In The News
                     September 2007   Vol. 10-9

President’s Message

The days are getting shorter and before you know it another night has approached and surrounded us in a  blanket of darkness.  Where once I walked in sunshine, I now walk in twilight.  Soon it will be hard to see where to place my next step.  Hopefully my strides will remain as the opportunity to walk, each evening, gives me an opportunity to reflect on the day and to plan for the future.  The days are still warm and filled with sun, but the lengthening shadows signal a change of season is on the way. As one season gives way to another it provides us an opportunity to review where we have been and where we are going.  Just as in the seasons, we grow upon what works, making changes and adjustments to strengthen and enhance what we do.  

Our month has been busy with returning students, new students and new staff.  As you may have noticed there are several new features that have been added to the e-Tutor program.  Parents now have a way to record when they have reviewed off line work included in each of the lesson modules.  A check box has been added to the student report card so that parents may record after they have reviewed their student's work.  

A parent asked for a way to determine when a student had completed a lesson.  A date stamp has been placed on the report card showing the last access time.  We have been asked how many lesson modules the student has completed from those attempted.  This information is now included for each student.  We hope you find these new features helpful.   

Some students will be viewing a new front page when they login to e-Tutor.  We have heard from a few of you and would like to hear from more about your response to the new look.  

Enjoy these last lingering days before fall sets in.  It is such a contemplative time of year.  I hope you find time this month to reflect on the approaching new season.  




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A great library is the diary of the human race.  

 Learning with e-Tutor

Social Studies Curriculum
This is the final segment in a series over the last few months where we have shared with you the goals and objectives of the e-Tutor program.  The goals and objectives cover all grade levels from kindergarten to twelfth grade with age and grade appropriate content.  

The Social Studies curriculum provides an integrated study of the social sciences in preparing students to become responsible citizens. The purpose of social studies instruction is to develop an understanding of society.  Students should know how civic responsibility for making informed and reasoned decisions benefits the public good for citizens of a democratic society.  

Students will be able to understand and analyze comprehensive political systems.

A.       Analyze the basic principles government.
B.       Analyze the structure and function of major political systems in the world.
C.       Evaluate the evolution and nature of rules and laws that govern human interaction.
D.       Analyze the structure and function of various political systems.
E.       Analyze the major political events in the contemporary world and their impact on the changing structure and function of governments.

Students will be able to understand and analyze comprehensive economic systems.

A.       Analyze the factors that contribute to economic development.
B.       Analyze the economic interdependence among the world communities.
C.       Evaluate the economic impact of political decisions made by federal, state, and local governments.
D.       Analyze traditional, market, and command economic systems.
E.       Analyze the basic economic concepts that have traditionally shaped economic systems.

Students will be able to understand and analyze events, trends, personalities and movements shaping the history of the world.
A.       Know the chronology and significance of the major events in world history.
B.       Understand the historical developments leading to the present similarities and differences among the world's people.
C.       Evaluate the contributions of significant men and women in world history.
D.       Know the chronology and significance of the major social, economic and political events shaping the American experience.
E.       Understand the impact of urbanization, industrialization and emerging technology on the world's environment as well as on its social, political and economic institutions.

Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of world geography.

A.       Understand the cultural and physical geography of each of the world's region.
B.       Understand the concepts of absolute and relative location.
C.       Analyze various map projections.
D.       Understand ways in which people define, name and alter places.
E.       Understand how maps, models and other graphics contribute to an enriched sense of place.

Students will be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained in the social sciences to decision making in life situations.
A.       Understand how individuals and/or groups effect change.
B.       Evaluate sources of information in terms of selective criteria.
C.       Evaluate the costs and benefits of a particular course of action.
D.       Analyze the interdependent roles of an individual as a consumer, a producer, and a citizen.
E.       Understand various relationships between the individual and others in the local community, state, nation and world.

Nineteen New 
Lesson Modules
were added to the 
e-Tutor Lesson Library this month!

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


Britannica Connection

e-Tutor and Britannica are building a program that will provide the best of both worlds for students of e-Tutor and users of Britannica Online.   e-Tutor will begin to add Britannica material into lesson modules.  Britannica will provide a link to users of their online encyclopedia a link to additional material at e-Tutor.  In the months ahead we will give you more information and links to this wonderful opportunity.   

   The Book Case

              I Heard the Owl Call My Name
              by Margaret Craven
              Ages Teens to Adults

I Heard the Owl Call My Name is about a young vicar and his time in an ancient Indian village during a time of cultural change. It is a journey of learning and all the small happenings that can add up to significance.

Mark Brian is sent to the village of Kingcome to serve as vicar for a parish consisting of many remote villages and logging camps in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Although he does not know it, he has been diagnosed with a fatal disease and has only two to three years to live. His bishop sends him to Kingcome in the hope that Mark will learn enough, fast enough, to be prepared to die.

Although written in 1967,  it was not until 1973 when the book was picked up by an American published that it received wide acclaim and reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list in the year of its American release.  The book was adapted to the screen as a CBS television movie of the same title.   

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No easy problem ever comes to the President of the United States.  If they are easy to solve, somebody else has solved them.  

