In The News                             August 2012   Vol. 15-8


 President’s Message
 

Do you ever ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?"  Every once in awhile I find myself cogitating on what I do...especially after listening to friends and family tell me of the many experiences and travels that have occupied their time.  But this lasts for, maybe, five minutes...because I love what I do.  Yes it is exhausting, and yes I wonder if my mind can still come up with new ideas, and yes, it would be nice to take time off....but what we are doing is so very interesting and challenging...it is revitalizing and refreshing.  Talking and working with parents and students who desire change and an alternative to traditional schooling gives me great joy.  So, I hope you will continue to call with questions and challenges...you keep my mind growing.

Speaking of growing....I finally broke down and purchased a new computer. You know how you get attached to things that have worked well for you for many years.  I won't tell you how long I have had the computer....but it was many, many years...too many....and it would lock up on me when opening too many windows, in spite of upgrades, the keys were sticking...it was just time.  So I have a shiny, lovely new machine with a beautiful, large monitor.  And, everything is so new...I find my fingers just don't move quite fit right...so, I am in between the old and new.  One doesn't know what the other is doing...it will be a fright when it all comes together.  Well, there you go...after all I have been writing about over the years about change....and I am having difficulty with it.  Hopefully this phase won't last long.

And speaking of computers....we have been trying out the new  tablets with the eTutor program. We think these will be what students will use for their instruction in the future.  We are happy to report that eTutor works beautifully on these delightful, easy to use hand-held computers.  Any tablet that can access the internet, can access eTutor.  They are inexpensive and their use will only grow, especially for students.   We hope you will tell us about your experience with the tablets. 

Enjoy a quieter, calmer month! 

 

 

 


Enroll Now for 2012-2013 Classes

Many new and returning students have already begun the school year at eTutor.  The school has open registration, so students can enroll at anytime.  However, many parents and students like to follow a traditional schedule.  Whatever your preference, your student is welcome at anytime.       Learn more

If you would like more information call 877-687-7200.


     

 Our Connected Community! 

There are many ways to stay connected in the the eTutor world of learners.  Choose one or more of the links below to stay connected.  Just click on the icon to be linked to the site.  We suggested you try each to see if you have a preference.  

   Get tips and information, plus share your own ideas with others.   

   How about a short video of your child using eTutor?  We can help you download it to the eTutor page.  

   Tweet something that inspires you.   

   Do you have a special activity you do with your child?  Post it on the eTutor blog.   

  eTutor is now on Pinterst.  Click on the icon to learn more and see some of our pins.

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Don't ask of your friends what you yourself can do.

Quintus Ennius (239-c. 169 B.C.) Poet
                                   





Learning with eTutor

Expectations for Parents

Through the experiences we have had with the many students who have used eTutor over the years, we know that parents who actively encourage their students to engage in daily learning activities and take full advantage of  the e-Tutor curriculum, assistance, services, and opportunities are the most likely to be rewarded by seeing their children reach their academic goals.  We encourage you to take advantage of the following.

  • Understand that you are your child’s instructional and academic leader/mentor.
  • Create an atmosphere for learning at home.
  • Establish learning goals with your student focusing on the subjects recommended by eTutor for the appropriate grade level.
  • Provide feedback to eTutor so that improvements to our program can be made.
  • Get to know your child's learning strengths and weaknesses.
  • Review, daily, completed eTutor projects and activities.
  • Expect your student to spend a minimum of one hour on each lesson module and approximately four and a half to five hours learning each day.
  • Provide your student with adequate equipment and materials to be a successful learner. 
  • Monitor and review quiz and exam scores with your student.
  • Work with your child in designating specific blocks of time for studying.
  • Contact eTutor if there is any change in your student’s educational program.
  • Enjoy the learning experience with your student!

Eighteen New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

More than 3200 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

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

www.etutor.com


An Opportunity for Teacher-Writers!

