In The News                            April 2011   Vol. 14-02


Presidentís Message 

Spring has finally bloomed in our part of the world.  Grass is greening, buds are popping, fresh leaves are introducing themselves to the sun and warmth.....what a beautiful time of the year!  I find myself drawn to my garden to check for new growth all too frequently.  My fascination with the rebirth of plants is revitalizing.  The season's energy and growth spreads to each of us in different ways.  Old challenges, become new, old habits are thrown off and new started, another direction has renewed possibility, and tired bones and muscles become active again.  One can only celebrate and embrace such a time of year! 

This month I took a week off to attend a conference held annually in Boulder.  The Conference on World Affairs brings noted leaders from around the world to speak on a variety of topics.  In one session we heard from a twenty-four year old woman who was instrumental in using public media to  spread the word for the overthrow of the government in Egypt.  

But the session, I was most interested in was from Liz Coleman, the president of Bennington College in Vermont, who talked about the values of democracy and how they relate to education.  She stated that the idealization of the expert (teachers), fragmentation of knowledge, emphasis on mastery, neutrality as a condition of academic achievement hampers our ability to pursue the important connections between the public good and education, between intellectual integrity and human freedom, between thought and action.  And so, education is more likely to breed a learned helplessness than a sense of empowerment.  We made the schools we currently have; hence we can unmake and remake them.  She concluded with "The world is correct in its ongoing, passionate commitment to the power of education despite everything.  Imagine what could happen if we do it right.  Imagine what will happen if we do not."

In our small way, Knowledge Headquarters continues to chip away at the perceived notion of schooling.  It is our belief that online learning can change the way education is offered today, if created with innovative thought, values the development of student potential to reason, to imagine, to communicate and to understand those things that are of value to an informed citizenry.

Enjoy this beautiful month! 

   

         


eTutor Blog 

There are many ways we try to keep you informed of what we are doing, what is happening in education, and general information.  The eTutor Blog is another way to keep you informed.  New postings are added to the blog each week.  We hope you will take advantage of checking the blog on a regular basis.  And please do, post comments, suggestions, ideas or questions frequently.  http://www.e-tutor.com/blog/

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See problems as foundations for solutions.





Learning with eTutor

Curriculum Development 

In 1999, Knowledge HQ launched a new and promising application for writing K-12 educational coursework over the Internet.  The website,  Lessonpro  was established to promote eTutor standards for internet-based instructional content to the educational community. 

The Lesson Pro template is an easy to use, fill-in-the-blank format that teachers complete following eTutor's standards.  There is no fee for teachers or others to use the template.  The instructional content created by writers can be used by their students free of charge at any time day or night using the unique login and password created by the writer. 

The template at LessonPro is still used today in creating content for eTutor lesson modules.  Writers may submit their lesson modules for submission to the eTutor program.  eTutor lesson modules are rich and varied because of the breadth and depth of the writers.  Each lesson module comes with its own voice, created by its lesson writer. 

Submitted lesson modules go through four steps in the editorial process:  

  1. Initial screening for appropriateness to the program and alignment with standards.

  2. Editing of content.

  3. Addition of graphics and editing of layout.

  4. Final proof for key words, links ad subject matter.

Although in the past, Knowledge HQ reimbursed writers a small stipend for accepted lesson modules, this policy has been discontinued for the present time. 

To learn more about LessonPro go to www.lessonpro.com.

Nearly 3200 Lesson Modules  
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Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view 
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   The Book Case            

Hurry Home, Candy 
by Meindert Dejong
Illustrated by Maurice Sendak


Middle/Jr. High
              

This is the story of Candy from when he was a puppy. As a puppy he is punished with a broom. Candy learns to adjust in his puppy way, but never recovers from his fear of the broom. 

On the way back from a trip to the country to see family, Dad has a flat tire by a bridge on a deserted country road. Catherine, the girl, takes Candy with her down to the creek. After the two have played there and had a wonderful time, Catherine hears Dad putting the tools back in the car and starts back. Suddenly a thunderstorm with hail is upon them. Catherine calls Candy, assuming the dog will follow her. Indeed he starts to, but there, in a pile of mud in his path, is a broom. In spite of the wails of the children, the family goes on home, with Dad promising to bring the children back to search after the storm. 

