October 2003 Vol. 6.10   
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

President's
Message

Learning Themes - Colonial America

Learning with e-Tutor

Setting the Limits...When Parents Must Say No

Five Tips to Improve Your Teaching

Ideas for the Scheduling Impaired

Inspiring Motivation From the Inside-Out

Effective mentoring

Good Self Esteem- The Key to Success

Smart Steps for Fire Safety

Dealing with Angry Children

Notable October Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Learning Themes - Colonial America

Learning with e-Tutor

Setting the Limits...When Parents Must Say No

Five Tips to Improve Your Teaching

Ideas for the Scheduling Impaired

Inspiring Motivation From the Inside-Out

Effective mentoring

Good Self Esteem- The Key to Success

Smart Steps for Fire Safety

Dealing with Angry Children

Notable October Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Learning Themes - Colonial America

Learning with e-Tutor

Setting the Limits...When Parents Must Say No

Five Tips to Improve Your Teaching

Ideas for the Scheduling Impaired

Inspiring Motivation From the Inside-Out

Effective mentoring

Good Self Esteem- The Key to Success

Smart Steps for Fire Safety

Dealing with Angry Children

Notable October Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President's
Message

Learning Themes - Colonial America

Learning with e-Tutor

Setting the Limits...When Parents Must Say No

Five Tips to Improve Your Teaching

Ideas for the Scheduling Impaired

Inspiring Motivation From the Inside-Out

Effective mentoring

Good Self Esteem- The Key to Success

Smart Steps for Fire Safety

Dealing with Angry Children

Notable October Links!

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Presidentís Message

October and the leaves fly!  What a difference a month makes!  Although the plants and trees are just  beginning to turn color they seem to want to linger, as we all do,  to these last days before colder weather really descends upon us.  

What a wonderful experience I had this weekend.  As many of you probably have guessed, my relaxation comes with puttering around in my garden.  At this time of year plants need to be separated and cut back.  And, I like to share the thinned plants with those in the neighborhood.  It is a big job even in a small garden.   A friend suggested that I invite neighbors who wanted plants to help me dig and thin.   Everyone liked the idea.  What a help they were,  with a task that went quickly and smoothly.   We dug, moved, transplanted, cut and thinned.  The children even got into the act.  Every child went home with a handful of bulbs to plant in their own gardens.   It was a great way to share with and enjoy the company of friends and neighbors.  It looks like we have started something, as they want to do it each year.  

Recently,  I heard two older woman talking while walking around a store.  They were comparing ages.  I couldn't help but smile and told them I had been eaves-dropping on their conversation.  They just didn't feel old they said.   They were in their 80s and looking for fun and companionship.   Although we age, our needs and wants are the same.....to enjoy life and enjoy the pleasure of good companions.   

We have enjoyed the phone calls, emails and letters we have received from you this month.  We enjoy hearing from you and especially the students who use our programs.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas and compliments with us.  It is this kind of input that we use in upgrading, changing and planning for our new programs.   We hope that you will continue this valuable communication with us.

Beginning with Halloween it seems there is just one holiday after another at this time of year.  Our children are often distracted, as we are, with planning and preparing for the festivities.  I hope during the hustle and bustle of the coming months, you will find time each day to sit quietly with your child to just enjoy the pleasure of each others company. 


Colonial America

As we go through school we often learn snippets of our early history from here and there.  It deserves a good hard look at least once a year.  For who we are today is from where we came those many long years ago.  Our national customs and beliefs are tied to those early settlers.  You and your students will enjoy learning some facts you may not have realized or  your memory may be refreshed after reading something previously learned.  The latest edition of Learning Themes at Knowledge HQ will spark your interest to learn more.  You will find information, resources and activities for students, parents and educators all about Colonial America.   

 

 

Learning with e-Tutor:

Five new lessons were added to e-Tutor this month.  With so many lessons in the e-Tutor system, you may want to focus on a particular topic, such as Thanksgiving.  You can search lessons by text or grade. 

