In The News                              March 2008   Vol. 11-3

President’s Message

It is Spring!  Although when we look out the window or take a walk, it doesn't look or feel like Spring.  In our part of the country there are still gray stacks of snow that haven't  melted.  But the birds and animals are telling us that Spring is on the way.  Isn't it surprising how we avoid change on most occasions, but where the weather is concerned we seem always to be looking for a change.  

What a busy month we have had!  This month we moved our office from one part of the building to another.  We have the same address, but the space we have now is more accommodating for us.  Whether moving from one room to another or from one part of town to another, there is a lot of work that goes along with it.  We are still trying to get our "land feet."  When we reach for something it is not quite where it should be.  We've upgraded our computers, which has been a hassle for some and just what others wanted.  In another couple of weeks we should be just it's like breaking in a new pair of shoes. 

So while the seasons change, we find ourselves constantly changing, as well.  It is uncomfortable at times, but when all is said and done, we enjoy the challenge.  We like trying new things, learning what works best for our students and their instructors and keeping current on new methods and processes.

We hope you will celebrate this new season of change with us.  Please let us know how we can serve you better.  

Have a warm and beautiful month!  

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Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast.

William Shakespeare Pericles


Learning with


Reporting student progress is in real time when using e-Tutor.  When the student clicks on "Grade My Exam or Quiz" the scores are immediately fed to a report card accessible by the parent.  Most parents have their own unique login and password.  In addition to the grades there is additional information which will make for a successful learning experience for the student.  

In the e-Tutor Program parents and/or guardians are responsible for student learning.  There are several actions the parent can take to make the report card more useful to them.  By selecting the appropriate Grade to Review they can see the number of lesson modules the student has completed from the number presented.  There is a column where the parent can place a check mark once the Activities and Extended Learning Sections of each lesson module have been reviewed.  

The report card shows all of the lesson modules the student has completed, including the scores on both the quizzes and exams.  The report also tells the parent when the student has last attempted the lesson module.  Much of the reporting areas you see on the report card are a result of feedback and comments from parents. 

Below is an example of the student report card.   

Fifteen New Lesson Modules  
were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.

Refer a Friend is Back!

Last year we started a program to show our appreciation to those of you who have recommended the e-Tutor program to others.  It was a huge success!  We are pleased to offer it once again for a limited time.

Current subscribers earn $100 for each new subscribing family they recommend to e-Tutor.  It is easy to participate When you recommend a friend have them include your name in the referral section of the subscription form.  

If you would like more information call 877-687-7200.


   The Book Case

              Miss Rumphius

              Barbara Cooney 
              Ages: Grade 2+

This is the story of the author's great aunt who followed her grandfather's advice: traveled the world, lived by the sea and made the world more beautiful.  In this delightful book, Barbara Cooney describes how the title character travels the world, accumulating many adventures. Eventually, however, she returns to her home by the sea and discovers a way to make the world a better place by planting lupines, beautiful wildflowers, wherever she goes. The story illustrates how a committed individual can envision a better world and then act on that vision, transforming all of our lives. It is an important lesson for each of us.  

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Kindness is the universal language that all people understand.   

Jake Gaither (1903-1994) College football coach


Show What You Know

All across the country, more and more students are being asked to show or demonstrate what they know...rather than just to select an answer from a list of possibilities or write down a memorized list of names and dates.  This method is called performance assessment.  

  • Writing.  Students use complete sentences to write a description, explanation, analysis, or summary.  More complex writing tests involve student's evaluating an issue, solving a problem, describing a life incident, or reporting on various topics.
  • Oral Reports.  Instead of getting up in front of a group, you might use video equipment to film an in-depth report.  Or, if you take a foreign language, you might converse with other students out loud.
  • Exhibitions.  This often requires a student to produce a demonstration or live performance for others.  For example, the student might show the historical significance of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. 
  • Experiments.  Mainly used in science, students use experiments to show how well they understand scientific concepts and processes.  This could include not only a hands-on demonstration, but developing hypotheses, writing up findings, and measuring and estimating elements. 
  • Portfolios.  These are collections of student papers, drawings, essays and other work that are collected and reviewed periodically.  Students might show an adult their "best work" as well as, some works in progress.

