August 2000

In The News

 

President’s Message
How did August get by us so fast? Within a blink it was here and now almost gone. Teachers are readying their classrooms and students are squeezing in last minute fun and play. The month has been busy for all of us. We are preparing for the biggest year ever for e-Tutor! e-Tutor is now in over 20 schools and we have welcomed about 600 individual students to the program from all over the world. We have sales teams in the Washington D.C. area and Northern Illinois and Chicago. e-Tutor was the highlight of a summer program for inner city youngsters in the Chicago area. We hope to be in your town or city soon. Please encourage your schools, friends and neighbors to visit our site to see the exciting possibilities for teaching and learning that you will find there.
Summer Fun!! Last month my sister and I had a few days to spend together as we drove across the country to visit our mother. This is our second year to do the trip and it looks like it might become an annual event. We dally on our trip, visiting antique shops and scouring the countryside for treasures. Our car is loaded, by the time we arrive at our destination, with trinkets, books, shovels, plants, rocks and you name it. But the biggest treasure of all is what we have learned about the people across America. Their friendliness and willingness to help, to stop and listen, to share their stories, and to laugh with us is something we can’t put on our shelves or walls, but is something we will carry in our hearts forever and bring out to share with the rest of the family at our gatherings and reunions.
Alaska the destination of choice this year! Our CEO and Marketing Officer, plus my brother all went to Alaska this year, all on separate trips. The stories are great and the pictures, even more stunning! Sandy went hiking among the grizzlies, Scott went kayaking among the whales and Ern went barnstorming with the bush pilots. Each spoke of the beauty, vastness and grandeur of the country….how it puts everything in perspective… .that the biggest problems, become small among the magnitude of the space. Oh, if we could bottle that and keep it close by, for those times when everything seems to overwhelm us. Try putting yourself into one of the pictures and see if you get a sense for what our colleagues and family experienced.

 

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

Bertrand Russell, English author and philosopher

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What's In It for the Team?
You may not think your self-confidence affects your teammates, but it does. Self-confidence impacts your ability to communicate, be productive and create top-quality work. When you feel a rush of self-doubt, give up:
  • Thinking about past failures;
  • Dwelling on worst-case scenarios;
  • Defusing praise that’s given to you; and
  • Placing unattainable expectations on yourself.

Contribute to the team by:
  • Knowing what’s expected
  • Sharing ideas
  • Keeping promises
  • Revealing your skills
  • Participating in training
  • Listening and giving feedback
  • Volunteering for extra assignments
  • Complimenting work well done
  • Attending all team meetings
  • Pitching in during emergencies
Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.

William Saroyan, American playwright

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School Bells Are Beginning to Ring
As our children begin to return to the classroom, there are things we can do that will make the transition for from home to school easier for both parent and child.
  1. Make sure children get to bed on time so they get up on time the next morning.
  2. Discourage children from watching television in the morning before school. It’s hard to pull them away from the set.
  3. Older children can take turns making breakfast.
  4. Have the children choose and lay out their clothes, shoes, school supplies, and other things for school the night before.
  5. Children can rinse breakfast dishes as soon as they finish eating.
  6. Set aside a place for books and other materials brought home from school.
  7. Family members should share in getting ready in the morning: parents help children, children help parents, older children help younger children.
  8. Organize a task chart so that chores are evenly distributed.
  9. If children are stalling in the morning, set a timer and tell the children you expect to have certain activities completed when the timer goes off.
  10. Make it a point to have telephone numbers of each child’s teacher(s) and administrator(s) with you at work.

A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass.

Sioux proverb

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Illinois Teachers Use e-Tutor to Take Technology to New Heights
Teachers in Frankfort District 157C in Frankfort, IL, started out their school year right this year! These technology leaders made e-Tutor an integral part of a Language Arts and Social Studies program, suddenly achieving technology and curricular goals in an exciting new way.

e-Tutor’s Social Science and Reading lessons are at the heart of this new cross-curricular program. Teachers use the unique "Tweaking" feature to customize e-Tutor lessons, easily meeting needs of individuals and small groups. Special "stop and think" reading questions are inserted into lessons at strategic points, so teachers can assess the application of reading strategies as well as using the automatic grading features already present with e-Tutor. Teachers are even inserting special graphics that students will associate with their particular reading program.

In addition to assigning the wide range of lessons offered by e-Tutor, Frankfort teachers are using e-Tutor’s Lesson Wizard to create their own online lessons for students. With no previous HTML or programming experience, classroom and reading support teachers are creating exciting lessons that can be taken at an individual pace by children. These impressive lessons are fully formatted, complete with graphics and embedded Internet links to relevant sites.

Frankfort’s teachers are putting the power of the Internet into the hands of their students in a safe and structured way. e-Tutor’s communication and assessment features help teachers to hold kids accountable for their learning, and engaging lessons help students to make the best use of the Internet. The future is bright in Frankfort, Illinois!

Kylie Wiltjer, e-Tutor
Instructional Technology Representative

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.