Search Lessons

Figure 8. Search A Lesson

Looking for lessons concerning a particular topic? Use the search feature to find those lessons. Follow these steps to conduct a search:

  1. Click on the white text boxes under step 1 and type in the search word or words. (Use the "OR", "AND", or "NOT" feature to obtain specific lessons.  "OR" can be used to search lessons with either search term or both search terms.  "AND" can be used to search for lessons that only have both search terms in the lessons.  "NOT" is used to find lessons with the first search term that doesn't include the second search term.) 
  2. Pull down the grade level menu by clicking on the arrow on the right. Highlight the grade group that you wish to search
  3. Click on the search button to begin the search.

New lessons are added on a regular basis.

If you are not an e-Tutor subscriber, don't let another day pass without  logging on to this great way of learning!

www.e-tutor.com

Page 2

Leadership means setting an example worth following. 


Setting the Limits....When Parents Must Say No

Firm, fair, clear and consistent guidelines are especially helpful when teenagers are wavering and unsure about what to think or do.  Your rules can serve as an excuse for them not to go along with the crowd.  ("I can't, my Mom would kill me.")  

  • State the rule calmly.  An angry order is often taken as a direct challenge on, as an attack on your children's friends or taste.
  • State your reasons for the rule.  Teenagers want to know why.  Even if they don't agree, they will understand that the rule is based on your concern for them, not on your wish to keep them from having fun.
  • Assure them there will be new privileges as they get older.  Explain that trust is earned.  And be sure to keep the promises you make.  Few things will undermine your relationship faster than unkept promises. 

Adapted from Helping Youth Say No,
 National Assn. of State Boards of Education Project

Incentive is the fuel of the will. 


Five Tips to Improve Your Teaching

Most teachers are willing to change when given suggestions on improving teaching skills.  The following are conclusions reached by researchers at Michigan State University who study how teacher behavior influences what youngsters learn and how teaching can be improved. Good teachers do the following:

  1. Set goals.  Finding time and energy to accomplish everything that needs to be done is a challenge all teachers face.  Many cope successfully with this problem by setting goals, which keep  instruction on track. Teachers without focused goals are more apt to add topics to their lesson plans.  So, their students learn about many topics, but master few.  
  2. Communicate Expectations.  Good teachers influence student behavior and learning by carefully communicating what is expected and why.  Some youngsters view school as a requirement rather than a place to learn.  Good instructions teach students strategies for learning in and out of school. 
  3. Understand Content.  Good instructors thoroughly understand the subjects they teach.  They know also the misunderstandings students bring to class.  
  4. Closely Follow Instructional Material.  Many believe that good teachers don't follow textbooks. Teachers who closely follow instructional materials improve, rather than impede, the  quality of their teaching.  Most teachers do not have the time or training to develop their own materials.  Good teachers carefully select materials to fit the curriculum and characteristics of their students.  
  5. Accept responsibility.  Teachers who believe they are responsible for student achievement are more effective than those who believe students alone are responsible for what is learned and how students behave.  

Good teaching is difficult.  It involves hard work, tough choices, objective evaluations and a great deal of energy.  But teachers must accept responsibility for improving their performance, for no one exerts a greater influence on how much and how well children learn.  

Andrew Porter, Institute for Research on Teaching, Michigan State University


Ideas for the Scheduling Impaired

Color counts for many creative people who can't seem to stick to a schedule.  Introducing the joys of stickers, highlighters and colored stick-on notes to those who are scheduling-challenged may be the ticket to keeping them on target.  Learn to use over looked pockets of time to accomplish tasks.  These might include:

  • Travel time
  • Waiting room time (doctors offices, appointments, etc.)
  • Time spent waiting for family members
  • Time spent waiting in a restaurant

Adapted from Dynamic Manager

Page 3

Success is a journey - not a destination.

H. Tom Collard


Inspiring Motivation From the Inside-Out 

The challenge for educators is to keep them motivated.  The "do what you are asked approach"  is effective in the short term, but can be counterproductive when trying to motivate over the long haul.  Those who feel they are being coerced or pushed into doing a task will become resistant and unwilling, often indicated by sloppy work,  procrastination and a lack of pride in their work.  

