_In The News                     December 2006   Vol. 9-12

President’s Message

What a glorious time of year it is!  The colors, the sounds, the smells, the decorations, the laughter and most of all the faces of children, delight and lift us from our daily routines.  Once again our neighborhoods have been transformed into winter wonderlands.  Someone remarked that all that takes place during this special time each year provides us with warm thoughts and memories for the harsher months ahead.  One does want to bottle the season to keep the joy, the kindness and the love that seems to flow so easily just now, for moments when we might need them later on. May we each carry peace and joy into the New Year. 

What a month it has been!  At a time of the year when we should be slowing down just a bit to get ready for the holidays, we have been as busy as the elves in Santa's workshop.  You may not notice any immediate changes in our websites, but as the months move forward, you will begin to see what our team has been working on.  This month we have experienced some growing pains.. We apologize for the delay in your receiving the e-News last month.   It is very exciting to be a part of the continuing effort to improve online learning.  

This last e-News of the year gives me the opportunity to thank each of you for a most wonderful year, and send my best wishes that the coming year be the best yet for all of us.

May your holiday season be filled with joy!

 


Give e-Tutor!

Give the gift of learning!  Give e-Tutor Virtual Learning for three months this holiday season.  There couldn't be a better gift to give to a child you love. 

Extended through the end of January 2007,  subscribe to e-Tutor for three months and receive a $50 discount for each student subscription.  Simply put GIFT2006 in the referral box on the application form to receive credit for your gift. 

 

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Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow. 

James A. Michener 

      
 
Learning with e-Tutor:

We Are Growing!

You may have experienced a few bumps in the road this month as we continue to add features and change the look and feel of e-Tutor Virtual Learning.  At this writing a few select subscribers are using the newest format of the online learning program.  e-Tutor is a very large, comprehensive program.  It will take many, many months for all the current changes we have planned to be implemented.  By the time we finish, our "to do" list will include other new and innovative additions. 

Some things to look for:

  • Some students will have access to a new look for e-Tutor that we have been working on.  All previous features are included in the new look and some new features have been added.  If you are one of the subscribers using the new system, please send us email with your thoughts and comments.  Together we can make e-Tutor the program that will work best for you. 

  • Logins and passwords are case sensitive.  The login is in lower case letters and the password is in capital letters. If you have changed the password to something you can remember, the way you have submitted it, is the way the password should be entered.  The system will not identify the password unless it is exact. 

These changes will make e-Tutor more secure.  Thanks for your continued support and encouragement.  

Some seasonal lesson modules that your student will enjoy:

  • Months of the Year - December

  • Christmas Around the World

  • Kwanzaa

  • Christmas Around the World - France

  • Christmas Around the World - Italy

  • Christmas Around the World - United States

  • Christmas in England

Twenty-two new lesson modules were added 
to e-Tutor this mo
nth.

Join the e-Tutor world of learning today to view the Lesson Library.  

www.e-tutor.com


             The Book Case

        The Winter Room
           Gary Paulsen
           Intermediate - Middle/Junior High

As a young boy, Eldon and his older brother, Wayne,  grow up on a farm in northern Minnesota.  The story gives the reader vivid scenes of farm life. In the bleak winters, Uncle David tells stories in the winter room (a room only used in winter) of an almost unbelievable logging past. The boys doubt the truth of his stories and say so. This hurts David so much, he stops telling stories. The boys sneak into the barn to watch their Uncle and see the control he has of the axes. They then begin to believe his stories are true and convince their uncle to continue the storytelling.
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Put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are. 

Gail Godwin  


Stressed Out

This is the season when stress starts to build, both at home and at work. The following tips can help ease you through the difficult times:

  • Take care of yourself.
  • See troubles as opportunities.
  • Manage your time.
  • Speak up.
  • Plan.
  • Get support.
  • Enjoy your leisure time.

It is your choice. You can try to make your situation satisfying. If stress arises, you can choose to attempt a solution. There are many choices open to you. Which ones will you make?



Whether I succeed or fail, shall be no man's doing but my own.