The student may want to keep a running portfolio of best work.  We suggest keeping some of the e-Tutor Activities and Extended Learning exercises the student has completed.  

Adapted from American Association of School Administrators

Everyone, Anyone, Someone, 
and No One

Once upon a time, there was a big job to do and Everyone was responsible for completing it.  But Everyone figured that since Someone was bound to do it (Someone always did), Everyone didn't have to.  Of course, Anyone could have done the job, but as it turned out, No One did. 

This made Someone quite angry because it had been made clear that it was Everyone's responsibility, not just Anyone's.  Yet No One had envisioned that Everyone would skip out on the assignment. 

When an explanation was asked for, Everyone pointed a finger at Someone only to be told that No One had managed to do what Anyone could have done.

An Old Story

The Memory Game

Observe how your memory works as you respond to the following questions.  What do you think of first, second and so forth?

  • What did you have for breakfast last Sunday?

  • What is the nicest thing anyone ever did for you?

  • What is the song of a robin? A crow? A swallow?

For many of us, remembering in a group is great fun: for others, it is an impediment.  You will want to establish for yourself whether working with other people is helpful for you.  Here are a few games you can play in a group to make your learning more fun and successful.  You might:

  • Play "Jeopardy" with the facts.

  • Create tests for each other.

  • Create a situation wherein you use all the knowledge at once.

  • Play "pass the ridiculous story,"  in which you make the information so weird that it is easy to remember. 

The Next Step Magazine


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan "press on"  has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. 

Calvin Coolidge, President U.S. 1923-1929

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There is nothing wrong with making mistakes.  Just don't respond with encores.. 

Author Unknown

Why Don't People Work?

Why is it so difficult to get "to work?"  B.C. Forbes suggests that, "whether we find pleasure in our work or whether we find it a bore, depends entirely upon our mental attitude towards it, not upon the task itself."  Our motivation, in large part, depends on whether we look upon our activity as a source of enjoyment or a source of drudgery.  

The labels we put on activity seem to have something to do with this.  The word "work" stimulates an unpleasant response.  Then we fasten the word "hard" in front of it, and it becomes even more unpleasant.  "Hard work" seems to imply there is something distasteful about human effort applied over an extended time to an activity for which compensation is given.  Perhaps we should change words.  We should call time spent playing golf or watching TV,  and see if we get a different emotional response.  Or maybe the barrier towards working goes deeper than surface emotions.  It is a well-known fact that those who work the longest hours with the most satisfaction are those who work for themselves.  

The Life Extension Institute found that people starting earlier and working longer are more relaxed, less tense, than those who work fewer hours.  Medical experts say the reason people become tired is not because they do too much....but because they do too little. 

Dr. James Montague said he never knew a person who suffered from overwork.  There were many, however, who suffered from too much ambition and not enough action.  Dr. Charles Mayo found much the same thing.  "I have never known a person who died from overwork.  But there were many who died from doubt, he said.  The greatest benefit we derive from doing just a little more than we have to is that, for some strange reason, we just feel better.  On those days that we get an early start and fill our day with busy activity we end up feeling good about it.  Perhaps when we spend our time in this way we are fulfilling a bigger purpose for our life.  

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

Speak Kindly

Like adults, children respond well to kindness.  While what you say and the tone of your voice indicates how you are feeling, your child will interpret your words and tone as direct messages about his own self-worth.  So speak gently and kindly, and your children will listen.  There's no need to sound like an old shrew to get their attention.

Stop yelling.  Shouting at children or to your spouse creates tension in the air, bad vibes around the house, and noise pollution in your head.  It is not a good idea.  Don't preach, nag, lecture, or pontificate either.  Stop all the harping and blaming.  Drop all criticism either direct or disguised.  Don't bully, scream, call names, or threaten.  For some of us, this is much easier to say than to do.  We grew up in families that screamed and shrieked, blamed, and poked fun at one another, so it feels almost natural to do it.  