John F.  Kennedy, American President, 1962

Building Self Esteem

Kids 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 some ways you can boost your child's self-esteem.

  • Know your child's strengths and weaknesses.  All children are unique.  Even in the same family, one child may love math and find it easy, while another finds it a challenge.  Some may have trouble concentrating on reading while another constantly has his nose in a book.  Challenge kids in the areas of strength and provide support in areas of weakness. 

  • Praise your child's efforts as well as his accomplishments.  When he sets the table, say, "I appreciate the fact that you met your responsibility without being asked.  You're a hard worker."  If your child is doing his homework, say, "You are working hard.  i know your work will pay off."  Studies show that students and adults who make persistent effort are most likely to succeed. 

  • Help your child be proud of your family's ethnic heritage.  Learn as much as you can about the culture of your ancestors.  Read books to learn more about your family's roots.  Find out about famous people who share your ethnic background.  Talk with older relatives to gather family memories. 

  • Teach your child to celebrate diversity.  Learn more about other  cultures.  Watch television programs or read books about other countries. Enjoy ethnic foods.

  • Find times for one-on-one conversations with your children.  Each week, try to set aside some special time.  Schedule it on your calendar so your son or daughter can look forward to it.  During this time, do something your child likes....play a game, watch a movie, or go for a walk. 

Adapted from American Association of School Administrators

Parenting is Motivating 

People need people, they need you.  They need you to give them what they want and need, psychic satisfaction.  And when you give them what they want, they will give you what you want.  And that is what motivation is all about.  It isn't something you really do to other people; it's something they do to themselves.  But you give them the reasons, the stimulants, for motivating themselves.  And that makes you a motivator, a person who gets things done through others.  

You spend all of your life motivating people, getting people to do things for you.  As an infant your life depends on getting others to care for you.  As a parent your success largely stems from your ability to get others to do things. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator

Lighten Up

Parenting is important....probably the most important role in your life....but you don't need to approach it so strictly and seriously all the time.  Parenting can be fun if you lighten up.  It makes family life more stimulating and relaxed, and children are more cooperative and learn more easily in a lighthearted atmosphere.  Problems are more easily solved and worries are better kept in perspective.  Children thrive on the tender loving care of a happy parent.  Life is so short.  Don't freak out over how they dress; it really is not a crime to wear mix-match.  And don't get so uptight if they want to skip a bath....they won't get ill. 

Your children are with you for such a short time.  Take every opportunity to be happy so that you can savor the moments.  To be serious, burdened, constantly critical and negative requires so much effort.  But to be relaxed and lighthearted comes much more naturally and is healthier too.  Your children will be much more manageable when you're not stressed out.  Slow down.  It requires a shift in focus from the demanding task at hand, and you may have to remind yourself about what your priorities really are, but your whole family will benefit.  The dishes may sit in the sink a little longer, or that load of laundry may go undone for another day, but were they really more important than sharing a bedtime story with your preschooler and talking about her day? Even in a crisis the lighthearted approach will always get things moving on the right track more easily. 

When you find yourself overloaded with responsibilities and ready to scream because the trash can is overflowing, the checkbook is unbalanced, the dog is not fed, and no one is helping out, stop for a moment and ask yourself, "Will this matter tomorrow, next week, next year?"  Chances are it won't but what will matter is the quality of your relationship with your family.  No one will care that the floor needed mopping, but someone very well may remember being yelled at by a frazzled mom.  Seriousness and unhappiness are habits that you can change with a shift in perspective.  When your toddler "helps" you with the dishes, look at her beaming face rather than the puddles on the floor.  Remember your priorities.  You can do your daily routine with a grudge and a groan or with a cheerful spirit.  The choice is your. 

Adapted from Wonder Ways to Love A Child, Judy Ford

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The trouble with the future is that it keeps getting closer.  


Books are not lumps of lifeless paper but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice....and just as the touch of a button on your stereo set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes, and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. 

Gilbert Highet, Literary Critic 

Parents Help Learning

Reading begins in a child's home.  If a home does not have books for children, and if there is no library close to the home, a parent can use a newspaper to encourage a child to read.  Parents often are seen reading a newspaper, so that role model is ready-made.  Not only is a newspaper inexpensive, but it has something of interest for nearly everyone.  A parent might clip a news article and ask the child to read the article to him or her.  Pictures can be chosen from the newspaper, and the child can either make up a story about the pictures or list descriptive words that tell about the pictures.  An appealing news story can be clipped into paragraphs; the child can read the paragraphs and put them into the correct sequence. 

Parent help in controlling television viewing is extremely important.  All television viewing need not be detrimental to a child's learning.  There is evidence that watching up to ten hours per week of quality television has a slightly positive effect on reading achievement.  Television can expand a child's vocabulary and can provide background experiences that a child might not otherwise get.  It can also interest children in a particular subject or theme so that they will want to find books about the subject or theme.  

There are many tips for parents on how to use television wisely in their homes.  These include:

  1. Limiting the amount of a child's television time to no more than ten hours per week.  (Beyond ten hours, the viewing becomes detrimental to achievement)

  2. Encouraging a child to watch programs that have educational value.

  3. Watching programs with the child so that questions can be asked about the program and the events can be related to other experiences.

