April 2002 Vol. 5.4    
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..
President's
Message

Great Lessons for April

Learning Journals

Writing the Right Way

Make A Note 
Of It

Celebrate Reading!

Sexual Abuse: A Concern For Us All

Spectacular Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Great Lessons for April

Learning Journals

Writing the Right Way

Make A Note 
Of It

Celebrate Reading!

Sexual Abuse: A Concern For Us All

Spectacular Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Great Lessons for April

Learning Journals

Writing the Right Way

Make A Note 
Of It

Celebrate Reading!

Sexual Abuse: A Concern For Us All

Spectacular Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Great Lessons for April

Learning Journals

Writing the Right Way

Make A Note 
Of It

Celebrate Reading!

Sexual Abuse: A Concern For Us All

Spectacular Spring Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Great Lessons for April

Learning Journals

Writing the Right Way

Make A Note 
Of It

Celebrate Reading!

Sexual Abuse: A Concern For Us All

Spectacular Spring Links!

Top of Page

 
Presidentís Message

Spring has finally sprung in our area!  What a smile it puts on our faces.  It is amazing what a little sunshine and warmth can do.  We, as well as the flowers and plants seem to grow a bit taller.   In spite of a mild winter, it seemed that it took longer than normal for Spring to arrive this year.

How fortunate I am!   My neighbor just stopped by to share something she thought I might like for dinner.  My family lives far away and my wonderful neighbors have become an extended family for me.  In the past months I have noticed how much more caring we all are for each other.  It takes so little effort for us to watch out for one another and it is so meaningful to the receiver, as well as the giver.  I'm fortunate to live in an area where the neighbors are exceptional.  

Many of you have taken time from your busy schedules during the past month to call or to write.  It is always  nice to hear from you and to learn how you are using e-Tutor, as well as the free materials and resources we offer.   One homeschooling father reported that his children get up in the morning and  immediately go to e-Tutor to begin their studying.  "No hassle learning" he calls it.  A mother reports that she is so pleased to watch her son's quiz scores improve.  Another mother has us working with the school district to coordinate learning at home and at school.  A tutoring group is using e-Tutor as the basis for their service.  I look forward to information like this and hope you will continue to let me know about your successes and failures. 

Happy Spring!  Enjoy this rejuvenating time of year!

Recipes For Art is a collection of recipes for art materials that can be made from anyoneís 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
 
Great Lessons for April at e-Tutor:

Primary

  • Alphabet Soup
  • Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
  • Letter Writing
  • Story Writing
  • Where the Wild Things Are        

Intermediate    

  • Reciprocal Reading
  • Word Wizards
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Fractured Fairy Tales!!
  • How to Write a Great Story
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Robin Hood

Middle/Junior High

  • Kon-Tiki
  • Titanic
  • Word Sleuths
  • Real Life Writing
  • Writing Paragraphs
  • Writing Sentences
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Pearl - Pre-reading Knowledge

High School

  • What's In a Name
  • Creating Good Sentences:  What Works
  • The Five-Paragraph Essay
  • Writing compelling Description
  • Headless horseman, heady Author
  • Imagery in Othello
  • Mark Twain's Mississippi Rive
  • Shakespearean Sonnets and Their Meanings 

New lessons are added to e-Tutor on a regular basis.

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Life is a succession of making choices and education will help you make wise ones.

Emma Wooley

Learning Journals

Learning journals, also known as logs, daybooks, thinkbooks and even diaries, have become a popular teaching tool in recent years, and are being used with students ranging from elementary school to college.  Besides encouraging better writing skills, the journals help students clarify their thoughts about what they read in their textbooks and hear in class.  

Their use is not limited to English composition classes.  "Student journals may be the best interdisciplinary tools we possess, integrating personal with academic knowledge across the curriculum,"  says the South Dakota Department of Education in its publication Reflections

For example, students who use a journal in math class may find that switching from number symbols to word symbols helps them solve difficult equations.  Science and social science students may keep a 'lab journal" to record personal reactions to their experiments and make connections between one observation and the next.  A history journal may help a student to identify with, and perhaps make sense of, the otherwise distant and  confusing past.  

