street has transformed itself in a
just a few short weeks. Orange pumpkins, black
cats and bats, ghosts and goblins, scarecrows and ravens, and
witches. Children are wearing the most outlandish outfits and
everyone goes around with a slight grin. The leaves are falling,
there is a chill in the air and gardens are browning. The signs
are clear.... a new season is upon
us and all of October seems to be about Halloween. I can't wait
to have the children ringing my doorbell and giggling over whether I
know who they are or not. Even though we have watched them
practicing for lo these many weeks. All is a harbinger of the
weeks and months ahead....full of family fun and celebration.
you ever had a time when irritation just seems to get the better of
you? I find it hard to remain grounded when irritated....hard to
not let things get the better of me...hard to remember there is
probably a purpose in the irritation. As
much as I find my irritation frustrating, if I can harness it, it
can help me be more productive. Complacency does not move us
forward. It is that irritation and agitation, that forces us to take a chance
on a different path. That old reminder keeps hanging around....the more uncomfortable
we are, the more we change. So,
perhaps irritation and agitation mean that
one is forging on a new path, whatever that might be. It is
uncomfortable, but if we can harness the
irritation and agitation, we will be better
off in the long run.
month I was fortunate to attend a conference for women in
business. Most often we attend conferences and workshops
focusing on education. These women did everything! And I
found it valuable to learn how little separates any of us whether in
business or education. It was wonderful to hear their stories
and the successes they have achieved. The most important piece
of advice I came away with, is to listen to your heart. Hard as
it is to ignore our heads, that intuition, that we often don't value
because it is not based on hard data, is what will win the day for
each of us.
I think of
so many of you who have shared your stories with me. In many
cases you have been bounced around between conflicting advice.
In spite of the well-intentioned advice you have chosen your own
route. What power that is! Even when things seem to go
awry they will right themselves and you will be the stronger person
for your faith in yourself.
as we approach another month, I hope you will celebrate with me, the
change occurring in our lives and our world.
you happiness this month.....
The road to success is usually off the beaten path.
You have probably heard
these more than you want to, but it is easy to forget from one year to
the next. Over the years we have had to make changes. Our
children need to be more cautious each year.
Make sure costumes fit
correctly, are made with fire-retardant materials and are
light-colored or decorated with reflective tape so children can be
seen by motorists.
Knives, swords and other
accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.
Bags or sacks should be
light-colored or trimmed with reflective tape.
Feed children a light
meal before going out so they won't be tempted to snack before they
Make sure you examine
each and every treat your children bring home before letting then
Only allow children to
consume commercially-wrapped treats.
Discard any homemade
candy or treats and when in doubt, throw it out.
If driving on Halloween,
be sure to watch for children walking on roadways and darting out
from between parked cars.
National Safety Council
steps in handling anything is the ability to face it.
The Magic of Math!
Help your child explore
the magic of math!
Show that math is
important at home, in learning and in life.
Talk about math using
terms and ideas.
Enjoy games and
activities that involve math.
Have a positive
attitude about math and encourage your child.
IT ALL ADDS UP!
is one of the most important words you can use with your
children. Say yes to them so they can say yes to life. A
child raised with yes feels positive about himself and the world
awaiting. A child who has been given the go ahead to explore her
world learns to be naturally optimistic and a self-starter.
"Yes children" are naturally motivated and believe they can
make things happen. They are willing to find out and take
charge. Unfortunately some parents are fearful, thinking it is
better to control the child with no....they automatically say no to
everything; but this approach soon backfires. A child raised
with lots of no's is defeated before he starts. He feels
frustrated and, in extreme cases, hopeless. He stops trying,
gives up and becomes depressed. He has sad eyes.
especially, need lots of yes. Try to look at it this way: a
child asks for whatever she is ready to handle. You never hear a
five year old asking to drive a car or go to a dance. Even
preteens start asking for more privileges because they are ready for
the responsibility associated with this new adventure. They are
ready to expand their world and when you say yes you are sending a
positive message that you trust them and that in turn helps them
become more independent and trustworthy.
is, however, a big difference between saying yes so that your children
see life in a positive way and saying yes indiscriminately, allowing
them to do anything. Overly permissive parents give the go-ahead
by default, because it's easier than taking an active interest in
their children's activities; on the other hand, responsible parents
know what's going on and say yes because they understand that the
experience will be beneficial. Overly
permissive parents give
the impression of not really caring, whereas "yes parents"
watch closely as they allow their children to expand their
children ask, give them a positive, affirmative reply. And if
you can't say yes right away, try, "Sounds interesting....let's
talk about it," or "I'd like to think that over."
