Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 141 March 18th 2007 - ICE IS MELTING




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo Library Humour

4. New Printables -  Dinosaurs

5. Technical Stuff - Internet Tip of the Week

6. Web Site Focus - Prejudice - No Way
7. Cathy's Forum - ICE IS MELTING

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. A lot of folk are still writing to me
about Global warming, The BBC Documentary -
The Great Global Warming Swindle aired this month, and is
worth viewing.  You all should be making up your own mind
but with enough information to do it, as should our students.
Disaster predictions are the bread and butter of modern
journalism, but the world will end scenarios have been in
existence for eternity. I somehow have great faith in humans
to find solutions for almost anything given the consideration
of the right information. I hope you view and enjoy the
The Great Global Warming Swindle.  Let me know our thoughts.
I have been getting a great many responses from you all
on a huge number of topics - great to see.  This is the forum for
spreading great ideas and teaching techniques that
inspire.  Hope to see more responses especially to the
forum this fortnight.



Hundreds of millions of people will soon perish in smog
disasters in New York and Los Angeles...the oceans will die
of DDT poisoning by 1979...the U.S. life expectancy will drop to
42 years by 1980 due to cancer epidemics.

- Paul Ehrlich, 1969 in Ramparts.


"According to a new U.N. report, the global warming outlook is
much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad
when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet."
--Jay Leno


The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear
war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.

- Nigel Calder, International Wildlife, June 1975


The rapid cooling of the earth since World War II is also in
accord with the increased air pollution associated with
industrialization, and an exploding population.

- Reid Bryson, "Environmental Roulette", 1971


3. WWWinfo Federation of Library Associations - Humour

A must for every library.

Library Principles for Students, from the Old Testament
by Jim Farrington, based on "Lamentations of the father"
by Ian Frazier Of the beasts of the field, and of the
fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in
my sight you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers,
you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese,
you may eat, but not in the Library……….


4. NEW PRINTABLES Fossil Coloring Pages

Dinosaur Interactive Coloring Book


You can browse the short tips by category, post your comments,
and sign up to receive one in your email box each week.



Hi Cathy,

Guess what? The "Prejudice - No Way" book I co-wrote in
2003 has been launched as a website. It was launched on
Friday ... and can be accessed at


I am so excited! So lovely to think all that work will be easily
accessible for teachers and students.



Check out this site it is clear and simple to use

designed for K-3 It deals with the issues of prejudice, similiarities
and differences, stereotyping, and the impact these things have.
It goes a long way to developing a values education in the
early grades and is a great jumping off point for dealing with
bullying as well.



Ice is Melting
Sea is rising
Hurricanes are Blowing



don't be

it's not true

"we're just being told lies"


UK Documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle

British TV, Channel 4

1 hr 13 min 32 sec - 8/03/2007

Video results for 'the global warmin...'

Why does this matter?  Jingoistic politicised opinion is contagious.

It passes through social groups like the plague, it is based on
adopting other people's opinions and not thinking for yourself.
Wholesale adoption of the current politically correct opinion is
just plain lazy. Thinking and researching and working out
your own opinion leads to better thinking, better opinions,

and hugely better solutions.

Just think what a difference it would make if we sacked all
the climatologists, and ploughed the money into education.

Maybe it's just what education needs, some impending disaster
propaganda. What do you think we should go with:-
Lowering of educational standards leads to infertility and the
inevitable demise of the human race.

Continued education where power and control are vested with
the teacher and not the students will lead to a generation of
drugged out suicidal adults who will die before their parents.
Some year 11 suggestions:-

When kids feel bad about learning it lowers their immune
systems making the susceptible to disease and early death.

Children who use pen and paper have a higher risk
of ink poisoning.

Does it Matter? It sure does. Send you responses in.

What do you think our political agenda should be?
Or should we depoliticise these issues?


Here's another version of the above from the school of,
don't think just follow :-


Hi Cathy,  

I always enjoy your e-mag and would love to see more
discussion on your topics.


I heard a comment on the radio this morning that went
something like this..."To be considered a quality teacher
all you have to do is go along with the prevailing culture
of the majority of teachers at the school." In the context
of teaching and learning, and the current discussions of
performance pay and principals choosing their own staff
what do you think of this comment? Will anyone then be
brave enough to challenge the "We've always done it
this way" staff?

Name NFP



Dear Cathy,

I read the comments about cheating with great interest
and a lot of fellow sympathy. 

I agree that students seem to think that copying is okay. 
I teach Year Seven and I follow this process with
my students.  When they do an assignment,

they must submit all notes, drafts and complete
bibliographies with their final products.  While it
adds to my workload, the students are aware that these will

actually be checked.  Focusing on helping students
to take notes using key words and phrases supports this.
This process seems to greatly cut down on

copying and also avoids parent ‘help’.  As primary
teachers we have a greater degree of control over the
process of assignment writing, teaching students

to refine their skills.  High school teachers don’t have this luxury.


