In The News                              May 2008   Vol. 11-5

 

President’s Message
This month we have spent much time in the western United States.  We came through snow to get here and just a few weeks later we are enjoying the warmth of a summer sun.  I've enjoyed seeing the flora and fauna of the countryside, but more interesting has been my conversations with parents and educators.  It doesn't matter where we come from, we all want the same for our children, an education that will stimulate and challenge, while preparing them for a successful future.     

We've had occasion to watch a class splashing in puddles after a rainy morning, students and parents weaving a May Pole and the excitement of children running through a field of mountain flowers.  It's been a journey about and for children.  We continue to learn and grow with them.  It continues to excite us!

As our world of e-Tutor learners increases and as the summer months approach, we have had requests from both parents and students for e-Tutor Get-Togethers and for e-Tutor PenPals.  Many of our students want to converse with one another, not only during summer months but during the school year as well.  

Parents have asked many times for e-Tutor Parent Groups or Get-Togethers.  The e-Tutor subscriber base covers the world, but there are some locations, states and cities where there are more students.  An email-blog can keep those who prefer an opportunity to stay connected.  See below for more information on e-Tutor Connections.  

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 home schooling 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 us know about your many successes.

Celebrate with us as we honor those who have given so much for each of us.  

 

(Please note:  Excerpts in this Newsletter are taken from past editions of eNews.)

Page 2

I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. 

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

 

 

Learning with
 e-Tutor
                

    

Studying the e-Tutor Way

e-Tutor lesson modules are grouped at Primary (about K-3), Intermediate (about 4-5), Middle/Junior High (about 6-8) and High School.  This cross-aging of lessons has been very successful for e-Tutor students as they can work at their own pace.  Some lesson modules may be easier and can be used for review and some will be more challenging.  Students should do no more than four lesson modules each day.  We recommend one lesson module in each of the four major curricular areas.  One lesson module a day is sufficient for those who use e-Tutor for supplemental work. Students and parents can choose the area of greatest need.  However, all areas support one another. 

Lesson modules take from one hour to one and a half hours to complete.  Some may even take several days to complete.  The default for passing quizzes and exams is set at eighty percent.  Students are expected to fully complete lesson modules.  We ask parents to review Activities and Extended Learning with each lesson module since these are most often completed off line.  They can be used them as a springboard for discussion, What did you learn by completing this, How could you have done this differently,  "Explain this concept to me," etc.

We suggest the student respond in writing to the Problem Statement before and after completing each lesson module.  The vocabulary words can be used for writing sentences or creating word puzzles.  Students should write a short description of each of the resource links. e-Tutor is a Pass/Fail program.  Completed lessons are reflective of those where the student has successfully completed Quizzes and Exams. 

Students are expected to spend approximately four to five hours studying each day when using e-Tutor for their full curriculum.   We suggest that the student keep track of his hours of study each day on a piece of paper or a calendar.

  Twenty-four New Lesson Modules  
were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month!

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  

www.e-tutor.com


 
Register for Summer Courses Now! 

  • Are you looking for a program to keep your child involved with learning over the summer?
  • Does your child need a refresher course? 
  • Would you like to try online learning for a short period of time?

Registration for Summer Course Work is taking place now.  Continued learning over the summer months keeps student minds active and there is no learner gap when they return to studies in the Fall.  Receive a five percent discount by registering for three months.  

If you would like more information call 877-687-7200.




e-Tutor Connections

e-Tutor PenPals: A great way for students to learn from others in the U.S. and around the world.  Miss Kate is already gathering names and email and postal addresses for students who are interested.  Contact Kate at kateb@e-tutor.com.

e-Tutor Parent's Connect:  Are you interested in connecting with other e-Tutor Parents?  Find out how other parents respond to and use the e-Tutor Program.  For more information or to add your name to the list contact Anna at annap@knowledgehq.com.  


