eNews                                           May 2016 Vol. 19-05

President's Message

With warmer weather, it is hard for me to sit still....there is much on my agenda that does not include being inside at my I grab a few minutes here and there to stroll through my garden noting what needs to be done over the weekend. Then there is the cleaning...with the brighter days, I seem to see all the dust that has accumulated over the darker I grab a rag and take a few swipes here and there.  Then there is moving heavier clothing to the back of the closet in favor of lighter wear, a few deft movements of hangers each time I pass by is slowly getting the job done. Oh, but that sun and warmth is beckoning.  You may find me on the patio with the computer propped on my lap, if you call or stop by. 

This month we have been working with the US Department of Education on a few grant applications. We have submitted two and are working on two more. It is an uphill task as the favored grantee seems to be universities and school districts.  But we believe there is much needed room for innovation in the education provided for students today.   We hope we can spread the success of our programs to more students and teachers.  Early adapters of innovative programs are infrequently recognized for their works.  It was in 1997 that we first started an online program, much earlier than most others were thinking of e-learning.  Look where we are today! Our work now is taking us into advanced analytics, using student data to more clearly define student led learning with machine learning and augmented reality applications to enhance instruction.

It has been a busy month, as we have also had an opportunity to meet with industry leaders from many parts of the world through our work with the World Trade Center-Denver, and the Colorado Office of Economic Growth and Development.  Discussions inevitably center on education as the driving force in business development and production around the world. Globally the thirst for quality education continues to grow.  With increased access to technology the programs we offer will be of value to immerging nations. 

May this month find you outside enjoying your days no matter where you are in the world.  Have great month!

In memory, we celebrate all those who have sacrificed in keeping us safe. 



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

Here are few things that we can pass on that might make the learning experience more enjoyable for both you and your child. Whether new or a long-time subscriber, the following may help you in getting around eTutor.

·       eTutor is used by most students as their main curriculum. We recommend supplementing the online program with good literature books, texts and workbooks when available.

·       eTutor makes recommendations for subjects at the Intermediate, Middle-Junior High and High School Levels. Parents and/or educators may choose subjects to focus on at the Primary Level.

·       A 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 their progress.

·       Parents who wish to view lessons before their student accesses them can do so by going to the student login. Select Curricular Area and then select Subject Area.  Click on a lesson and then go to "Print Lesson." A pop-up window will show the complete lesson. Return to the menu to view additional lessons. If you search through the lesson without following this process, it will mark the report card as partially completed.

·       Each 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.

e-Tutor 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.

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
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

 Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
the lesson modules.

Free Lessons @ eTutor

The rock group, the Rolling Stones once sang,  "You can't always get what you want."  That is true of lots of things in life, but it is especially true of money.  Learn more about money in this lesson module.  

Money: Making Sense of Cents

There is 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: 

Animal Farm- Character
Understanding Multiplication
Introduction to Sports Medicine and Athletic Training
Area of a Triangle

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


   The Book Case            

The Gammage Cup 
by Carol Kendall

    Ages 11- 13 

The Minnipins have lost their past. Long ago, the hero Gammage led them in war against the horrible Hairless Ones. But now -- Bravery? Forgotten. Courage? No more. Heroes? The stuff of storybooks.
Yet sometimes heroes turn up when they are least expected....

Muggles, Gummy the poet, and Walter the Earl are not like the other Minnipins. They dress differently, speak their minds, and -- when Walter the Earl finds a package of old scrolls and swords -- dare to disagree with the Minnipin leaders. For their troubles, they are banished from their village.

But Walter the Earl found the weapons for a reason: The Hairless Ones have returned. And this time there is no Gammage to protect the Minnipins. This time there are only Muggles and her friends, outlaws who must rescue the very people who have cast them out

1960 Newbery Honor Book

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Try to use only what you need.

College Knowledge

A survey of eighth graders’ parents by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission found the parents seriously lacking in college planning information. Although 64 percent of the surveyed parents planned to use their savings to finance their children’s college education, 56 percent said they had no idea how much it was going to cost.

The survey found that parents also lacked knowledge of financial aid and their chances of receiving it, high school courses needed for college admission, and career and job placement information. Because of rising costs and college admission standards, the survey group found that eighth grade is not too early to plan ahead for college.

Maintaining the Status Quo

In an ideal world, improvement and new opportunity decisions are made on a rational basis: cost effectiveness. Accurate estimates of costs and benefits for each proposed alternative must be calculated. The costs are relatively easy to isolate.

