In The News                    September 2011   Vol. 14-07


President’s Message 

It has been a beautiful September in our part of the country.  The leaves are just beginning to change, the nights are cooler with warm day.  The vibrancy of the days with the beautiful colors, at this time of year, can only warm your heart and put a smile on your face. 

Last evening, which I do most weeks,  I spent several hours of laughter and fun with a group of friends.  It is an opportunity to let the child in each of us come out.  What fun we have....laughing at the most silly things and enjoying the hilarious, every day stories each has to share.  Humor and laughter is so invigorating. It carries us through the week and makes it easier for us to laugh at antics that might have frustrated us in the past.  So, I am grateful for my friends and for the time we have together.  As I write this I have a smile on my face.  I hope each of you have friends and family with whom you can laugh and be silly with. 

Possibly, because it is the first of another school year, I have had many discussions about our education system during the past month.  I wish I had an answer.  Quite clearly what we are doing is not working and tweaking and adding onto a failed system is not what is needed.  A new system needs to be invented which will prepare our students for a different life than we are all used to.  Methods which functioned in an industrial era will not work in today's rapidly changing world.  Can you forecast what the next ten years will be like?  Are we giving our students the tools necessary for this ever-changing world? The answers are not easy, but we must find them. 

Enjoy this beautiful season!

 


    

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Be enthusiastic about your child's successes.





Learning with eTutor


Guidelines and Expectations for Students

eTutor expects students to be responsible learners and to influence their own learning from a very early age.  Students make choices every day.  We want them to make wise choices in their learning program so that they will meet with success and gain confidence in their own abilities. 
  • Know which subjects and lesson modules are recommended for your grade level. 
  • Carefully read and complete each section of the lesson module. 
  • Review the Study Guide and Vocabulary before taking the quiz or exam. 
  • Share with a parent or another adult the Activities and Extending Learning Assignments you have completed. 
  • Spend at least one hour on each lesson module.
  • Complete no more than twenty lesson modules each week.
  • Keep track of when you start to study and when you stop each day.  Keep a record of sport and art activity on your list, as well. 
  • Have a notebook, pencil, paper and any other necessary materials available before starting eTutor each day. 
  • Establish a schedule for learning and start, as much as possible, the same time each day.
  • Share with your parents the goals and time management plan you have established for yourself.
  • Contact eTutor if you are experiencing any difficulty with the program.

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   The Book Case            

Journey Outside
by Mary Q. Steele

 

Grades 5 - 9
              

The Raft People live in darkness and travel a circular journey on an underground river. One boy finds his way outside and tries to learn as much as possible so he can ultimately lead his people to the Better Place.

1970 Newbery Honorable Mention


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Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

 

All Feelings Are Acceptable

Feelings are part of being human; they bring sensitivity to life.  Without feeling we would all be predictable robots on automatic pilot...boring, dull, lifeless.  Children who've been allowed to express all their feelings, including the not-so-loving ones, have a big jump start toward believing in themselves and getting along with others.  From the many shades of fear and anger to the subtle expressions of love and contentment, you and your child will experience a wide range and intensity of feelings.  That's normal.

Accept all your child's feeling as natural and don't dwell on whether they make sense.  Many times feelings come in contradictory pairs...eagerness and hesitation, happiness and sadness, love and hate.  You can feel two or more feelings at the same time, so don't get hung up on one.  

Never tell a child that what she is feeling is wrong.  If you are uncomfortable with negative emotions, remember that when a negative feeling is expressed and not judged, it miraculously loses its destructive power; it is when such feelings are repressed and internalized that they do their damage.  When a child's feelings are accepted, she will feel less lonely, angry, and fearful, more sure of herself, and not so compelled to behave so toughly and uncaringly.

When a child expresses any kind of feeling...from anger, to fear, to joy...she does not want judgment, logic, advice, or reassurance.  In the midst of a strong emotional outburst, she does not want to explain or justify; she simply needs your understanding.  A child wants you to comprehend whatever she is feeling, and when you do, it gives her great relief, knowing she can trust you with her feelings.  Your acceptance of these feelings dispels them, so once again your child is calm.