Another issue results from the fear of reprimand or punishment if learners don't do what they are asked.  Initially, they are afraid of the consequences from poor performance.  But if their poor performance or lack of motivation is never addressed, the fear of reprimand will eventually become meaningless.  

Your challenge is to inspire motivation from within.  To help your learners motivate themselves, you can:

  • Help them see the worth, value and importance of what they do individually;
  • Encourage them to reach for the stars.  Tell them to take on more, even if they are discouraged by goals that could not be reached;
  • Promote enthusiasm;
  • Paint a picture of personal profitability;
  • Serve as a role model and show your personal commitment to motivation; and 
  • Get down in the trenches and participate in some of the tasks.  

Adapted from Team Leader


Cooperative Effort

Build cooperation by remembering that your way is not the way.  And it may not even be the right way.  Opening your mind to others' ideas will improve cooperation.  Bonus.  You could learn something new. 

Nuts & Bolts Publishing

You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.

Abraham Lincoln


Effective Mentoring 

When mentoring students, here are a few basic but important steps to keep in mind:

  • Avoid giving students too much direction.  Let them define what they want from the learning-mentoring relationship. 

  • Remember that learning is personal.  Don't expect them to learn....or apply knowledge....in identical ways.  Suggestion:  Ask those you mentor how they learn best and adapt your approach.  Build from their strengths instead of highlighting their weaknesses. 

  • Let students experiment.  Reason:  When they have some control over a process, they will feel more ownership and responsibility for the outcome. 

  • Don't baffle them with your brilliance.  In your enthusiasm to help students, be careful not to overstate points.  Whatever you say, be clear. 

Workforce,  ACC Communications Inc.



Good Self Esteem - The Key to Success

Critical decisions in children's lives, such as whether or not to use drugs or to stay in school or drop out, are affected by their sense of self-worth.....their self-esteem.

Helping children develop good self-esteem is probably the most important thing parents can do for their children, because self-esteem is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives.  

  • People with high self-esteem are capable of making good decisions, proud of their accomplishments, willing to take responsibility and able to cope with frustration.
  • Self-esteem is closely tied to family and environment.  When children feel that they are listened to, taken seriously and genuinely cared for, their self-esteem is high. 

The National PTA, "Back to School Guide for Parents"


Page 4

Of all the properties which belong to man not one is so highly prized as that of character. 


Smart Steps for Fire Safety

More than 4,000 children are killed each year and another 150,000 injured in fires.  However, even small children can learn to protect themselves.  The National Fire Protection Association urges all families to take these key steps to prevent tragedy:

  • Install and maintain smoke detectors.  At least one smoke detector should be installed outside each sleeping area.  The unit should be tested regularly and the batteries replaced at least once a year in battery-operated detectors. 

  • Devise an escape plan and hold regular home fire drills.  Your escape plan should include at least two means of exit from each room of the house, if possible.  Also decide on one spot outside the house, such as a certain tree or neighbor's porch, where the family will assemble after escaping.

  • Practice fire drills until even small children can use all escape routes without parental aid.  In an actual fire, parents may not be able to get to their children. 

  • If you smell smoke or see flames, drop to the floor and crawl to your nearest exit.  Check doors to make sure they are cool before opening them. 

  • Get outside the house before calling the fire department.  Once you are outside, never attempt to go back into the house to rescue people, pets or possessions.  Professionals can do it better.  

School Public Relations Service


Dealing With Angry Children

We are occasionally the recipients of verbal abuse and/or complaints from angry children.  Unfortunately it is difficult to reason with a child who really just wants to scold, argue or complain.  Here are some approaches for dealing effectively with such a situation without losing your temper:

  • Politely ask, "What have you been attempting to do about this until now?"  An irate child may have forgotten that the object of her anger has never been informed of her grievance or that she has never tried to resolve it.

  • Offer at least the illusion of options to help resolve the complaint or problem.  If there is really only one apparent answer, it may be wise to disguise this by offering two alternatives....both of which amount to the same outcome.  Thus, you appear more flexible and willing to help.

