December 2002 Vol. 5.12   
http://www.strategicstudies.com
 ..

Christmas Everywhere

Parents: Teenagers and Parties

A Holiday of Reading

Hard Work/High Expectations

Holidays and The "Missing Parent"

It's All Right To Say No

Setting The Stage For Exceptional Abilities

Making Commercials The Day's Lesson

Wonderful Winter Links

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Everywhere

Parents: Teenagers and Parties

A Holiday of Reading

Hard Work/High Expectations

Holidays and The "Missing Parent"

It's All Right To Say No

Setting The Stage For Exceptional Abilities

Making Commercials The Day's Lesson

Wonderful Winter Links

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Everywhere

Parents: Teenagers and Parties

A Holiday of Reading

Hard Work/High Expectations

Holidays and The "Missing Parent"

It's All Right To Say No

Setting The Stage For Exceptional Abilities

Making Commercials The Day's Lesson

Wonderful Winter Links

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Everywhere

Parents: Teenagers and Parties

A Holiday of Reading

Hard Work/High Expectations

Holidays and The "Missing Parent"

It's All Right To Say No

Setting The Stage For Exceptional Abilities

Making Commercials The Day's Lesson

Wonderful Winter Links

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Everywhere

Parents: Teenagers and Parties

A Holiday of Reading

Hard Work/High Expectations

Holidays and The "Missing Parent"

It's All Right To Say No

Setting The Stage For Exceptional Abilities

Making Commercials The Day's Lesson

Wonderful Winter Links

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 


Christmas Everywhere

Phillips Brooks
(Born December 13, 1835; died January 23, 1893)

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in land of the palm-tree and vine,
Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white, 
Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright.  
Christmas where children are hopeful and gay, 
Christmas where old men are patient and gray, 
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight, 
Broods o'er brave men in the thick of the fight; 
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!

For the Christ-child who comes is the master of all; 
No palace too great, no cottage too small.

From Christmas Songs and Easter Carols 
by Phillips Brooks, 1903.


May the joys of this holiday season last throughout the New Year!


 Now is the time to try writing Internet-based lessons that can be used in the daily teaching-learning process.  Write your  lessons at LessonPro.  The template is easy to use.  Your students can access the lessons that you complete.  And, you are providing your students an appropriate way to use the Internet.  
 

Seven Goals of the E-Tutor Math Curriculum

Students will be able to....

  1. Perform computation of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using whole numbers, integers, fractions and decimals.
  2. Understand and use ratios and percentages.
  3. Make and use measurements including those related to area and volume
  4. Identify, analyze and solve problems using algebraic equations, inequalities, functions and graphs.
  5. Understand and apply geometric concepts and relations in a variety of forms. 
  6. Understand and use methods of data collection and analysis using tables, charts and comparisons.
  7. Use mathematics skills to estimate, approximate and predict outcomes and to judge reasonableness of results. 

 There are 13 e-Tutor lessons that are specific to the season.  High School students will want to complete the Literature lesson, "The Hobbit," this month.  

Page 2


Do give books for Christmas.  They are never fattening, seldom sinful and permanently personal.

Lenore Hershey


Parents:  Teenagers and Parties

Teenagers often run into serious discipline problems in connection with parties they attend or host.  Parents can help avoid these problems by taking a few precautions each time a party is planned.  Experts suggest when you host a party......
                  Agree to certain rules ahead of time.  You may want to consider some of the following:

  • No coming and going from the party.
  • Make certain rooms off-limits.
  • Keep lights on
  • No uninvited guests
  • No smoking, drugs or alcohol
  • Set a time limit when the party begins and ends
  • Invite another parent to help deal with unexpected problems
  • Know your responsibilities:  Remember that as an adult you are legally responsible for anything that may happen to a minor who has been served drugs or alcohol in your home.

Adapted from Illinois School Board Association


The family is one of nature's masterpieces. 

George Santayana

 

A Holiday of Reading

It's not unusual for adults to stop reading to children once they are old enough to read for themselves.  however, even children in the intermediate grades still like being read to now and then, says Texas instructional specialist Sam Ayers.  He suggests that parents continue reading aloud to children on a consistent basis even as they get older and that teachers and librarians can make age-appropriate recommendations to parents who don't feel comfortable selecting books on their own. 