When you find yourself becoming overwrought, take time to unwind...go for a walk or call a friend.  Clear your head first, then, when you are ready, talk things over.  Remember, every interaction has tremendous potential to hurt or heal, to wound or inspire.  And in the midst of chaos your simple act of kindness can turn their day and yours around.   

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford

Personal Space

Have you ever wondered why you feel uncomfortable when people stand too close to you?  In 1959, Dr. Edward Hall wrote The Silent Language.  This was the book that started the entire field of nonverbal communication.  One part of Dr. Hall's book described how individuals feel about the territory around them.  Dr. Hall said that every organism lays claim to and defends a certain space around it.  Bacteria, animals, and men are all alike in this aspect.  Today, this is called personal, or psychological space.

According to Dr. Hall, the preferred distance for normal conversation is about three to four feet for Americans.  Under normal conditions, if people move in too close, you automatically back away to establish the proper territory around you.  If you cannot back away, you become defensive, hostile or aggressive. 

In different cultures, the distance during normal conversation varies, with Americans being the most distant.  This is often a cultural shock when Americans travel to other countries, especially if they are unaware of what is customary.  

Pushy is the way you probably would describe anyone who invades your personal space.  Most likely, the individual makes you feel uncomfortable, or even irritated and angry.  In your attempt to back away a little, you may also hurt the other person's feelings.  The individual, in turn, wonders why you are so aloof and standoffish.  

To communicate effectively, you need to be aware of the varying distances people prefer under different conditions.  This shouldn't be hard to do if you observe the people around you, and experiment a little to see what works best for you. 

Adapted from Working Smart

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One deed is worth a thousand speeches 

American Proverb

Magnificent March Site:

A Sunken Ship's Tale:  This interactive, flash-based game was produced by the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History and is based on research associated with the discovery of the wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary which sank in 1690. Your challenge is to excavate and restore artifacts from the ship. You do this by exploring the Excavation Site. When your cursor turns into a pointing hand, use various tools to uncover artifacts, load them into the Plastic Bin, and take them to the Laboratory. Once in the lab, click on the bin to begin restoring it. The site is not very intuitive so it might be best to explore it yourself before you turn your child loose. Working together might make it easier too. It takes time to figure this out. Luckily, you can return and continue where you left off.

Music Theory:  An interactive website with music theory tutorials for students and teachers by Ricci Adams. Lesson topics include: staff, clef, and ledger lines; note duration; measure and time signatures; rest duration; dots and ties; simple and compound meter; odd meter; steps and accidentals and more. A chord calculator, staff paper generator, and matrix generator are available for online use. You can download the stand-alone version of the trainers and utilities. There is also a forum for sharing information and asking questions. Nicely done, Flash intensive.

Famous Trials:  An interesting resource from Doug Linder, faculty, University of Missouri Kansas City. A straight-forward homepage full of thumbnails that lead to various trials throughout history. From Socrates to OJ Simpson, you'll find timelines, photos, excerpts from the trial, maps and other pertinent materials. You will also find thought-provoking sections such as Exploring Constitutional Conflicts and Searching for Evil. But wait, There's More will lead you to other trial links.

Braille Bug:  The Braille Bug web site was launched on January 4, 2002, in honor of the birthday of Louis Braille--inventor of the tactile code used by blind and visually impaired people. The information, activities, and games found on the Braille Bug website are designed to teach children in grades 3 through 6 about Braille. It features an assortment of games and activities and is also fully accessible to *all* visitors. Children who are blind or visually impaired can enjoy the activities right along with their sighted classmates. However, they will need special software and/or hardware on their computers.

PaPa iNk: PapaInk is an international online gallery of children's art.  The creators of the website provide no-cost archival services to organizations and individuals all over the world, enabling the set-up and building of permanent galleries of children's art.  This is a great service with amazing images.

Hurricane of '38 Look back in time with this PBS site to study the science and history of this massive hurricane. The survivor accounts of the storm can be harrowing, so they might not be appropriate for younger students. Lesson ideas are available in the areas of history, economics, geography, and civics. 


Spring into Spring!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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