Are you required to provide an online learning component for your students this school year?  You can create lessons for your students by using the template at LessonPro.  There is no fee for using the template. However, you can earn a few extra dollars if your lesson is accepted for use in the eTutor program.  Knowledge HQ offers a small stipend for lessons of quality.  

Lessons you create are accessible by both you and your students 24/7. Many teacher-writers have taken advantage of this opportunity.  We hope you will, too. If you have a topic of interest with which you want your students to explore using the resources of the internet, then take a few minutes to view the template and jump into the writing process.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.  Our goal is to engage educators in online teaching and learning. We hope you will join The Writers' Circle today!

www.lessonpro.net
admin@knowledgehq.com
877-687-7200


   The Book Case            

The Twenty-One Balloons 
by William Pène du Bois


Ages 8 and Up  
              

This is fantastical, subtly hilarious story.  The children in the story don't have to go to school. Who among us hasn't wished we could just go away for a year, floating about in a funny little house, not having to deal with other people (particularly if one has a well-stocked library of small-print paperbacks along for the ride.) The story is unique and has many fascinating elements - Shipwreck! Hot-air balloons! Krakatoa! Diamonds! Inventions! Volcanoes! What's not to like?

1948 Newbery Medal Winner


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If you are really thankful, what do you do?  You share. 

W. Clement Stone (1902-2002) 
Entrepreneur and motivational writer

 

Against Homework

Homework is such an established part of education, it's hard to believe it's not all that beneficial, especially in large quantities.  A recent Duke University review of numerous studies found almost no correlation between homework and long-term achievement in elementary school, and only a moderate correlation in middle school.  More is not better, according to the researchers.  In fact, according to guidelines endorsed by the National Education Association, teachers should assign no more than ten minutes per grade level per night (that's ten minutes total for a first-grader, 30 minutes for a third-grader).  

"Most kids are simply developmentally unable to sit and learn for longer," says the Duke researcher.  Many have already been glued to their desks for seven hours, especially at schools that have cut gym, recess, art, and music to cram in more instructional time.  If you add on two hours of homework each night, these children are working a 45-hour week. Too much homework also means that children miss out on active playtime, essential for learning social skills, proper brain development and warding off childhood obesity. 

Teachers are under greater pressure than ever before to assign more homework.  It comes from parents, administrators and the desire for high scores on standardized tests. Specific homework training is not taught in colleges of education.  So your child's teacher may not know what constitutes good or bad homework, how much to give, and research behind it.  

We suggest you establish a policy for your family and inform your child's educator, administration,  friends and family.  Change comes one step at a time. 

Adapted from 'The Less Homework Revolution," by Nancy Kalish, Parenting 


Learning to Read

Set aside a time for independent reading.  Make sure your children have time every day to read to themselves by themselves. If you set bedtime half an hour before you want them to go to sleep, your children can spend that time looking at or reading books. 

Let your children see you read.  Children need to see you as a model constantly demonstrating the place of reading in living such as reading to get the news, reading for entertainment, reading to solve problems, and reading to get information. 

Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction


Four Factors Foster Commitment

What makes students feel committed to their studies.  Commitment is defined as having a clear focus in one's work and being willing to make sacrifices to get it done. As educators and parents our task is to develop conditions that elicit feelings of commitment from our students.  Commitment rests upon four fundamental supports. 

  • Clarity, or knowing what is the aim of instruction.  Clarity of focus is achieved by communicating the goals, values and objectives of instruction.

  • Competence.  Students develop commitment toward what they believe they can do well. They don't like to fail and will avoid things they can't do. 

  • Influence, or input into how things are done. Give students influence over decisions that affect them. 

  • Appreciation breeds commitment.  Expressions of appreciation needn't be formal, but recognition for their effort.

Adapted from  The Pryor Report 

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Maturity: acting your age instead of your urge.

Author Unknown

 

Setting Goals

It is a good time of year to help your student in developing attitudes of anticipation....attitudes that one develops in respect to the future...the ability to plan, look ahead, envision and map out one's life to achieve dreams and purposes.  Your student will benefit from writing down the following.

