Oops... I'm late! I should have had this written a few days ago. I was researching student creativity online and got caught up in articles about distractions of online research! I found a fascinating one from the New York Times. A writer spent months interviewing students at Woodside High School in our own Silicon Valley to get an idea of how the students are using (and abusing) their wired gadgets and how this use is affecting focus and school performance. I'm sure you can imagine what he found, but may still be unprepared for, say – Allison Miller, 14, who sends and receives 27,000 texts per month! There are statements in this report about the brain being re-wired and that the lack of downtime is not only affecting sleep, but the ability to process and remember information. Mr. Reilly, Woodside's principal states, "The technology has created on campuses a new set of social types — not the thespian and the jock but the texter and gamer, Facebook addict and YouTube potato." So, is technology a boon or a catastrophe on the school campus? Read more at Digital Distractions at Woodside. I have highlighted phrases for those of you who may be too distracted to read the entire article!

NOTICES: Pinecone dual-subject $50 discount ends March 31. Starting April 1, 2011, the dual-subject discount will be $20, or a total of $280 per month.

We will be closed on Thursday, April 28. Students will receive all their work on Tuesday for the week.

U.S. competing with India and China

childAddressing the National Governors' Association last week, President Obama said. "We now live in a world that's more connected and more competitive than ever before. When each of you tries to bring new jobs and new industries to your state, you're not just competing with each other but you're competing with China, you're competing with India, you're competing with Brazil, you're competing with countries all around the world." He added - "We need a skilled and educated workforce..."

President Obama has been increasingly strident and vocal in his exhortations to the American people about the challenges that face the country in the decades to come. He urges them to lay greater emphasis on education which will be the key to success in the country's future. His warnings are especially significant as other countries intent on earning a more significant global position have already put in place measures to fast track their educational systems. The goal is to be a force to contend with by the end of the decade.

Countries like China and India which have enormous populations and pose the biggest potential threat to the U.S. have already unveiled their policies aimed at achieving their long term objectives. While importance is being given to all levels of education the major thrust is focused on primary education as the foundation for future success.

At the Pinecone Learning Center, we have long been aware of the importance of the primary skills in future academic success. For this reason we endeavor to inculcate a mastery of Reading, Comprehension and Math in our students. We believe that if a student is proficient in these foundation skills, the chances of academic achievement are far greater regardless of whether the child suffers emotional or social problems. At the Pinecone Learning Center, we follow the Active Learning System of teaching as being the most proficient and successful teaching method known today. Active Learning is an interactive technique where a child masters a subject or topic more through self discovery by being fully involved. In this methodology the teacher assumes a more passive role as that of a guide, moderator and facilitator. Our experience has been similar that the active learning process stimulates a child's interest and so hones its skills. The child gets a better grasp of a topic, is able to assimilate it more effectively, apply it in actual practice and above all is able to retain the principles. We find that mastery of a topic makes for a happier more confident child with greater self-esteem. Our findings are in keeping with that of other institutions worldwide who have adopted this system of education for the results it achieves and the more advantaged students it produces.

At our learning center in San Jose, Ca we create an environment conducive to learning where a child is taken through the various subjects at a comfortable pace. Daily work assignments are tailored to each individual child so that the interest is sustained. Our expert teaching staff guides and motivates each student so that their attention and eagerness to grasp a topic is always sustained. A parent or ward can expect to see immediate improvement in many academic facets. The Pinecone Learning Center is the brainchild of Ms. Vivian Hobbs and educationist of repute. Ms. Hobbs participates actively in the running of the center. She has recently been nominated as the 'Best Private School Teacher'. Know more at For more details of the Pinecone Learning Center please visit


"Hi Vivian,

I just want to thank you for your unwavering encouragement and support that you have given to Alyssa, now and in the years past. I know Alyssa appreciates the fact you believe in her ability to complete the Math program. Last week I was amazed when she told me she would never be this far academically in math if it weren't for your program and that it has been worth the expense! She rarely expresses any feelings, so this was huge!

She probably hasn't told you, but she is working with a College Consultant (Carol Corcoran of Saratoga) to help determine her interests, skills and possible career options in order to apply to appropriate colleges. Your program will be a big "plus" in her applications and essays. It is so very interesting to see Alyssa's personally written profile and her Myer-Briggs results... she is leaning towards math-related fields such as business, economics, pre-law, etc., and this whole discovery process is very exciting! The program and your dedication to her progress are to be commended!

Alyssa also did very good with her SAT, SAT2 and AP Exam scores. It's unusual that she didn't do better in the math portion, though. She excelled in verbal. And in the AP Exams she scored two 5's which is very rare! If you would like any test results, please let me or Alyssa know."

~ Janie
Pinecone's Strategy

Pinecone's methodology is to run the two foundation programs of Math and Reading at a pace which allows the child to assimilate the subject matter and apply the new acquired skills to practical problem solving. The coaching is structured so that the child is able to reason for him/herself to achieve the highest level of comprehension. Regular practice and support instills self confidence and stimulates an eagerness to progress to the next level. Each student is groomed to anticipate and surmount hurdles consistent with present day education. The end result is a happy and confident child who is justifiably proud of his or her academic achievements.

For more details of this Bay Area teaching center and its unique, result-oriented teaching methodology please visit its website at Currently it offers some special discounts, details of which can be gotten by calling 408.270.4548.

About Vivian Hobbs

Ms. Hobbs is a qualified educator with an M.S. degree in Industrial Psychology and 30 years of experience in math and research design. Children's education and research into the best learning methods have always been at the forefront of her career.

Where can I learn more?

Pinecone Active Learning is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter. For further information on enrollment and fee structure, please call 408.270.4548 or visit the center's website at

For more on its unique tutoring methodology, please click on

Special Offer

Click the above image to open a printable PDF. Bring this coupon with you when you register your child and get $50 off on monthly tuition!

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