June 2000
In The News
President’s Message
Image21.gif (11954 bytes)Another month has passed! Where are they going so quickly! We remain extremely busy and e-Tutor is now in over 25 schools and there are over 600 individual subscribers. School subscribers now have a new daily planner that they can use like their lesson plan books… and it is all electronic. Along with the student portfolio, assignment wizards and lesson writing tools, the capabilities for educators have increased dramatically. We continue to strive to provide educators with content and tools that will make the Internet a seamless component of the teaching/learning process.
Additionally this month we have launched a lesson writing initiative that will enlist the teachers of America to write lessons for e-Tutor. The lessons will be accessible to the teacher-writer and his/her students at home or at school. Image3.gif (1742 bytes) Our goal is to have the true experts of curriculum, classroom teachers, write about the things that they know and do best in the classroom. We plan to have 5000 lessons completed by the end of the year. Summer is an ideal time for writing.

Image4.gif (1787 bytes)Although summer has not officially started, it already  seems like the dog days of summer. We have been hit with a series of very hot days. The longer days provide some reprieve as I use the time for walking and working in the garden. The weather in our part of the world remains unusual, or so it seems. One week it is extremely hot and the next is very cold. I hope you have time, no matter what the weather, to enjoy a change of pace during the summer months.

As another school year comes to a close, I just want to thank all of ourImage5.gif (13302 bytes) subscribers, both schools and individuals for your support and encouragement. It is such a joy to hear from you and to learn the many exciting things you are doing in educating students. I look forward to talking with more of you in the future and to a long and gratifying relationship.

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I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Thomas Jefferson

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Convincing Conversation
If you are talking to someone who doesn’t usually react favorably to new ideas, consider these approaches:
  • Shape your idea so that it meets with approval by your listener. If your listener has to get approval from someone else, it may never happen.
  • Discuss the idea with your friends and others who might be affected. If your listener says, "Others won’t like it," note that you have obtained support of friends who might be affected also.
  • Find some guidelines or policies that will support what you want to do. Some people love to follow someone they perceive is more important than the two of you.
  • Explain how the change will help both of you get where you want to go faster, easier and perhaps cheaper.
  • Show how the change will make everyone look good and more reputable.

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  • Use language and terms that your listener understands and will inspire him or her. If possible, relate the change to something that is one of the listener’s goals or objectives.
  • Use illustrations and examples to persuade.
  • Offer three reasons why your idea should be accepted. Two may not seem like enough and four may be too many.

Adapted from Communications Briefings, Vol. 8, No. 5

 

Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.

                              Plutarch

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A Great Opportunity
e-Tutor, Inc. is providing an incentive to teachers and others involved in K-12 instruction. Those who write lessons using the e-Tutor template at http://www.lessonpro.net will receive a $25 stipend. Not only will you be providing content for students from around the world, but writers will also be able to have students access their lessons. It couldn’t be easier! Using a simple online template, a lesson can be completed in a few hours. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at http://www.lessonpro.net.

 

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Education takes place in the combination of the home, the community, the school, and the receptive mind.

Harry Edwards

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Measuring the Intangibles
Image10.gif (24634 bytes)Sometimes students who are not ready to show improvement and growth in traditional school assessment measures can be "caught" showing growth in other areas… areas that are many times taken for granted and go unnoticed and unmeasured. Simply becoming observers can give teachers insight and information into a student’s progress. To uncover these growth areas, teachers need to become keen observers and data collectors. The following five target areas can quickly provide valuable information about students:
  1. Attendance and tardy rates. A student needs to be in school to learn and grow, so attendance is a good starting point.
  2. Class participation. Active participation in class can be a huge signal that a student cares and is curious about learning.
  3. Attentiveness. This is a key area because having the student pay attention to the teacher and his work is a foundation of learning.
  4. Social interactions. Negative social interactions can hinder school success.
  5. Behavior. Students who are not engaged in school will expend their energy in negative and attention-grabbing behaviors.
By documenting growth in these key areas and using the data to let a student and his or her parents know that these efforts are being noticed, you give the child a huge push toward continued growth and school success.