Advantages of journal use for students, besides freedom from traditional grading, include an avenue to express opinions and ideas and get feedback, and a chance to share experiences and experiment with writing styles.  For teachers the journals offer another opportunity to answer questions the student didn't ask in class, provide a positive way to begin or end a learning session, and allow for non-threatening dialogue between teacher and student. 

Adapted from Illinois Association of School Boards

All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

Writing the Right Way

Writing may be the most difficult thing your child can learn to do.  Writers have more things to keep in mind than a juggler has bowling pins to keep in the air.  

First, the writer must generate words to express the complex thought and feelings that humans have.  Then he or she must transcribe the words on paper, creating complete sentences, organizing the sentences into paragraphs, keeping in mind the purpose of the writing and its audience, managing the content, figuring out how to express the ideas clearly and colorfully, spelling the words correctly, paying attention to the proper placement of commas and periods and capital letters, and focusing on many other details and rules.

Youngsters need a great deal of help in juggling all the learning involved in this complicated skill.  Here are some ideas and suggestions for you to try with your children:

  • Fill Your Home with Talk
  • Support Reading
  • Provide a Writing Place
  • Set an Example
  • Communicate in Writing at Home 
  • Encourage Letter Writing
  • Carry Out Writing Projects at Home
  • Offer to Help

To write well takes many years of hard work.  Your understanding and encouragement can help your child immeasurably in becoming a skilled writer who enjoys the challenge of juggling all those words and thoughts on paper. 

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Always do what is right.  This will surprise some people and astonish the rest.

Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Make A Note Of It

Even with the best memory, it is impossible to remember everything that you have read.  Taking notes can help summarize the information you want to remember. 

In class, the teacher will frequently give some clues about the things that should be written in your notes.  For example, if your teacher writes something on the board, you will probably want to write it in your notes.  If the teacher spends a lot of time on a particular subject, you should probably take notes on that as well. 

Listen for verbal clues that can help.  These include phrases like, "three reasons for....," "the purpose of...," and "in summary...."  Every teacher has a slightly different way of pointing out which materials are most important.  If you are confused, it is a good idea to ask your teacher to explain how he or she shows what is important.  

When you are reading, look for things written in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, bold face type, or italics.  They usually indicate important points for your notes.

Using your notes, develop a group of questions about the material you have studied.  Try writing down the answers to the questions, or ask someone to listen to your answers.  Then use your notes to check your answers.

Do Chores Promote Academic Achievement?

A U.S. Department of Education report, Education and the Family, contrasted the family activities of youngsters with high and low academic achievement.  The study found that the high-scoring students had regular chores and homework schedules and that their parents regularly involved them in conversations, games, singing and other activities.  The low-performing students had few home responsibilities, little parental supervision and little time in which they interacted with their families.

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

African Proverb

Celebrate Reading!

 

Reading begins at home.  Parents can encourage their children's natural curiosity about books and their desire to learn to read.  They can help their children develop readiness to read and can support what is being taught.  In order to begin reading, children must develop the necessary language skills.  They need a degree of independence and maturity.  And they must be motivated to learn to read.  Children develop this reading readiness at different rates just as they learn to talk and walk at different ages. 

Most teachers of reading use one or a combination of four basic approaches:

Sight Words
The sight word approach teaches children to remember single words through repeated exposure and practice. Students usually memorize simple, common words that are repeated throughout a story.  For example:

                         See Jack run.
                         See Jack run fast.
Once learned,  new words are introduced building on their "sight vocabulary".

Phonics
In phonics, the child learns individual letter sounds and how to blend them to form words.  Children learn beginning and ending consonant sounds, short and long vowel sounds, and rulers for putting these sounds together.