  1. Decide what it is you want in life. Write these down.

  2. Decide what kind of person you want to become.

  3. Determine long range goals (5 years and longer) for achieving these purposes, wants and self-image.

  4. Set short range goals (one year and less) for working towards your long range objectives.

  5. Develop general plans for achieving these goals.

  6. Break the plans and goals down into small parts so you can achieve a little bit each day.

  7. Learn to plan daily for spending your time in a worthwhile manner.  

Goals plans can always be changed. The important thing is that your student is always working on some goal, his life has a richer meaning when directed toward a defined objective. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator


Building Self-Esteem

Children who have high self-esteem are willing to take chances in learning. They are able to stay with a difficult subject until they master it.  Here are a couple of ways you can boost your child's self-esteem.

Be aware of your expectations. Parents who assume boys are "naturally" better at math or sports...and girls better at reading...may be limiting their child's future accomplishments.  A recent study by a University of Colorado psychologist found, for example, that parents' beliefs may lead girls to drop out of math courses.  That, in turn, can prevent them from entering many high-paying careers.  "Girls don't get worse grades than boys at any level of math, "the author of the study said.  "But they drop out of it much sooner, and here's where  parents' expectations are having an effect."

Encourage your child to take part in extracurricular activities. After school drama, athletics, music, service, language and other clubs give children a chance to try new skills and receive recognition for a job well don.  

Adapted from Parents Can Help Students Achieve,
American Association of School Administrators



Splash a Lot

Have you ever noticed that children, as well as adults, are fascinated by water?  Everyone seems to gravitate toward it. From bathtubs to wading pools to the kitchen sink, children like touching and feeling it; they like to sprinkle and spray it.  Water has magical healing powers...you feel better around it.  It washes the blues away.  

Let your kids be around water.  Take them to a pool, a lake, a river, or the ocean and notice how life flows so easily.  Swimming is a family activity that's fun as well as great exercise.  Visit your neighborhood pool when you're bored, tired, or cranky. Although knowing how to swim is important if your children are around bodies of water, don't turn water into a task to be mastered.  Kids know instinctively what we have forgotten:  that water can and should be fun, and that the joy of splashing is as important to them as the skill of swimming. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford

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If you wish to learn the highest truth, you must begin with the alphabet.

Japanese Proverb

 

Awesome August Links:

Arts Alive:  Arts Alive is a performing arts educational website developed by the National Arts Centre of Canada. There are sections for students, teachers and parents to learn more about the performing arts and ways to discover a greater appreciation of music, theater and dance. 
http://artsalive.ca/en/

CoSketch: CoSketch is a collaborative drawing site which requires no joining, logging in or registration. Perfect for elementary classes. It's a no frills tool, so there are not a lot of extras, but for simple drawing and text, it works great. Users just go to the site, click on create a sketch, and begin drawing. To add more people, you just send them the url. There's also a nice chat feature. I could see using this to collaboratively solve math problems, play hangman using vocabulary words, exploring maps (there is a built-in Google Maps support), and a variety of other applications. Finished drawings can be embedded into blogs or websites.
http://cosketch.com/

Interactive Simulations:  From the University of Colorado at Boulder come some fantastic Java-based interactive simulations. From glaciers to natural selection to circuit construction, these simulations really show students how things work.
http://phet.colorado.edu/

Active Science:  This website is offered by GlaxoSmithKline.  It includes information for educators. The site has 15 different scientific modules, each with interactive games and activities. http://www.abpischools.org.uk/page/active_science.cfm

Kerpoof:  Kerpoof is an online story and comic-creator which allows students to create comic scenes and stories, as well as animated movies, cards, drawings, doodles and pictures. Educators are able to sign up for an account, which allows students to login simultaneously using the assigned nickname and password created by the teacher. There are no ads or inappropriate content, and the artwork is fun and lively. Finished products may be saved, printed, or emailed. Great site for story creating!
http://www.kerpoof.com/

These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.
These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and »optical« or »visual illusions«. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye.

 

Welcome New and Returning Students to eTutor!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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