_In The News                      September 2006   Vol. 9-9

President’s Message

My goodness!  It is hard to believe that we are already half way through September.  Although it is still warm, it is getting noticeably darker earlier and earlier.  My walking partner and I are finding it hard to adjust to the new darkness as we trudge through our neighbor in the evening.  What a quiet signal as we prepare to move from one season to another.   

We have had a very busy month and remain so as students return and new students are accepted into the e-Tutor program.   We have so enjoyed the kind comments many of you have shared with us.  We are passionate in our efforts to provide the very best in online education for your students.  Your support just continues to encourage us.  Thank you!

I am fortunate to have working with me some very talented individuals.  You may have noticed some of their work already.  The Graphing Calculator has been fun for everyone.  Our own dictionary has been a great addition and it will soon have the addition of pictures.  An Equation Editor has made it easier to add equations to our lesson modules.  And there is more coming.  We are continuing to add features that will make e-Tutor online learning even better.  So, watch for new additions in the months ahead!

Enjoy each day this month!         

 


Welcome Tutoring Centers!

     Do you attend one of these Centers?

  • Achievement Unlimited - Colorado

  • Roads Scholars - Oregon

  • Westphil Academy - AMW Foundation - North Carolina

If so, ask about the e-Tutor Program.  We are pleased to welcome these Tutoring Centers into the e-Tutor World of Learning.  They will be using the e-Tutor Program when tutoring their students.  

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To get anywhere, strike out for somewhere, or you'll get nowhere. 

      
 
Learning with e-Tutor:

Studying the e-Tutor Way

Assessment
It is important that students and parents have more than one way to judge learning.  Students should learn how to make judgments about what they know and even what they want to learn.  Parents should take an active non-threatening role in the teaching learning process.  We find a daily discussion of what has been learned to be effective for both student and parent.  And finally, an assessment measure developed to test student retention and understanding of skills and facts provides an important marker for evaluating student growth and the effectiveness of the curriculum.   The e-Tutor Program assesses students in three ways:

  1. Self Assessment:  We recommend that the student respond to the Problem Statement in writing before and after completing each lesson module.  Younger students may wish to draw pictures or dictate to a parent or older sibling. This acts as a self check, so the student can visually see what he/she has learned by completing the lesson module. The Problem Statement can be found at the beginning of each lesson module.

  2. Parent Assessment:  We ask that each parent review the Activities and Extended Learning Sections the student has completed.  All directions are given to the students and when necessary for completion a link may be given to a worksheet.  Parents do not need to put a letter grade on these, but should use them for discussion.  'What did you learn by doing this?'  'How could you have done this differently?'  'Explain this concept to me?'  The Activities and Extended Learning sections can be found directly after the Study Guide.

  3. Automatically Graded Quizzes and Exams:  The multiple choice assessment tools included in the e-Tutor program have a section of their own and should be taken after the student has fully completed the lesson module.  Students may take the quiz as many times as they want.  The exam is taken once.  Each time the student takes a quiz the questions are rotated as well as the answers and scores are averaged.  Each lesson module has a question bank of from twenty to sixty questions.  Students never get the same quiz twice.  Results of the quizzes and exams are recorded in the student report card.  Parents may access the student report card with their own unique login and password.  

Twenty-two new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  

www.e-tutor.com


                The Book Case

    Traction Man Is Here! 
     by Mini Grey 
     Ages 5-9, Preschool - 2nd grade

When a boy opens a present on Christmas morning, he finds the latest Traction Man action figure. Traction Man takes on an adventurous life of his own: diving into the soapy, underwater world of the kitchen sink; escaping the "Poisonous Dishcloth"; and adopting a "brave little scrubbing brush" as his pet.  Colorful pictures show Traction Man in action.  A figure who is always worth watching. The boy creates the action figure's secondary world and dramatizes his narrative play.  Parents and children will recognize in reading this award-winning book the same wit and inventive thinking that toys can inspire in all us.   
.
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The great art of writing is knowing when to stop. 

Josh Billings

 

Bill Gates' Eleven Rules

In his book Business @ The Speed of Thought, Bill Gates argues that our feel-good, politically correct culture has created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and 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 a vice-president with a car phone either, until you earn both.   
Rule 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait until 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 li
fe 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 to their jobs.  
Rule 11 - Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you'll end up working for one.  

