eNews                                           April 2016 Vol. 19-04

President's Message

What a beautiful day it has been!  Sunny and warm....I took a noon-time walk.  But just a few days ago, we were shoveling out after a foot of snow...Spring in Colorado is full of surprises. The flowers and budding trees cannot but make one happy. 

We have spent the month holed up with the computer, writing for long hours and have submitted two grants to the U.S. Department of Education in the last few weeks.  The initiative is part of our goal to continue our study and application of applied analytics and machine learning with the intent of increasing opportunities for student success.  We are living through a profound shift in human development:  a shift from print to digital, from cohort to individual, from year end test to continuous feedback, from time to learning.  It is a shift from passive learning...teach it, turn it in, and test active lists, projects, presentation, publications, and portfolios. The shift includes new broader outcomes....real measures of student learning including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and habits of success.  

        Happy Mother's Day!



The Community

 We hope you will join our global community this month.  There is so much to learn from our friends around the world.     



   eTutor Blog  


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Remember that sometimes the more you find out, 
the less you know.


Your eTutor

The Lesson Library allows students and educators to view a large database of lessons completed by the Writer’s Circle.  The lessons are searchable by subject, key word, and grade level.  e-Tutor allows students to work at their own pace and to focus on areas of their choice from a large selection of specific subjects.  All of the lessons in this database are mapped to standards, include assessment measures and include websites in the body of the lesson that reinforce the concept or skill being taught. 

Educators write the instructional lessons following curricular goals and objectives established by e-Tutor to align to the Common Core learning goals and standard.  The instructional content is written using the LessonPro template to create lessons in four major curricular areas. The curricular areas are divided further into 27 subject areas.  The elementary and high school grade levels are divided into four groups – K to 2 (Primary), 3 to 5 (Intermediate), 6 to 8 (Middle/Junior High) and 9 to 12 (High School).  The lessons are rigorous and require from one to one and a half hours to complete.  Lessons are constantly being added to the system. 

If you are not an e-Tutor subscriber, we are waiting to hear from you.  Parents and students, alike are excited about this great way of learning!

Over 3500 Lesson Modules
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 Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
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Free Lessons @ eTutor

By and large, astronomy is a science that does not allow for retrieval of samples, laboratory examination of objects, or physical entrance into an environment. Luckily, light carries a lot of information. This lesson explains more.

Multi-Wavelength Astronomy: The "Wave" Of The Future

We offer a broad selection of topics, subjects and grade levels for you to experience.  Try eTutor Unplugged today!


Writers' Circle

The 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 month: 

Zoology Animal Kingdom
Equivalent Pizza Fractions
Japanese 1- The Hiragana Writing System
MLA Format
Trigonometry and Geometry: Right Triangle

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.  We hope you will join The Writers' Circle today!


   The Book Case            

Roger Duvoisin

    Grades:  K- 2 

A goose thinks carrying a book will make her wise, but son she learns that wisdom comes from reading the book.  Poor silly goose. By simply having the book in her possession, she thinks it makes her wise and smarter than all her friends. Needless to say, Petunia leaves a path of destruction in her wake of genius, until at last she figures out... "It is not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart."

Online Video 

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Try to use only what you need.


Do the Math!  It Makes You Smarter!

Math is to learning what endurance and strength training is to sports:  the means to excel in the specialty of your choice.  You can't become a major sports star without being strong and having good cardiovascular ability. You can't become a star in any profession unless you can think smart and critically. Math will help you do that.

Despite the availability of well-paid jobs in fields such as engineering, statistics, and technology, many young people do not take enough math courses.  They see it as hard, boring, and irrelevant....not true.

You have permission to be smart;  you have permission to do what your peers do not. Choose math so you don't have to talk about how math is hard, for the rest of your life.  Choose math so you don't have to joke away your inability to do simple calculations. Besides, math will get you a job in the cool companies, the ones that need brains.  

Adapted from Edutopia


The Importance of Expectations

Psychologists have concluded that one person's expectations can influence the behavior of another. The phenomenon has come to be called "self-fulfilling prophecy;" people become what is prophesied about them.  

The entire range of expectations and self-fulfilling prophecies was examined beginning with a controversial study of teachers' expectations of students. The children in 18 classrooms were given a test disguised to supposedly predict "intellectual blooming."  After the test 20 percent of the children were selected at random and their names given to the teachers with the assurances that these children could be expected to show remarkable gains during the coming year. The only differences between the 20% and the other 80% of the children were solely in the minds of the teachers.

