goodness! What an eventful month! And it is soon to be over. Our
work has picked up and we are always amazed when the day ends, as it
seems we have just started. We finished a long grant process and
hope we are chosen as one of the vendors for supplemental curriculum.
Grant writing is a process we have done often but has not been as
rewarding as one would hope. Nevertheless, this seemed doable and we
decided to "throw our hat in the ring."
We are acting as
consultants for a National Science Grant. Part of the grant application focuses on online learning. We were asked because of
our background in this field. When completed we are hopeful that
we can add more value to the learning experience of participants.
Online learning is
becoming a very "hot" commodity. Because we have been in the
arena for such a long time, we are viewed as a popular acquisition for
larger companies hoping to expand their portfolios. This month
we received another offer and after due diligence, found our goals and
expectations did not agree.
This is the time of
year when we update all of our certifications and registrations with
state agencies. We appreciate those states that use
internet-based applications to complete the process. Yet, there are
some states that will have you copy online forms and then send them in
by postal mail. I guess, in their minds they are using an online
We continue to
receive wonderful letters and emails from our students and
parents. Every time these smiling words enter our box, it
changes the day for us. We get a bounce in our step, challenging work
becomes easier, and it reinforces our commitment of changing the face
of learning for students. Thank you to each of you who have
taken the time to let us know how learning has changed for you.
Enjoy this season of
regeneration and blooms. May you delight in what the month holds
in store for you.
Happy Mother's Day!
to all our wonderful, devoted, and committed mothers!
have many ways of connecting today. We like the idea of being able
to share thoughts and ideas as we think of them. It is amazing how
one's words can spark interest for others. Please take the
time to connect with us.
- Longer entries than what you see on Twitter. If you see
something you like...let us know by clicking the like button..
Just a sentence that will share with you a bit about what you learn by
clicking on the attached link.
eTutor Blog -
If you want to learn more about our interests and learn something at
the same time, check out the blog.
Pinterest - You may lose yourself at this
site, but take the plunge. Feel free to add or "pin"
something from our site to
your own site.
Make somebody smile every day.
Learning with eTutor
are some things that we can pass on that might make the learning
experience more enjoyable for both you and your student(s). Whether
new or a long-time subscriber, the following may help you in getting
is used by most subscribers as their main curriculum. We recommend
supplementing the online program with good literature books, texts
and workbooks when available.
makes recommendations for subjects at the Middle-Junior High and
High School Levels. Parents and/or educators may choose subjects
to focus on at the Primary and Intermediate Levels.
simple file system is helpful for both parents and students in
following up with Activities and Extended Learning. Students can
place their work in the folders when completed. Parents know
where to find the work and it provides a way for students to see
eTutor lesson has a question bank with anywhere from 20 to 60
questions. Each time a student takes a quiz, the questions as well
as the answers are rotated.
eTutor is a dynamic program and
uses thousands of links from museums, universities, governments
and agencies throughout the world. Sometimes these links fail.
Please notify eTutor immediately if you should find a failed link.
The editing and
updating of eTutor Lesson Modules is continuing.
Over 3500 Lesson Modules
are included in the
eTutor Lesson Library!
Join the eTutor world of learning today to view
the lesson modules.
adds flexibility to
Did you know that
thirty to forty writers sign up on Lesson Pro each month? Many
are just curious, others are looking for a tutoring job, but others
are serious about writing lessons for the students they are working
easy to use template makes creating online instruction for your
students a snap. Remember that there is no cost for using the
template. Your lesson modules are available to you and your
students to use in and out of an instructional program. Interesting topics from LessonPro this
Applications of Derivatives
Human Digestive System
The Monkey and the Crocodile
Of Mice and Men
If you have questions or comments,
please contact us. We hope you will join The Writers' Circle
By Mary & Conrad Buff
Ages: 4th - 8th Grades
This book is out of print. So,
the cost is high for a used book. But well worth
purchasing if you cannot find it in your library. This is
of a giant sequoia named Wawona, that
sprouted 2500 years ago, the readers watch 'him' grow, observing
the animals and birds around him, watch as he survives fire,
lightning, and even man, as a national park is made around him.
about the natural world...things like fire resistant bark, eagle
pairs, forest habitat, ecology, evolutionary biology, history,
etc. Small images in the top of each page show what the
humans were doing when Wawona was a young sapling, a tall tree,
1947 Newberry Honor
Remember that sometimes all of a little just isn't enough.
on the Home Front
parents are teachers, but not all parents appreciate the tremendous
influence that the home learning environment has on their child's
potential for intellectual and social success.
are teaching by accident or by design every moment from their child's
birth. Because the level of stimulation in a child's home learning
environment determines whether instruction is going to be fun and
successful for that child or whether the child is always going to be
playing catch-up, parents have a crucial role in the education of
time a parent is involved with a child it can be turned into a
positive learning experience. If you are baking cookies have
your child stir the cookie
dough, it's motor development. You can talk while you're baking,
so it's a social experience. You can point out the two tablespoons of
sugar you're adding, so it's math. You can point to the recipe
book to give them exposure to print media. It's
from Curriculum Update, ASCD,
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Listening is an art that requires
practice. Take time to have relaxed conversations alone with
each of your children on a regular basis...five to ten minutes each
day. Frequent talks will help you spot difficulties before they become
real problems. In open discussions, various points of view are
expressed and everyone both TALKS AND LISTENS. It is often helpful to
be doing something together when you talk...and preferably when others
are not around. Here are some guidelines for talking with
- Show respect. As you
did in listening, so in talking. Show your teenager the same
courtesy and interest you would show your adult friends.
