In The News
                        July 2005   Vol. 8-7

President’s Message

There is excitement in the air!  Although we can't see the activity, we can feel it!  I call it 'churn' for lack of a better term.  Our co-workers in sales have been extra busy this summer.  Their phones have buzzed daily as they talk with different states, agencies and institutional leaders.  By the time, I get to talk with these folks, they are well aware of the value and importance of online learning.  They know that the e-Tutor Virtual Learning Program stands well above others in the space.  We look forward to sharing with you how some of these agencies, schools, states and individuals are using e-Tutor later this Fall.  

This is the month when families and individuals traditionally get away for a few days, weeks and even months. When I was young we always looked forward to those times when all six of us would stuff ourselves into the old family station wagon and take off for a week of camping. We played, laughed, and, sometimes, argued and cried with one another. It was fun and different, because it was not at home and we werenít bound by the schedules of our regular days.

So often, in these fast-paced times in which we live, we find it difficult to allow time for ourselves. It is often hard to break away from important work or activities that hold us in one place day after day, but a change of pace and space can be revitalizing. For some it is a day or two away at home or in town, for others it is an extended visit to far off places. What ever you choose to do, leave your work behind, enjoy the time away, and then come back refreshed and ready for the important daily work or activity you do. Have Fun!


Lesson Writers

The call for lessons is still open.  Knowledge HQ is seeking writers of lessons during the summer months.  If you have a college degree and are interested in earning a few extra dollars over the summer months please send inquiries to:


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When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten; when the belt fits, the belly is forgotten; when the heart is right, "for" and "against" are forgotten.

Chuang Tzu (c. 369 -c.286 B.C.), Theologian and Writer 

Learning with e-Tutor

e-Tutor Subscribers not only have access to over 1800 lessons, but many other features, including: Study Tools, a Communication Center, a File Cabinet, Fun Pages and an Art Gallery.  These are accessed through "buttons" at the top of the Student Page. 

After School Fun
For some afternoon fun and games, go to the  "Fun Page," also called "After School Fun" and click on the activity of your choice.


Within each activity page there are lists of links that will keep your child interested and involved right within the program.  

  • Games
    e-Tutor provides a list of links to games that can be played after work is done. Games are added regularly and are targeted at each individual grade level.
  • News and Sports
    Students get the latest scoop by clicking on "News and Sports."
  • e-Read
    Students can keep their minds sharp by visiting e-Read links. Reading material of all sorts and kinds is included.
  • Online Projects
    A list of online projects to fill after school hours.

Art Gallery
There is a little bit of artist in all of us.  We enjoy seeing and sharing with other subscribers what students have accomplished. 

  • Exhibits - An exhibit hall for e-Tutor users to display their artwork online.

  • Ideas - Contains a list of websites offering art ideas for fun projects.
  • Resources - A list of art websites offering information and ideas about art.
  • Submit - Gives e-Tutor students a way to submit their artwork to the e-Tutor exhibit hall.  

Twelve new lessons were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month. 
Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  


Blinded by Fog

The California coast was shrouded in fog that 4th of July morning in 1952.  Twenty-one miles to the west on Catalina Island a 34-year-old woman waded into the water and began swimming toward California, determined to be the first woman to do so.  Her name was Florence Chadwick and she had already been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.

The water was numbing cold that July morning and the fog was so thick she could barely see the boats in her own party.  Millions were watching on national television.  Several times sharks, which had gotten too close, had to be driven away with rifles to protect the lone figure in the water.  As the hours ticked off, she swam on.  Fatigue had never been her big problem in these swims....it was the bone-chilling cold of the water. 

More than fifteen hours later, numbed with the cold, she asked to be taken out.  She couldn't go on.  Her mother and her trainer alongside in a boat told her they were near land.  They urged her not to quit.  But when she looked toward the California coast, all she could see was the dense fog. 

A few minutes later...at fifteen hours and fifty-five minutes...she was taken out of the water.  it was not until hours later, when her body began to thaw, that she felt the shock of failure.  To a reporter she blurted out, "Look, I'm not excusing myself.  But if I could have seen land, I might have made it."

She had been pulled out only a half mile from the California coast!  later she was to reflect that she had been licked not by fatigue or even the cold...the fog alone had defeated her because it obscured her goal.  it had blinded her reason, her eyes, her heart.

