, beliefs and conform to them  They project these characteristics to others.  

If a person-to-person relationship is going to be worthwhile and productive it must be constructed with mutual trust.  Mutual trust is nothing that just happens.  It is the result of making it 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 The Public School Administrator


Impressions

One of the things that impresses most of us as we grow older is how many nice people there are in this world.  Even people we used to find annoying or downright irritating don't seem to bother us so much.  We discover that many of the ones we didn't particularly like really aren't as bad as we thought. 

Maybe you and I are a little smarter than we used to be.  We have begun to understand why prickly pears are prickly and make allowance for it.  Other people appreciate the change in the way we react to them and it makes them more friendly toward us.

Taking this tack, we have found , makes for smoother sailing.  Life becomes friendlier and more enjoyable.  You learn to forgive and forget.  Those who don't learn this, miss out on the warmth and friendships they might enjoy. 

Bits and Pieces, Economics Press

Page 5


Friendship takes time and we have no time to give it. 

Agnes Repplier

Marvelous March Links!

Read, Write, Think:    This web site provides K-12 educators with research-based lesson plans and web resources they can use to teach language-arts skills.  Topics include young adult literacy, censorship, modernist poetry, critical reach and writing.  The interactive lessons invite students to test their knowledge of animals through inquiry-based research projects; plan for short stories and writing assignments compose their own comic strips and much, much more.
http://www.readwritethink.org

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Veterans History Project:  This online resource is designed to preserve the stories and experiences of America's 19 million living war veterans.  The effort seeks to collect and preserve videotaped oral histories...along with documentary materials such as letters, diaries, maps , photographs and home movies...of America's war veterans and those who served in support of them.  
http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets

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Medical Mysteries: This site invites students to solve mysteries about infectious diseases.  While playing the roles of scientist, historian and detective, students learn how infectious diseases are spread as they join a team of elite medical minds to determine the cause of a futuristic plague that has left millions dead and is threatening the collapse of civilization.  
http://medmyst.rice.edu

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Dare to Fly with Class:  Here's an engaging project for grades 3-5. Students love to fly paper airplanes, so mix a little scholarship in with the fun. Cover the four  forces of flight: lift, drag, thrust, and weight (gravity) and have students chart the results of their efforts.
http://www.geocities.com/daretofly2001/

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History and Politics Out Loud:  Hear some of the voices of US History: Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr, Richard Nixon and more. HPOL is  a searchable, browsable site with public domain audio files relevant to American history and politics
http://www.hpol.org/

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Camp Silos:  Exploring the Prairie, Pioneer Farming, The Story of Corn and Farming Today and Tomorrow are the areas covered by this website. Each area is divided into a Student area, a Teacher area (with lesson plans), and Resources. This is a great site for combining the study of US westward expansion and biomes.
http://www.campsilos.org/

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Bembo's Zoo:  A flashy site (Flash plug-in required) for artists and creative thinkers to just sit back and watch. Turn your high school computer lab students loose trying to figure out how they did it. Beginning animators may get some wonderful ideas, all surrounding the basic alphabet.
http://www.bemboszoo.com/

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Bucket Buddies:  Are the organisms found in pond water the same all over the world? Let your students identify organisms in a water sample, compare their findings with other participating classes, and look for relationships and trends in the data collected by all project participants. If you don't want elementary school students (grades 1-5) mucking about in a 
pond, there are instructions for teacher collection of samples. Register now, and be prepared to send in pond sample identification findings. This site contains a great list of links to help you identify your local macro-invertebrates.
http://www.k12science.org/curriculum/bucketproj/

Enjoy a Wonderful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
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