  • Reframe the angry child's negative behaviors in positive terms (someone who is aggressive can be described as strong, for example).  This may defuse the situation by helping the child feel a little better about himself and his angry outburst.  

  • Use humor, but not at the expense of any of the parties involved in the verbal exchange or the underlying problem.  Gentle humor is best in such a situation. 

  • Ignore certain inappropriate behavior.  If the child throwing a tirade is also late for a meal, not picking up toys or even parked in the wrong place, now is not the time to reprimand her for these things. 

  • As soon as the child stops complaining, ask sincerely how you can help resolve the grievance or solve the problem. 

  • If you still encounter an angry response, switch the conversation to a neutral, non-controversial topic.  Say:  "We seem to be stuck on this for the moment.  Can we please take a look at this other subject?"

  • Remain silent (particularly if the child really just wants to argue with you).

  • Give in (particularly when a discussion or tirade is going in a vicious circle).  If possible, concede at least one point or request the child is making.

  • Compromise (negotiate a verbal contract where both parties give something).  

  • Touch (but only when the other person signals permission to do so).

  • Change roles with the child.  For instance, say, "If I were in your place, I would probably be making similar complaints.  But if your were me, what would you realistically do to help resolve this problem?"  This may help the child see the real-world constraints you face in dealing with his or her problem; it also may help you empathize with the child's situation.

  • Change locations (go for a short walk or move the discussion to another room, for example).

HCA Rockford Center, Newark, Delaware

Page 5

Education teaches us how to think, not what to think. 

Outstanding October Links!

Halloween Online:  This site is an extensive Halloween resource, with decorating and costume tips; a guide to carving and displaying your pumpkins; a selection of featured articles and interviews; Halloween recipes; downloadable graphics ("Scream Savers") and music files; e-cards; online games; and a large collection of links. 
http://www.halloween-online.com/

The Reading Village:  Reading and language arts teachers will find lesson plans, resources,  discussion groups, and Cyberguides to frequently studied books. Among the standards included are the California Language Arts Content Standards, and Governor's Elementary Reading Initiative for California. 
http://teams.lacoe.edu/village/

The Science of Having Fun:   Funology.com is a colorful site full of activities for young kids to learn how to make things, explore the world, and discover new skills. Sign up for the free newsletter that includes jokes, tricks and creative craft ideas.
http://www.funology.com/

American Indians and the Natural World:   Hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, this site is an exploration of four tribes of Native Americans: the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Lakota of the Plains. It includes the "belief systems, philosophies, and practical knowledge that guide [these] peoples' interactions with the natural world." 
http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/cmnh/exhibits/north-south-east-west/index.html

Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II:  This online exhibit features National Archives propaganda posters and 
sound files used by the United States Government to explain and promote the war effort in Europe and the Pacific. It is divided into two parts: the first is designed to instill patriotism; the second, to show the horrors of war. http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/powers_of_persuasion/powers_of_persuasion_home.html

Gorilla Foundation:   Dedicated to Koko, the signing gorilla, this site includes the first five chapters of Dr. Francine "Penny" Patterson's book, The Education of Koko, which details how Koko learned American Sign Language. Included are videos of Koko, Michael, and Ndume, the gorillas in the project,  "Koko for Kids" shows gorilla art, teacher information, and how to write to Koko, and information on gorillas with links to other related primate sites.  
http://www.koko.org/

SuperKids Educational Software Review:   This site  is the 'Consumer Reports' of children's software, providing reviews and comparisons by teams of parents, teachers, and kids.
http://www.superkids.com

Great American Speeches:  Eighty years worth of great speeches are captured here, as well as some interesting exercises for students of speech and American History. The Critics Corner features Richard Nixon's Checkers' Speech, as well as  background information, and links within the speech to explain the context of specific words or terms used in the speech. If you watch excerpts of Presidential speeches on tape, you should have students try "Could You Be A Politician,"  where they get a chance to read from a mock 
teleprompter while looking honest, sincere, and trustworthy.  Some trick! 
http://www.pbs.org/greatspeeches/

Enjoy a Wonderful Month!

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright © 2003 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com