In The News
                        June 2007   Vol. 10-6

President’s Message

Congratulations to all graduates this year!  We have been so pleased to hear of the many successes you have achieved.  Whether graduating from Junior High, High School or College, we applaud your efforts.  We wish you much happiness and success in the future and that you will continue to learn from  the challenges ahead.      

School is out and the children in my neighborhood are trying to pack all of summer into the first few days.  There is swimming, sports, clubs, lessons, practice and more.  The cars packed with kids come and go all day long!  Parents are exhausted after a long day of chauffeuring.  The lives of children today are so programmed that there seems little time for them to just imagine, create and play.  I suppose as the summer progresses, some of this voracious appetite for activity will die down, at least I hope so.  Our children need quiet time to think, contemplate and invent.

We have watched a miracle of nature this year in our area.  For the last several weeks we have been serenaded by the buzzing song of the seventeen year cicada......thousands of them.  They are an ugly creature, with red eyes, a big body and wings that will take them only as far as the nearest tree.  They are ungainly on ground and in the air.  They have but one purpose, to find a partner, mate and die all within a period of six weeks.  The new brood remains in the soil for another seventeen years and returns to sing to us once again.  Beyond this remarkable event is the response we see from children to what might appear to be a frightening insect.  They have watched for their coming, have counted their numbers and have helped them find their way to a tree.  The visit of the cicada after seventeen years has been enchanting for all of us. 

As another school year comes to a close, I just want to thank all of our 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.



 Summer Courses! 

There is still time to register for Summer Course Work.  Continued learning over the summer months keeps student minds active and there is no learner gap when they return to studies in the Fall.  

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


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The strongest and sweetest song remains to be sung. 

Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Poet

 Learning with e-Tutor

Language Arts Curriculum
e-Tutor lessons focus on the essential skills and concepts necessary to be successful learners.  The program is based on broad-based goals that encompass all areas of the curriculum.  The goals and objectives have been chosen to align with those of the varying instructional goals of individual states across the country.  

 A wide-range of age-appropriate topics cover twenty-three subjects in the curriculum.  Below are the goals and objective for Language Arts, including the subjects of Reading, Writing, Listening and Literature. In the months ahead we will share with you goals and objectives for other curricular areas. 

Students will be able to read, comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and use written material.


      A.   Recognize, recall, and summarize information from material read.
B.   Understand the various purposes for reading and identify text to accomplish each purpose.

C.   Apply word analysis and vocabulary skills to comprehend text.
D.   Apply reading strategies to improve fluency and understanding.
E.   Comprehend a broad range of reading material.

Students will be able to understand the expressed meaning in literature representative of various societies, eras and ideas.


      A.   Distinguish among the types of literature.
B.   Understand selected literary works from various historical periods.
C.   Understand selected literary works that manifest different value systems and philosophies.
D.   Understand the literary elements and techniques used to convey meaning.
E.   Recognize literary themes and their implications.

Students will be able to listen critically and analytically.


      A.   Understand and evaluate the meaning of spoken messages.
B.   Distinguish among different purposes in communication.
C.   Identify differing perspectives and points of view.

Students will be able to write Standard English in a grammatical, well-organized and coherent manner for a variety of purposes.


      A.   Write for a variety of purposes and audiences using appropriate language and style.
B.   Maintain a clear writing process to compose well-organized and coherent writing.
C.   Use Standard English conventions.

Twenty-six 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.  


   The Book Case

              Max's Words
              by Kate Banks (Author)
              Boris Kulikov (Illustrator)
              Ages 4 to 8

Max's brothers are collectors but when Max asks for a stamp or a coin, they say, "No!"  So, Max fetches his scissors and starts to collect words, little ones at first, then bigger, and he finds out that they behave differently if they are in different order....in fact, they become a story that Max's brothers are eager to share.

1...2...3....Get Moving!

The possibilities for family fitness are endless.  Consider these tips before getting you family started on the road to fit.

  • Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

  • Make sure all activities are age appropriate; modify them according to your children's ages and sizes. 

  • Keep a well-stocked first aid kit handy at all times.

  • During activities, pace yourself and teach your kids to pace themselves; don't allow any member of the family to work beyond his or her means.

  • Stay hydrated!  Drink eight to ten glasses of water per day....more on days that include strenuous exercise. 

Adapted from Shape Up America 

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It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. 

Warren Buffett, Investor and Business Leader


Go Barefoot

Have you ever noticed that little children love to pull off their shoes and socks whenever they can?  Perhaps there are good reasons for this.  Take off your shoes, take off your socks and wriggle and wiggle your toes.  Walk in the sand, walk on the grass and feel the earth beneath your feet. 

Being kind to your feet can relax you and enable you to be kinder to your children; after all, they're the only ones you've got!  Take off tight shoes, wiggle those toes and breathe.  Let your feet remind you that your children need your time and a relaxed, more comfortable you.  

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, Judy Ford

Developing Readers

Watching children learn to read is one of the most joyous experiences of being a parent or teacher.  Many effective strategies can be used at home to encourage developing readers. 

One of the simplest ideas is to work with the child to write about something you did together.  For example, after a walk in the woods have the child tell you about things you saw or experienced.  Write or type the sentences, one or two to a page for the child to illustrate.  Staple the pages together as a book.  Read the pages together to remember the experience.

Before reading a picture book, have the child tell the story using the information in the pictures.  Yes, it is okay, and in fact desirable, for young readers to get clues abut reading from the pictures. 

Copy a sentence from a piece of text.  Cut the words apart.  Mix the words up and have your child arrange them in correct order.  In the beginning your child can look at the original text.  Later, they should arrange the cards by repeating the sentence. 

Cover on word in a sentence.  Have the child think of a list of words that fit where the word is covered.  Uncover the hidden word one letter at a time, eliminating words on the list that do not match the letters. 

The ultimate goal in reading, is, of course, comprehension.  It is not too soon to involve the child in the meaning of the reading.  Before reading have your child make predictions about the book.  Read and decide how much of the prediction was correct.  Continue reading, use the text to affirm your prediction or modify predicting.  

Encourage your child to make connections between the text and themselves or with another book.  

Pioneer Press, Dianne Hamelly SD 79

Rhythm, Melody, Life

Human hearts have always warmed to the rhythm of music.  A popular melody reels around in the brain against our will.  Music sets the toe to tapping and the blood to racing.  It marks our happiest and most solemn occasions.  It forges bonds.  It reflects all of our moods.  We remember far more songs than speeches. 

Music, it turns out, has more of a grip on our mind and body than we realize.  When couples smile at each other and murmur, "They're playing our song, " for instance, they may be repeating a universal behavior that goes back to the dawn of humankind. 

It is becoming more evident in scientific circles that music was an early form of communicating and it may predate language. No one knows for sure which came first, but there is growing evidence, as well as debate, that music is as much a part of our genetic inheritance as language.  

How else can you explain such observations as music being an integral component of every culture in the world, past and present; that primitive musical instruments appeared long before any other form of artistic expression; and that infants know rhythm and pitch almost from the first time they hear music.   

Does music promote learning, as some advocates propose.  There is no clear answer yet, but evidence suggests it may help youngsters learn math and reading faster.

Children enrolled in an orchestra, for instance, scored twenty-one percent higher on vocabulary tests than children of similar socioeconomic backgrounds who did not take music, according to one study.  The better vocabulary scores persisted when the students were retested a year later. 

Whatever the outcome of studies and research, it is important that our children listen and enjoy various forms of music.....an incentive to enjoy music this summer. 

Adapted from The Chicago Tribune

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Extending your hand is extending yourself. 

Rod McKuen. Poet and Compuser


The Value of Everyday Life

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved.  The real milestones are less prepossessing.  They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave.  Our lives are measured by these. 

