Virtual Teacher Newsletter May 26th , 2000 No. 6
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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
2. Mind Candy
3. Home Schooling
4. Technical Stuff- Take a Snapshot of your Mac computer
5. Word 2000
6. Reconciliation Week
7. Great Sites to Check Out
8. Reader's Comments
9 Reader's Requests
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
1. Welcome everyone. These last 2 weeks have flown by. I have been
wrangling with Office 2000, particularly word 2000, and we finally
have a working relationship, but I must admit we weren't on speaking
terms for several days. I will be working on some activities for
"Frontpage" for the next issue so if you have any good web publishing
ideas for students or even examples of students published websites
send them along. There are a number of website publishing
competitions available to schools at the moment so I will also be
looking at those. Have a great fortnight.
2. Mind Candy 2
"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food
and clothes." -Erasmus
ICQ # 4622655
Here's some great fodder for some creative writing on the
explanations of old sayings and traditions. Invent anything as an
explanation for an old saying, 'the truth will be stranger'.
Life in the 1500s
....................... England is old and small, and they started
running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins
and would take the bones to a house and reuse the grave. In reopening
these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks
on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive.
So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the dead
person and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and
tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all
night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they
would know that whether someone was "saved by the bell" or whether he
was a "dead ringer".
Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul
nobler and stronger than it was before.
- James Buckham
"D. Prince" <email@example.com>
3. Home Schooling
Here's a great collections of resources for Home schoolers as
promised, Thanks Kathy.
I am on this list and this is where
I get most of my homeschool links)
"Kathy Young" <KATHY.YG@prodigy.net>
4. Technical Stuff
Take a snapshot of the screen on a Mac by pressing 'apple' + 'shift +
3. This is a great tool. Take a snapshot of the screen and ask the
students to identify and explain all the buttons, toolbars and menus
for any new program. Once they have worked all this out they have a
really good idea of the interface for the new program. The last
lesson I did in this way was loads of fun and the students found it a
great adventure - exploring the screen rather than reading about it.
How do you do this on a Windows system? Email me if you know so I
can include it next issue.
5. Word 2000
Well here it is some info on word 2000.
I must admit this program
has driven me nuts. From the relative smooth sailing of Word '97 on
Windows to Word '98 on Mac, I have had no end of trouble with 2000.
Kill clippy was the first momentous task I performed. Clippy is like
some demanding schoolchild who's always there trying to be a smart
alek all the time, always with the questions and not enough answers,
I'd much rather use the help menu. Then the smart updating of the
menus according to usage frequency drove me nuts, so I set my
preferences back to Word '97.(Choose tools, Customize, click on the
Options tab, and clear the checkmark from the menus recently Used
Commands First box)(To change to Word '97 style, choose Tools,
Customize, click on the Options tab, and uncheck the Standard and
Formatting Toolbars Share One Row box). If its 3rd on the menu it
stays 3rd on the menu, none of this moving around so you can't find
Initially my File and Format menus hived off somewhere. I still
don't know where they went, so I have had to reload the program
again. In desperation I tried to uninstall Word 2000 - but this was
With the new reload and tamed clippy and menus, we are now progressing nicely.
Word '2000 is compatible across both platforms and will accept and
save files to many more formats than previously. The Save as HTML
offers students a quick and easy way to publish pages for the
Here are some ideas you might like to try:-
Here's a printout about getting started
with Word. I used in it on
the Mac '98 version. Each computer has a copy - when children go to
the computer they can check these instructions if they get stuck.
Here's another activity - The WordArt Challenge. Try it out and
print it out - change it. Pin these up around the computer so that
the children always have an activity when they have computer time.
Here's some other sites for more information:-
Our complete coverage of Microsoft Office 2000 is here! Find
out everything you need to know... and more.
Microsoft Office 2000 Overview
To get an idea of how much there is to cover in Office 2000: The new
Premium Edition includes no fewer than ten primary applications
and consumes as much as 526MB of hard disk space...
Take the Microsoft Office Tour
Microsoft Office 2000 PC
'98 for Mac
Additional clip art downloadable from net
Microsoft Educational Mactopia - free downloads,
6. Reconciliation Week
This Sunday marks the beginning of Reconciliation Week in Australia,
there will be a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and many
activities during next week.
Here are a few sites about reconciliation and Aboriginal culture in Australia.
Reconciliation in the ACT
What is it?
What can we do?
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
AboriginalAustralia.com This site offers
a number of
teaching/learning ideas. Many ideas from children.
The History of the Koori People of the Dandenong - Pakenham region.