It was the only time Florence Chadwick ever quit.  Two months later she swam that same channel and again fog obscured her view, but this time she swam with her faith intact...somewhere behind that fog was land.  Not only was she the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, but she beat the men's record by some two hours!

Bits and Pieces

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Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom. 



A good storyteller is, of course, an artist.  nevertheless, student storytelling is a worthwhile endeavor not only for oral language development but also for practice with sequence, paraphrasing, story structure and voice elements, such as loudness and highness or lowness of the voice.  Even young students are able to tell about fairy tales that have been read to them.  Educators have found that if a child hears a story, the child will be more likely to find the story and read it himself or herself.  

If your child is hesitant about telling stories, there are some ways to get them involved.  You can begin an original story with a single sentence ("I am a bug, and I can't wait to get to that picnic in the park"; "The mystery of the lost gold begins in an old, deserted house on Maple Hill.")  The child can take turns with you adding to the story.

Student and parent can find pictures from magazines and create a short oral story about the picture.  Older students can retell or create their own tall tales.  Help you child answer the following questions: who, what, where, why, when and how. 

Adapted from Silver Burdett and Ginn

Hovering Parents

The fact that over involved parents can cause problems for their kids is well known.  New  research shows they can drive themselves nuts too.

Parental over involvement has increased markedly during the past 20 years, according to Peter Stearns author of "Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Child-Rearing in America." H cites a competitive frenzy over school success; guilt over mothers working and growing parental distrust of schools and media as an influence on kids.  While there are benefits, including parents' spending more time with their kids, Dr. Stearns says, the emotional bottom line for parents isn't pretty:  Parental worry and dissatisfaction are up sharply  

In one study, twenty percent of the parents were found to base their own self-worth on their children's performance.  While all parents feel bad when their children don't do well,  the researcher found, only over involved parents feel bad about themselves.  

The hazards of basing your self-worth on external factors, such as others' judgments, have been documented.  Looking for your self worth in others fosters more intense and volatile emotions in general...higher highs and lower lows.  

Some warning signs of hover parenting:

  • You get a case of the blues over your child's failures
  • You begin sentences about your child's endeavors with "we"
  • You write your teenager's college application essay
  • Other spectators stare when you yell form the sidelines at your child's games

Adapted from The Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger

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A talent can be cultivated in tranquility; a character only in the rushing stream of life.  


Abstract Learning

As educators it is important give ample opportunity for a child's active discussion, rather than simply showing them a procedure to use in a given situation.  

If you were visited by a creature from another planet and you wanted to convey the notion of what a tree is, you would hardly succeed by writing the word tree on a slip of paper.  Your success might improve if you tried to draw a picture of a tree.  The stranger would then have a better chance of gaining some idea of what a tree is, but that understanding would be severely limited by your ability to draw.  In any case, even a photograph would leave some misunderstanding about the nature of trees.  if you want to give the stranger a foundation for understanding what a tree is, then it would be better to take the stranger outside to see and touch one.

This is a good analogy for the levels of abstraction found in much of teaching, especially in mathematics.  If you want to teach children about division, you would have little success simply stating a rote rule or procedure.  A picture of what takes place when you divide would certainly be more beneficial, but it would still be less effective than using physical objects to illustrate the process of dividing a set or collection into equivalent groups.  Students are not prepared to learn a concept at the abstract or symbolic level until they have had sufficient experiences with the concept at the concrete or manipulative level or, at the very least, at the representative or pictorial level.

Adapted from Today's Mathematics, Jmes W. Heddens and William R. Speer


Handling Problems

The word problem is a very general term used to define an unsettled situation or question.  Most people believe they have a problem when they feel they have a problem.  It is an emotional disturbance.  in a way they are right.  Because if a person feels there is a problem, then that person has a problem.  Although, in many cases, these feelings are a greater problem than the problem itself.  In other words the symptoms are more serious than the sickness.  So the first step in handling any problem is to examine your own feelings, viewpoints and reactions to the problem.  Your own attitude is by far the most significant element in facing a problem.  