   The Book Case

              The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures

                         By Brian Selznick 
                         Ages: 9 - 12
              

This book is like nothing you've ever seen before. When you or your child first pick it up, it looks like one of those fat fantasies that are so popular these days. When you open it, it seems similar to a graphic novel. But lengthy sections of wordless illustrations (284 pages of drawings!) are interspersed with pages of more traditional novelistic prose. Neither text nor pictures can stand alone without the other.  Brian Selznick tells Hugos story alternately through words often just a paragraph or two per page and 158 black-and-white pictures. The illustrations consist mostly of pencil drawings but include memorable stills from the movies of the silent filmmaker Georges Mlis, whose life helped to inspire the book. And because you can flip through the pictures at any pace, you can read the book quickly despite its bulk.

Theheartfelt story involves a plucky orphan, the history of early cinema, the mechanics of clocks and other intricate machinery, and a little bit of magic. Parents need to know that the hero of the story has a sad life. Orphaned, alone, and homeless, he lives by stealing and scavenging, and no one is kind to him until late in the book.

Families who read this book could discuss some of the research-based themes the author includes. How can an automaton be made to write poems and draw pictures? How do they work? How were the earliest films made? Many kids will want to learn more about mechanical machines and automata, and about the history of film, especially the work of Georges Melies. And they may also want to see the films referred to in the story.

Adapted from Family Entertainment


Page 3


The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

Mark Twain

 

The Rush Hour

In many homes, the morning scene looks like something on Americas Funniest Home Videos. Kids fly out the door, eating their breakfast as they run for the bus. Paper flutter out of their backpack (if not lost at home). Lets face it: not everyone is a morning person. But children do need to learn to get to places on time and ready to go to work. These tips may help:

  • Help your children establish good habits. Make sure they hang up their coats as they walk in the door. Give each child a place to keep boots, hats, and school bags.
  • A successful morning begins at night. Before your children go to bed, have them set out everything the will need for school. This is the time to make sure everyone has lunch money, homework, and the permission slip for the field trip.
  • Establish a regular bedtime. Kids who conk out watching the 11:00 news cant rise or shine at 6:45.
  • Set everyones alarm clock 15 minutes earlier. Even a few extra minutes can make a real difference.
  • The night before, set out some easy-to-fix breakfast foods. Kids learn better on a full stomach. Cereal, muffins, toast, or yogurt are all good choices. A peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich will do when kids are in a hurry.
  • Before everyone leaves, take a minute to say, I love you to each child. Nothing will get their dayor yoursoff to a better start.

The Parent Institute


 

Be Praise-Minded

During a recent conversation a psychologist mentioned, "Raising children is not so difficult if parents would realize one thing.  Children need constant praise.  When the children cut their meat right.....great! Praise them!  When they tie their first shoelace....great!  Praise them!  Even if they are just good all day....great!  Praise them!  The human psyche seems to feed and thrive on praise and attention."  And people never really grow out of that constant need for praise and appreciation. 

One study of a number of large corporations revealed the number one reason why people quit their jobs was because, as they put it, "No one appreciated what I did. "  William James, the best known of America's psychologists, said that the desire to be appreciated is one of the deepest drives in human nature.  So get in the habit of being "praise minded."  The way people dress, act, do their jobs and express themselves as personalities can all be characteristics for some words of praise from you.  Perhaps your own family and friends would be a good place to start.

The Public School Administrator


       Creativity

If you shy away from the word creativity because you think only of Picasso and Beethoven are entitled to use it, think again.  Most people are creative, but very few tap into their own supply.  One reason is cultural conditioning.  Creative solutions to problems are left to artists, not to hardheaded types. 
Another obstacle is in the association of creativity and art. 

Both are bunk and rest on an inflated definition of the term.  Creative people do something that is original and unique, no matter how small.  The guy at 3M who thought up Post-it notes was creative.

  And you are too.  All you need do is dig your creativity out from inside yourself.  Here are some ideas to help you:

1.          Make yourself comfortable with your unconscious mind.  As you probe your deepest inner thoughts you will find the road opening up to your childhood and the easy creative ability all children have.

2.          Pay attention to your dreams.  You dont have to be Freud or spend ten years on the couch to do that.  Thinking about your dreams can reveal an interior logic that doesnt show up right away and is lost if you simply forget about dreams.