Parents who cannot tolerate their child's feelings know the child only on the surface; they will never be close or know one another's hearts, and there will always be distance between them.  But parents who accept the waves of contradictory feelings within themselves and their children foster depth and authenticity in their relationship. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, by Judy Ford


 The Power of Saying "No"

The ability to say "no" just might be the most powerful time management tool at your disposal.  Whether a request for your time comes from your spouse, your child, a friend, or a community leader, you probably have a tendency to say "yes" even when you would rather say "no."

"We usually agree because we feel pride or honor, or because we want to be viewed as being cooperative," says time management guru Alec Mackenzie, "or we want to win brownie points to trade for future favors."  The first step out of the trap is to "recognize that you are a pushover, to see how easily you say 'yes' when you ought to say 'no'."

"Most fear saying "no" to others because they fear offending someone.  Try the following four steps to help you learn how to fend off requests for your time without causing hard feelings. 

  1. Listen.  Make sure you understand what is being asked of you and the priority of the request.

  2. Say "no" if it's appropriate.  The sooner you say it, the better. If you hem and haw, you give the person a chance to argue with you.  Be polite, but firm.  Don't build false hopes with wishy-washy answers.  If your decision is "no," say so.

  3. Give reasons.  Help the person understand the reason for your rejection.  You need not be too specific.  The best reason might be, "I have other commitments that won't permit it."  There's no reason to burden the person with the specific nature of those commitments.

  4. Offer alternatives if you can.  Demonstrate your good faith by suggesting other ways to help meet the person's needs.  

Adapted from Working Smart


Is Your Child Being Bullied?

You know your children and you can tell if they are going through a rough time.  But sometimes finding out the root of the problem can be very difficult.  Talking with your child while doing something together, like playing outdoors, eating dinner, or shopping can often allow them to talk openly and honestly about what's going on in their life. Above all, reassure your child that you are a team and that you will work together to solve the problem.

  • Ask your child how you can help and what they would like you to do next.

  • Let them know that they can trust you and that your actions are never intended to make the  bullying worse.

  • Make a plan of action that requires you both to document each incident and talk about ways to cope with the current situation.

 

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Don't accept "no" for an answer, unless it is the answer.

 

Distractions to Learning

Children who are easily distracted, can improve their focus with these suggestions from Stanley Coren, Ph.D., psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver;  

  • Begin learning at the same time and in the same place every day to help your mind associate the time and place with concentration.

  • Begin with a ritual, such as sharpening your pencils or arranging your learning space, to clear your brain of distractions and prepare for instruction. 

  • Concentrate only on the task at hand, rather than on the ultimate goal. 

  • Do the easy parts first, to get into the swing of things. 

Adapted from Working Smart


Are You Listening?

Human communication, whether private or public, is a process.  The idea of process is an important one.  The importance of listening cannot be stressed enough.  Actually there can never be a complete act of communication unless there is a listener.  A spirit of respect and mutual trust is created. Requirements of the listener include:

  1. The listener should be ready to receive the message.  This is called listener attention.

  2. The listener should have the same language...set of symbols...used by the speaker.

  3. The listener should have a need, or a purpose, for listening.

  4. The listener should not produce interference for the incoming message.

  5. The listener should be able to feed back her-his reactions letting the speaker know the level of understanding, or lack of understanding, of the message. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator 


Encourage Letter Writing

Children need encouragement from their parents to write letters.  This kind of writing is highly motivating because children receive replies to good letters.

  • Have your children write thank-you letters for gifts they receive.

  • Let children write and send invitations to birthday or other parties.

  • Encourage children to write and draw cards to send to relatives and friends for birthdays, holidays, and other special events.

  • Promote all types of letter writing for your children...letters to the editor, letters for information on interests or hobbies, letters of praise or  complaint to business.

National Education Association

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Stop, look and listen.  

Superb 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/

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/

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. Requires flash.  http://www.usfa.fema.gov/kids/flash.shtm

Cartoonster:  This site has tutorials that provide step by step instructions for drawing and animating. Techniques are simple and can be done with no special materials. The site is totally flash-driven and full of examples that make sense.
http://www.cartoonster.com/

My Life As An Elk:  In this interactive game the user takes on the identity of a newborn elk calf and has many adventures. In each adventure the user must decide what to do. Users learn about the life cycle of the Rocky Mountain elk as well as about choices and consequences. Requires Flash. Sound can be turned off.
http://www.wildlifeart.org/Learn/Games/ElkStory/

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.

Stop and Look!!

From the Knowledge HQ Staff

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