Elaine Maxwell

 

Another Reason to Smile

Smiling changes your breathing pattern and reduces blood flow to the sinuses, thereby cooling the brain.  According to a psychologist at the University of Michigan, a lower brain temperature makes for pleasant feelings and less depression and helps you to remember positive experiences.  It also gives new meaning to the phrase, "Keep a cool head."

Working Smart



Increasing Vocabularies

At any age it is important to extend one's active vocabularies.  Activities that focus on classification skills effectively advance vocabulary development.  Strategies for vocabulary development are based on the premise that new words are learned by associating them with known words, a process that utilizes one's prior knowledge and experience to learn new words.  When classifying new and known words, we compare and contrast their meanings. Through this process one discovers the unique meanings of words and how they relate to those similar in meaning.    One strategic in vocaulary development is semantic association.  

Semantic association uses classification as a means to help expand the knowledge of words.  In semantic association we list words that pertain to two related topics, such as objects found in kitchens and objects found in living rooms.  The process guides us in learning new meanings for known words and the conceptual relationships among words.

Another technique is called semantic feature analysis where a grid visually represents the relationships of words and concepts in a category.  Items within a specific category are plotted in a column opposite a list of item's characteristics or features. It is easy to identify how words are alike and how they are different.  .  

Adapted from Silver Burdett and Ginn


Reflections

As we plan for the year ahead Knowledge Headquarters will focus on three questions:

  1. What will we remember most about 2006?
  2. What are the biggest challenges for us as we head into 2007?
  3. What are our predictions for 2007?

So, what will we remember most about 2006? Probably, that it was a fantastic year of growth for us.  We have added some fantastic new features to e-Tutor including:  a new home page with increased offerings, the e-Tutor Calendar, the Graphing Calculator,  hundreds of new lesson modules, administrative tools, and more.  

Itís also been a year of more strategic use of online learning programs like e-Tutor. Increasingly we are seeing tutoring centers interested in ways to address e-learning by using their computer investments in more intelligent ways, not just acquiring CDs to meet student needs.  

The biggest challenge will be executing successfully to take e-Tutor to the ďnext levelĒ, whether itís tactics like improving the instructional design or adding eCommunity to strategies or about changing the subscriber role. Itís also important to focus on the goals, not the tools. Getting the design right is the hard part.  That's where many of you can help us as we move forward.  Your input is always appreciated and encouraged. 

Our prediction for 2007 is that online learning will continue to grow rapidly not only with individuals, but, in schools and agencies. The capabilities are fairly mature, and integration is now possible, so that we have a whole new set of capabilities that provide some excellent performance opportunities. We canít assume that if we build it, they will learn. We have to develop a learning culture, we need to develop our learnersí ability to learn,  and we have to recognize and take responsibility for and foster learning to learn. So, our task with your help, for the New Year is great.  But the rewards are huge for our students and parents!  We look forward to continuing to work with you through 2007.

Knowledge HQ Planning and Evaluation

 

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Car-pe. Carpe diem.  Seize the day....Make your lives extraordinary!

Dead Poet's Society (Screenplay)


Do the Math

Despite the availability of well-paid jobs in fields such as engineering, statistics and technology, many students do not take enough math courses.  They see it as hard, boring and irrelevant...not true!  Here are some reasons to learn math. 

  • It makes you smarter. Math is to learning what endurance and strength training are to sports.

  • You'll make more money. You can earn more than what pop singers and sports stars make...perhaps not right away, but over a lifetime. 

  • You'll have an easier time at college. Math is a language, more concise and effective than other ones.  If you know math, you can work smarter, not harder.

  • You'll live in a global world.  Obtain knowledge that makes you viable all over the world, not just in your home country. 

  • You'll live in a world of constant change. New technology and ways of doing things change life and work daily. If you have learned math, you can discover how and why things work. 

  • It doesn't close any doors.  If you don't choose math in high school, you close the door to interesting studies and careers.

  • It's interesting. If you do the work and stick it out, you will find that math is fun, exciting and intellectually elegant. 