3.           Counter-program yourself.  Do things you are not supposed to do.  Get rid of the shoulds and oughts that bedevil most of our lives. Make waves in order to explore new possibilities.  Change how you think.  Take risks within yourself to find out what you are capable of achieving.

4.          Free associate ideas.  Daydream.  Take time out.  Go for a walk with nothing on your mind.  Visualize.  Creative ideas often come when you are not thinking.

5.          Know yourself.  Yes, its a clich, but remember that clichs emerge from a core of truth.  You do need to understand how you tick inside.

Executive Strategies



Are You Watching?
  • Watch your thoughts; they become words.

  • Watch your words; they become actions.

  • Watch your actions; they become habits.

  • Watch your habits; they become character.

  • Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.


Frank Outlaw

Page 4


Listen with your heart. Learn from your experiences, and always be open to new ones.

 Cherokee Proverb


A Success Guide: 
Self-Reliance, Self-Esteem and 
Self Discipline

How can you help your child develop these important attributes?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Let your child know how interested you are in what he or she has to say.  Show how carefully you are considering his or her opinions. 
  • It is good to add "Do this instead" when you must tell your child no.  Substituting a permissible activity takes the child's mind off the thing forbidden and promotes a positive view.
  • When answering your child's questions or reviewing spelling words, suggest that he or she look up the answer in a reference source.  help your child find the answer, but don't be too quick to "give" it. 
  • Speak proudly and frequently about your child's strengths.
  • Help your child find time each day that is his or hers alone.  Children need time to think, dream, plan, make decisions and free their minds from problems.
  • Allow your child, when possible, to experience the consequences of actions.  A lost toy, for example, might  not be replaced.
  • Proudly display your child's accomplishments at home.  This includes everything from a five-year-old's artwork to a teenager's merit badge. 

Adapted from National Education Association


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

Page 5

I went outside to find a friend, but could not find one there. I went outside to be a friend, and friends were everywhere.

Payne

Marvelous May Links:

BBC Schools Online: Online games and sample testing are available (these are called revisions, like review quizzes). Once you get used to the subtle linguistic difference, this site is "brilliant."  Desert Challenge has students retrieving treasure from across the desert wastes. Navigate your way round obstacles, refueling and changing your money as you cross into new territories (using metric measurement).  Find other resources by grade level or discipline.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/

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Constructor: This site is kind of a two-dimensional erector set that lets you choose a shape, put it into motion and then tweak it by taking away gravity,  speeding it up and more. There are directions for this tool, but younger students could just go in and construct something, then write a story about it. High school and college students could use this when studying 
physics, evolution or robotics. http://sodaplay.com/creators/soda/items/constructor

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Dive and Discover:  Daily updates and quizzes are available from this research project, sponsored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The current journey consists of  a series of research cruises to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  See Plate Tectonics in action! Join the adventure May 24 - June 9, 2004 to the Juan de Fuca Ridge 
http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/

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eNature:  This great site was developed by the National Audobon Society. Now, you have access to field guides for more than 4800 species of plants and animals. Start a list for you, as an individual or for your class, and add species as you see them. Find out more about various habitats in the US or ask an expert about a species you have observed. 
http://www.enature.com/

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KidsGardening.Com:  Planning a student garden and need a little virtual help? Or, your garden is growing great but you need ways to stimulate learning in this environment? This site, developed by the National Gardening Association,  supplies many creative ideas for teachers and parents to use while 
gardening with children. Learn about theme gardens, participate in an activity (like Plant a Question) or connect with another "garden"  teacher.
http://www.kidsgardening.org/

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The Knowledge Loom:  This site provides information about what is new in teaching and learning.  It is a place for educators to review research that identifies best practices related to various themes; view stories about the practices in real schools/districts; learn to replicate the success of these practices; and to participate in online events and discussions. 
Spotlights are specially organized collections of resources on
selected education topics or challenges. 
http://knowledgeloom.org/

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Great American Speeches:   Full text and audio database of Top 100 American Speeches by rank order.  Years worth of great speeches are captured here by American Rhetoric.  There is advertisement, but listening and reading the speeches are well worth it. 
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/top100speechesall.html

Happy Memorial Day

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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