Bill Gates



Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is Optional

M. Kathleen Casey

 

Part of the Answer

Do you think only in terms of your self, how much you can make and what you can get out of life?  Those who think only in those terms are definitely part of the problem......

Or are you concerned with the contribution you can make, how much you can give and how much you can put in?  People like that are part of the answer.

Roger Hull 


 

Acquiring Knowledge

Young children learn by doing.  The work of early childhood specialists and other child development theorists and researchers has demonstrated that learning is a complex process that results from the interaction of child's own thinking and his experiences in the external world.  Maturation is an important contributor to learning because it provides a framework from which a child's learning proceeds.  As children get older, they acquire new skills and experiences that facilitate the learning process.  For example, as children grow physically, they are more able to manipulate and explore their own environment.  Also, as children mature, they are more able to understand the point of view of other people.  

Knowledge is not something that is given to children as though they were empty vessels to be filled.  Children acquire knowledge about the physical and social worlds in which they live through playful interaction with objects and people.  Children do not need to be forced to learn:  they are motivated by their own desire to make sense of their world.  

National Association for the Education of Young Children


A Parrot Story

A woman bought a parrot that turned out to have a gutter vocabulary.  After she became aware of this, she took it back to the pet shop, where the shop owner talked her into giving it another chance.  

"The next time you hear any vulgarity from this bird," he said, "put it in your freezer for a few minutes."

The woman took the parrot home again, but no sooner had she put it in its cage, the bird began saying terrible things.  Into the freezer it went....for five minutes.  When the woman took the parrot out of the freezer, it was subdued and stayed that way for a week.  Then the vulgarities began again.  This time the parrot's mistress popped it into the freezer and vowed to keep it there for 15 minutes.  

As the parrot shook with the cold and ice began forming on its feathers, it looked around and was startled to see a frozen turkey that had been purchased the day before. 

"Oh, No!" said the parrot, "just what did you say, anyway?"

Bits and Pieces

 

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Don't be a hard rock, when you really are a gem!

Lauryn Hill

 

Teaching Students to Write Right

Do you remember when you were in school and your assignment was to write a term paper?  It was an important task and one that took your attention for a significant period of time.  

Students are still writing term papers.  The development of the skills and concepts needed to produce a credible product is one of the primary goals of any writing curriculum.  The term paper, produced toward the end of a student's school career, remains a symbol of achievement and, in coordination with the many skills involved in creating a well-written paper, a mark of success.

The development of the necessary skills begins as soon as the child begins a learning program.  The kindergarten child who tells about something he or she saw on a walk in the park is beginning to use observation as a source of information.  When the child explains, "Some men were trimming the trees and putting the limbs in a truck," the child is learning to place facts in sequence.  

Elementary students are guided in writing stories and urged to use what they have learned about letter sounds to "spell" the words.  Their completed stories when illustrated and bound  teach their "authors" firsthand about ownership and copyright material.

This experience eases the transition to using others' written material as a reference.  The art and skill of paraphrasing information from resource materials and giving credit to the owner through bibliographic reference is the focus of writing at the middle and upper elementary grades. 

All through their instructional activities there is guided practice in  sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and language usage.  Thus the high school student has the ability to find material in reference sources, organize that material into useful notes, produce a paper on a given subject and work independently toward an assigned goal.

Computerized information has made access to resource materials less time consuming.  Technology has improved the look of the finished product.  But the skills required to organize and produce a term paper are still the terminal goal of a program in written language.  

The Master Teacher




Parents + Students + Educator = Success

The more comprehensive and long-lasting the parent involvement in learning the more effective it is likely to be, not just on children's achievement, but on the quality of the program.  In order for learning to occur a cooperative relationship must exist among students, parents and the educational program .  This partnership can be described as follows:

Parents or Guardians Who:

  • Maintain regular communication with the educational program and their child's progress
  • Insure that their child attends to daily instructional activities
  • Provide their child with resources need to complete learning activities
  • Assist their child in being healthy, neat and clean
  • Discuss assessment and work assignments with their child

Students Who:

  • Maintain a daily schedule for learning
  • Are prepared for instruction with appropriate working materials
  • Refrain from profane or inflammatory statements
  • Conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner
  • Are clean and neat
  • Are responsible for their own work
  • Abide by the guidelines for the instructional program
  • Seek changes in an orderly and recognized manner

Educational Programs That:

  • Uses a variety of tools and methods in guiding students and parents
  • Maintains a high standard of ethics
  • Exhibits an attitude of respect for students and parents
  • Plans a flexible curriculum to meet the needs of all students
  • Develops a good working relationship with students and parents
  • Promotes regular communication with parents and students
  • Encourages parent and student participation in the affairs of the program
  • Seeks to involve students and parents in the development of policy
  • Endeavors to involve the entire community in the improvement of the quality of life. 