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), Reformer

The "We" Mentality

Mara Collins was a teacher for eighteen years in the Chicago public schools.  She became dismayed at the negative attitudes many children had about schools and many teachers had about children.  Collins decided the only way to achieve teacher-student harmony would be to start her own school.

She began with the premise that every child could learn and she vowed not to let any child fail.  By treating her children with respect and caring, by working hard to teach them and by demanding that they work hard to learn, Collins' school survived and the children grew to value it. 

Collins writes in her autobiography, "I was determined to instill a 'we' mentality in my students and make them realize the school would only work if all of us stuck together." She pointed out to the students that anything they tore up or damaged would have to be replaced.  This would increase expenses and cause tuition to rise.  She warned that if that happened, only the children of rich families would be able to attend. 

To illustrate her point, Collins brought the utility bills and invoices for school supplies to class.  This provided the students with a simple, but compelling, lesson in economics: "Everything has a cost."  "See the bill from People's Gas Company?" she said. "I want that much learning out of you today."

Marva Collins' Way, Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin

Busy Days Are Best

Resist the temptation to wait for a slow day to begin a major project.  Most people function more efficiently and make better decisions when busy.  Trap: having too much time to think, which can cause you to become daunted by the actual amount of work you need to do and the number of decisions you have to make. 

The best way to get going is to grab a few minutes in a relatively hectic day.  Use a pad and pencil to brainstorm what tasks need to be accomplished to reach your goal.  Write down whatever comes to mind, without editing yourself.  Keep the list available and add to it whenever you get a spare minute.  As the ideas build, you'll see a pattern grow and you'll be able to develop them into a sound game plan. 

Adapted from Working Fast

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Every man must carry his own sack to the mill.

Italian Proverb

Juicy June Links:

Dr. Seuss Went to War:  This site includes political cartoons from the noted children's' writer Theodore Seuss Geisel (1904-1991). Students can follow the course of World War II through these series of cartoons that first appeared in the New York newspaper PM.  Subject matter includes politics, battles and life in the U.S. during the War. 

MathNerds:  Created by the Center for Advancement of Teaching, Xavier University, MathNerds isn't a "problem solving" service for all things math.  What this site will do is give hints, suggestions and explanations to help your students (or you) figure out math problems.  Team members who respond to questions are generally professional mathematicians holding advanced degrees in mathematics.  Important:  You must read and agree with their terms and conditions before you submit a question. http://www.mathnerds.com/mathnerds/

The Birdhouse Network Nest Box Cam:  Monitor the nests of birds in North Carolina and New York or learn how to construct your own birdhouse.  Be informed of the major predators of the bird world and how to provide the safest habitat possible for local birds. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/nestboxcam/

POMP - The True Story of the Baby on the Sacagawea Dollar:  Who is that baby on the $1 (US) coin?  Read about Pomp (Jean Baptiste), son of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau.  Learn about the child and the man he became.  Also discover the decision-making process involved in the design of this coin. http://pompstory.home.mindspring.com/index.html

ESkeletons:  View the bones of the human anatomy from different angles.  Compare those bones with the bones of a chimpanzee or a baboon.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, this resource allows students to access clear, detailed images that they can observe, describe, and compare.  http://www.eskeletons.org/

Ancient Egypt:  Let's hear it for the British Museum.  Their staff has created a website dealing with many areas of study of Ancient Egypt.  Explore Egyptian Life, Geography, Pyramids, and Time.  Find out where writing was used in Ancient Egypt.  Activities are included for each area of study.  Check out the Staff area for a complete glossary and descriptions of resources. 

Gray's Anatomy:  Bartleby.com has been adapting classic books for the web, and has added the 20th Edition (1918) addition of Gray's Anatomy.  Don't let the date of the edition fool you.  This resource includes beautiful illustrations and is searchable by keyword. 


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Enjoy Every Special Time This Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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