Roebourne Primary School - find out about
How do you skin a Kangaroo?
What does the Aboriginal Flag look like?
Use the aboriginal dictionary.
Visit Nhulunbuy - a School in Arnhem Land
What is Arnhem land like?
7. Great Sites to Check Out
Great Site for Clipart all free. The categories
curriculum subjects. There are some restrictions ie limit of 10
clipart pieces and crediting - please read copyright info at the site.
You can send your students here regularly
- great problems every
month - they can go online - follow the instructions and answer
the questions. Suitable for 5-10 year olds
Suitable for 11-12 year olds
Some great lesson Plans
Some more great lesson plans searchable
by grade/subject and keyword.
8. Readers Comments
Thank you for allowing me to share your most-informative site.
You have restored my faith in the human race. I am a recently-retired
educator/administrator with a new computer. Your creativeness should not go
unnoticed. For designing this comprehensive offering, you should be highly
You are going to enjoy a rainbow-filled future !
Fantastic job you are doing.
(Hope this doesn't sound too picky - I do appreciate the amount of
work you put into this newsletter)
But in reference to the above item I thought that the term IBM
compatible had been overtaken by the term PC given that IBM is only
one in a series of computer hardware manufacturers. People I
communicate with seem to use PC and MAC to describe the two types of
Interestingly enough, the older power Macs were called 'Power PC's so
I guess I tend to distinguish the machines that way. The correct way
is probably to distinguish them according to their operating systems
- Windows or MacOS. The grape vine has it that the Mac OS X will be
able to operate on IBM computers in the not too distance future so it
will confuse everything again. But not really, I have always
preferred the Mac OS interface, so it will be great to operate it on
both types of computers.
"The new alphabet book by Gisela Hausmann
aptly titled "Obvious
Letters" will quickly become a treasure to both children and their
caregivers" Maries Wiseman, Canada - check it out at
I enjoy reading your e-zine because, like
teachers in other environments, I'm interested in covering various subjects
in interesting and memorable ways.
I am a new subscriber and wanted to express how thrilled I was to see
something about homeschooling in the latest issue! I am gearing up to
homeschool my 5 year old (kindergarten) this year and am looking
forward to more issues of your newsletter!
Keep up the good work!
9. Readers Requests
As a PE specialist teaching Art I need all the help I can get with
topic Ideas and how to incorporate the CSF into my lessons. Any
Thank you for all your trouble. I have been curious, since this has
never happened before to me (and I've been online quite awhile). But the
problem seems to have been mine! If anyone else complains, tell them to
click on "View" on the top of the screen and to undo the check mark next
to "View Attachment Inline". This reduced everything (your letter too)
to an attachment, which, when opened, was clear reading.
I really appreciate all your trouble and apologize for the extra
By the way, I was a foreign exchange student to Australia in 1968. I
love your country! I attended Orange High School in Orange, NSW at that
time. What a great experience.
Thanks again, for all your help. I'll be more careful about jumping
to conclusions in future!
Other subscribers who are having trouble with their email might like
to try Jean's idea. Please let me know if you are having any trouble
receiving Virtual Teacher.
10. Next Issue Virtual Teacher will take a look at Art and Craft resources
on the web. I am also looking to review some great school
sites, so if your school has a good site send along the URL and I
will review it here, so far I have had no response to GOOD SCHOOL
SITE requests, are there any out there?? Send this newsletter along
to 20 friends, they'll appreciate the help and ideas. Send in your
requests, and comments, and please correct any errors I may make, or
any great ideas you have. I would like to expand the teacher tools
section, so if you have any great ideas just send them to me as a
.doc, html, or pdf or just as a cut and paste to an email.
11. Code of the 'Netizens'
This Newsletter is not free, despite the misleading advertising above.
The Fee is now due. Each week you must help one colleague on the
internet who has less knowledge than you. Help that person even if
you have to visit their classroom or do a little research and get
back to them. Trust me, this will help a lot of people get their
computer classrooms running better.
OK I'm trusting you!!!
1. Double click on highlighted URLS to open in browser.
2. Send in your Questions, Questions will be published with Answers,
send in your Answers, if you have expertise to share.
3. Nominate a brilliant site for review and inclusion in this newsletter.
4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in this
5. Make contact with other schools using fantastic programs.
6. Prepare and innovative article for this newsletter.
7. Tell 2 colleagues about this newsletter.
The opinions expressed here are purely those of the editor, Cathy
Brown. All other small print clauses apply. Such as: Use at your own
risk. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If it doesn't work for you send
me an email.
Editor: cathy brown mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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