The terrified Candy runs far from the bridge and is not found. He learns to live as a stray. He is rescued by a woman in a wagon, but she has an accident and Candy is taken to the pound. Will he ever find a real home?

1954 Newbery Honor Book


Page 3


SMILE!  It's a good habit to start.

 

How to Smile

"Tis easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows along like a song;

But the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong."                
                                                       from "Worthwhile" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When you are building the habit of smiling try smiling different ways.  One of the ways that smiling is taught is the vowel method.  Look at yourself in the mirror.  Now with a smile say the vowels.  You will notice that with the "A" comes a friendly, amused, smile. "E: is the greeting, passing on the street sort of smile. "I" is a laughing smile. "O" is the sly, coy, "I'm enjoying myself" smile. "U" is the casual, "I'm glad to know you" smile. 

You may feel you do not have a pleasant smile.  That is not true.  What you are saying is, "I have a difficult time letting my feeling show."  There is a natural reluctance to expose to others how you feel on the inside.  If this is a strong feeling for you it may cause your smile to be stiff, mechanical, held back.  If this is your problem, practicing in private will help. 

Smile with your eyes, your eyebrows, the corners of your mouth.  Make sure most of your top teeth are showing and very little of the bottom teeth.  And relax!  Want to smile! Want to add joy and brightness to your days and the days of others.  There is no gift you can give as inexpensively as a smile.  

As the ancient Talmud reveals:  "Better is the person who shows a smiling countenance that the one who offers mild to drink."

And the habit of smiling can be a valuable source of strength in facing those situations which might otherwise cause you to sink in discouragement and despair. Make today a happy day for yourself and others.  

Adapted from Chicago Tribune 

 


Believe in Possibilities

As parents we have a tendency to think it's our role to guide our children toward worldly success, and although this is partially true, it is not the entire picture.  Your children are spiritual beings; their souls as well as their bodies need your care.  Parent who put the emphasis on things...success, fame, possessions, and worldly thrills...are doing their children a great disservice.  

Believing in possibilities means trusting in the divine nature of your child and seeing the divine nature in yourself.  Parents can light the way to deeper fulfillment in little ways, the most important of which is by your example.  Live more simply, treat every living thing lovingly, learn to live in the moment, and take time to enjoy the things in life that truly matter.  Spend time with your children in nature.  Whether or not you go to church, you can add a spiritual practice to your life.  

A vital part of our spiritual quest is coping with the down times, the hard times, the turmoil, the anguish.  Children too feel blue and feel the longings of their souls.  As parents we sometimes jump in too quickly to make it all right.  Sometimes it is wiser to be with them in spirit and let the answers unfold.  Believing in possibilities, we know that although tough times come, we can transcend them and survive.  That with each struggle, comes a lesson and a fresh possibility. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, by Judy Fordt


Study Skills:  How About Music?

Some people need absolute peace and quiet so they can concentrate.  Others seem to do better with some soft music playing in the background.  

In fact, researchers have found that for some students, soft music...not loud, pulsating music like rock or heavy metal...actually can help concentration and memory.  Baroque music, such as Bach, with no words and about sixty beats per minute seems to promote the best learning (Source:  William Allman, "Mindworks," Science 86, May 1986, p. 23).

Do your own experiment.  Try having your student study with the music on and with it off and see what works best for him.  

But researchers and educators agree on one thing.  Yu can't study effectively with the TV on.  Television hinders studying because you need to have your eyes on your work.  You need to ay attention to what is being read, not to what is happening on television.  So when it is time for studying, turn off the TV.  

Adapted from American Association of School Administrators

 

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Have many definitions for "mastery."

 

Develop The On-Time Habit

You can begin to trim much of the time you waste waiting if you adopt the on-time habit.  Hopefully, your family and friends will follow your lead.  Here are some steps to help"

  • Estimate time needs.  How long will it actually take to complete what you need to do?  Running out of time often results from not considering how much time you really need. 

  • Start on time.  Don't wait until the last minute.  Give yourself plenty of time to be able to do the job right and still finish by your deadline.

  • Set your watch early.  Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers football team, told his players that if they weren't 15 minutes early they were late.  The players set their watches ahead to make sure that they were on time. 