Mr. Ayers has found older children often enjoy reading to younger children.  "Parents should provide opportunities for children to read to each other,"  he says.  "This provides them with oral reading practice and may positively affect their self-esteem.  it also provides the listener with a positive role model."

Researchers at Clark University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education suggest that you do more than just read books to preschoolers.  They suggest that you discuss the books and vary the types of books as well. 

The researcher recommend asking "what" and "why" questions that encourage the child to think about a character's behavior and motivation and connect the events in the book with his or her own experience.  Ask the child to name colors and label objects.  Also vary the types of reading material.  For example, one time you may want to read a work of fiction.  The next time, read a nursery rhyme or a non-fiction informational book.  

  


Tough Tongue Twisters

Sister Sarah shined her silver shoes for Sunday.
Sister Sarah shined her silver shoes for Sunday.
Sister Sarah shined her silver shoes for Sunday.

A noise annoys an oyster, but 
a noisy noise annoys an oyster more.

Page 3


Never confuse motion with action.

Ernest Hemingway


Hard Work/High Expectations

How do students account for their academic achievement?  The U.S. Department of Education examined what students say about their motivation.  Here is how students account for their academic success:

 

  • They believe that ability and effort are the main reasons for learning success.  If asked whether they would prefer to be called smart or hard-working, they will choose smart almost every time.  They believe that hard-working students risk being considered excessively ambitious or of limited ability, both of which are embarrassing. 
  • To avoid unpopular labels, students...especially the brightest...believe they must strike a balance between the extremes of achievement, not too high and not too low.  many students adopt an attitude of indifference to hard work.
  • At the extreme, many low-achieving students deny the importance of learning and withhold the effort it requires in order to avoid the stigma of having tried and failed.

Researchers contend four main conclusions can be drawn from what students say about their own motivation.  First, students have too few incentives to study.  Most are only rewarded for high academic achievement, so the labor of less-talented students is seldom acknowledged and the grades they receive for their best efforts do not inspire further effort.  

Second, many policies discourage student effort.  To increase graduation rates, for example, some schools have allowed students to design their own courses of study, offered credit for less-rigorous alternative to core subjects and awarded diplomas to students who merely stayed the course and accumulated credits. 

Third, peer pressure may discourage effort and achievement.  Among some student groups, high grades can be a source of peer ridicule and high achievers who persist anyway may face strong social sanctions. 

Finally, good intentions often backfire when disadvantaged children were excused from the effort that learning requires.  

Adapted from Hard Work and High Expectations: Motivating Students to Learn, 
U.S. Department of Education

 


Holidays and the "Missing Parent"

Holidays can be difficult times for children when their parents are divorced or separated.  According to psychologists Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts"  "The child may be hurt or angry when the parent does not contact him on a holiday.  The parent who lives with the child may then be left to deal with the emotional reactions.  The child may have fantasies that the holiday would be much better with the missing parents.  or he may blame the parent he is with for the fact the other isn't there."

Ignoring the emotional stress may be tempting....especially if you yourself are still dealing with the stress and emotions of a divorce or separation.  But that only causes your child to feel worse, the authors say.

They suggest:  Sit down with the child and look at pictures of the missing parent and talk about what it would be like to have contact with him or her.  Set aside your own anger and simply listen to your child's feeling, say the authors.  help make contact with relatives of the missing parent if they want to see the child.  if there is no chance of the child reconnecting with a missing parent at holidays, have an honest discussion about the subject.   

"Family Change: Don't Cancel Holidays," Psychology Today


No one achieves greatness without serving others.


It's All Right to Say No

We raise our children to respect adults and obey authority figures.  But do we teach them they have rights, too?

One of their rights is to say "no" to any adult who tries to get them to do anything they think is wrong.  

Assure your children that it is not wrong to ignore an adult's request...even when that adult is wearing a uniform or is known to them...if they feel the least bit uncomfortable about that request.  

Assure your children further that there's nothing wrong with making a scene if an uncomfortable situation is developing.  Screaming for help is often the best thing they can do because it will usually scare off a potential troublemaker.

And finally, assure your children that you really want to hear about everything they do....that you care about their worries and their fears...and that you are not going to call them "silly."

