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eNews                                          June 2016 Vol. 19-06


President's Message

We are late in getting this issue of the eNews to you, as it has been  another busy  month. With summer comes the opportunity to attend conferences and seminars and we have taken advantage of those presented in our area of the world.  Most of our engagement has been with those geared to educators and school districts.

One big take-away has been a big push to introduce robotics into the instructional program.  This follows the emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)  and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) courses. Every where we looked there was another robot. While we agree there is some merit to this push....our concern is a flameout once the newness wears out.

Another area about which we saw and heard much, was in learning management systems (LMS). Companies are trying to help schools and districts by aggregating programs and data into one central program with one login, instead of many. Some of the programs offer teacher and staff developed curricula.  

There are pros and cons to any new offering and educators, schools and districts will choose what will work for them in their unique circumstances. Much of what we have seen is not new.   We have been doing much of the same for many years now.  What is new, is the packaging and glitz. Astute educators will be able to filter out the insignificant for the significant. 

This month and for the next few months, we are trying a new approach to the newsletter. Instead of many sections, there will be only a few sections and therefore a shorter read.  We will continue with this section (President's Message) and then switch among other sections depending on information that may be of interest and importance to you.  Let us know what you think of the new format.  Your input is important to us.

Fourth of July is just around the corner.  Remind your students and children the significance of the day and have a wonderful celebration! 

 

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Remember that sometimes the more you find out, 
the less you know.

 


Your eTutor

Vocabulary
Every part of the e-Tutor Lesson Module is important. Sometimes students and parents are not sure of how to use the Vocabulary words presented in each Lesson Module. The Vocabulary section helps students far beyond the particular lesson they are working on.

Vocabulary is essential to comprehension. Students need to apply strategies before, during and after reading to understand the written word.

Each word in the Vocabulary section is hyperlinked to the e-Tutor Dictionary. The words should be reviewed and used in a variety of ways. Students might use the following ideas to build and extend vocabulary skills:

·       Use definitions of words to create word riddles.

·       Group words based on similarities and/or differences.  

·       Draw pictures that illustrate the vocabulary word.

·       Play a variation of the card game, Go Fish. Prepare a deck of word cards with five or more sets of four related words in each set (the same word can be used for younger children). Duplicate the cards so that at least each child has a deck for the game. Try to build sets of like words.  

·       Go beyond definitions in the dictionary. Explore ways to describe the associations that cluster around the word.

·       Choose a vocabulary word and then answer the following questions: How would a scientist describe this word? How would a judge describe this word? How would a poet describe this word? How would you describe this word?

·       Organize a collection of words:

o        Reference Book: Create vocabulary pages for a three-ring binder.

o        Word Wall: Display collected words and definitions on a bulletin board.

o        Word File: Record words, definitions, and context-rich sentences on index cards.

Place them in a recipe box that organizes the words alphabetically.

Students should not skip this important section of each Lesson Module. Learning new vocabulary is essential to learning.

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!

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Jumping June Links:

Smithsonian Learning Lab:  The thrill of discovery awaits you in the Smithsonian Learning Lab. From the Discovery space shuttle to the Star Spangled Banner to dinosaur fossils, the Learning Lab gives everyone with a desire to learn the opportunity to explore the Smithsonian's rich resources anytime, anywhere. Start discovering what interests you today, and find your inspiration from more than a million multimedia resources.
https://learninglab.si.edu/discover

Virtual Piano: Virtual Piano is a beautifully sounding piano that you play by typing on your keyboard. You can play "Für Elise" by following the key-pattern
 available. As this is in beta version, I'm guessing that over time, there will be more song choices and hopefully more learning connectivity with the computer keyboard.
http://virtualpiano.net/

Questionaut:  This site is a Math, English and Science game from the BBC. The premise of the game is your standard question/answer delivery, but what I really like about this game is twofold. One, the artwork, created by Amanita Design, is amazing. You could get lost in just looking at all the beautiful details. The second thing that really brings this educational game to a higher level, in my book, is that students will have to work and explore to be given the questions. Within each level, the player will need to complete a series of clicks to release the questions, adding a very subtle think-out-of-the-box element to the game.
http://amanita-design.net/games/questionaut.html

Who Pooped:  You know that, with a name like Who Pooped, this will be popular with the younger students. Who Pooped is a science site created by the Minnesota Zoo to help students begin thinking like scientists. One way scientists learn about animals is by studying their poop -- also called "scat" or "dung." Who Pooped allows students to investigate various types of scat and try to match the scat with its creator.
http://www.whopooped.org/

Number Gossip: Number Gossip is a simple search box where you enter any number and receive back "everything you wanted to know about the number but were afraid to ask." For example, I entered the number 38 and got these facts: 38 is the magic constant in the only possible magic hexagon (which utilizes all the natural integers up to and including 19); XXXVIII (38) is lexicographically the last string which represents a valid Roman numeral; 38 is the largest even number which cannot be written as the sum of two odd composite numbers.
http://www.numbergossip.com/

Have a Great Summer Month!!

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