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at the Primary and Intermediate
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Click on a lesson and then go to
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Thirty new lessons
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Join the e-Tutor
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Illustrated by James Bernardin
|This is how
Thanksgiving should be remembered. A soft snow cover, a feast of
turkey and a happy, healthy family are all the ingredients for
this festive, thankful, homespun holiday. Bernardin’s
illustrations present Alcott’s classic tale in a picture-book
format. It is the early to mid 1800s in New Hampshire and
Mrs. Bassett is preparing her family’s Thanksgiving meal, but
is interrupted by someone “…comin’ up the hill lively!”
with news of her mother being very ill. Immediately Farmer
Bassett and his wife leave to be with her, leaving the six
children home to prepare the meal. Though none have ever cooked
before--how difficult could it be? Their mother made meals so
easily. When Pa arrives later with Ma, Grandma, Aunt Cathy,
Uncle Mose and their children, all is well. Make
plans to weave this nostalgic story into your holiday
traditions. A recipe for Louisa May
Alcott’s “Apple Slump” follows the text.
The road to success is usually off the beaten path.
It Is Hard
It is hard:
to save money,
to be unselfish,
to avoid mistakes,
to keep out of a rut,
to begin all over again,
to make the best of all things,
to keep your temper at all times,
to think first and act afterwards,
to maintain a high standard,
to keep on keeping on,
to shoulder the blame,
to be charitable,
to admit error,
to take advice,
But it pays!
Bits and Pieces
greatest obstacle to your success is probably you.
Exercise Away Fatigue
Have you heard yourself
uttering the words, "I'm tired," more than three or four
times a week? Chances are that you need more exercise.
Try walking to and from the nearest mailbox or investigate aerobic
classes close to your home. Do two things at once: Ride a
stationary bike and read or watch the news. Use free weights
while reading or watching the pot to boil.
and tinsel are just the beginning. In between all of the hustle
and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to forget that this time
of year is about more than "getting stuff."
is important to teach children that a true holiday gift comes from
the heart of the giver and is intended to symbolize the love and
caring between people. With all the commercialism around the
holidays, it helps to remind our children that presents are just
things and real holiday gifts are those which come from the heart.
that gifts arise from the true spirit of giving and don't have to cost
a lot of money can change the focus of the season for both children
and adults. Sometimes our children just need a little help
coming up with ideas; here are a couple you can share with your
children in the weeks before the holiday.
Talk to children about why people exchange
gifts. This can help them understand the symbolic
importance of giving and receiving gifts.
Encourage them to
think about the holiday tradition and why they want to give
something to people they care about.
Talk to children about what they want to
give....not just about what they want to get.
Grandparents are sure to be charmed by a gift of artwork from
small children, as would patients in a local hospital, who could
perhaps use some holiday cheer. Encourage the young ones to
paint a picture or make a card.
Suggest children consider giving a gift that
lasts all year. If there are military families
in your area, school-age children could "adopt" a member of the
armed services as a pen pal to correspond with throughout the
Another simple gift idea is helping out around
the house or garage. A local parent found an inexpensive
product that she bought for her boys to give to their
father. It is a disposable cloth that washes and waxes a car
without scratching the paint.
The holiday season offers a chance to help children
learn to become more generous toward others and more appreciative of
the generosity they receive all year long.
Our Village News
A Mouse Nest
On a cold winter day in 1785, a young Scottish farmer
was plowing a field when he turned over a mouse nest. Instead of
killing the mouse, he stood there watching the helpless creature,
realizing how long it had taken the mouse to build this home for its
family and regretting that his plow had destroyed it. That night
he wrote a poem about it....unheard of in those days, since it was not
a particularly romantic subject.
The poet was Robert Burns and this is an anglicized
version of his now-famous poem:
But, Mouse, thou art not thyself alone,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, oft go awry,
An' leave us nought but grief and pain, for promised joy.
The best-laid plans often go awry too. Why?
Usually it is because those involved either couldn't, wouldn't or
didn't act according to the plan. If you are making plans for
this important season of the year, make sure that everyone involved
understands and knows about 'your' plan. Good communication is
essential to good results.
Bits and Pieces
He that has no patience has nothing at all.
Experts in motivation tell us that it is our attitude
toward mistakes that makes the difference in reaching our goals....not
the mistakes themselves. Although making a mistake can be
disappointing, it's not a catastrophe, and it's important that our
children know the difference. A scientific study demonstrates
why: Two groups of students were taught new math problems and
new spelling words early one morning. Then they were given a
snack break and time for visiting or further study; the break was
followed by an exam. This pattern continued throughout the
day. Some startling discoveries were made: (1) the spelling
words and math problems that stuck with the students the longest were
the ones they missed the first time, and (2) the students who were
scolded and made to study harder continued to get worse scores while
those who were pleasantly guided to learn from their mistakes showed continual
We all make mistakes, but the winner knows that
success comes from perseverance: trying, failing, learning and doing
it again until he succeeds. Most important, a winner does not
waste energy by scolding or berating himself. He keeps
practicing, takes a break and tries again. When you shift the
emphasis from trying to avoid mistakes to celebrating the knowledge
gained, children remain willing to try, try again.
Judy Ford, Wonderful Ways to Love A Child
It is important that when our children encounter
literature, they perceive meaning in it for themselves. Great
literature often comments on the human condition; it addresses the
thoughts and feelings that are common throughout humankind. It
can give readers insights into other people's lives as well as their
own. When children see meaning for themselves in literature,
they will not have to be coaxed to read it; they will become actively
involved and will take personal responsibility for selection and
Reading should not only take us somewhere; it should
allow us later to go further more easily. Reading literature
should do more than temporarily remove us from our environment.
