August 2002 Vol. 5.8    
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..
President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

Brain Activity

Expect Effective Learning

First Day Anxiety

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Reading Independence and Maturity

Why Aren't You In Bed Yet?

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Awesome August  Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

Brain Activity

Expect Effective Learning

First Day Anxiety

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Reading Independence and Maturity

Why Aren't You In Bed Yet?

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Awesome August  Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

Brain Activity

Expect Effective Learning

First Day Anxiety

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Reading Independence and Maturity

Why Aren't You In Bed Yet?

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Awesome August  Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

Brain Activity

Expect Effective Learning

First Day Anxiety

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Reading Independence and Maturity

Why Aren't You In Bed Yet?

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Awesome August  Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

Brain Activity

Expect Effective Learning

First Day Anxiety

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Reading Independence and Maturity

Why Aren't You In Bed Yet?

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Awesome August  Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's Message

Getting Around e-Tutor

Brain Activity

Expect Effective Learning

First Day Anxiety

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Reading Independence and Maturity

Why Aren't You In Bed Yet?

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Awesome August  Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Presidentís Message

These are the dog days of summer.  And across the country I think most of us will be grateful when this unusual summer has passed.  Nature has a way of reminding us,  that as much as we try, we are not in control. 

One of my favorite places to visit is the Library.  This month I received a phone call that a long awaited eBook was available and was waiting  to be checked out.  I have written one small eBook that is posted on our website, but I wanted to learn more about this new medium.  What was the portable platform like that  allows one to carry an  eBook on vacation, to a waiting room or outside for a time?  

I was pleasantly surprised.  In a little package no larger than a notebook, I have been enjoying six books.  The library chose the titles for this eBook, but if I had my own, I could download any books I wanted to.  There is certainly no denying the pleasure from opening a good literature book, but there are some great advantages to this platform.  

Immediately I think about the little ones I see trudging off to school with book bags that are much too full of heavy books.  The expense of printing textbooks at the high school level is too high.  A mother wrote  the other day  that one textbook for her high school daughter was over $100.  With six or eight classes that adds up to be a huge expense for a family with several children.  I would argue that  eBooks might be a viable alternative to perhaps some, but not all textbooks. 

If you have the opportunity, you might like to do a little experimenting with eBooks yourself.  Check your library to see if they have eBooks.  If not maybe you can suggest they get at least one.  Let us know what your experience has been.  

Each morning I start the day with a walk through my garden.  It is small but filled with plants, flowers and a gurgling pond with a few goldfish and a frog or two.  It is quiet and peaceful.  The plants show such resilience to the forces of nature.....heavy rain, drought, heat....they  continue to provide blooms, texture and structure in spite of the harshest conditions.  The birds, bees, spiders and butterflies that make their homes in and near provide a chorus of sound and movement  that provides more vibrancy to the garden.   My morning stroll grounds my thinking and adds to my perspective of how infinite our world is and how fortunate I am.  Thank you for your continuing interest and enthusiasm....your constant presence fills my life with a vibrant structure like my garden.  

This is the time of year you will want to check out LessonPro.  The site was developed for educators or any interested persons who wish to write instructional lessons that can be accessed over the Internet.  The lessons can be used by students or other educators who have been given access by the writer.  Homeschooling parents  have used the template to create worksheets or assignments for their children.  Educators have written thought-provoking lessons for their students.  We hope you will try it.  No cost is involved.   
 

Getting Around e-Tutor

As summer draws to a close, we have many subscribers who are returning to e-Tutor and some  students who are preparing to return to school.  The following may help answer a few of  the questions you may have.   

  • Each lesson should take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to complete.

  • Parents or a responsible adult should check the Activity and Extended Learning students complete with each lesson.

  • Ten lessons are approximately equal to one unit of high school credit. 

  • Students who are being homeschooled should complete one  lesson in each of the major curricular areas each day.

  • Students can begin a lesson and return to it later in the day or even on another day.

  • Quizzes can be taken as many times as the student needs to.  Scores are averaged for the number of quizzes taken. The exam should be taken once. Scores are not averaged.

  • Students (and parents) can write to  e-Tutor for instructional help.

  • Portfolios can be used for reporting to school districts and/or state agencies. 

  • e-Tutor works with parents, students and school agencies to ensure a successful learning experience.

The lesson bank at e-Tutor is constantly growing.  This month we passed 1,400.

Page 2

It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Brain Activity

The brain and skin are the first organs to develop in a fetus.  They emerge simultaneously out of the same layer of embryonic tissue.  The skin is often called the outside layer of the brain.  Let your child "experiment" with touch as a sensory system of the brain.