Yes opens the doors of possibilities and the windows of
opportunity. Yes creates an atmosphere of cooperation and
excitement. It makes the world a friendlier place. Yes
lets your child move out into the world and explore.
from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child, Judy Ford
Plain Ice Cream
In the days when an ice
cram sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel
coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water
in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?"
replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his
hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
"How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired.
Some people were now
waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
"Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely.
The little boy again
counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he
The waitress brought the
ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The
boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When
the waitress came back, she p0icked up the empty plate and then
swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the
empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies....her tip.
Bits and Pieces
Every novel should have a beginning, muddle and an end.
Higher Order Thinking
Critical thinking involves logical thinking and
reasoning and creative thinking involves crating something new or
original. Application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation are
higher order critical and creative thinking skills. What does
this mean to the learner. By defining each of these thinking
skills, we can gain a clearer understanding of what is necessary in
Application - The ability to use learned material
in new abstract and concrete situations. This may include
the application of such things as rules, methods, concepts,
principles, laws and theories. e-Tutor quizzes and
exams questions may ask: Who is accountable? Why did it happen?
What would happen if? How much change will occur? When will events
change? What would cause?
Analysis - The ability to break down material into
its component parts so that its organizational structure may be
understood. This skill may include the identification of the
parts, analysis of the relationship between parts and recognition
of the organizational principles involved.
Students practice this
in the Activity section of each e-Tutor lesson module.
The ability to assemble elements or parts to form
a whole; combine elements into a pattern not clearly there before.
The Extended Learning sections in e-Tutor applies here.
The ability to make a judgment about the value of
material or methods for a given purpose or situation. This is a
culmination of all of the assessment measures included in the
A Real Appetite for Real
It's easy for us to
subscribe to a current myth that the children and youth of today do
nothing but watch television, surf the Internet, listen to high-energy
music and play video games. This myth is just that: a
myth. It ignores the facts. Today's students read
books....lots of them. They read books that are informational
and books that are fictional. They read books that you and I
would call classics and they read books that are new....books that
take them to new frontiers of thinking and imagining. Today's
children and youth are learning about the old and confronting the new through
books they are reading.
In the early grades,
students read and have read to them many of the old stories.
Fairy tales and folk stories, along with Dr. Seuss stories and new
stories about animals, space ships and people who lived long ago are
enjoyed by beginning readers.
Students in intermediate
grades show a surge of interest in informational books. They
love books about how things work and how things are made. They
also love adventure stories and mystery books.
Adolescents and early
teens often cause their parents to be concerned about their preference
for "pop literature." This body of literature is something
you and I enjoyed at one stage of our lives and seems to be a part of
growing up (comic books and juvenile series).
By age sixteen, the amount
of reading that is done begins to decrease as the demands on students'
available time increases. Upper secondary students do not read
as many books as younger students, but the choices they make are from
required reading lists as well as personal selections.
Adapted from The Master
Inference and Learning
The ability to make
inferences during the reading process is crucial to reading
comprehension. From time to time we will have a child or parent
call and tell us the answer to a question was not in the Study
Guide. When making an inference, a child uses information given
in the selection as well as his or her experience and prior knowledge
to draw conclusions about causes, details, and events that are not
directly stated. Making inferences involves drawing conclusions
about causes, explanations, or details that are not directly stated by
analyzing stated effects or outcomes. Inferences are not always
proved correct or incorrect by the end of a reading selection.
We are not trying to confuse a student or trick him, we want him to
use inference in responding to some of the questions.
There are nine major types
People or Animals
Mrs. Valdez handed worksheet to the students and told them to
complete the exercise in ten minutes. Who is Mrs. Valdez?
George filled his pail with water and carried it back to his sand
castle. Where is George?
The people climbed aboard the giant bird and it flew off into the
skies. What is the giant bird?
John didn't want to stop playing, but the sun had set fifteen
minutes ago and he could barely see the ball. What time is
Becky took an end and let Sandy jump for a while. We all
sang as she jumped. Sandy finally missed and then she took
an end. What were Becky and Sandy doing?
While Don waited for the race to begin, he wiped his sweating
hands on his towel. How was Don feeling?
