month I have had some wonderful conversations with parents who are
seeking a different approach to learning for their students.
You know, it doesn't matter where we come from, we all want the same
thing for our children. We want them to be independent, good
citizens and happy. A good education is key to their success and
we as parents know that. Often we feel like our hands are tied,
that schools don't hear us and our children are caught in the
middle. And, sometimes our children take out their frustration
on us. I spoke with a parent this morning who said her children
don't think she knows anything. In another conversation this
morning, I spoke with a student who understood that he was responsible
for his own learning. We as parents and educators can place
before the student a wonderful and informative learning program, but
if the student does not step up to the plate and take responsibility
for learning, frustrations arise all around. e-Tutor was
developed to give parents a different choice from institutional
learning. A large library of lessons gives the student a choice
about topics he or she is most interested in. We believe
this approach values the wishes of the parent and respects the needs
of the student.
Also this month, I have
had the opportunity of thrilling in the success students are achieving
through the e-Tutor One2One program. A tutor is assigned to each
student. Assignments are created with the express student in mind.
Tutor and student communicate with each other throughout the week. Students have access to a wider range of lessons,
constant monitoring by the tutor and one on one contact during the
tutor's office hours. Tutors work from Knowledge Headquarters
Center in Chicago during their office hours. This provides us
the opportunity to celebrate student success together. It has been
especially rewarding for me, as in planning and developing such
a program, one is often hesitant of its true success. What a
delight it is to see students so actively involved in their learning,
to see tutors take such an interest in each individual student and to
view some of the outstanding work that the students are doing under
the guidance of their tutor! It is certainly more than I
imagined. I am pleased for the students, for the tutors and for
the parents who have sought a different approach for their child's
talent counts for nothing.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
It is that time of year
again, when subscribers are telling us about how they used e-Tutor
during the school year. Although most subscribers are
individuals, there are many schools and school districts that use e-Tutor,
as well. We thought you might like to read comments from one
school district. And you may even get some ideas about extending the
learning for your child.
I really enjoy e-Tutor because I think that it helps me to
learn faster. Also,
because I think itís helping me with raising grades higher.
I also think it is an easier way of learning.
I like the way we have our own password, so no one gets in my
I hope e-Tutor stays the same.
I like all the real pictures.
I like studying about new animals.
I feel happy because I like to see pictures because theyíre
interesting. I like to
find out about oceans. States
I enjoy using e-Tutor because it is easy to use.
It helps kids remember things.
You have to remember your passwords.
I like the way you can get to other web sites.
I like e-Tutor because they have a lot of big words that I
I like it a lot because there are a lot of links.
I like the pictures of the creatures.
I think itís teaching a lot more than a book.
With a book you canít press a word and the book tells you
about it. I like this
I sometimes donít like e-Tutor cause the on the quiz there
are hard problems and I get bad grades.
I like the pictures that are in the screen.
I like the web sites so much, but I wish they had more
I really like the Art Gallery at the top of e-Tutor. I also like how on the study guides they have lots of
I think e-Tutor is an enjoying website.
I like e-Tutor because they teach you more words. It even teaches you a lot of stuff.
I feel that e-Tutor is making me get better grades. I really enjoy e-Tutor because it is helping me learn what
We used e-Tutor for the geometry unit and the kids loved it.
Their favorite lesson was the one on tessellations.
I was able to follow up with an art lesson using the knowledge
that they received from the site.
I personally loved the real math situational lesson on
remodeling a room in a house. They
had to measure, visit other sites for paint formulas and prices
regarding flooring treatments. It
was a multi-task lesson that really made them think.
I had them work in pairs.
We actually have a large bulletin board in the pod on
tessellations and scale drawing that was an inspiration from the
My experience with e-Tutor has been a very positive one. I was able to select many lessons that correlated with our
fourth grade curriculum. Being
able to bring my students to the lab four days each week, I delivered
much of our science and social science through e-Tutor.
For each lesson I would have students complete a lesson preview
to learn the vocabulary words and to discuss prior knowledge. As they read through the study guide and web sites, students
would take notes in an organizer I provided.
