eNews                                November 2014 Vol. 17-11

President's Message

what a month for teachable moments!  We were mesmerized by the events unfolding last week with the landing on a far-flung and fast moving comet.  Just the effort it took to get there (ten years) was a lesson our children need to hear. Discovery and learning take time and patience. And, then the evidence of teamwork from people throughout the world demonstrated to all of us the benefits of cooperation and support.  All that, before we get to the science and mathematics involved in such an endeavor!  What a world our children and grandchildren have to look forward to.

Winter sent its mighty blast to most of us this month.  Little had we expected such cold and such snow!   Most were not ready for the Arctic weather that chose to visit us to wipe away the few remaining leaves and flowers.  The rapid drop in temperature, the precipitation, the wind, all provide fodder for learning.  In our neighborhood, children found opportunities to build ski hills, go sledding and make snow angels in spite of the cold. There are many  "why's" to answer in such a change in climate.  "Why is there such silence on a snowy day?" "What makes the snow stick to the grass but not the sidewalk?"  Teachable moments!....We hope you have taken advantage of them. 

This is the season we join with family and friends to give thanks for what has been given to us.  Although many struggle in a world that often does not seem to give back, there remains much we can find which comforts us and for which we are thankful.  I am thankful for the open and curious minds of the young people we serve. For the parents and educators who devote so much of themselves so that these young people have success in their learning experience.  

Thank you for all that you give to us!  



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The most important thing about goals is having one.

Learning with eTutor

eTutor Curriculum
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  • Are aligned to state and/or national standards, and demonstrate a level of academic rigor appropriate for grade level coursework.

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  • Consist of visually rich and intellectually stimulating content appropriate per subject to enhance the students’ learning experience.


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Writers' Circle

A new LessonPro is now ready for your use, comments and success.  A much easier to use template takes advantage of current technology to make writing online content for your students easier.  You will enjoy the opportunity add pictures, change fonts, use math symbols and more without using confusing html coding.  Our technology team developed the new program with you in mind.  As in the Legacy Program, there is no fee involved.  Whatever you create, you are free to use with your students.   Interesting topics from LessonPro this month:  

  • Multiplication Estimation 
  • Chemical Bonding
  • La Familia
  • Motion
  • Adding Two Numbers By Renaming 
  • Cause/Effect
  • Climate and Culture Survey
  • Business Support Services - Banking
  • Determinants of Shift in Demand and Supply of Oil Price in World Market 

We hope you will join over 10,500 educators who have registered with LessonPro to write online instructional content for their students.

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

   The Book Case            

Down Ryton Water  
By E. R. Gaggin

    Grades:  6 - 10 

The story of the Overs, gallant independents, who left Old Scrooby in 1608, because the King would permit them no freedom of worship; who went to the Low Country (Netherlands) and prospered there, but departed again, when wars threatened; who sailed in the Mayflower and put down new roots in New Plymouth, there to plant seed in a new land. A panorama of the Pilgrims' story, through the adventures of Young Matt.

1942 Newberry Honor Winner 

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Attitude is contagious.  Is yours worth catching?



Among the impacts of radical change is fundamental uncertainty, a knot-in-the-stomach feeling that what we normally do might not work this time. Fundamental uncertainty makes it easy to visualize a youngster, standing at the whiteboard with his hands in his pockets, completely stumped by the problem before him.

To complicate matters further, fundamental uncertainty has a companion malady ...... uncertainty of role. In addition to not knowing what to do, many are beginning to question whether we should be doing (or not doing) what we’re doing (or not doing).

America’s schools are not immune to the forces of radical change and the uncertainty it’s causing. In fact, some school people appear numbed by the magnitude of the events driving radical change. Like the young student, they’re stuck at the whiteboard, uncertain of what to do next.

William J. Banach,  Banach, Banach & Cassidy.


Rules for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is the process of trial-and-error and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works."
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. There is nothing better than "here." When your "there" has become a "here," you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
  7. Others are simply mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you make of them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen and trust.
  10. You will forget all this.

Author Unknown

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To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act. 

November Already

About this time each year our calendars get full and there just doesn’t seem enough time in a day to do what we had planned. Sometimes the harder we try the slower we go. Try these Ten Great Ways to Relax. They may get you back on track and make this busy season go more smoothly.

Your shoulders are tense, your back hurts. You feel grouchy and know it’s all due to stress. What can you do? The following can help relieve both the physical and emotional tension that often follows stressful situations.

Relax Your Body
  • Breath slowly and deeply
  • Practice simple stretches
  • Exercise
  • Take a bath
  • Get a massage

Relax Your Emotions

  • Talk
  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Read
  • Do something you love

Create Your Own Stress Reducers


No Argument About Homework

You remember those days: they want to do something else or just not do it at all. You want to help them make sure homework gets done, but sometimes you ask if it’s even worth the fight. It doesn’t have to turn into an argument. Whether it's about homework, staying out late or doing chores…you CAN avoid an argument with your kids.