Diogenes

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Start Reading Early With Your Child

You are making magic for your child every time you open a book to read to him! Children who develop an early love of reading are children who are bound to succeed. Even the youngest child, in fact, especially babies, can gain valuable benefits from reading. So the more you read to your child, the better. The U.S. Department of Education Commission on Reading issued a report stating, "Reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building knowledge and eventual success." Here are ten tips to encourage successful readers:
  • Even the youngest children benefit from the sounds of your voice. Start reading to your child at birth.!
  • Don’t let a day go by without reading to your child.
  • The more animated you are, the more your child will follow the story. Be silly. Use an accent. It’s showtime.
  • Don’t rush. It takes time for a young child to settle into a story.
  • Don’t be afraid to veer from the text. Improvise!
  • Satisfy your child’s curiosity! Take questions…at all times and at any time.
  • Never stop reading aloud. Even when your child has mastered reading on her own, she still benefits from more complex stories and the sound of your voice.
  • Make sure reading isn’t just a passive activity for toddlers. Join in the fun, and watch what happens!
  • Plop your baby on your lap during reading, or cozy up on the couch.
  • Own lots of books! A child should have his or her own library.

                                       Adapted from Children’s Book of the Month Club
Teacher: "Why must you always talk during history lesson, Cathy?"

Cathy: " I wasn’t talking, sir. I was networking."

 

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My First Sale
July 28, 2000 was a day when I felt rewarded and fulfilled in my job. Back in April I came aboard the e-Tutor sales force as an Instructional Technology Representative. Following weeks of program and sales training, I was sent out to sell. After pounding the pavement, I had the opportunity to speak with the Director of an academic summer camp for children grades 6 through 8. I presented our program to him, and he immediately saw the great benefits e-Tutor had to offer his students. That was my first sale!

After six weeks of camp, commencement day had arrived. I was honored to be invited to the commencement ceremony. After watching the students and the teachers receive their awards for outstanding performance, the Director of Camp wanted to thank one more person who made the summer camp such a success. He said he wanted to thank a young woman who approached him in May about a wonderful opportunity to integrate technology into the classroom. As he announced my name and e-Tutor, Inc., the children began to cheer and then chant "e-Tutor"! It was very invigorating and exciting to hear the students’ enthusiastic cries for e-Tutor. I was awarded with a T-shirt, a plant and a booklet of each student’s work.

The T-shirt was designed by a summer camp student and is an illustration of what was learned that summer. The student included a drawing of a computer where www.e-tutor.com appears across the monitor.

The booklet I received contains one assignment from each student. While looking through the book, I came across a writing assignment in which the student praised e-Tutor. He feels e-Tutor is a wonderful program and should be implemented into all the public schools.

I could not have asked for a better first sale! To hear the students’ cheers, see the name e-Tutor included on the summer camp T-shirt and then read the praises of an e-Tutor student user was very rewarding. I have always believed in the benefits of e-Tutor but now, after the camp’s commencement, I see the power it has to generate and create excitement in student learning. And that is our mission!

Molly Meiners
Instructional Technology Representative for Chicago Private Schools

Summer afternoon….summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James, quoted in Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance

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Teachers Earn for Themselves and Their Classrooms
Teachers from all over the world are earning money this summer writing lessons for e-Tutor. They are using the LessonPro template at http://www.lessonpro.net. Lessons have come in from as far away as Russia and Japan. They have covered all subject areas and all age ranges. Exciting lessons that make you want to learn such as:

BE A BUD TO A SPUD
MAKING SENSE OF CENTS
TILLIE TOOTER’S TALE OF AN AMAZING ODYSSEY
FRECKLE JUICE BY JUDY BLUME
INCREDIBLE INSECTS
DANIEL BOONE, GREAT AMERICAN TRAILBLAZER

Nearly 100 lessons have been accepted by e-Tutor so far. Where is your lesson? If you want to earn dollars for your class (or for yourself) go to LessonPro and sign up today. It is easy!

 

Andy Warhol was wrong: in the future, everyone won’t be famous for fifteen minutes. But everyone will have their own web site."
                                                             Jon Winokur, Author

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Hot Links for August!

QUIA
The quintessential instructional archive gives teachers the tools to create, customize, and share learning activities. The site has lots of interactive games and activities in many curricular areas!
http://www.quia.com/

Crayola Familyplay
Crayola provide useful and imaginative to use crayons and markers. http://www.familyplay.com/

Make a Simple Hubble
Max Mutchler of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore describes how to reproduce a Hubble respectable enough as a sturdy teaching tool, made from PVC pipe, beads, dowels, and inexpensive car mirror accessories. http://sol.stsci.edu/~mutchler/HSTmodel.html

Evaluate Math Games
This site offers a method for evaluating Web math games for educational purposes. http://students.itec.sfsu.edu/itec815/loosli/studentpage.html

Bird of the Week
Each week a different bird is featured with sounds, photos and resources. http://birds.cornell.edu/bow/

Journey with CARE to Peru
Join 10 high school students and CARE on a trip to one of Sout America's most fascinating countries.
http://www.care.org/virtual_trip/peru/index.html?us

 

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