People are much too serious about problems.  The end result is that it inhibits their effectiveness in handling the myriad of little decisions and day to day problems that arise.  The tension and anxiety surrounding problems is not inherited; it is learned.  It starts at an early age. In fact, handling problems can be fun and self satisfying.  All you need is your own intuition, judgment, a few simple rules and practice.  here, to start you off, are the rules we suggest

  • Ponder the problem.  Before you start thinking about solutions or action to take, let the problem roll around a little in your mind.  This can be for minutes, hours or days depending on the seriousness of the problem. 
  • What Are You Going to Accomplish?  The objectives or results that you expect will be the guidelines you will use to structure your action.
  • Collect Information.  Get enough information about the problem so you feel you are ready to take action on it. 
  • Gather Solutions.  Collect as many solutions, answers or actions for the problem as you can. This is the step in which you use your creative imagination.  Let it soar and roam.  The more actions you have to consider the more likely that your course of action will get good results. 
  • Determine a Course of Action.  Choose one or more of the courses of action that would seem to accomplish the objective you decided on in Step Number 2.  Don't let doubt and fear hold you back from taking some action. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

Working to Change Old Habits

Whether changing your tennis stroke or lifestyle, new habits are hard to establish.  The old images and attitudes tend to be self-reinforcing.  If you believe you can't remember names, you will confirm that fear each time you meet someone new.  For effective change, we must first reprogram the mental set, attitude, or belief that supports outcomes we want to change.  

  • Decide specifically what you want to do better to increase your effectiveness, satisfaction or growth.

  • Affirm that the desired behavior is already happening.  Use the present tense.  If you say, "My memory will improve," the result is placed in the future, where it may remain...out of reach.  Instead, affirm, "i have an excellent memory."

  • Include your feeling as part of your affirmation.  You might say, "I love using my excellent memory."

  • Affirm the positive.  Instead of, "I don't lose my temper," say, "I am even tempered.."

  • Affirm only what you believe truly is possible. 

  • Affirm only your own  behavior; don't affirm for others.  As you change, how others relate to you will also change.

The following are suggestions on how to make your program of affirmations most effective:

  • Write your affirmations and review them two or more times each week...until you realize the results you want. 

  • After reading each affirmation (you may want to keep them on index cards if you have several), create a mind picture in which you see yourself experiencing  the results you want...and include your true feelings.

  • Make sure to have fun with your affirmations. 

Working Smart

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Decision and determination are the engineer and fireman of our train to opportunity and success. 

Jazzy June Links:

Listening to the Walls Talk:   The goal of this online project is to teach students basic geographic and research skills. More importantly, it raises student awareness of the importance of each community and neighborhood as they record the history of houses and neighborhoods around them. Although designed for middle schools, all ages may participate by building and publishing 

Exploratorium: Global Climate Change Research Explorer:    At this website, you can explore scientific data relating to the atmosphere, the oceans, the areas covered by ice and snow, and the living organisms in all these domains. Study the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and global effects and access current research of our changing world. There are great links included for student researchers.

California Academy of Sciences: Anthropology Collection Database: Searching for Anthropological artifacts is a snap with this website. Choose Search the Database, then choose the category. Be sure to check the box for image if you want the items returned in your search to include an image. For a test, try the category Raw Materials, check image, then take a look at some of the materials humans have used in their creations.

Best of History Web Sites:   This U.S.-based website reviews some of the best history websites available. Top level categories include Prehistory, Medieval, U.S. History, Early Modern European, 20th Century, World War II, and Art History. 

Chesapeake and Coastal Bay Life:    This is an extensive site produced as a joint effort by several people associated with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Includes broad topical headings such as: Restoration & Protection, Bay Grasses, Harmful Algae, Bay Monitoring, Bay Life Guide, and Bay Education. Dropdown menus for each topic may lead to programs, scientific descriptions, drawings, photos, and more. Within the articles, hyperlinks exist to a glossary of scientific terms. Cool stuff, kid friendly and meaningful to more than a Maryland audience! 


My Life as an Elk:   The National Museum of Wildlife Art is pleased to announce My Life as an Elk. In this interactive game the user takes on the identity of a newborn elk calf and has many adventures. In each adventure the user must decide what to do. Users learn about the life cycle of the Rocky Mountain elk as well as about choices and consequences. For younger students. Requires Flash. Sound can be turned off.

Animaland:    Provided as a public service by ASPCA, this colorful Web site is 
designed to serve as a source of information about pets and other animals for young people. The site is divided into several main areas, including pet care, animal encyclopedia, book recommendations, career info, current issues, humane education, and "Ask Azula" -- where young people can write in with their questions about animals.

Best wishes for a 
great month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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