eNews                                June 2015 Vol. 18-06

President's Message

What a wonderful time of year! It's a time for picnics, outdoor play,  open concerts, vacations, BBQs, picnics with friends and family. It is a time to relax and enjoy the sounds and pleasures that surround us. I love to listen to the birds, the bees, children playing, the sound of music from somewhere, the pound of a hammer from the next block, the click, click of a bike pedaling up the hill, the blast of a motorcycle accelerating down the lane, the whir of a lawn mower and the merriment from a neighborhood party.  I want to be outside and often take my computer to the patio or deck just to drink in the air, the sounds, the beauty.

We are approaching another Independence Day and it troubles me.  I cherish the freedoms my country offers me.  Yet it is not so for all.  While it is easy to come into my yard, close the gate and shut out others' struggles, the pain and despair of many of our citizens unsettles my quiet and ease.  Some live in fear, some live with hunger, some have no home, some have little to wear, while some are  just so disenchanted they have given up. I worry for our children. The provocation of one to another, the absence of a safe harbor, the ease toward violence, the display of hate and bias in talk and action, the presence of bigotry and deception have all become models our children see and often emulate.  

Violence does not occur in a vacuum.  We are all responsible and that is what saddens me most.  We parents, educators, adults have allowed this to happen by turning a deaf ear, by ignoring a difficult child, by being unwilling to spend the energy and time when growing children and students have needed us the most and yes, by going into a garden and closing the gate.  Friends, families, coworkers of perpetrators of violence have not come forward when destructive signs are present.  We need to ask ourselves why this happens. Perhaps they themselves do not feel safe, perhaps they are afraid of ridicule, perhaps they think no one will believe them, perhaps they don't want to get involved.  We are all involved!  It starts with our children. We need to give guidance, love, respect and attendance no matter who the child is or what his circumstances. We need to be the model a child should emulate and grow into. Let us not turn our backs on a child as the violence we see today starts young. 

  Independence Day provides all in our nation an opportunity to re-examine the humanity and respect we have for each other, especially our children.   



Summer School and Credit Recovery Courses

For most students it is too late to take advantage of summer school and credit recovery. However for some students there is an option that some students have used in the past. If you have a student who has not yet enrolled in the program, but wants to do so, most schools and districts will accept a letter from us stating the student is enrolled in the eTutor program, is in good standing, and will continue using eTutor as a supplement to his/her regular schooling until the course(s) are complete.     

Call 877-687-7200 for more information



Our Connected Community

 This month I started a study on how students use social media.  A study was just completed by the Pew Institute and found that most students use Facebook. I don't believe this tells the whole story.  It is my belief that students start with Facebook and quickly migrate to other more popular forms of  social media that friends and other young people are using. What are your thoughts?.      

   Facebook - Longer entries than what you see on Twitter. If you see something you like...let us know by clicking the like button.. 

   Twitter - Just a sentence that will share with you a bit about what you can learn by clicking on the attached link.  

   eTutor Blog - If you want to learn more about our interests and learn something at the same time, check out the blog. 

  Pinterest - You may lose yourself at this site, but take the plunge.  Feel free to add or "pin" something from our site to your own site. Can you find us on other Pinterest sites?

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Make somebody smile every day. 

Learning with eTutor

eTutor features a user-centric interface and it helps to improve efficiency and student success.   The online learning program takes advantage of the latest developments in technology to adjust to student learning.  The adaptive component of the intelligent tutoring program involves algorithms that employ an “if this, then that” approach.  

Upon collecting students’ learning data,  eTutor displays the data in a comprehensive dashboard that can be regularly monitored by parents and instructors. The dashboard for learning success is viewable by students so they can gain a better understanding of their progress through the course, as well as what habits and activities are helping them learn more effectively.  Parent and instructor dashboards present data on a granular level, identifying when a student may be at risk of failing courses with the goal of increasing student retention. The eTutor adaptive learning dashboards can help parents and educators better evaluate the effectiveness of the instruction by examining student data collectively and making comparisons across all courses.

The intent of eTutor is to give more freedom to students, parents, educators and organizations to construct their own learning program using the vast array of instructional modules in the eTutor system (over 3,500).  The application is appropriate for groups of students of any size, whether one or 50,000.  

Our goal in developing this unique program was to capture what the Internet offers in such abundance....information... and incorporate it into the structure of each lesson module. Each lesson module has internet links imbedded into the study guide which reinforce and extend learning. 

The editing and updating of eTutor Lesson Modules is continuing.

Over 3500 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

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


The program that supports student achievement all year long.

  • High interest lesson nodules.

  • Includes grades K-12.

  • Both online and offline activities

  • Optional testing

  • Resources


Create Online Learning for your Students 
This Summer!

If you had trouble last month accessing the LessonPro template, we apologize. For reasons unknown to us, our server for LessonPro was deactivated.  It was not until a writer let us know that something was amiss, did we notice the error.  We are sorry for the inconvenience. It has now been fixed and there should be no further problems in the future. In spite of the LessonPro site not functioning for several weeks, a few of you did take the opportunity to write some very interesting lesson modules. We hope you will find time in the next few months to create lessons for your students. 

German Basics
Wearable Tech Workshop
Volume is Cool
Intro to Geometry
Animal Farm
Let's Learn Korean

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



   The Book Case            

Gone-Away Lake  
by Elizabeth Enright

    Ages:  8 - 10 

This is a perfect book for summer reading!