  • Focus on leaving time, not arrival time.  For example, suppose you must leave by 2:15 to get to a 3:00 meeting.  Think 2:15, not 3:00.  Focus all your efforts on leaving by 2:15.  If you focus on 3:00, you are more likely to be late. 

  • Avoid the tendency to finish "one last thing" before you depart.  When it's time to leave, go.  Don't give in the temptation to take one more call, handle one more question, or write one more note.  Trying to squeeze in one more task will often make you late. 

  • Allow for the unexpected.  Things frequently go wrong.  When you are in a hurry, more things go wrong.  Allow extra time in your schedule to handle unexpected problems.  

Change your habits.  Commit your self to being an on-time person. 

Working Smart


Support Reading

Good writers are often good readers.  Children who love books are usually hooked by the magic of writing.  

  • Read to your preschool child.  Talk and ask questions about the books you read.

  • Provide children of all ages with appropriate reading matter in the home.  Take them to the library regularly.  Give children's books and magazine subscriptions as gifts. 

  • Be a model.  Let your child see you reading...the mail, a newspaper, a book, a recipe, or a set of instructions. 

Adapted from National Education Association


When You Have To Reprimand

In talking about positive motivation, we sometimes minimize the necessity of dealing with a child whose actions are unacceptable.  But like it or not, part of parenting is to reprimand when the action warrants it. Here is how to do it, when it must be done.

  1. Don't smile.  The moment you smile, even though you are trying to put the child at ease, you have reduced your effectiveness.  Smiling indicates approval, and you are talking about actions that do not have your approval.
  2. Don't gunny-sack.  Gunny-sacking is saving up all of your complaints and problems until the bag is full then dumping it on the child.  Reprimand as soon as possible after the problem occurs. 
  3. Be specific.  Tell the child what he did wrong.  Tell him what you observed and how that differs from what you expected.  Give him a chance to clarify the issue.  But don't accept "excuses."
  4. Tell her how you feel about what she did or did not do.  If you are surprised, or angry or disappointed, tell her. 
  5. Put the reprimand into perspective.  You are reprimanding the child for a specific action in a specific situation, not for being a "bad person" or a "naughty child."  Let him know that you value his actions in general and in other specific situations though not here.
  6. Don't repeat the reprimand.  Once the reprimand is given, you've done it.  Go back to what you were doing.  

Adapted from Practical Supervision

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Promise big.  Deliver bigger.  

 

Amazing April Links

T
he Journey North:  This annual Internet-based adventure engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Students predict the arrival of spring from half a world away. From the Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project.
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/

Zona Land:  Created by high school math and physics teacher Ed Zobel, Zona Land provides resources for students to fully grasp major concepts in Algebra, Geometry, and Physics. Divided into two sections, "More Mathematics than Science" and "More Science than Mathematics" students can better visualize waves, graphing, and much more.
http://id.mind.net/~zona/

The Cave of Lascaux: This site from the Ministry of Culture in France lets you take a virtual tour of the Palaeolithic wall paintings of Lascaux. Students of all ages can explore the caves, learn more about the images in the paintings, and discover the materials used by the artists 15,000 years ago. This website is available in English, French, Spanish, and German.
http://www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/

KinderGarden:  Gardens "teach children not only about plants, nature, and the outdoors, but other subjects as well." This site includes school garden themes, things to consider before you create a garden, a step-by-step guide, curriculum ideas, and more. 
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/kindergarden/kinder.htm

Tinfoil.com: Dedicated to the Preservation of Early Recorded Sound:  Would you like to hear the sounds of the early 20th century? Visit this website to hear the music of the times originally preserved on wax cylinder recordings. Students can learn about the early technology used to record sound and hear bands, singers and statesmen of the day. The Cylinder of the Month Archive links to a variety of sounds, both in WAV and Real format.
http://www.tinfoil.com/

Particle Adventure:  From the Particle Data Group, this site introduces the Standard Model theory of fundamental particles and forces. It explores the experimental evidence and the reasons physicists want to go beyond this theory. In addition, it provides information on particle decay, a brief history section, and materials to support learning activities.
http://particleadventure.org/

 

Enjoy the World Around You!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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