the days sail by, it is hard to catch one and complete the many things
I have planned to do. Although, quite frankly, I find it hard to
concentrate as the days lengthen, the sun warms and the nice weather
beckons. This is one of my favorite months as signs of Spring
begin to show. I've found myself on many days strolling in my
garden, checking for new growth. It is always a delight to find
that bit of green popping through the brown earth or that new bulge on
a twig or branch.
Last month we shared with
you our journey into the world of Internet-based social
networking. While in the Chicago office last month we began to
get our feet wet. You can now find us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eTutors.
Also, we are on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52461004625.
In addition, you will find us on MySpace at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=455880652.
There is much for us to learn about this new medium. While our
young people are very comfortable in building community this way, it
has been a challenge for us. Our goal has been to open new ways
of communicating with parents, students and others interested in
online education. We hope that you will join us in discussion at
these sites as well as on our blog at www.e-tutor.com/blog.
During the month, I have
had occasion to meet and chat with others who are moving into the
online education arena. There are many who are entering the
arena, but none seem to be doing exactly what we do. It has
always been our goal to tap the vast resources the Internet has to
offer in order to enhance and improve the teaching/learning
process. Others seem to want to layer the Internet onto what is
already there. In our estimation, this does not get to the heart
of a new methodology. There is still much to be done, much to
learn and much to offer. With your help, we will continue to
My favorite time of day
has always been when I can curl up with one of the novels I have
picked up from the library. During the past week I have been immobile
after foot surgery, so I have had many opportunities to read.
And, I have found my tastes have been changing. For the most
part, my choice of books has been eclectic, but I am finding
more interest of late in historical novels. While the characters
are fictional the settings and events are often actual. The
reading sets my mind a wandering. What a simple pleasure.
Enjoy some warmth this
- Tell me, and
I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand.
Learning with e-Tutor
Each e-Tutor lesson
module is aligned to broad-based goals and objectives. Content
and skill level are age
appropriate for each goal. For instance, at the Primary level, there
is an emphasis on Reading which includes phonics. At the High School
level there is an emphasis on Literature which includes American and
Goals comply with national
and state goals. The goals and objectives for each lesson module
are viewable by parents when they 'View Lesson' and by students when
they click on 'Print this Lesson.'
This month, we will share
with you the goals and objectives for Language Arts. In the
months ahead, we will share with you the other curricular areas.
Students will be able to read, comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and
use written material.
Recognize, recall, and summarize information from material
Understand the various purposes for reading and identify text
to accomplish each purpose.
Apply word analysis and vocabulary skills to comprehend text.
Apply reading strategies to improve fluency and understanding.
Comprehend a broad range of reading material.
will be able to understand the expressed meaning in literature
representative of various societies, eras and ideas.
Distinguish among the types of literature.
Understand selected literary works from various historical
Understand selected literary works that manifest different
value systems and philosophies.
Understand the literary elements and techniques used to convey
Recognize literary themes and their implications.
Students will be able to listen critically and analytically.
Understand and evaluate the meaning of spoken messages.
Distinguish among different purposes in communication.
Identify differing perspectives and points of view.
Students will be able to write Standard English in a grammatical,
well-organized and coherent manner for a variety of purposes.
Write for a variety of purposes and audiences using appropriate
language and style.
Maintain a clear writing process to compose well-organized and
Use Standard English conventions.
New Lesson Modules
were added to the
e-Tutor Lesson Library
Join the e-Tutor
world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.
World of Writers
Over the last months, we have welcomed
many new writers to the Writer's Circle. Writers use the
template at www.lessonpro.net
to create lesson modules to use with their students. Outstanding
lesson modules are selected for the e-Tutor Virtual Learning Program
and writers receive a small stipend for their work. If you are
interested in learning more, go to www.lessonpro.net
and sign up.
By Jane O'Connor.
Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
This book was recommended by a
very special five year-old, because it is her
story of a ball of fire who is always dressed to the nines.