  1. Gather 16 samples of different textures....sandpaper, cloth, carpet, wood, etc.  and two large pieces of cardboard.
  2. Cut two, 2-inch squares from each of the textured materials so that you have two identical sets of 16 pieces.  
  3. In rows of four, glue one set of 16 onto each  cardboard.  Be sure to arrange the textures in different order on each cardboard.  
  4. Blindfold your child.  Ask your child to use his/her fingers to find four matches on the two cardboard sheets.  Time how long it takes to find four matches. 
  5. Let your child use their palms or elbows.
  6. Involve other members of the family to see who has the fastest speed.
  7. Have a family discussion about the experiment and what was learned.  

  Teacher Today, Vo. 13, No. 3

There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness. 

Han Suyin

Expect Effective Learning

In order to learn, children must believe that they can learn.  Much of this attitude is influenced by the work they do in school and the expectations and feedback they receive from teachers and other students.  You as a parent, however, are the most important adult in your child's life.  Whatever you say or do regarding his or her ability to learn will have a major impact on your child's self-concept as an effective learner.  Of course, children learn at varying speeds and rates of progress, but they do continue to learn unless they have stopped believing in themselves.  You can help to maintain your child's positive self-regard as an able learner by realistically showing faith in him or her.  If difficulties in learning arise, help your child to see these as problems that can be solved.  In all instances, keep faith in your child as a learner without undue pressure or threat.

First-Day Anxiety

If your child is beginning school this fall, be ready for emotional reactions...yours.  You probably anticipate that your child will be anxious about the first day.  You may not realize that you might be, too...especially if this is your first child to start school or your last one, leaving the house empty of children.  

Here's some advice that may help:

  • Parents should talk together (or talk with a friend) about the changes that school will bring into their lives. 
  • Plan to visit a friend. 
  • Make all babysitting and transportation arrangements before the first week of school so you don't have to worry.
  • Let your children know that you miss them, but focus on positive feelings about school.
  • Become familiar with the school beforehand.  Ask other parents about their experiences with the school or join parent groups.  Try to meet your child's teacher before school begins. 
  • If having all the children in school leaves you with time on your hands, consider doing volunteer work for the school or another organization. 

                                                                    

Page 3

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it. 

Gilda Radner

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

Bill Gates of Microsoft fame argues in his book Business @ The Speed of Thought,  that our feel-good, politically correct culture has crated a generation of kids with no concept of reality,  who are set up for failure in the "real" world.  He shares eleven rules of life that students never learn in school, but should.  

Rule 1.  Life is not fair; get used to it. 

Rule 2.  The world won't care about your self-esteem.  The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. 

Rule 3.  You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school  You won't be vice-president with a car phone either, until you earn both.  

Rule 4.  If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.  He doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5.  Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule 6.  If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7.  Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try 'delousing" the clothes in your own room.

Rule 8.  Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.  In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they will let you try as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. 

Rule 9. Life is not divided into semesters.  You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.  Do that on your own time. 

Rule 10. Television is NOT real life.  In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go their jobs. 

Rule 11. Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you'll end up working for one. 

National Education Association

Reading Independence and Maturity

Readiness to read requires a certain amount of independence and maturity because it implies the ability to explore on one's own.  Children need help and guidance to achieve independence.  And successful reading requires that children determine words by themselves rather than rely on an adult.  Readiness to read also requires a willingness on the child's part to take risks,  since mistakes are an unavoidable  part of the learning process.  The child must be willing to make a mistake and continue.  Thus learning to read is hard work and children need all the emotional support they can get.

  • Correct sparingly.  Be careful not to produce anxiety that will threaten the child's willingness to take risks. 
  • Let your children know it's all right to move at their own pace, that they won't be compared to each other. 
  • Give your children responsibilities at home.  This will help prepare them to take responsibility for their reading. 

Adapted from NEA bulletin

A conclusion is simply the place where someone got tired of thinking.

Anonymous

Why Aren't You in Bed Yet?

Bedtime is long past, but your child is still: thirsty, hungry, wide awake, arguing, reading or crying.  You are craving some peace and quiet, and if you are lucky, a good night's sleep.  How do you get your child to:

  • go to be?

  • stay in bed?

  • get to sleep at a decent hour?

Take time to Plan.  Parents, as well as children, need  rest and peace.  Parents will usually make up for lost sleep, but children rarely do.  They wake at the same time after  staying up late and end up irritable and cranky.  In other words, "unfit to live with."  The bedtime ritual must be  clear and agreed upon by all adults in the house.  Take your patterns of activity, your child's patterns and age into consideration.  Think about daily routines, including:

  • When do the adults get home from work?

  • When do the children arrive home from school?

  • How is dinner preparation handled?

