In The News                         October 2011   Vol. 14-08

President’s Message 

October gave a party; 
The leaves by hundreds came 
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples, 
And leaves of every name, 
The Sunshine spread a carpet, 
And everything was grand. 
Miss Weather led the dancing, 
Professor Wind the band. 
                                                  George Cooper 

The living color of Fall has come into full bloom!   Reds, yellows, oranges, greens and browns surround my world.  The seasonal beauty will be with us until wind and time takes the color away. Crisper air gives one a quicker step and encouragement to do more.  One wants to bottle the color and the feelings this time of year brings to keep for the months ahead.  There is a peacefulness to the brings a quiet, gentle feeling and a contemplative mood. 




 Thumbs Up for Our Online Community

   Are you keeping up with us on our Facebook page?  We update it frequently, so take advantage of our thoughts and opinions.  Please do give your own thoughts and opinions, as well.  Remember this is the eTutor community of which you are a part.  Don't forget to "friend" and "like" us.

   The eTutor videos are getting some play.  Take time to check them out, also.  .  

   We tweet is a quick way for you to keep track of what we are doing.  

   The eTutor blog is another way to keep you informed with topics of interest for parents and students.

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All glory comes from daring to begin.

Eugene Ware

Learning with eTutor

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills: 
            Why Activities and Extended Learning Are Important

When it's time to go beyond learning facts and to get into the grayer matter of a topic or skill, your child is ready for an inquiry activity that presents the student with a challenging task, provides access to online resources and scaffolds the learning process to prompt higher order thinking. Each eTutor lesson module includes both an Activity and Extended Learning Section.  These are an important part of each lesson module.  Students will not fully comprehend the concept or skill being taught unless these are completed and discussed with a parent or another adult.

These can include a worksheet, hands-on activity, project, problems, questions or sites relevant to the study guide.  This is a chance for students to apply what they have learned.  eTutor does not grade or evaluate activities, but encourages parents to review these with their students.  They should be used as a springboard for discussion. 

Extended Learning: 
This might consist of a critical thinking project, problem or discussion that goes beyond the scope of the lesson module.  eTutor does not grade or evaluate extended learning activities.  Again, use these to frame a discussion with your student.  We suggest that both Activity and Extended Learning be kept in folders, one for each of the main curricular areas. 

Students begin by learning background knowledge presented in the Study Guide, then they are given a specific task to complete.  They synthesize their learning by presenting their interpretation of the Activity and Extended Learning to a parent or another adult.. 

Anything that requires evaluation or scientific hypothesizing will evoke a variety of interpretations. The reason the eTutor Activities and Extended Learning are so critical to the lesson is because they offer the breadth of perspectives and viewpoints that are usually needed to construct meaning on complex topics. Students benefit from completing these sections of each lesson so that they can explore and make sense of the concepts or skills introduced in the Study Guide. 

Seventeen New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

Nearly 3200 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
the lesson modules.

   The Book Case            

The Headless Cupid 
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Grades 5 - 9

The Headless Cupid is the story of a new family and the adventures they run into while melding into a new home. David has long been the oldest in the family, an 11-year old who has helped care for his younger siblings since their mother died. When the book opens, they are awaiting the arrival of Amanda, their new 12-year-old stepsister.

Amanda is a little strange, to say the least. Her hair is braided and done up in odd circles. She has a magnetic triangle on her forehead. She later explains that this is her cult outfit. 

David has never met anyone quite like Amanda, though he thinks she is "cool". But he simply doesn't understand why being cool means not talking to adults or acting put-upon all the time. 

1972 Newbery Honorable Mention

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You must keep your mind on the objective, not on the obstacle.

William Randolph Hearst


Happy...And Healthy...Halloween!

Halloween festivities are chock-full of sugary fun, especially when it's trick-or-treating time.  But there's no getting around the fact that while candy tastes yummy, eating too much can have frightful effects on blood sugar levels, dental health, and more.  To keep Halloween's ghoulish side effects to a minimum, heed these tips from Nelda Mercer, Rd, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Teach kids about moderation.  The bite-size candies often passed out at Halloween aptly demonstrate that less can be more.  Encourage children to savor one or two pieces after dinner each night instead of gorging on the whole bag at once.

Just say yes.  Forbidding sugar will encourage your child to crave it and seek it out at someone else's house.  Halloween is only once a year, so indulging a bit won't undo a usually healthful diet. 

Brush away sugar.  Even healthy treats, such as cereal bars, trail mix, raisins, and fruit leathers, deliver sugar that is damaging to teeth, so be vigilant about brushing.  On the go?  Have kids swish with water to rinse away sugary bacteria until they can brush properly.

Spread the wealth.  Let kids choose and keep their favorite trick-or-treat candies.  Then go with them to donate the remainder to a nursing home, clinic, or homeless shelter. 


Getting it Done!