Cause and Effect
The next morning, the lawn was littered with bits of colored
paper, balloons and leftover food. What caused this
Pat watched in horror as the tub overflowed onto the bathroom
floor. What might be the problem? What should Pat do?
Oranges, apples and pears were served for dessert. These
three objects belong to which category?
Adapted from Silver
Burdett and Ginn
Day Academic Skills
A checklist of things you
can do to help your child be a successful learner.
Tell your child you
think academic skills are important.
Ask your child what
academic skills he or she learned today.
Insist that your child
schedule a definite time for learning every week day. If you
child has free time in the evening watch a television news program
with him and discuss it.
Look over Activities
and Extended Learning and other learning activities each day.
Show your child how
you use academic skills at home in cooking, carpentry, budgeting,
shopping, planning trips and other everyday uses.
Tell your child how
you use academic skills in your job in measuring, figuring,
estimating, reading, writing, speaking, hypothesizing, evaluating
and so on.
Talk with your child
about American democracy and the importance of voting in
Help your child
observe and learn about living things such as setting up an aquarium
or taking nature talks) or about nonliving things (by starting a
rock collection or predicting the weather).
Have your child work
on academic skills with a younger child or an older child.
Both will benefit.
Ask another adult to
help teach your child these academic skills....aunt, uncle,
grandparent or neighbor.
Take your child to the
library every week and ask what books he or she checked out.
Help your child
develop good health habits (such as eating balanced meals, getting
proper rest and exercise, brushing and flossing teeth and staying
away from harmful drugs).
puzzles and play word games with your child.
Help your child to use
an online dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas and almanac and help
your child look up facts and figures in them.
Help your child
understand charts, graphs and maps you find in newspapers or
Ask you child to
measure the length, height, weight, volume or temperature of
things at home.
Help your child use
study skills such as skimming, outlining and note taking or
demonstrate how you use them....for example, in skimming the
Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, GA
One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can
do the work of one extraordinary man.
First Americans for Grade Schoolers:
This was created by an Indian student for her local school. The
site offers information, activities and links to help elementary
students learn about four Native American tribes.
The Whole World Was Watching - An
Oral History of 1968: In this collaboration, students interviewed
Rhode Islanders about their recollections of the year 1968. With
references to the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, assassinations and
personal experiences, the interviews document a tumultuous era in U.S.
Tiny Planets: Cute and
professionally done. Full of the kind of flash that kids
like. Online activities are short and simple, once you figure
out what you have to do. Help is located in the upper right
corner of every page. Activities focus on Technology, Nature, Light
and Color, plus a few activities around the Home planet.
Open Hearts / Closed Doors:
Beautiful, primary source site in both English and French. The
stories of Holocaust orphans who came to Canada after World War
II. The site consists of three sections: 1) Orphans' Stories:
text and graphics, as well as audio and video comments by the orphans
themselves; 2) Themes: historical context (before the war, the
Holocaust, liberation, displacement, the journey); 3) Learning
Resources: material for further study including Teacher's Guide and
lesson ideas, Artifacts Collections, complete transcripts of all of
the war orphans' memoirs and a glossary.
Project Vote Smart: This
site contains information on thousands of candidates and officials in
five basic categories: backgrounds, issue positions, voting records,
campaign finances and performance evaluations., PVS also
maintains CongressTrack, which monitors the status of major federal
legislation and a calendar for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of
Representatives. But wait, there is more: voter registration
forms for each state; contact information for state and county
election offices; polling place and absentee ballot information;
ballot measure descriptions for each state (where applicable); and
links to federal and state government agencies, political parties and
Drawing from Life: Caricatures
and Cartoons From The American Art/Portrait Gallery Library
Collection: From the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the
National Portrait Gallery, this online exhibit presents cartoons and
caricatures from books in their holdings. Includes artist
biographies, featured books, and a subject search. While some
view cartoons as frivolous, they seem to always find acceptance among
the masses whether for their humor, for their insight into situations
Maggie's Earth Adventures:
This site provides free online lessons, animated stories and games for
primary and intermediate elementary school students and
educators. The stories and activities that comprise each unit in
Maggie's Earth Adventures introduce students to actual environmental
issues and motivate students to delve deeper into the issues
presented. Standards base activities are an important part of
each of these adventures. There are online activities and
printable lessons that correlate with the animated stories.
Have a Boo-tiful Month
From the Staff at Knowledge
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Chicago, IL 60631
Copyright © 2006 Knowledge
HQ, Inc. All Rights Reserved.