Excerpts from Classroom Leadership, February 2000

 

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If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.

William Shakespeare

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Team Work
Successful teams may require strong support from their leaders. They may even require their leaders to act as their "caretaker" and to serve as its ambassador to management. The leadership style of the "servant leader" is to support the best interests of team members. By doing this you:
  • Ensure your team has an equitable share of resources;
  • Advocate for your team;
  • Ask what your team needs to accomplish its goals;
  • Motivate your fellow teammates to follow in your footsteps;
  • Keep the group focused on customer service and product quality; and
  • Seek out recognition and rewards for the team’s successes.

The Breakthrough Team Player, Andrew J. DuBrin, 1995

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Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding and, under ideal conditions, produces finally a sort of ecstasy. This gives the experience of reading a sublimity and power unequaled by any other form of communication.

E. B. White

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A Summer of Reading

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Children who are good readers do better in school than those who are poor readers. As a parent, you can make a vital contribution to your children’s reading skills. Even if you are not familiar with the technical side of reading instruction, much of what you do with your children at home parallels and reinforces good reading instruction. The following pointers can help children of all ages improve reading skills:
  • Read aloud to them, beginning when children are a year old or even younger. Stretch older children’s understanding of words and ideas by reading stories that are on their interest level but slightly above their reading level.
  • Have them read to you. Beginning readers thrive on having someone value their emerging skills.
  • Ask Questions when you or your children have finished reading a story, making sure the questions require something other than a "yes" or "no" answer.
  • Talk about events, especially past and future events. These can range from last summer’s vacation trip to what they will be doing tomorrow.
  • Practice phonics. Have small children label objects such as the clock, dresser, chair, curtains and toys to help relate the sound of the word to the written word. Teach rhymes and alphabet songs. All children like to find the letters in their names.Image15.gif (14405 bytes)
  • Let them practice their writing. Encourage preschoolers to scribble and trace letters on paper. Chalkboards, a family message board, pen pals and letters to relatives and friends involve older children in writing with a purpose. Starting a journal or writing stories together can be fun, particularly if these activities can be shared with younger siblings or friends.
  • Make wise use of television. While too much random viewing takes away from reading time (and other useful activities), educational programs can encourage learning.
  • Visit the Library. Steer younger children to the shelves for beginning readers, let them browse through the books, and let them pick their own books to check out. Get older children their own cards and allow them to go to the library by themselves.
  • Take them other places as well. Children who go on trips, walk in parks, and visit museums and zoos get good background knowledge for school reading.
  • Use records and tapes. You can borrow records and tapes from the library that have follow-along books for young children.
  • Give books or magazine subscriptions as gifts. Putting books and other reading materials in this special class of items will reinforce the value you place on reading.Image17.gif (24267 bytes)
  • Promote a positive image of school. Help them look forward to school as a happy place by talking about it in a pleasant, positive way.
  • Set regular reading times aside at home.
  • Let your kids choose their own reading materials. Even if you disapprove of an occasional choice, allowing your children this freedom encourages reading as a leisure activity.
  • Set an example. Children who read well come from homes in which there are plenty of books, magazines, and newspapers and in which everyone reads.

Illinois Association of School Boards

 

Image18.gif (9455 bytes)Learning is not achieved by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

Abigail Adams

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Start Summer With Great Sites!
If you visit Washington D.C. this summer you will want to check out this site.
http://www.dcpages.com

A ridiculous but fun site – Kids and bubble gum
http://www.dimensional.com/~bkelly/bgpage/

Miss Abigail and Manners – Manners from the past
http://www.missabigail.com

Where the Birds Are – Tracking bird migration
http://www.learner.org/jnorth

Learn a New Language this Summer
http://www.soon.org.uk/country/language.htm

Have a Science Question? Answers are at the click of a button.
http://www.sciam.com/askexpert/

Summer Baseball League – All the statistics you ever needed
http://www.majorleaguebaseball.com

Publish Your Own Book, Online
http://www.xlibris.com

Insects and More Insects
http://www.insects.org

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