The understanding of parents is the ultimate security for children.  if they don't feel safe talking to you, you may never find out what is really troubling them. 

Adapted from Protecting Your Child, National School Public Relations Association

Page 4


Your worst decision will be the one you never made. 

 


Setting the Stage for Exceptional Abilities

 Parents play an important role in the development of exceptional abilities in children, especially in encouraging a favorable attitude toward these tendencies.

  •  Encourage children to play an active, real role in family decisions.  Listen to their suggestions, applying them wherever possible.
  • Try to encourage integration of ideas by drawing relationships among ideas and events.  Discuss possible consequences of actions, both personal and societal, building upon daily activities and current events.
  • Encourage storytelling and use of the imagination.  Allow flights of fancy, even projecting ideas to the absurd.  Explore and laugh with the children, developing a sense of humor as well as an interest in the fanciful. 
  • Encourage experimentation, even when possibilities of success are slim.  Treat lack of success as part of the learning process, examining some of the possible causes for failure and other roads that may have been more successful.
  • Provide opportunities for a variety of methods of expression, including photography, art, tape recording, dramatic and other activities.
  • Provide a variety of books, magazines, puzzles, and games that promote use of the imagination, logical thinking, drawing inferences, and making predictions. 
  • Help your child become critical viewers and readers by discussing influences the mass media such as television and literature may have on personal and social values.  

Additional information about homeschooling the exceptional students can be found in libraries and on the Internet.  

Gifted and Talented Children, How Parents Can Help, Frederick B. Tuttle, Jr. 

 


Make Commercials the Day's Lesson

Students become critical thinkers when they analyze how advertising sends messages to its audience.

Students can ask the following questions as they analyze commercials' content, looking at overt manifest content as well as subverted, latent messages.

  • What's being sold? Is it a product, service or idea?

  • How long are the ads?  What is the impact of length on the audience?

  • What are the age, sex and race of the characters?

  • What is the setting of the commercial?

  • What is the target audience for the ad?  Is it male or female? Student or adult?  What kind of music is used in the ad?

  • What is the ad's format?  Common formats include song and dance, slice -of-life, demonstrations and animation.

  • What is the advertising appeal?  The appeal can be rational, negative-humorous, emotional or an appeal to fear, sex or patriotism, for instance.

  • What are the values portrayed or implied in the ad?  What is the ad trying to make students see as important?  Being cool, sexy, high-status and wise are possible values.

Researchers found that ads often were positive and contained responsible messages.  There were few minorities in the ads, however, and many ads exhorted students to be cool.  

"A Framework for the Analysis of Commercials," Barbara Mueller and Tim Wulfemeye

Page 5

Your children need your presence more than your presents.

Jesse Jackson

Wonderful Winter Links!

The Winter Solstice:  The Family Education Network provides holiday activities, how to beat the winter blahs and a test of your knowledge about winter.  
http://familyeducation.com/topic/front/0%2c1156%2c1-4205%2c00.html

Rainbow Magic Candy Cane Village:   To enter this seasonal village, you must go through the Christmas Tree Forest!  One of the trees is hiding a magical entrance -all you have to do is find it!  An interactive village takes the child to different places in the village.  Games, stories and activities are included.  
http://www.rainbow-magic.com/holidays/christmas/index.html

Chanukah:  Chanukah, which begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev and lasts eight days, is known mainly for the ritual of lighting the Menorah, an eight branched candelabra. Learn about the Menorah and other rituals and observances associated with Chanukah.
http://torah.org/learning/yomtov/chanukah/

Winter Holidays: This site from Ben and Jerry's  includes information games, stories and activities. 
http://www.benjerry.com/yule/

ClassBrain Snowman:  Build a snowman and then print it out.  Different features and accessories makes each snowman different.
http://www.classbrain.com/cb_games/cb_gms_bag/snowman.htm

Winter Holidays Scramble:  Winter, with its short days and cold weather, sometimes seems never ending. Thankfully there are holidays in this season which give us an opportunity to celebrate.
http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/Games/Scrambles/Seasons/WinterHolidays.html



Our heartfelt wish for a happy and healthy holiday! 

From the Staff at Strategic Studies Corporation

 
Copyright 2002 Strategic Studies Corp.
http://www.strategicstudies.com