Eight months later all the children were retested. It was found that those children identified as most likely to "bloom," did show an excess in overall IQ gain over the others. It was assumed that because the teachers expected some students to do better, they did in fact, fulfill those expectations. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator 


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ry to have only what you need.


Requiring Students To Volunteer, May Be Overkill

A U.S. Department of Education report suggests we don't need to force students to volunteer in their communities. The key to kindling a spirit of community service may be simply to make those kinds of opportunities available.  

The data show that rates of volunteering in schools that arrange, but do not require, community-service activities for their students are almost as high as those in schools that require and arrange volunteer projects. Just over half of 6th to 12th graders had spent some time volunteering.

Rates were lowest in schools that required community service but did not help place students in an activity.  Less than one-fifth of students in those schools had clocked any volunteer hours.

Adapted from Education Week

Promoting Family Values

Parents today are worried about the values their children are exposed to in society. A person's primary values must continue to come from home. Here are some ways to pass on your family's values to your children:

  • Talk about your values.  If you choose to visit a relative or spend time with your child, rather than work overtime, say "I believe people are more important than things." If you give money to support a cause you believe in, tell your child why you're doing it.
  • Encourage your child to talk about his values, too.  Whenever possible, try to support your child's values by taking positive action.  For instance, many children are as concerned, if not more concerned, about protecting the environment than adults.  If this is the case, you could work with your son or daughter to promote recycling in your family.
  • Think bout the message you send with your actions.  It's hard to talk about honesty if you brag about cheating on your taxes.  It's hard to teach the value of human kindness and fairness if you condemn other races or peoples.
  • Teach you children how to make decisions.  Ask you child to think about what might happen if she chooses one course of action over another.  But let her make some of her own decisions...and discover her own consequences.
  • Let your children know you are always there to listen.  Teens sometimes say they don't talk with their parents because they don't want a lecture.  If your son or daughter starts discussing a problem, make an effort to listen more than you talk. 

Adapted from AASA, American Association of School Administrators

Sit Back and Deal With Stress

Managing stress is essential to good health.  A lot of stress is caused by what happened in the past, and what might happen in the future.  To control such anxieties....real or unfounded....bring your mind back to the present.  Try the following mental exercises:

  • Focusing. Sit back, close your eyes, and take several deep breaths. Focus your mind on a neutral object, such as breathing or the number one. Strive to clear your mind of everything else.  Each time your mind drifts, come back to that neutral object.  In a short time, it will become easier to let go of stressful thoughts.

  • Affirmations.  Again, sit back, close your eyes, and take several deep breaths. Repeat a positive statement to yourself over and over again until you feel the stress ease up. 

Remember that these exercises are most effective if they are performed in a quiet atmosphere and a comfortable chair.  They are also most effective if they are accompanied by healthy diets.  Avoid excessive caffeine, and stick to healthy snacks.  A candy bar at a high-stress moment may pack a wallop of energy, but leave you in a slump minutes later. Try crackers or fruit instead.

Adapted from Working Smart

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Try to fix it long before it is broken.


Awesome April Links:

The Atoms Family: The Miami Museum of Science uses a very spooky theme to teach about different forms of energy.

Particle Adventure:  Find answers to the eternal, fundamental questions of physics: "What is the world made of?" and "What holds it together?" The information on this site is clearly presented and well organized, with fabulous resources for teachers, including student activity sheets and links to particle physics education sites. (This site uses Flash and Shockwave.)

Cosmic Evolution From Big Bang to Humankind:  This site traces the cosmic origin and evolution of matter and energy from the Big Bang to 12 billion years later. You'll learn from movies, diagrams, animations and educational activities. From Tufts University, Wright Center for Science Education, and the Foundation for the Future. You'll need the free QuickTime Player and RealPlayer for the movies.

Virtual Dinosaur Dig: You get to use virtual tools to uncover dinosaur bones, pack them for shipment, assemble them correctly, and learn about the dinosaur that they came from. You'll need the free Flash player.

Imagers: The Adventures of Echo the Bat: This site offers an excellent interactive activity for grade school students. By following the adventures of Echo the Bat, they can learn about bat migration, echolocation, and even satellite imaging and remote sensing technologies. This is a clever and compelling site.


Have a terrific month!

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