The lesson activity seemed to be the most enjoyable for
students. The variety of
activities kept their interest from lesson to lesson.
Those who finished the activity before the majority of the
class would complete the lesson extension.
Others could complete the extension at home for extra credit.
For my class, they needed to take four to five practice quizzes
before taking the exam. The
immediate feedback is wonderful!
I think my students enjoyed using e-Tutor.
It worked well because 90 percent of my students had computers
at home, which was a big advantage.
Of course, some of the time constraints made it difficult to
use as much as I would have preferred.
I did find it useful on several levels.
The resources provided and the opportunity to regulate my
students work and progress were very beneficial.
My students were more apt to pay attention to deadlines and
seemed more engaged by the computer tests than other forms.
I did find myself using more essay questions however, which was
a little more time consuming to grade.
Also, I spent more time adapting the lessons to my classroom
than I had anticipated but the resources and background material were
from a Suburban Illinois Elementary School District
Three new lessons
were added to the e-Tutor Lesson Library this month.
Join the e-Tutor
world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.
The Ninth Wave
There is an ancient
superstition of the sea that, inevitably, one wave comes along that is
greater than any that has preceded it. It is called the Ninth
Wave. It is the powerful culmination of sea and wind.
There is no greater force. To catch the Ninth Wave at the
critical moment requires a special skill, timing your movements to
mount it at its peak.
Today we see such a
powerful wave in our future. Our own Ninth Wave, bringing with
it significant change. To catch this Wave, this change, we must
prepare now. So that when it is our turn to respond, we can catch
the mighty Ninth with the best that is in us and ride it all the way
to the shore. We hope you will join us in riding this powerful
wave of change.
difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right
and doing it exactly right.
Words To Spare
Every day Janice
jotted down a joke or
a few words of encouragement on a napkin that she placed in her son
Eric's lunch box. And every afternoon, Eric returned his lunch
box to her with the spent napkin inside. Janice often wondered
if he even read the notes.
One day, Eric returned his lunch box
without the note. Janice's curiosity got the better of her and
she asked, "Sweetie, where's your note?"
Eric looked at her, not sure if he had
done something wrong. "I gave it to Kyle," he
said. "His mother doesn't give him notes and I ...well...I
thought he could use mine."
"You did?" Janice questioned.
"Yeah. His Nana is really sick and
he's so sad right now," Eric explained. "Maybe you can
write a note for him tomorrow or maybe I can give him the one you
wrote last Thursday. That was a good one."
Janice shook her hear, in awe of her
boy. She hadn't been sure the notes held any importance for
him. And now she knew that Eric not only appreciated
them, he thought they were important enough to pass on.
Bits & Pieces
- Using Activities
and Extended Learning
Students and sometimes parents are
often not aware of the significance of the Activities and Extended
Learning Activities included with each e-Tutor lesson. They
provide important skill work in problem solving and critical thinking,
sometimes referred to as metacognition.
Researchers define metacognition
as "....being aware of our thinking as we perform specific tasks
and then using this awareness to control what we are
doing." To think metacognitively about a learning
task, three types of knowledge must be acquired by the
learner: declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge and
Declarative knowledge is
factual information.....what the researchers refer to as "knowing
that." An example of declarative knowledge is a learner's
knowing that a glossary is different from a table of contents and if
they come across an unfamiliar word, the glossary rather than the
table of contents would be the place to find the unfamiliar word's
Procedural knowledge is
"knowing how"; knowing how to combine word clues with prior
knowledge and experience to make an inference is an example of
The third category of knowledge, conditional,
refers to knowing when to use a particular learning strategy (e.g.,
activating prior knowledge) over another and knowing why this strategy
is the best way to approach a learning task.
The three types of knowledge form the
cognitive knowledge that learners must acquire before they become
Strategic Learning involves:
- Learning with clear purposes
- A plan for achieving those
- A set of backup strategies
that can be used when the purposes are not being achieved
Research has shown that students can be
taught learning strategies, such as setting a purpose for learning,
activating prior knowledge, predicting, evaluating, summarizing,
comprehension monitoring and making inferences. This is why the
Activities and Extended Learning sections are included with each e-Tutor
lesson. Parents should participate in discussing the completed
responses with the student.