Portia and Foster go to visit their Aunt Hilda, Uncle Jake, and cousin Julian in the country to spend the summer. Portia and Julian enjoy spending their days exploring the wildlife in the area. Their first mysterious discovery is a large rock with a cryptic message. Little did they know that they would encounter a “ghost town” with two inhabitants: the elderly siblings Minnehaha and Pindar. This town is located in a swamp that used to be a lake now called Gone-Away Lake. The kids befriend the eccentric Minnehaha and charming Pindar who expose them to new adventures. They even help Portia and Julian build a clubhouse using items from other abandoned houses in the swamp. Portia and Julian sneak away everyday to visit Gone-Away Lake. They are keeping their new find a secret. There are many questions the kids have.  Why are Minnie and Pindar living in a swamp? What does the writing on the rock mean?  Is there anything hiding in the lake? Where did all the people go? Why did they leave their houses?.

1958 Newberry Honor Book

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Remember that sometimes all of a little just isn't enough.

Celebrate Your Child's Learning

Anytime a person attempts to learn something s/he is taking a risk. Learning is  a courageous act.  Because students don't learn 100 percent of the time, some risk is always involved. You can help by acknowledging your child's effort and making perseverance a valued trait.  Any comment that says, "I like the way you try," can help the child see that effort is something to cherish in the process of learning.

In fact, praise for high grades or marks my be of limited value.  It tends to emphasize the product of learning rather than the process itself.  It also means the child must wait until the report card is given before s/he can feel good about learning.  By acknowledging effort as well as success, you tell the child that the intrinsic act of learning is valued. This approach builds an appreciation of learning for the sake of learning.

Adapted from National Education Association

Career Advice for Gifted Girls

Telling our gifted girls they can do anything or be anything may not be the best advice. Female students feel tremendous pressure to achieve in their careers, as well as have  family. We need to help them overcome career barriers women commonly face and set clear and reasonable life priorities.

Some of the internal and external barriers girls need to understand include their own fear of success, others' lower academic and career expectations of them, and the general competitiveness of the job market.

Not all gifted females will fight these barriers, but they should be aware of the problems the barriers can cause.  Most female adolescent do not recognize any potential barriers.  Encourage your female student to set up realistic plans for the future, helping them realize they can't do everything and will have to make some difficult choices. Female students need to assess their own abilities and balance their goals somewhere between fear of exploration and too much free-wheeling exploration, with an understanding of how stereotypes can affect their future. 

Adapted from Facilitating the Career Development of Gifted Young Women,  
Constance Hollinger

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Be careful the things you say; children will listen. 


Precious Time

We hold many false assumptions about time.  For example, "I don't have time to do that." Probably not so.  You have the time.  You just do not choose to spend it in that manner.  It is probably an unpleasant task that you would rather not do.  That's okay, but why blame time?  Or how about, "She has more time than I do'? Everybody has the same amount of time.  But everybody spends it doing different things by choice or habit.  Do you have anxieties about time? It is probably caused by trying to put too many tasks in too short a time span. 

The point is that you should not be feeding all these negative attitudes of frustration and anxiety about time into your subconscious. Self-management and personal responsibility should be your concern, not time.  Time is  what your life is made of.  It's sweet and precious.  You should not be getting uptight about it. 

Adapted from The Public School  Administrator

An Environment for 
Spelling Success

In a print rich environment, students frequently see others using spelling strategies and knowledge of phonics in reading and writing activities for obvious or immediate purposes.  You can provide an environment that promotes conventional spelling and reinforces letter/sound awareness.

  • Use the same encouraging model you provided when fostering your child's speech development to support reading and writing development.

  • Trust and believe in your child's ability to be  a successful reader and writer. To instill confidence and self-esteem, you should comment on strengths and minimize an emphasis on weaknesses.

  • Demonstrate the importance of language by sharing daily reading and writing tasks with your child such as writing notes, cards, letters, shopping lists, and reading newspapers, food labels, advertisement, maps, etc.

  • Support your child's curiosity about printed language by encouraging reading and writing efforts.

  • Respond to your child's invented spellings with encouragement as such "inventions" test  a child's hypotheses about how the writing system works. 

  • Read to your child daily. As your child listens to stories he will expand his vocabularies and internalize book language which will help him learn to read.

Adapted from California  Bd. of Education

Touch Gently

Touch is an expression of your love that goes beyond words.  Touch is your first communication with your baby, and throughout our life it remains our most vulnerable and tender connection with others.  

Have you ever noticed when someone takes your hand or touches you with love and sensitivity that a wonderful phenomenon occurs? Stress and tension dissolve.  Fear recedes.  Babies fall asleep in soothing arms.  Children unwind and calm down with a gentle, reassuring touch.  A word to the wise:  Experts agree that premature sexual experimentation stems from a hunger for loving touch. So, hold and cuddle your child as much as you can.  As he grows, give affectionate hugs when he's near.  Hold hands if he will let you.  But remember, never force a touch or a hug on a child, like all of us, he has a right to maintain a comfort zone around his own physical space. 

Adapted From Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford

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Be careful the things you do; children will see...and learn.

Juicy June Links:

What's That Stuff:  What exactly is in your toothpaste? What about that paper you're writing on or the bug spray you use in summer? This site puts science into everyday life, with informative descriptions of the chemistry behind the products we use on a regular basis.

Amazing Space: Online explorations are a fun, interactive way to explore galaxies, black holes, comets, and other fascinating objects. Some of the interactive pieces require the free Flash player.

Off the Map:  A look at backyard paradises created by visionary artists. These people did not consider themselves to be artists?  But what they have built is amazing and very difficult to categorize.

The Useum:  The Useum is a developmental project connecting people and cultural items from institutional collections and contemporary practitioners. Its purpose is to test ways of interacting with arts and culture online. It is a pilot site, online for only 100 days.

My NASA Data:  An interactive way of viewing data on our planet's climate. Check air temperature, wind speed, sea-surface temperature, and more. You can also set the year and look at specific regions of the world.

Celebrate a 
Happy 4th!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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