- Be brief. The time to
stop talking is before your teenager stops listening! If you
must get across a message, feed a little information... remember
the HALF-MINUTE rule for good listening....then ask for comment
before adding a little more. Try not to lecture.
- Be aware of your tone of
voice. Often it's not what you say, but how you say it that
conveys your message...how loudly, softly, fast or slowly you
speak. You also communicate with eye contact and facial
- Be specific. Strive
consciously to communicate in simple and specific terms.
- Help your teenager empathize
with you by expressing your feelings. Reveal some of your inner
self. Let your child know you also are an individual and can
be hurt by others, even confused in your thinking and fearful of
Adapted from Helping
Youth Decide, National Assn. of State Boards of Education
Be careful the things you say; children will listen.
The Question of Standardized Testing
When the topic for discussion is
standardized testing, there may be more questions than answers. The
testing program in schools and in the world of business and industry
has become so much a way of life that we are beginning to look for
some answers to our questions about the place such testing has in
education. A mammoth amount
of time is spent on testing. One reliable estimate reports that
20million school days are being used for testing. We are also talking
big money for a program of this size. While there is a valid place for
testing, the practice is out of hand and needs to be re-evaluated.
call for accountability in education brought a clamor for a standard
by which students of diverse backgrounds could be compared both
individually and as group. Grades could not be used because of
variability from one situation to another. It was necessary to
develop a standard of performance for each age and grade level so that
any student could be compared to a uniform standard. Testing
companies developed such a standard by carefully analyzing the
performance of hundred of thousands of school-age children on a test
and establishing a "norm" for performance at each age and
grade. These "norms" are the standard by which student
performance on the test is judged.
results give us data by which we can compare performance between
students, schools and states. Information from testing can
be a useful tool in improving educational experiences, but we
must never lose sight of the fact that a standardized test is a sample
of a student's performance at one specified period of time. It
is not the total picture. It may not measure everything the child is
learning. It never evaluates everything he or she knows.
It may never reveal all of the talent and potential that are
from The Master Teacher
The Gifted and Talented
Although we place high
hopes for a worthwhile future on the gifted and talented youth of
today, we often neglect this group. Many gifted children are
left to their own devices when learning as well as at home.
Contrary to the popular
misconceptions that they will do better without interference and that
they will succeed on their own, some gifted children experience
academic, social, and personal problems when they do not receive
support from society and parents. Of primary importance in the
recognition and the development of the special abilities of these
individuals is the active support of the parent, at home and in
Gifted children display
their abilities in a variety of ways, each unique to the individual
child. In general, for most children giftedness is demonstrated by
performance of tasks and understanding of concepts usually associated
with much older children. Reading signs, magazines, and books, and
performing mathematical computations at ages three to five, speaking
complex sentences and using abstract vocabulary at age two and
three....all indicate superior intellectual abilities.
Because of their
heightened perceptions and sensitivities, many gifted children need an
environment that is secure emotionally and stimulating intellectually
to allow their abilities to flourish. Too many adults overlook
their needs, however, assuming that these children already have
advantages others lack. Consequently, much is left to parents to
provide for the gifted. Working with the child, with other parents,
and with educators, parents can accomplish this awesome, often
Adapted from National
These journals...also know as logs,
daybooks, think-books and even diaries...have become popular
instructional tools in recent years and are helpful students ranging
from elementary school to college. Besides encouraging better writing
skills, the journals help students clarify their thoughts about what
they read and hear in learning experiences.
Their use is not limited to English
composition. For example, students who use a journal in math may find
that switching from number symbols to word symbols helps them solve
difficult equations. Science and social studies 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.
Journals provide an avenue for student
to express opinions and ideas and a chance to share experiences and
experiment with writing styles.
Adapted from IASB -
School Public Relations
Be careful the things you do; children will see...and learn.
Amazing April Links:
Seasonal change is all around us. We see it in the length of a
day, in the appearance of a flower, in the flight of a butterfly.
Journey North is a free, Internet-based program that explores the
interrelated aspects of seasonal change. Through interrelated
investigations, students discover that sunlight drives all living
systems and they learn about the dynamic ecosystem that surrounds and
connects them. http://www.learner.org/jnorth/KidsJourneyNorth.html
Bite Size: This site site
brings together all the BBC’s formal education content - not just
the familiar Bitesize learner guides covering all the main secondary
subjects, but also new primary guides and thousands of
curriculum-mapped video clips for both secondary and primary
Web-based Inquiry Science
Exploration: WISE is a simple yet powerful learning
environment where students examine real-world evidence and analyze
current scientific controversies. Supported by the National Science
Amazing Space: At this
site, students can use Web-based activities to learn about the solar
system, train to be a scientist, follow a star's life cycle, and more.
Click on "For Educators and Developers" to access
interactive activities, science-content reading selections, and
answers to astronomy basics. (This site uses Flash.)
Center of the Cell: This London
museum's Web site features numerous links that help students to
further understand cells. It also provides links for teachers and
allows them to distribute specific information and quizzes to their
Knowledge HQ Staff
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