The learner's past exclusion from this
important "tool of the learning trade" could cause problems
when one wants to know how the learner solves a particular problem or
what the learner is thinking while he or she completes a task.
The payoff in learning these strategies is increased student
responsibility for learning.
Excerpts from Silver
Burdett & Ginn
is to success what a lighted match is to a candle.
Setting goals can help you plan your
future one step at a time. Setting goals is simply defining what
you want. That's not so hard, is it? Knowing what your
goals are makes it easier to make choices that will help you reach
them. A practical goal is a concrete thing that can be
measured. If you say, "I want to be in charge of my own
life," that is a hard thing to measure. But if you say,
"I want to live in my own apartment in six months and pay my own
rent," that's something that you can look at in six months and say
you accomplished it or you didn't.
Goals and dreams are not the same
thing. Dreaming of living on a Caribbean island and teaching
windsurfing all day is most often a dream. Although it is
sometimes fun to fantasize about that life, especially when
tired and it's cold outside. If living on a Caribbean island and
teaching windsurfing all day really was your goal, you would be actively
working toward it, trying to make it a reality. The following will
help you set realistic goals:
First, make sure your goal is something
you really want to do, stated in a positive way. In other words,
don't say, "I don't want to live with my parents."
Instead, state it positively: "I want to live on my own as
a responsible adult."
Next, break your goal into concrete
mini-goals. If your were trying to make that Caribbean dream
come true, your mini-goals might include: learn to windsurf; research
Caribbean islands; find out how expensive it is to live in the
Caribbean; and research owning a small business in the
Within each mini-goal, you might break
it into small steps. Learn to windsurf might get broken down
into: check the Yellow Pages; call county park system; call
windsurfing equipment stores to find out about lessons; save $25 a
week for lessons.
By breaking down a big goal into
mini-goals and then by breaking those mini-goals down into steps, you
keep from being overwhelmed. Make sure those mini-goals and
steps are concrete and measurable. Then you will have a real
sense of accomplishment when meeting those goals.
It is also helpful to set
deadlines. A long-term goals of, say owning a car, might have a
deadline two years away. A shorter-term deadline, like improving
your social life, might be only two months away. If you know
when you would like to accomplish your overall goal, it helps to set
deadlines for your mini-goals, too. Just work backward. If
you want to buy a car in two years, then maybe you have mini-goals of
taking a driver's ed course to lower your insurance, research the best
cars in your price range, create a budget and get a job right
Don't let anybody tell you that you
can't accomplish things just because you are a teenager.
Instead, think about what you want most for your life and then set
goals so that you can accomplish it!
Adapted from The Next
"F" Doesn't mean
While it is too late to
improve grades already recorded, there are ways parents can help
children succeed in the next marking term. First, put the "F" in
perspective. A child who flunks math will not necessarily be
barred from a good college. College admissions officers consider
many factors when reviewing potential freshmen, such as SATs, class
rank, extracurricular activities and grades in all
subjects. Bringing up the "F" also should be viewed
favorably. But there are ways parents can help children ensure
that problems in grasping basic concepts do not evolve into difficulty
with more advanced courses in later years.
Uncover the "real" problem. Rule out any underlying
reasons for your child's failing grade, such as the need for glasses,
hearing problems, a learning disability or problems with
friends. Look for signs of substance use, particularly if you
see a drastic change in performance. Then have a heart-to-heart talk
with your child to pinpoint difficulties. Getting to the bottom
of the problem is the first step in correcting it.
Map a strategy for success. Outline a plan to bring your child's
grade up to par. This might involve a set homework routine every
night with no exceptions, the elimination of television, cell phone
and extracurricular privileges until grades improve, a notebook to
organize all tests and assignments and help from you whenever he needs
it. Let your child know that if he is willing to put in the time
and effort, he can get a better grade.
Consider other options. if your child is still lagging behind in
a subject despite your efforts, you could go a step further.