Some keywords to remember are:

Validate: Acknowledge you are listening. You can do this by paraphrasing or repeating what they’ve said to you.  This comes in handy when the comeback is "You’re not listening to me!" Sometimes by repeating what they’ve said first, they realize they may not have a valid argument after all.

Deflect: Sometimes kids will purposely try to start an argument to get out of the chores or responsibilities. They may try to provoke you by ignoring you, starting an argument (how many times have you heard: "But that’s not fair!" or "So-So doesn’t have to do this"). Stay focused on what the issue is. The issue is not that you are unfair, the issue is that the homework was supposed to be done by five o’clock . Repeat this rule ("Even if you think it's unfair, the rule is no TV before your homework is done." "You may have more chores than your sister, nevertheless, the rule is you must get them done.")

Absorb: If they still attempt provoking an argument, stay cool. Act like a sponge. Whatever is said, simply absorb it. You can do this through "Uh-huh," "I see", "Yes,"…but the decision stands. Do not attempt to be drawn into their provocations. If you lose control, you lose the power of the rule. Remember what the issue is. Remember it’s o.k. to become angry for both yourself and your child—you’re both only human. But do not take it personally or allow it to become a personal attack.

Sometimes parents worry that by doing this, they are not allowing their children to express themselves. You can validate their feelings by saying "I can tell you’re angry, but my decision stands." Sometimes this can be prevented if all of the rules are expressed clearly before the situation arises. It helps if consequences are spelled out for specific actions. ("If your homework is not done by five o’clock , you will not go outside for the rest of the day.") Some parents (and teachers) have even drawn up "contracts" with their children, spelling out the exact expectations for actions and behavior and the consequences/rewards for each. Make the child part of this process and ask for their input on what these should be.

These are some suggestions that may help prevent arguments in the future. Many times families repeat the same arguments over and over, on an ongoing basis. While these suggestions are not guaranteed solutions, they may be a start in providing better communication with your family.

by Suzanne Merkel-Baugher, eTutor Alumna

A Glorious Occasion

Family festivals, celebrations and rituals are opportunities to turn an ordinary day into one to remember.  Celebrations strengthen the bonds between the ones you love, reinforce those things you have in common and establish traditions that will live on, even after the children are grown.  It doesn't matter whether your family is made up of two, ten or eighty, a family festival will draw you closer.  Rituals marking even seemingly insignificant events, when done in a spirit of gladness, bring satisfaction and joy to the home.  

You can have as many celebrations as you like.  They can be simple or fancy, planned or unplanned.  They can be incorporated into everyday life or take place once a year.  You can come together for birthday parties, impromptu get-togethers, or to hone the milestones in life.  You don't even need an excuse...just the desire to be together.  

What are your family traditions?  What rituals and celebrations bring you joy?  Do some need to be added or updated?  You might want to change the way you celebrate holidays or birthdays.  One year a family had a white twig covered with lights for their Christmas tree.  It marked the beginning of an effort to make their holidays less commercial. 

A family festival centers around the joy of being kindred spirits, of knowing each other and of sharing lives.  To generate a family festival requires only your commitment to gatherings filled with honest, heartfelt interaction.  Getting together out of obligation is merely a dull routine; but coming together to celebrate one another is fun, meaningful and deeply fulfilling.  A family event with heart, gratitude and mutual appreciation is indeed a glorious occasion. 

Adapted from Wonderful Ways to Love A Child, Judy Ford


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Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.

November Links (History):

Rosetta at the Comet:  On 12 November 2014 Rosetta's lander Philae touched down on the surface of the comet: the most spectacular landing in the history of space exploration. Build on  the extraordinary source of inspiration represented by the Rosetta mission to attract your students to science and technology.

Irish Potato Famine:  Engaging interactive exhibit about the Irish Potato Famine. You’ll need the free Flash player.

Explore your Families History at Ellis Island: You can search for ancestors who came to America through Ellis Island, create your own family scrapbook, and learn about the immigrant experience at this nicely designed site.

Do History:  At this site you can learn basic skills and techniques for interpreting historical documents. There is an interactive case study based on the 200-year-old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. You just may become inspired to "DoHistory" on your own after visiting this cool site.

Theban Mapping Project: For the budding (and experienced) Egyptologist, this site provides a wealth of information from the archeological digs at Thebes. Visitors can zoom into the atlas of the Valley of the Kings and explore the hundreds of tombs by watching movies, using interactive diagrams, and viewing thumbnail shots. Interactive maps allow users to measure distances and elevation, and there are even printable PDFs of the tomb maps. (This site uses Flash.)


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