If the literature is truly meaningful, our children will discover
human commonality in it and will develop an appreciation for
literature that they will carry with them throughout their
Adapted from Silver Burnett and Ginn
Math Every Day
The best help you can give your child in math is
simply to make your child aware of when and how to use math. Whenever
possible, talk through activities with your child and
encourage him/her to take part in them. Think out loud, make estimates, check them, correct mistakes and try more than one way to
solve a problem. When you do, you provide your child with
important experiences in mathematical thinking.
This is a perfect time of the year to put into
practice math every day. Here are a few cooking and shopping
activities that you can do with your child.....
Let your child help with the cooking by measuring
the ingredients and checking cooking times and temperatures. Older
children can increase or decrease recipes.
Have your child figure out how to cut pizza, cake,
pie or sandwiches for different numbers of people.
Have your child determine how much or how many of
a grocery item is needed for the entire family or needed for a
Check a grocery receipt to
find five items which
add up to less than $1.00, $5.00 or $10.00.
Let your child help with the shopping by
and comparing prices, weights and quantities. Allow him/her
to use a calculator to make these comparisons as he/she also keeps
track of the total cost of your purchases. If available,
allow your child to use the calculator on the shopping cart to
keep track of how much money is being spent on groceries while you
Have your child determine how much change you
will receive once you have paid the clerk. Older children can practice writing a check for the total amount of the grocery
Use catalogs or newspapers and have your child
spend a specified unit of money (figure in tax, shipping and
handling charges) and complete order forms.
Look at the sales flyer and determine how much
money you could save by buying the sale items.
Have your child help prepare the shopping list by
selecting "best buys" (i.e., one item cost $7.50 and 2
items cost $14.00). Determine which is the best buy.
Have child determine how much a single item costs
that is sold by the package (i.e.., a single battery purchased in a
four-pack, one roll of paper towels purchased in a two-pack, the
price of one can of soda packaged in a box of 12 or 24, etc.).
Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Self-Reliance, Self-Esteem and Self-Discipline
How can you help your child develop these important
attributes? Here are a few suggestions:
Let your child know how interested you are in what
he or she has to say. Show how carefully you are considering
his or her opinions.
It is good to add "Do this instead" when
you must tell your child no. Substituting a permissible activity
takes the child's mind off the thing forbidden and promotes a
When answering your child's questions or reviewing
spelling words, suggest that he or she look up the answer in a
reference source. Help your child find the answer, but don't
be too quick to "give" it.
Speak proudly and frequently about your
Help your child find time each day that is his or
Children need time to think, dream, plan, make
decisions and free their minds from problems.
Allow your child, when possible, to
experience the consequences of actions. A lost toy, for example, might
not be replaced.
Proudly display your child's accomplishments at
home. This includes everything from a five-year-old's
artwork to a teenager's merit badge.
National Education Association
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most
Charlotte's Web: If your child loved the
book, Charlotte's Web, this site provides creative supplemental
resources, a mystery quotes quiz, trivia crossword puzzles, and links
to other Charlotte's Web sites. http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/charlotte/index.htm
Seeing Color: This site on color
vision is designed for K-12 students and includes a sample color
blindness test using two of the Ishihara charts along with brief
explanations about color blindness. Included are links to Sir
Isaac Newton and a chart on common animals and the colors they see. http://lifesciences.asu.edu/askabiologist/research/seecolor/
Jack London's Ranch Album:
Described as a Pictorial Life of Jack London; it is just as much a
tour of Jack London State Historic Park. Because this site is
arranged in an odd manner, it is important to use the menus located at
the top and the bottom of each page. It's almost like taking a
tour and is quite comprehensive in terms of biographical information. http://www.jacklondons.net/intro.html
Justice Learning: Civic education in
the real world: Justice Learning is an innovative approach for
engaging high school students in informed political discourse. The web
site uses audio from the Justice Talking radio show and articles from
the New York Times to teach students about reasoned debate and the
often-conflicting values inherent in our democracy. The web site
includes articles, editorials and oral debate from the nation's finest
journalists and advocates. All of the material is supported by
age-appropriate summaries and additional links.
AllCrafts: All Crafts is a good
place to find a wide variety of crafts from traditional to
unusual. It is not a pretty site such as you might find at
Michael's Kids Club or i-Craft. It is a massive list of links
organized by craft type. You have to scroll past the recommended
books and materials before you finally get to the crafts. Yes,
it's kind of a bother but where else will you find twig coasters,
black walnut dye, or pine cone napkin rings.
In Search of the Ways of Knowing
Trail: Your trip to the village of Epulu takes a detour when
your jeep experiences mechanical failure. You are forced to walk
through the Ituri Forest in central Africa accompanied by four youths
from different local cultures. Along the way, you will make
choices and learn about plants, animals, and survival. A Forest Fact book
serves as a glossary. Flash-driven. http://www.brookfieldzoo.org/pagegen/wok/index_f4.html
The Thrill of Flight: This
multimedia resource contains lessons, interactive activities, games,
worksheets, simple quizzes, Glossaries and Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs). Divided into five topics: aviators and events, air and
lift, airplanes, helicopters and gliders. Requires Flash. http://www.education.gov.ab.ca/ltb/resource/
Have a Wonderful Month
From the Staff at Knowledge
6713 No. Oliphant Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
Copyright © 2006 Knowledge
HQ, Inc. All Rights Reserved.