Glasser's action-filled pen-and-ink drawings put Nancy in wild
tutus, ruby slippers, fairy wings and fuzzy slippers: this
heroine is never demure, never subtle and probably never
She has redecorated her bedroom
with feather boas, Christmas lights, paper flowers and showy
hats. Her doll is named Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier. So
enterprising is she in her pursuit of fanciness that she
offers lessons to her plainly dressed family. They attend,
taking notes, and Nancy helps dress them in bows, ornaments,
top hats and gaudy scarves. "Ooo-la-la!" Nancy cries
in delight. "My family is posh! That's a fancy word for
The message here is welcome —
fanciness (unlike physical beauty) is available to anyone with
a can-do spirit — and the writing is adorable. Nancy's joy
is infectious, and her over-the-top elegant vocabulary pays
off in a warm twist. The story ends with the family's simple
declarations of love: "All I say back is, 'I love you,'
" Nancy says. "Because there isn't a fancy — or
better — way of saying that."
There are many more Fancy Nancy
books, but in our estimation the first is the best
Excerpts from NY
- You can't shake
hands with a clenched fist.
package arrives in the mail marked "handle with care,"
no one would consider throwing it around carelessly. No one
would ignore it, regard it as a nuisance, or be annoyed with it.
The package would be opened slowly, tenderly, because it is
fragile. Loving attention would be given. Perhaps if we
think of children as precious little bundles sent special delivery
directly from the heavens, we might be more patient with their
children do many things that frazzle our nerves and push our buttons,
but remembering that their hearts are delicate might help us be more
sensitive. It is possible to devastate children's spirits with
harsh words, or by ignoring them, or brushing them off. So
instead of threatening, "If you don't stop it this minute, I'll
really give you something to cry about,' or asking the ridiculous,
"Do you want a spanking?" try stopping for a moment to ask
yourself, Why am I overreacting?
is a big difference between acting and reacting, and as a parent
it is important to learn the distinction. This requires thought,
practice, and a lot of deep breathing.
you find yourself coming down hard on your child, or when your
reaction is out of proportion, take a long deep breath, count to ten
or ten thousand, and ask yourself, "What is going on with me,
right now?" or "Why am I feeling this way?"
Breathe, breathe, breathe, and think before you act, so that once
again you can feel the extraordinary sweetness of your child.
Nothing is more important than handling their bodies and souls with
tender loving care.
from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford
children grow older, they spend more time with friends. This is
a necessary part of growing up as teens learn how to get along outside
their family. But peer pressure can lead to unhealthy behavior,
including early sexual activity, drugs, and alcohol. Here is one
way you can limit the negative influence of peer pressure on your
peer pressure into positive pressure. Encourage your child to
work with other teens to tackle a problem in your community. He
might volunteer at a soup kitchen, develop a performance for senior
citizens, or clean up a stretch of highway. He'll be improving
the community and boosting his self-esteem.
Association of School Administrators
In 1784 Benjamin Franklin wrote the
following letter to a man named Benjamin Webb:
Dear Sir: Your situation
grieves me and I send you herewith a banknote for ten louis d'or.
I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you.
When you shall return to your country, you cannot fail of getting
into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your
In that case, when you meet with
another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending
the sum to him, enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like
operation when he shall be able and shall meet with such another
I hope it may thus go through many
hands before it meets with a knave that will stop its
progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good
with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in
good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a
With best wishes for your future
prosperity, I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant.
- It is easier to
go down a hill than up, but the view is from the top.
More Than Honk Your Horn
story is told of the woman who was stalled at the intersection, unable
to start her car. The light changed from red to green and then
back to red. In the back of her an impatient motorist began
honking his horn. Finally the woman got out of her car, walked
back to the man and calmly said, "If you will get my car started,
I'll be glad to keep honking your horn for you!"
are a lot of "horn honkers" in this world. There are
very few who would get out and get the car started. It doesn't
take a lot of brains or talent to sit back and find fault or
criticize. Every community is filled with people who are honking
about all the things that can be done to make their lives
is the word that separates the "car fixer" from the "horn
honker." The person of action is the one who does something
about a problem instead of sitting back and complaining and
condemning. As the familiar saying goes: "It is better to
light one candle than to curse the darkness!"
an article describing astronaut Gordon Cooper, a boyhood friend
recalled him as a "doer rather than a dreamer."
"Even as a child," the friend said, "Gordon was too
busy doing the stuff of which others' day dreams are made."
