eNews                                      October 2013 Vol. 16-10


President's Message

This month we have had much interest in how we happened to get started in creating an online instructional program. In 1997, we were working with school districts throughout the state of Illinois on school improvement planning. Much of that work centered around curriculum planning and therefore provided the impetus for the research and development of tools and programs to assist educators in their daily tasks.  We were intrigued with how the Internet could widen the exposure for students no matter where they lived in the world. In those early years it was difficult to find school districts who believed as we did that internet based learning was an opportunity to change the way instruction is delivered. Although not quite ready for prime time, nevertheless we moved forward and created the online learning program, eTutor.  We are pleased to see schools and districts now adopting online learning in the daily teaching learning process.  Many of the concepts we included in the eTutor program are now common place in online learning, such as "crowd sourcing" and "flipping." Although we did not give names to these concepts, we knew that what we were doing was good for teaching and learning.  

Since then eTutor has helped to improve the learning of thousands of students from every continent of the world, except Antarctica. And, we are just beginning, the technology and acceptance of easy to use hand held and tablet computers opens new vistas for those of us who continue to look for alternative ways for our students to learn.

We have been visited by old man Winter, several times already this month.  I am not ready to put on the heavy clothing and parkas yet, but the weather is not going to wait for me.  So, I plan to take advantage of the beautiful days this month still offers to enjoy the color and the change of season.

Enjoy a remarkable month!




 Stay Connected! 

As the months go by, we are enjoying more and more these opportunities to pass onto you news and information about what is happening in online learning.  You will learn that we have a certain bias toward innovation and creativity in instruction.  We hope you will add your thoughts and comments and challenge our thinking.  

   Information about learning and education in general.  Add your own comments, as well.  Those who "like us" grows each month.  

   eTutor has several videos on YouTube. However don't be fooled there are several who are using our name.  

   Connect with us through Twitter.  

   Parenting and instructional tips and ideas are part of the interesting topics on which we focus in the eTutor Blog.   

  The children's books we list on Pinterest are of much interest by others.  

Page 2

Life is a gift...not a game.. 

Learning with eTutor

What makes eTutor different from other online programs?

eTutor is an innovative, educational website and Internet-based learning system for K-12 students!   By providing educational content in a pre-structured delivery environment, eTutor sets a standard for quality, interactivity and consistency that simply cannot be replicated. 

We believe that in order for online education to succeed it must be different than what is offered in instruction today.  Most educational curriculum on the Internet has been adapted from textbooks, workbooks or CD programs.  Other education offerings include webquests, games, targeted topics and reference links. eTutor has incorporated the best of each of these in a format that replicates the best qualities or instruction for the Internet.

The Internet gives us an opportunity to do something different in education.  eTutor has been designed exclusively for the Internet.  Each lesson is an original.  Content has not been adapted from texts, workbooks or a CD program. 

eTutor lessons include many parts….vocabulary, lesson problem, resources, study guide, activities, extended learning and evaluation.  eTutor lessons incorporated related websites within the body of each study guide that reinforces the concepts or skills being taught in the lesson. 


Six New Lesson Modules were added 
to eTutor this month.

Over 3400 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

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

Writing Opportunity

 The LessonPro template makes it easy to create internet-based instruction, which you can use with your students. There is no fee for using the template and using it with your students.   Since our last newsletter over 90 teachers have signed up to use the LessonPro template. An Ohio teacher has published three lesson modules and has one in the works since our last newsletter. Some interesting topics this month:. 

  • DNA - Structure nd Replication
  • Colonies Take Root
  • Planning Nutritious Meals
  • The Life Cycle of a Ladybug
  • Fraction Expressions
  • Island Tomb of the Unknown Laborers 
  • The Crucible
  • Solving Linear Equations

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.  We hope you will join The Writers' Circle today!


   The Book Case            

Windy Hill 
by Cornelia Meigs  

Ages 9 - 12 

When two children come to stay with their cousin, they immediately realize something is wrong, but no one will tell them what. Their cousin is strangely altered: nervous, preoccupied, hardly aware of their existence. They soon discover that a conflict is brewing among the hills and farms of the Medford Valley, one whose origins reach back over a century. They must piece it together from scattered clues, and from the stories told to them by a mysterious bee keeper and his daughter. This 1922 Newbery Honor Book tells of the traits that run in a family—honor, stubborn pride, and a dark lust for wealth—and how they shape the destinies of three generations.

Newbery  Honor Book 1922
Online Edition 

Page 3

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. 