Subliminal build self-confidence, lose weight, or quit smoking...won't work by themselves.  Absolute requirement - your own motivation to achieve your goal.  In one University of Washington study, tapes with no hidden messages elicited more results than the subliminal ones did.  Yet they can work, if used regularly and in the right frame of mind.  Experts suggest that at the very least, the tapes can repeatedly remind you of your motivation, leading to a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.  

Adapted from Working Smart

Help with Writing Projects

Take the time to work with your children on writing projects when they ask for help. 

  • Be willing to talk through ideas with children before they start to write.  During this important thinking phase, a sympathetic ear helps.

  • Be a booster.  Let your child know what you think is delightful and well done in his or her writing.  Parental praise is a powerful factor in motivating children.

  • Don't over criticize.  Point out some writing errors to your child now and then.  (Don't fix them yourself, however.  Let the child rewrite the clumsy sentence or look up the correct spelling in the dictionary.)

  • Remember that good writing means more than mere "correctness."  Focus on what your child is trying to say rather than on the mechanics alone.

  • Be patient.  Competence in writing develops slowly and with practice.

National Education Association 

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Let us have faith that right makes right, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Abraham Lincoln


Don't Hide Your Tears

Just as you would not squelch their tears, never suppress your own.  Crying comes with parenting, and tears will come in many ways.  There are the tears of jubilance as you hold your newborn for the first time and tears of sorrow when you realize that you have acted in haste or said something you didn't mean.  There are tears of anguish when you see your children in pain and tears of relief when they come home safe. 

Sometimes tears come when you least expect them.  Something your child does or says will seem so innocent yet so profound that the tears slowly roll down your cheeks.  

Tears come with parenting.  Don't worry so much why you are crying...that is not as important as simply allowing the release.  Tears cleanse, they clear the dust, they clarify your vision.  You will feel relieved after a good cry.  Tears are a sign that your heart is open; you are alive and feeling the tugs to your heart...the warmth is there.  It's nothing to be ashamed of or hide.  If you allow your tears to flow freely, an amazing thing happens and soon you'll be laughing freely.  Laughter and tears go together...sometimes you will laugh so hard you'll start to cry and sometimes you'll cry so hard you'll start to laugh.  

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love a Child  by Judy Ford

Problem Solving in the Family

Shared participation in problem solving and decision making is basic to growth, development and contribution.  We tend to be more productive and effective when we can identify with the goals of a task or activity.  When we are encouraged to participate in making decisions that affect us, we develop identity and a sense of control over our destiny.  Those who never get the opportunity to make such decisions develop a feeling of powerlessness.  They become passive and avoid opportunities to make contributions to the family organization.  One other reason why everyone in the family should be involved in problem solving and decision-making in areas that affect  them is that we tend to support what we help to create. 

Adapted from The Public School Administrator 

Weighty Matters - Healthy Eating Strategies for Your Child

Many adolescents and teenagers typically have unhealthy eating habits...some gravitate toward high-fat and sugary junk food, while others become restrictive, cutting calories and forgoing foods, such as meat or dairy.

So what can parents do? Encourage healthy eating and a positive self-image, which starts by fostering the same behavior and attitude in yourself.  Here's how you can help:

  • Be a good role model.  If you are constantly putting down your own body, then your children will do the same.
  • Talk up physical activity.  Focus on the benefits of exercise, including more energy, better focus (children who are more physically active tend to do better academically), improved mood and higher self-esteem.
  • Don't narrate, participate.  Don't sit on the sideline with a cup of coffee...try kicking around the soccer ball with your child.
  • Create a healthy home environment.  Stock whole-grain crackers, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables instead of cookies and chips.
  • Eat together more often.  People may take it for granted, but family meals definitively promote healthy eating.  
  • Make healthy living a family affair.  Encourage healthy eating and active living for all family members, regardless of weight status.

Adapted from Pediatric Center for Weight and Health, Edmonton, Canada

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If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.

Author Unknown  

Outstanding October Links:  

Beetle Busters: Local Beetle Busters are critical to USDA’s mission to stop the Asian long-horned beetle (ALB). In fact, alert community members have been the first to report every ALB infestation that has happened in the U.S. thus far.  Teachers, students and families all play important roles in saving neighborhood trees. By using the engaging tools provided at this site, it’s easy to learn the signs and search for the ALB and its signs, and report your sightings.

Between the Lions:  This site consists of Stories, Games, Things to Print, Songs, and more. There are at least 70 stories that you can read and watch online. Each story links to related games. You can also print the story.  You can use the Episode guide to view a brief summary of the episode and then select the appropriate story based on desired learning goals

Great Upper Canada Adventure: Try your hand at the life of a settler on the Sydenham River. This interactive game takes you through several of the challenges settlers had to face in Upper Canada.

An Uncommon Mission:  For more than two hundred years, the twenty-one California Missions have helped shape California state history. View paintings of the Missions created by Father Jerome Tupa, explore the history of the missions, and look at historic structures a new way. Activities accompanying the paintings target vocabulary, the arts, and history.


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.

Have a Boo-tiful month!!

From the 
Knowledge HQ Staff

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