The ancient Greeks proclaimed that one of the great virtues was
"action." There is nothing as inspiring and motivating
as a person of action; on the other hand there is nothing so
discouraging and frustrating as a person of indecision and
from The Public School Administrator
- Act of Aggression or Mark of Frustration
tops the list of reasons for expulsion from day care and nursery
school, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry. On the spectrum of bad behavior, which includes
hitting, hair-pulling, kicking and plain old meanness, biting is
considered extreme. There are health risks to biting,
particularly when skin is broken. Myths about the transmission
of AIDS have heightened anxieties about an already-feared behavioral
most of us, the very idea of biting...and blood and saliva...evokes a
visceral response. We're repulsed by an act of aggression that
seems feral, almost animalistic, and simultaneously undermines a
child's feeling of safely and security as well as parents' impulse to
protect their child from danger.
children who bite are not yet verbal. Infants and toddlers nip
and gnaw, like puppies, eager to explore the world using all their
senses. But older children tend to bite out of frustration,
usually because they cannot express themselves. They bite
because they feel powerless.
is the last weapon," explains Jennifer Asimow, assistant
professor of child development at Harold Washington College.
"You have to remember that they don't have a lot in their
the best response to a biter? Experts agree on one thing:
Never bite a child who bites, in an attempt to "show how it
feels." Instead, a survey of recent research recommends
remove the child from the situation.
clearly that biting is not acceptable behavior. Ever.
the child ways to feel more in control without inflicting harm,
such as helping him to develop his language skills or placing him
in a less frustrating environment.
most important step in dealing with a biter is creating an environment
where children can learn to express their emotions while feeling they
have control over their situation. "The less power children
feel, the fewer choices they have and the greater chances for negative
behavior," Asimow says. "Children need to feel
from Chicago Tribune
Coming Back To It
after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall
harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in
the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
Teilhard De Chardin (1881-1955) Paleontologist and
- Life is an
escalator: You can move forward or backward, you cannot
problem-based learning manual for students starts with a problem
statement (similar to the e-Tutor model): "You are interest in purchasing a new vehicle. What
should your annual salary be to afford the car you want?"
Students are coached through the problem-solving process and are
provided resources to help them solve this real-world problem.
Words and Deeds in
American History: The American Memory
division of the Library of Congress has contributed another example of
what makes the Web so wonderful. "Words and Deeds in American
History" collects and posts original manuscripts and letters
archived at the Library of Congress. Some have been grouped by such
topics as the presidency, military affairs, arts and literature, etc.
You also can perform keyword searches or scroll through the
chronological list to pull out a few gems like a poem by 13 year old
Helen Keller or Ernest Hemingway's assessment of Ezra Pound's mental
Mind's Eye Monster
Exchange: Take your students on an amazing
journey of imagination! In this project, a student in one classroom
draws a monster, writes a detailed description of the creation, then
e-mails the composition to a student in another classroom. Next, the
student who receives the description draws the monster based on the
description. Then both the original and the duplicate drawings are
posted in the Mind's Eye Monster Galleries for comparison.
Kinder Art: This
site features free online art lesson plans, activities and recipes for K-8
classrooms. Designed by an artist and art instructor especially for
parents, teachers, home schoolers and kids, the site includes a
"Little Hands" for preschoolers. This site contains
World Wide Words: Michael
Quinion must never sleep. He has developed a rich resource for lovers
of words at this site, where you can find out past history of common
words, catch the latest creations used in the press, or check usage.
Divided into categories like "The Word Hoard,"
"Articles," and "Newsworthy Words," the site is a
playground of our evolving language. What makes it even better is that
there's a fun bloke named Michael ready to play with you. Educators
might use this as a resource for getting students to see the changing
nature of the words around them.
Treasurers At Sea -
Exploring the Ocean Through Literature: This
extensive Web resource consists of Web-based learning activities that
integrate language arts with oceanography. Each activity is based on
one of seven books about the ocean and are written to be adaptable.
Includes writing activities, games and puzzles, art ideas, Web
resources, and a section for educators. http://fi.edu/fellows/fellow8/dec98/main.html
What a Great Month For
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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