September 1999, Volume 3.1
Strategic Studies e-News
Visit us at http://www.strategicstudies.com
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Message from the President

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Have you heard this?

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

Competition

So Much to Do...So Little Time

Outsmarting Stress

September Links

Message from the President

It is back to school time again. We’ve enjoyed watching the youngsters in the neighborhood prepare for another year. It seems their back packs get bigger every year. I wonder what all that weight is doing to their backs.

During the month of August, I spent a great deal of time in schools working with teachers to develop curriculum frameworks and performance based assessments. I believe the most important work that schools do is curriculum development. In most districts textbooks have provided the curriculum for what is taught in the classroom. While important as a means of teaching, textbooks should not be the basis of a District’s curriculum. A text that is written for the average student consumer, may not be sufficiently rigorous enough for the students of a particular district or it may not focus on the particular needs of students in another district. Those in each district should determine a framework for what is important to the students of that district. Once these guidelines are established, it remains up to the teaching staff to meet them.

About half of the teachers we have worked with, really "get" the importance of a unified district curriculum plan. The others, while going through the mechanics of curriculum planning and development, are more content to keep to their routines and continue to use what has worked for them in the past. They tend to mistrust what appears as a change in the status quo. This creates problems for districts and schools that want to coordinate and have an articulated curriculum throughout the grade levels. Well intentioned though they may be, the days of going into a classroom and doing what "one" deems best, must give way to programs that serve all of the children in the district throughout the grades. All instruction should be coordinated with a district or school curricular plan.

M. Angulo

 

 

 

e-News Page 2
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Message from the President

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Have you heard this?

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

Competition

So Much to Do...So Little Time

Outsmarting Stress

September Links

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."

H.G. Wells

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Does using shorter sentences and smaller words make a political candidate more attractive to voters? According to a new study by two college researchers, it makes candidates more successful in getting their messages across to voters. Mary-Ann Leon and T. Harrell Allen of California State Polytechnic University studied the speeches of President Bush and Michael Dukakis during their two 1988 debates: They found: Bush’s remarks scored at the 8th grade level....making them clear to more than two-thirds of the audience. Dukakis tested at the 10th and 12th grade levels....comprehensible to less than 50 percent of Americans. The difference: Dukakis used longer, more complex sentences and words than Bush did.

Have you heard this?

Puberty is when your youngster stops asking where he came from and refuses to tell you where he is going.

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

We are pleased to announce a fairytale script writing contest that will showcase the creative talents of young writers. Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By www.storiestogrowby.com is sponsoring the contest. All story scripts submitted will be reviewed by 8th graders at the Day Middle School in Newton, Massachusetts, under the supervision of the Day Middle School

 

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Message from the President

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Have you heard this?

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

Competition

So Much to Do...So Little Time

Outsmarting Stress

September Links

English teaching team. Particulars such as how to choose a story, how to write a script, and how to submit the script, are detailed on the home page of the web site. The submission deadline for the fairytale scripts is November 30, 1999.

Competition

With the beginning of school, comes another season of sports of all kinds for our youngsters. We have come to believe that competition is good for us. But research show that "offensive competition." which involves aggressive gamesmanship, can be counterproductive. A study conducted at the University of Texas disclosed that people who were more concerned with winning than with performing well had lower levels of achievement. If you are competitive or your child is competitive, consider the following:

Keep in mind that competition is not the opposite of cooperation. Using cooperative strategies will often help one be more "competitive."

Learn to believe in yourself. Do not strive to prove yourself in others’ eyes.

Accept that other people are needed to get ahead. A combination of healthy competition and cooperation can go a long way.

Keep an open mind to new ideas, information and feedback. Offensively competitive people often resist others’ suggestions.

Help others to achieve their goals.

Dr. Stan J. Katz and Aimee E. Liu, Self

 

 

e-News Page 4
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Message from the President

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Have you heard this?

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

Competition

So Much to Do...So Little Time

Outsmarting Stress

September Links

So Much to Do...So Little Time

In the fast-paced world in which we live, adults often are hard pressed to find the time to work, manage a household, raise a family and pursue leisure activities....all within the confines of a 24 - hour day. Children are no different. Between going to school, doing homework, working part time, visiting with friends, attending athletic practice, participating in school clubs, taking music or dance lessons, doing household chores and watching a favorite television......a child can find himself without a minute to spare during a typical day.

Children need their parents’ help in learning how to organize their time. By equipping them with some vital time management skills now, they will be better prepared to meet the increasing demands placed on their lives as they grow older.

  • Weekly chart. Map out a schedule each week, with specific times allotted for school, homework, work, chores, extracurricular activities, television, dating and going out with friends.
  • Permanent work space. By mid-elementary age, your child should have his own palace for studying.
  • Organized notebooks.
  • Regular homework time
  • Learning comes first. If your child starts producing incomplete assignments, neglecting his homework or slacking off in his grades, it is time to make hip drop some activities. If schoolwork improves, he can resume the disrupted activity.

 

e-News Page 5
block.gif (848 bytes)
Message from the President

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Have you heard this?

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

Competition

So Much to Do...So Little Time

Outsmarting Stress

September Links

 

Do not let your child over structure her time after school and on weekends. Children need a few moments to wind down between activities. Encourage them to have a healthy snack, listen to music or read a magazine before rushing off to soccer practice or a music lesson. Remember that part of the joy in being young is the freedom to do nothing at all.

Outsmarting Stress

Relieve stress by understanding which brain hemisphere is stressed. If you feel depressed or emotionally overwrought, your stress is in the right hemisphere....the creative, emotional, holistic side.

What to do: Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.

If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.

Jane Cole-Hamilton, Wellspring Seminars

 

Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the hear-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks.

Helen Keller

 

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block.gif (848 bytes)
Message from the President

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Have you heard this?

Whootie Owl's Script Writing Contest

Competition

So Much to Do...So Little Time

Outsmarting Stress

September Links

 

September Links

  • If you are teaching about the water cycle or water as one of the earth’s resources, this is a site you will want your students to go to.
    http://wwwga.usgs.gov/edu/

Copyright 1999 Strategic Studies Corp. (http://www.strategicstudies.com)