Parent involvement is associated with higher instructional performance, regardless of the income level of the families served, the grade level of the program or the location of the program. 

Adapted from National School Public Relations Association



The SAT Critical Reading Test

Students are beginning to think of those all-important tests for entrance into colleges and universities.  There have been some changes in the SAT in the last few years.  One change has been to remove the analogies and to replace them with critical reading.  Test takers will find short, one-paragraph reading passages.  The critical reading test still comprises three sections for a total of 70 minutes and 67 questions.  The old test was five minutes longer and had approximately eleven more questions!  Each reading section will start off with sentence-completion questions.  These questions will be followed by two short reading paragraphs with one or two questions each.  Longer reading passages will follow. 

 Q:  "What do they mean by critical reading?"

"Evaluative reading differs from 'ordinary' reading insofar as it reflects a more active and critical mode of engagement,"  according to one English professor.  "Is the statement true?  Is it useful?  How does it relate to things I already know?"

Knowing how to critically read is important. A test prep expert states, "The deeper we're able to think, the more likely we're going to create the world we want for ourselves."

How can you prepare for the reading test?
First read.  Then read some more.  And keep on reading.  While taking the test, students are encouraged to read only the most important parts of the essays and are discouraged from thorough, time-consuming 'regular' reading. 

What should you read?
The answer is easy: anything and everything.  Whatever we read is adding something to our overall skill in understanding and engaging the world. 

Adapted from The Next Step Magazine


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Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused. 

Unknown  

Super September Links:

Center for the History of Physics:  The mission of this site is to make known the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics and optics.  Virtual exhibits highlight the discovery of the electron, Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg, the found of Quantum Mechanics.  http://aip.org/history/

Crown of Africa: Unlocking the Secrets of Mt. Kilimanjaro: Can you combine a geography lesson with fitness training?  Learn about the history of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak and the gear and training it takes to make a successful climb.  Study the geologic formations and what those features mean to trekkers climbing the peak.  http://www.altrec.com/features/crownofafrica/

Life on the Rocky Shore:  This website helps students explore tide pools and learn more about oceans and the creatures within.  Activities range from interactive quizzes to ideas for a paper mache tide pool.  Several tide tables and links to major aquariums are included. http://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/

NGA Kids: The National Gallery in Washington created a variety of activities for children learning about art.  Take a tour of the sculpture garden or explore the colors, shapes and lines found in Kandinsky's Improvisation 31 (Sea Battle).  Requires Flash plugin and Quicktime.  http://www.nga.gov/kids/

The Port Chicago Disaster:  This resource and the accompanying activities outline the events of 1944, when a major explosion rocked Port Chicago, CA.  How far does duty go for a soldier during wartime; was there racism involved in the decision to court martial African-American soldiers who refuse to continue to load munitions under unsafe circumstances?  http://intergate.cccoe.k12.ca.us/pc/

Wacky Uses:  Products we have around our homes can be used for many things.  Did you know that ChapStick can make a zipper operate more smoothly or flexible straws can help start a bottle of ketchup?  This list is a great starting point for students who want to learn more about the scientific process.  http://www.wackyuses.com/uses.html

USFA Kid's Place:  The United States Fire Administration (USFA) created this site for the purpose of keeping children and their families safe from fire.  This site includes activities such as an interactive game, puzzles and coloring pages.  http://www.usfa.fema.gov/kids/index.htm

My Health My World:  My Health My World is a project sponsored by Baylor College of Medicine for students, parents and teachers.  This site contains educational materials on current environmental issues for students in grade K-4.  The goal of the My Health My World project is to promote a deeper understanding of the relationships between the environment and health, while conveying the excitement of "doing science" with younger students. 
http://www.the-aps.org/education/mhmw/myhealth.html

Have a Wonderful Month
From the Staff at Knowledge HQ

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Chicago, IL 60631
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F. 773-467-9740

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