Cathy Mac


To over come some of the "cut and pasting" from the
internet many schools are using an anti-plagiarism program
such as Turn It In. Although these programs can be got
around it is a deterrent to most students.


A better solution is for teachers to be more careful
when setting research tasks. With a little thought,
copying from the internet and from others can

be overcome. Perhaps setting individual assignments
in secondary school is easier than in primary, but a
simple example for primary school would be

instead of setting an assignment about a particular
animal's habitat, food, lifecycle-


"Write a newspaper report about a koala(each student
gets a different animal) being dropped off the back of
a truck in the middle of Hong Kong"


Lorraine Kennedy

Hong Kong


I still believe that trust is the only way to go with students.

If students value their work if they see what they are doing
as worthwhile, important work, the work of the child, student
is meaningful and has value beyond marks and grades,
it has value to them and to society in general, then trust
seems to follow.  The onus shouldn't be on the teacher,
but on the student.


Hi Cathy and others. I read the last virtual newsletter and was

disappointed with it's content. "Does it Matter? It sure does.
Send you responses in.???

Should students think or follow?" The article should not have been posted

in it's current form. I am quite happy to follow links people send to

further my knowledge and that of my students. Do not
underestimate that which is obvious.

If it is obvious it may be true................Thank you Al Gore. He

didn't say that but it may be true.

This site is one I am sure I learned from here but in case you forgot.....
That one is a lot of fun. Here is a scary one in the attachment.


James Stewart

Kidman Park Primary School

The attachment James refers to is at
Frightening it is, working with climate change over the last
100 years only.
There is no doubting that the climate is changing. The Earth's
climate is changing, is dynamic and will continue to change.


Hi Cathy,

I think our planet is dying 'a death by a thousand cuts.'
Global warming is only one of many problems contributing
to an overload on the world's resources. I find the accelerated
extinction of so many plants and animals disturbing and the
'development' rhetoric implausible. Sure the planet won't
'die,' and many technological solutions to environmental
problems will be found. And yes, the world will always
change but it has never had so many humans in the
driving seat before. Children in third world countries
who live on garbage dumps is not a jingoistic message
about the future, it's now.


I agree with you that we should teach children to think
about the simplistic approach of politicians and the media,
but at least the environment is on the agenda and green
no longer equals loony. Have you seen the latest projects
to turn off lights for an hour? Lights use so little power
compared to heating, cooling, hot water, cooking,
refrigeration etc. Maybe we should turn off ALL the
power for a day! (What, no computers?!!!)


Sue Piggott




The age of the dinosaurs was a previous period of global
warming. It promoted the growth and development of
one of the most successful species on earth.

Fossils Facts and Finds
This site is all about fossils. It is especially for teachers, students, and homeschoolers who want to put some fun into their earth science classes.
Some  of the more unusual features include Fossil Coloring Pages, printable Fossil Word Searches and Crossword Puzzles, and Extreme Fossil Facts ("Titanites are often two feet in diameter.") For printable booklets that elementary age students can illustrate themselves, look in the Montessori Materials section.

Dinosaur Jokes

Fossils, Rocks and Time


Reproduced from a free print publication of the U.S. Geological
Survey, this online booklet is a marvellous introduction,
in non-technical language, to how geologists study fossils
to learn about the earth's history. "People who study
Earth's history also use a type of calendar, called the
geologic time scale. It looks very different from the familiar
calendar. In some ways, it is more like a book, and the
rocks are its pages. Some of the pages are torn or
missing, and the pages are not numbered, but
geology gives us the tools to help us read this book."


Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs



Cathy, I found the articles in the Pass-Ed
site current and timely.  I teach Technology to junior high

students in Arizona so I immediately went to Andrew's

Science and Tech link.  Would I visit it?  Perhaps to look at what

articles he has pulled out, since I have done a similar activity with my

students for over 10 years.  Getting students to think critically is

something I think we can all agree is one of our major undertakings as

teachers.  In the future, knowing "facts" won't be as important as knowing

how to locate them and use them.  Terrie Rust


I agree Terri, knowing how to locate them as well as to think

critically about them.

Hi, Cathy,


The letter written by Andrew Pass was very interesting. 
I checked out his website, and it is quite thorough and
presents great curriculum ideas.


Along the lines of using current events for teaching different
disciplines, the New York Times Learning Network is excellent. 
I have used it often and successfully with all of my students. 
The website is:

Hoping other teachers will enjoy these two sites as much as I.

Warm regards,

Nancy S-G


Thanks for this one Nancy, a lot of interesting articles, and
there is also the option of sending letters in for publication.


10.  NEXT ISSUE - I am having a shot at Open Thinking - any
thoughts on this one. ciao Cathy


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!!!


12. TIPS

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


4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in

this newsletter.

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


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