  4. Providing a model by limiting the amount of television adults watch in the home. 

Finally, parents help in learning means instilling the value of self-discipline, hard work, and responsibility in children.  It means an emphasis on the importance of learning. 

Adapted from Silver Burdett and Ginn

Instant Stress Relievers

Today's world produces plenty of stress. Life's little hassles mount up until you say to yourself, "If one more thing goes wrong today, I'll explode!"  At times when the pressure seems to be too much and you can't concentrate anymore, don't just reach for the aspirin bottle.  Try one of these instant stress relievers.

  • Take six deep breaths.  Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth.  Take the time to notice how your abdomen expands as you fill your lungs with air.
  • Visit the Bahamas or any other pleasant scene from your past.  How?  Imagine it!  Visualize the scene in detail.  Stimulate your other senses too.  Smell the salt air.  Feel the warm sun on your skin.  Hear the waves crashing on the shore.  Taste the water.  In just a couple of minutes you'll recapture the pleasure of actually being there. 
  • Stretch.  Stand up.  Raise your arms above your head.  Stretch left and hold 1-2-3-4.  Stretch right and hold.  Repeat several times.
  • Hug someone.  Four hugs every day will do a lot to calm you down.  Hug the kids.  The dog.  Your spouse.  The mailman (not necessarily in that order).
  • Change the scene.  Walk to your window and watch the birds.  Take a a stroll around the shop floor.  Go outside, and breathe deeply for two minutes.
  • Find a friend.  Choose a patient soul, one who won't butt in or give advice, to listen to your complaints. 
  • Take an exercise break.  Take a brisk walk at lunch.  Climb the stairs instead  of riding the elevator.  When your mind is cluttered, move your body.  Exercise will improve your frame of mind. 
  • Have a good laugh.  Pull a joke book out of your drawer and read it.  Visit with a co-worker who is known for a fine sense of humor.  Or just laugh.  Your spirits will rise immediately.
  • Get a fresh out look.  Stress often comes from taking yourself and the job too seriously.  Lighten the load by asking (and answering) the question, "What's the worst thing that could happen if ...I made a mistake?"  The actual consequences are usually not nearly as bad as the ones we imagine. 
  • Finish something.  Bogged down by lengthy and complex projects?  Give yourself a quick sense of accomplishment.  Pick a task you can easily finish in the next ten minutes.  Then do it
  • Play.  A few minutes spent playing brings renewed energy and concentration to the job.  Use your break time to work a crossword puzzle or play a computer game.

Adapted from Practical Supervision

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You cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt, American president, 1940

Superb September Links:

Campfire Stories with George Catlin: An Encounter of Two Cultures:  This site presents and interprets hundreds of George Catlin's artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's permanent collecti0on.  Campfire Stories uses art, artifacts, and primary source texts to bridge American history, geography, art appreciation, environmental conservation, and multicultural studies.  The site and its lesson plans were developed in consultation with a panel of teachers. 

Science Optics and You:  The site is a science curriculum package developed for teachers, students and parents.  These activities are designed to promote the asking and answering of questions related to light, color, and optics.  The Power of Ten activity allows students to soar through space from the Milky Way to a single proton in order of magnitudes of ten. http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/index.html

Mesoamerican Ballgame:  Take me out to the ballgame, as played in Mesoamerica, the subtropical area between present-day countries of Mexico and El Salvador.  Learn about the eight major cultures found in this area between 1500 BC and 1519 AD, as well as the effect of the Spanish conquest in this region.  Then, explore the architecture of the court, as well as the balance between sport and religion within the game.  Offline activities include creation of masks, clay effigies, headdresses and clay ballgame figurines. http://www.ballgame.org/

The Butterfly Farm:  This site, selected by the SciLinks Program sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association, is a wonderful resource for learning about butterflies.  It contains a photo gallery and a student resource guide containing units such as butterfly physiology, pupa stage and the difference between moths and butterflies. 

Historical Treasure Chests:  Combine a lesson on primary and secondary resources with a little U.S. History with a smidgeon of personal history.  The initial activity identifies some primary and secondary sources, with students looking for similarities and differences.  Activity two lets students work in teams to discover information contained within primary source documents.  The extension activity allows students to investigate their family's own primary source materials and display them online. http://www.k12science.org/curriculum/treasure/

Fear of Physics:  As the creators of this website say "We created this site to be a friendly, non-technical place for you to come and 'play' with the laws of physics for awhile.'  For elementary students it explains the physics of the world around them.  Middle school and high school students can try the different simulations, including Sound, Collisions, Making you Jump Shot, and Zero G.  Illustrations will appeal to students as something they could accomplish, and the explanations let everyone gain a better understanding of physics. http://www.fearofphysics.com/

Fossweb:  FOSS is an elementary and middle school science program developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science with support from the National Science Foundation.  This site contains interactive modules on topics such as Food and Nutrition, Solar Energy and Landforms, to name a few.  Each module contains activities and resources including pictures and movies. http://www.fossweb.com/ 

Squirrel Away Some Time For Yourself This Month!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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