Classifying to Improve Reading and Learning

Studies on memory have shown that it is easier to recall lists of related words rather than unrelated words. For example, people have less difficulty remembering words in A than those in B because A is comprised of members of a category, Vegetables.

A:  lettuce, corn, onion, beans, peas, squash

B:  nail, bakery, planet, heart, ice, suitcase   

Learners find this strategy most helpful when they encounter passages that consist of several pieces of information or contain comparisons. The use of synonyms, antonyms, connotations, and analogies are ideally suited for this strategy.  You may recall that analogies are no longer included in SAT testing, however its use in memory and listening activities is very important in understanding words and their meanings.  

Synonyms:  shops-stores
Antonyms:  first- last
Connotation: Willy serves overripe fruit.  Willy serves _________(rotten) fruit.
Analogy:  We write with a pencil.  We paint with a ______________.


Indicators for Successful Learning

In a study conducted several years ago by Human Resource Management Foundation found that the following three things should be included when teaching basic skills:

  • A "kinship" group to provide emotional, psychological and even spiritual support. The groups should consist of administrators, educators, and peers. 

  • Short units, usually one to two weeks, to allow for a quick sense of accomplishment.

  • Course content built on common words and p0hrases, names and terms.

While the study focused on adult learners, the results and indicators are applicable for any age level.  

Adapted from Richard G. Zalman, HRMagazine 

Understanding Our Teens

  • Turn-ons
     - Recognition and praise
     - Time spent with leaders
     - Learning how what they are doing now is making them more successful.
     - Opportunities to learn new things
     - Fun when learning, ie., structured play, harmless practical jokes, cartoons, light competition and surprises

     - Small, unexpected rewards for jobs well done.

  • Turn-offs
     - Hearing about the past, especially yours
     - Inflexibility about time
     - Work-a-holism
     - Being watched and scrutinized
     - Feeling pressure to convert to traditionalist behavior
     - Disparaging comments about their generation's tastes and styles
     - Feeling disrespected

Adapted from Communication Briefings

Page 4

Everyone excels in something.


Had Any Great Ideas Lately?

If you want to achieve something, you have to set a goal.  Everyone knows that. However, with all the focus on goals, we often forget that setting a goal is not the starting point. It is actually the second step.  In fact, if the first step is working well, setting goals is almost automatic.

Before we can seta goal, we must first come up with an idea. Every great enterprise, and even the not-so-great ones, began as an idea in someone's mind. Ideas are precious because they precede all achievement. Whenever people say they have trouble coming up with goals, you will usually find they don't have many ideas, either. They may not recognize the few ideas they do have, or they may reject their ideas as foolish day dreams.

Useful ideas come most often to people who have an active, open, inquiring mind. Do you ask a lot of questions when you read news and magazines, watch television, or just observe activity around you?  Do you ever wonder why things work out a particular way? Do you ask "what if" questions?  Do you ever think about how to solve the problems or meet the needs of those around you?

A questioning mind is an excellent breeding ground for ideas.  You can gain new ideas if you read good books, attend lectures and seminars, or join discussion groups. All these activities will help to increase the raw materials your mind has to work with in generating new ides.  Ideas may be your most valuable asset, too. The more thoughts you have, the better off your are.  Since they don't cost much, you can have all you want. What re you doing to generate a continual stream of new ideas for yourself?

Adapted from Working Smart


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. 


From 10/2011 eNews

Page 5

Change your thoughts and you change the world.


Outstanding October Links:

Pop Clock:  You will want to spend some time on this page presented by the U.S. Census office.  Find population data by day and year; regional population by year; age and sex; most populous and high density and watch the population grow in real time.

Mr. Pitonyak's Pyramid Puzzle: This site features an interdisciplinary Web-based project designed for middle school math students to determine how much it would cost to build an Egyptian pyramid today.

MathMol: From the New York University Scientific Visualization Laboratory, MathMol (Mathematics and Molecules) is designed to serve as an introductory starting point for those interested in the field of molecular modeling. Includes Hypermedia Textbooks and K-12 Activities.

Global Sun/Temperature Project: Collaborate with others throughout the world to determine how temperature and hours of sunlight per day are affected by your location and the equator. Involves general science, mathematics, language arts, and geography. They recommend upper elementary, middle school and high school students (ages 11-18). Students will: a) measure the temperature and record the number of minutes of sunlight per day; b) compare and contrast the results; and c) determine how proximity to the equator affects average daily temperature and hours of sunlight. Sponsored by Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE).

Math Cats: Elementary and middle schools students are the target audience for Math Cats. This site has many interactive applets that will invite children into playful explorations of important math concepts. If the child loves cats, then this site is almost guaranteed to please!

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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