  • You'll meet it more and more in the future.  

  • You can get through, not just into, college.  

  • It's creative. Math can be a supremely creative  force if the knowledge is used correctly, not just as a tool for problem solving during your career. 

  • It's cool.  You have permission to be smart; you have permission to do what your peers do not.  

Edutopia, Espen Anderson, Professor, School of Management, Oslo



Generate Family Festivals

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 


How To Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays can be the most joyous time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. Holidays can also be a time of hectic shopping, financial concerns, family conflicts and loneliness. We are so busy trying to take care of the details of the festivities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Here are some suggestions to help you cope with holiday stress this season:

Try to plan ahead.

See if the stores you need to go to are on another personís list-maybe you can divide the list and split up to get the shopping done in less time and less trips.

If childcare is an issue, see if you can rotate days with another parent. Maybe you can take turns with babysitting.

While waiting in line at the store with the kids, give them articles or ads from newspapers or magazines (usually the stores carry copies of their own flyers). With a pen, have them circle all the letters in their names within the ads or play a word search game.

For the bad weather days when everyone is stuck inside, have activities for the family to do. Try having wintertime crafts like creating "snowman garland" for the younger kids or having older children create and decorate their own holiday cards.

Excerpt from December 1998 eNews


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Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

Native American Proverb

Dynamic December Links:

Infection Detection Protection:  A clever online magazine from the American Museum of Natural History.  Divided into sections: Meet the Microbes, a colorful definition of viruses, bacteria and protozoa; Bacteria in the Cafeteria, a simple game to help children become aware of potential dangers; Infection, a board game that lets you break thru the human defense system; How Lou Got the Flu, explains how infectious diseases spread; and more.  Requires Macromedia Shockware.
http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/infection/index.html

Fin, Fur and Feather Bureau of Investigation (FFFBI) Headquarters:  The site uses interactive stories and original thinking games to get kids to solve mysteries and learn crucial skills such as using the Interent for research and investigation, reading and writing.  The project encourages exploration of a wide range of subjects from math and science to geography, genetics and history.  
http://www.fffbi.com/

Jo Cool or Jo Fool: An Online Game About Savvy Surfing: As Jo surfs the net, you decide if he's a Jo Cool or Jo Fool.  Jo Cool means he's smart.  Jo Fool means he's about to "get a face full of virutal pie." Includes a checklist for helping you decide if he's making a good choice, twenty questions at the end and a fifty page file to help educators use the site.  Finally, someone put some humor into media literacy!
http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/games/jocool_jofool/

Miscositas:  This site features a collection of over forty virutal picture books in English, French and Spanish.  Also includes games, realia, curricular suggestions for teaching and learning these languages and links to more resources.  Illustrated throughout with colorful drawings including entries in the large pop-up glossary.
http://www.miscositas.com/

The Home of Thomas Jefferson:  Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States.  You can explore the house, gardens and plantation.  Includes: biographic info, "A Day in the Life" with images, Jefferson's West (Thomas Jefferson and the Lewis and Clark Expedition), an interactive floorplan, biographies of people who lived and worked at Monticello, an exhibit on Oral Histories, a narrative on slavery, picutres and descriptions of plants and gardens, recipes and more. 
http://www.monticello.org/

Ribbit's Math Ventures: Ribbit contains complex, life situated problems in mathematics.  Problems are grouped at Primary, Intermediate and Junior High.  Hop to it!
http://www.mohonasen.org/staffdev/mathven/Ribbit/rdefault.htm

Mountain Voices: How does development affect individuals in different countries?  Oral testimonies have been gathered from communities in the Himalayas, the Andes, the Sierra Norte, Mount Elgon, the highlands of Ethiopia and Lesotho, China, and more.  Students can learn of the past and present of many native peoples in the world, as well as the realities of the global economy in these regions. 
http://www.mountainvoices.org/

 

Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season!
From the Staff at Knowledge HQ

6713 No. Oliphant Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
P. 773-467-9640
F. 773-467-9740

Copyright © 2006 Knowledge HQ, Inc. All Rights Reserved.