But what about the alternative that doesn’t involve change, the status quo option? Underestimated costs of doing nothing include downtime, clinging to outgrown systems, incompatible mixes of old and new programs and procedures, or using outdated procedures.

The demands on education have increased greatly in recent years. Student populations have changed, and community complexity have all increased. Instead of adopting new methods and procedures, some organizations stretch their old systems to accommodate the change they have experienced. Eventually the organization slows down, becomes less efficient or effective, and gives poor service. The costs are public dissatisfaction, more complaints and pressure for privatization.

If an organization prefers to maintain the status quo, it will only change when forced to. This will result in a mishmash of new, old and totally obsolete practices. One way to be prepared for change is to have procedures to respond to new requirements and opportunities......built into the organization. There is no such thing as cost-free status quo. 


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ry to have only what you need.


Reading for Fun!

Leisure-time reading outside school is a key to superior classroom performance, according to a study which examined the reading habits of 155 ten-year-olds. The most surprising finding was not the link between outside reading and classroom proficiency, but rather the low amount of outside reading that is actually needed to better school performance.

Astonishingly, ten minutes a day of outside book reading makes a vast difference, according to the study published in Reading Research Quarterly. Improvement tends to level off as outside reading time increases beyond 20 minutes a day.

Unfortunately most students read very little on their own. Therefore, the study suggests, parents and schools should make sure children have access to interesting books at a suitable vocabulary and comprehension level, and that adults read aloud to them and provide time for reading during each day.

Spring Cleaning

As spring brings out all that is fresh and new, thoughts turn to spring cleaning and packing away our winter hats and gloves. But as we look forward to getting ready for warmer weather, we should not forget all of the progress we have made throughout the school year. It is important to look back so we can see how far we have come. Consider setting up a filing system for the student. These files can prove to be a rich source of inspiration and reflection for any student.

Grade school students may wish to save cherished artwork and see the progress they have made. With a quick flip through their file, they can see how their cursive writing has become neater, how they can read books with chapters, and how their artwork has improved.  Middle school students will be able to track the development of their skills. Simple addition and subtraction give way to geometry and pre-algebra. Essays extend beyond a page; science projects involve complex equations and chemicals.   As their studies become more complicated, students may find their files have grown dramatically in size, an indication of the increasing complexity of their knowledge. They may be surprised to learn how much material they have studied.

High school students may wish to save long English papers which can be revised and turned into college admissions essays. Favorite books can be a source of inspiration; an essay about The Great Gatsby from the 9th grade could be the source of an inspiring AP essay for college credit. Chemistry and biology experiments may be the basis for scholarship applications for science programs.

Over the long run, students can examine these saved files and see how their interests develop. A science fair project from the fifth grade could spark a lifelong interest in chemistry, reflected in more and more complicated projects throughout junior high and high school. History papers about the Civil War can spark an outside interest in re-enactments.  As they look back on these files, students can see how much they’ve improved year by year. The 3rd grade book report about Old MacDonald’s Farm may be a far cry from Animal Farm in 11th grade, but students will be able to see how they have developed into mature young adults with a broad range of knowledge. These school files show students how they’ve grown and where they are heading.

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Try to fix it long before it is broken.


Marvelous May Links:

Toporopa:  Can't afford that summer vacation schlepping around Europe ? No worries, just pull up Toporopa on your nearest browser and learn all about the geographical, political, historical and economical aspects of the wonderful continent.

Cool Math:  Probably one of my favorite math sites, Cool Math is "designed for the pure enjoyment of mathematics." This interactive site features a plethora of fun games, puzzles, calculators and lesson plans.

e-Learning For Kids:  This is a great site with some wonderful interactive learning games that are engaging and fun. Students click on their grade and can then choose from a list of games divided into subjects.

NeoK12:  Here is a fantastic collection of videos, arranged by subject, that have been individually reviewed by K-12 teachers. The videos are all (at least the ones I've seen) via YouTube, all the ads have been stripped, and all related videos removed which, for an educator, is a great thing! There are also quizzes, games and puzzles as well as a cool presentation creator that helps teachers or students create presentations within the site.

ABCya! This is another fun site for lots of great games and activities. There is a nice word cloud generator very similar to Wordle that creates nice-looking word clouds. The one-up ABCya! has over Wordle is that you may directly save your word cloud as a .jpg without any registration. 

Wishing you a Wonderful Month!!

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