  • How are your family members going to handle homework and activities? (Television, games, reading and playing)

  • What routines can you set up for clean up, bath, etc.?

For school-aged children:  Have a time homework needs to be completed by, television, playtime, bath time, etc.  Set a time to be in bed and then allow twenty to  thirty minutes for reading or listening to music before lights out. 

For teenagers: Have a time that they must be ready for bed and in their rooms.  At this age, they should begin managing their own sleep schedule, but it is still realistic for you to have some time to yourself.  Ten to ten thirty is a realistic time to a) close the kitchen, b) stop phone calls, c) turn off the television and d) expect your children to be in their rooms and quiet.  They can finish homework, read, listen to music softly or just relax before going to sleep.  Although they don't need tucking in at this age, it's a good time to stop by for a quiet chat.  

Once a plan and schedule are established, stick to your decisions.  Bedtime rituals should be timed to be completed in about twenty minutes, not one hour.  Whenever bedtime gets out of hand, it's time for a family meeting to get back on track.  

from The Parent Workshop Newspaper by Kathi Markert

Page 4

Let him that would move the world first move himself. 

Seneca

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer 

Portfolios are powerful because they help students learn about their learning.  They provide an opportunity for students to share the responsibility for collecting proof or evidence of learning.  Portfolios are worth doing well because they are a rich resource for reporting...they help student and parents see the results of student learning for themselves.  

All portfolios are a collection of evidence of student learning.  They become powerful when they have a purpose.  There are three major purposes for portfolios:  to display student work around a theme or subject, to show the process of learning and to show growth or progress.  

e-Tutor provides a portfolio for each student that the parent can access.  The portfolio gives a report of the lessons completed and the results of quizzes and exams.   We also encourage our students to keep their own  progress portfolio.  We suggest that the student create a folder for each one of the major curricular areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  As the Activity and Extended Learning sections are completed for each lesson,  these are placed in the folders.  Parents know where to find their child's work, they can review what their child has done,  the child can refer back to what has been achieved and they provide a basis for discussion.

As time goes by other things can be added to the portfolio, such as a time sheet to record the time the child began and ended a learning session.  Parents can add copies of the e-Tutor portfolio, so that comparisons can be made between accomplishments in  the two types of assessment. 

Such a portfolio showcases the learner and his or her own learning, rather than who they could be by making comparisons with others.  

If you could change something, what would it be?

Page 5

Don't go through life, grow through life.

Eric Butterworth

Awesome August Links!

How Many?:  Units of Measurement is just what was ordered for those who need to convert English measurements to metric ones. It's also great for trivia. For instance, you may have heard of petabytes and exabytes, but what's a zettabyte or yottabyte? How far is a hubble? How much can a hogshead hold? Or a keddah? Also  included are "selected traditional units from cultures other than English"  along with a good dash of common sense. 
http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/index.html

Medieval History Sourcebook:  This is a massive and quite authoritative site, all the more remarkable when one considers that much of the site has been constructed using documents available in the public domain. The site was created as a guide for teachers and their students, but anyone interested in such texts will find a wealth of information. There are also links to full-text documents found elsewhere on the Web. The source book is also fully searchable. 
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html

Virtual Wall:  This is a complete photographic re-creation of the Vietnam Memorial.  Viewers can see high-resolution photos of the wall and search a database for names and personal information.  The site also includes a history of the Vietnam War and the memorial.
http://www.viewthewall.com

Geography Action - Exploring Your Public Lands:  This  annual conservation program, is all about public lands, which make up approximately one-third of the United States - thatís nearly 600 million acres! Unfortunately, these lands are unknown to millions of Americans.  You can experience them yourself through breathtaking photos, games and activities including Journey Summer 2002, where you can follow teacher-leaders online as they report their adventures while on route between Mexico and Canada - entirely on Americaís public lands. In addition, you can participate in National Geographicís Take Action! by completing a conservation activity to protect Americaís public lands! 
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geographyaction/backyard/

PBS Kids:  Young children can hang out with their favorite PBS stars from Arthur, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Sesame Street and others.  Find a host of virtual trips and then check out the Web sites of your favorite TV shows. 
http://pbskids.org/

Carlos' Coloring Book:  This fun site is designed for kids who like to color.  The child artist can select a picture, select some colors and  a paintbrush and that's  all there is to it. 
http://www.coloring.com/pictures/choose.cdc

Endangered Species:   This educational site includes a primer on biology, an account of the general causes of extinction, and sections on specific endangered species. For example, around 10 million elephants chewed their way around Africa 400 years ago. As of 1990, only 610,000 remained
and the number is dropping. Every so often, there is a little quiz to check comprehension of the subject.  
http://library.thinkquest.org/25014/

Have a Wonderful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2002 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com