This might mean an online course, remedial classes, summer school, an after-school tutor
or, in some cases, counseling to improve classroom behavior or
motivation. By keeping on top of your child's progress, you will
know if these additional measures are necessary.
Never give up. Don't dwell on the failure. Discuss it with
your child, then put it behind both of you. Remind her of recent
successes, such as her detailed science project, her progress in
gymnastics or her helpfulness around the house. Remember: You
can rekindle her confidence. Just because she failed in math, she
is not a failure.
The Community Link
If an adult believes it is
necessary to help a child cope with stress, several approaches are
available and may be used alone or in any combination.
understanding. Children are not always able to recognize
symptoms. Adults can help children understand the symptoms and
recognize the events that cause them. One way to do this is to
label the feelings and connect events to them whenever possible.
"You're angry at Jimmy because he wouldn't share his
toys." This labels the emotion and links it to the
event that caused it.
support. It is important for adults to acknowledge children's
feelings as valid. Emotions are not right or wrong.
They are an individual's response to an event based upon their
perceptions. Therefore, while your perceptions may differ
from your children's you must acknowledge your children's right to
feel as they do. When children know that adults respect
their feelings, they will be more willing to allow adults to help
them examine and cope with these feelings.
and control. Children need structure. They need to
know what the rules are and they will test to find the
limits. Children experience less stress when the rules and
limits are consistent. Parents who are firm, but fair, provide
an environment that produces less stress than do parents who are
too harsh or too lenient. For those children who grow up in
a reliable, consistent environment, the world appears to be a safe
place and children understand their role in that world.
develop coping skills. Many stress reduction activities
have been developed to help individuals cope with stress.
Most of these techniques are appropriate for children and can be
highly effective in helping children deal with stressful
It is not an adult's
responsibility to eliminate all stress from children's lives.
This is not possible or desirable. However, helping children
learn to deal with stress will enable them to deal with the inevitable
stress that is in all of our lives.
Adapted from National
now offers students a vocational track in automotive.
ASE automotive certification prep
courses. Each Online Course includes 20-30 minutes of high-quality video clips detailing various Tasks from
the ASE Task list. You receive access to everything listed below.
- Engine Repair
- Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
- Manual Drive Train & Axles
- Suspension & Steering
- Electrical/Electronic Systems
- Heating & Air Conditioning
- Engine Performance
- Advanced Engine Performance
- Automobile Parts Specialist
- Service Consultant
OBD-II Getting On-Board
OBD-II General Motors Vehicles
OBD-II Ford Motor Co. EEC-V
OBD-II Chrysler Corp Vehicles
you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
Bill of Rights Institute: This
site offers a large selection of free lesson plans
available to teachers looking for a way to bring the Bill of Rights and
the Constitution to life. Primary Source Activities, Citizenship and Character
Lessons and Historical Narratives offer new ideas for the study of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution and how those amendments affect U.S. society.
PBS Kids Cyberchase: A fun math related game is available every day at
Cyberchase. Games reinforce important math concepts. Pump up your math skills and
have a little fun at the same time. Take the poll (and have students apply their knowledge of graphs) or have a peek at the next day's
Silk Road Seattle:
Silk Road Seattle is an education project using the "Silk Road" theme to
explore cultural interaction across Eurasia from the beginning of the Common Era (A.D.) to the Sixteenth Century. Translations of primary
texts are available.
Celebrating Sondheim: Add
movement, multiculturalism and logical/mathematical
intelligence to your learning. Look to the teaching resources at this ArtsEdge
website for Into the Woods, Jr., Sondheim's Into the Woods and Dancing
in the Park with Friends.
Build the Virtual Frog: ďBuilding a frog can be harder than it looks.Ē This activity was
suggested as a great follow up to Froguts. Students can read the guide and take the hints that appear
after a few wrong moves.
Medicine and Madison Avenue:
These ads illustrate the variety and evolution of marketing images from
the 1910s through the 1950s. The collection represents a wide range of
products such as cough and cold remedies, laxatives and indigestion
aids and vitamins and tonics, among others. Compare health information
with media literacy and U.S. History.
Have a Great Month!
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
Copyright © 2005 Knowledge Headquarters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.knowledgehq.com