Linguistics
Linguistics is similar to phonics in the use of letter sounds.  In this approach, however, letters are grouped together to form "word families" such as __end, __ar, and __ing.  The student learns to look at the word family and form new words by changing the first letter.  For example:
                                    bend
                                    send
                                    lend
With this method, the ability to identify rhyming words is important.

Psycholinguistics
The psycholinguistic approach uses the child's own language, sentence patterns, and picture cues in order to predict the sequence of events.  Children learn to read songs and stories with which they are already familiar, such as "Happy Birthday to You" or dictation in their own words. This approach focuses on relevancy for the child.  Thus the student brought up on a farm would not initially read stories about cities.  Reading mistakes are not corrected unless they change the meaning. 

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The only way for us to help ourselves is to help others and to listen to each other's stories. 

Eli Wiesel

Sexual Abuse:  A Concern For Us All

We need to be concerned because one out of three girls and one out of eight boys under 18 have reported incidents of sexual abuse.  While we tend to think that sexual abuse causes no lasting damage, talking with adults and children who have been victims has shown the opposite to be true.  Despite its fairly common occurrence, sexual abuse was a very frightening experience for these victims.  And unless they were able to get help, they may have experienced emotional problems that may not otherwise have existed for them.  While parents may warn their children of dangerous, aggressive strangers, the fact is that in 80 percent of reported cases of sexual abuse, the offender is known to the victim as a relative, a friend of the family, or a neighbor. 

We need to be concerned because we may think of sexual abuse as one isolated incident that happens suddenly.  This does happen, but more often it is part of a situation that develops gradually and may occur over and over again before it is detected.   

We need to be concerned because we may think of sexual abuse as a violent attack on a child, when in fact it is more frequently the result of subtle coercion. 

We can let our children know that.....

  • Not all adults care about children's feelings.
  • Children can say no to adults when frightened or confused by them.
  • Children have the right to the privacy and integrity of their own bodies.

Just as children need to have people to talk to about other difficulties of growing up, they also need to know how and to whom to turn to talk about the problems of child sexual abuse.  Encourage your children to discuss any of their concerns with you. 

Adapted from National Education Association

Where is your compass pointed?  

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Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.

Martin Luther

Spectacular Spring Links!

Stormy Weather:  This site uses technology to enable students to learn more about the patterns and destructive potential of nature's most dangerous storms.    http://www.educationcentral.org/stormy/main.htm

Fear of Physics:  This site suggests ways to better explain the physics of the world around us.  Students can try the different simulations to gain a better understanding of physics. http://www.fearofphysics.com

Convertalot:  Students and teachers can use converters like area, speed, capacity and volume.  Calculators show prime numbers, periodic table of elements and wind chill factors.  http://convertalot.org

Human Anatomy Online:  This is an interactive way for students to learn about human anatomy online.  The page is in frames that allow the user to see more information at one time than a single page.  Students can click on images of a skeleton, nervous system, digestive system or cardiovascular system to name a few.  
http://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html

Jan Brett's Home Page: Jan Brett is a children's book illustrator who offers some of her illustrations in the form of fun activities, alphabets and calendars.  By sharing her artwork, she interests students in her work and her books.  This site is specially good for holidays and special occasions. 
http://www.janbrett.com/index.html

Wacky Web Tales:  Students choose from prepared or student-written stories in a "Mad Libs" style.  Students fill in parts of speech word blanks and use Parts of Speech help if needed.  The result is a funny story created immediately online that students can print out and save.  
http://www.eduplace.com/tales/index.html

Webquests:  Webquests strive to get kids thinking at a higher level by asking students an essential question, providing opportunities for kids to explore further and then getting kids to apply their knowledge with a hands-on activity.  The program utilizes resources from the Internet, similar to e-Tutor.
http://www.iwebquest.com

Enjoy this beautiful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2002 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com