Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 58  September 20th 2002 – SPAM SPAM thankyou MA'AM




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo

4. New Printables -  Excel  Age in years and Months

5. Technical Stuff – Handwriting Plus K-6

6. Web Site Focus – Real Life Maths

7. Digital Movies

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips



SPAM SPAM SPAM - and the truth about roaring penguins.

SPAM Assassin is the culprit. If you find your emails reduced to

gobblygook, your ISP has installed this rather useless invasive

software.  Read about how SPAM Assassin software is interfering

with your email.  Write to your ISP and ask them to leave your

opt in emails like Virtual Teacher, alone.  I am getting more and

more complaints from subscribers about receiving scrambled

emails.  It is not VT but your ISP who controls this. Subscribers

of the world unite and protest this relentless SPAM assassin onslaught.

VT will take a break over the school holidays and be back on

Friday 18th October.  Have a great break.



"There are 10 kinds of people in the world:  those who

understand binary, and those who don't." . - DK


Quick end of Term quiz full of Smarrrrrty Pants Questions.

Q1: What do you put in a toaster?

Q2: Say "silk" five times.  Now, spell "silk."  What do cows


Q3: If a red house is made with red bricks, a blue house is

made with blue bricks, a pink house is made with pink bricks,

a black house is made with black bricks, what is a greenhouse

made with?

Q4: Twenty years ago, a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over

Germany.  If you will recall, Germany at the time was

politically divided into West Germany and East Germany.

Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the engines fail. The

pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also

failing, decides on a crash landing.  Unfortunately, the

engine fails before he has time and the plane crashes smack

in the middle of "no-man's-land" between East Germany and

West Germany.  Where would you bury the survivors - East

Germany or West Germany or in "no-man's-land?"


Q5:  If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60th of a degree every

minute, then how many degrees will the hour hand move in one



Q6: Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from

London to Milford Haven in Wales.  In London, 17 people get

on the bus. In Reading, six people get off the bus and nine

people get on.  In Swindon, two people get off and four get

on.  In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on.

In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on. In

Carmathen, six people get off and three get on.  You then

arrive at Milford Haven.  Now, what was the name of the bus




A1: Bread.  Toast, is the usual answer.

A2: Cows drink water.

A3: Greenhouses are made from glass.

A4:  You don't, of course, bury the survivors.

A5: One degree.

A6:  Oh, for Heaven's sake... It was you!


3. WWWInfo One I really rather like is the Guinness Book of


this week their cover story is on the 'Most Hand amputations

on the one hand" and the guy is smiling.  My daughter recently

used it to look up extreme facts about Pizza.  interestingly

enough there seems to be nothing human beings haven't

done extremely fast, big, tall, and long.  this is a really good

site for working on superlatives.  Giggafloppingly Brilliant.



Excel Template for Calculation Years and months given

a child's birthdate. Includes formulas. DO NOT CLICK TO

OPEN THIS LINK, rather:-

GOTO Teacher Tools,

Goto Programming documents, Goto Excel Template,

download this link by right clicking on the mouse and select,

download link to disk.(for mac just hold the mouse down and

dialogue box will come up). After downloading open file in

Microsoft Excel.

ref Stephen Loosley Vermont Secondary and

oz-teachers The Australian Teachers' Community digest


5. TECHNICAL STUFF - Handwriting Plus K – 6

Is a new series of books from Horwitz Martin Education I have

just recently had the pleasure of consulting on. Excellent artwork,

creative, amusing handwriting books for Australian Schools. 

What is the ‘PLUS’ bit you say, included in the center of each

book is a ‘computer activity zone’. This excellent little section

includes about 30 computer activities.  These activities can be

completed on  to generic programs, and provide an excellent

springboard for a complete year in ICT.  Coded links across all

KLA’s are given, which greatly assists with programming. 

The activities are not too wordy and by year 1 or 2 students

should be able to read the activities and complete many

independently. Try out the “Fab Presentation!”, ‘Amazing

Acrostics”, “Monster Magic” and “Mad Measurements”.


The excellent illustrations,

The jokes along the way,

The concise format.

The creative ideas for computer activities.

The task steps for computer activities start with 3 steps only

and progress to simple 5-6 steps only for each task.

Teachers notes are concise and helpful,

The KLA integration matrix makes programming easier.

This little book could be used to provide a complete ICT

program for a year.

Cost $9.25

Who to purchase from?

(1) Educational bookshops, major book retailers including

Dymocks and A&R.

(2) Directly from Horwitz Education

All books will be published ready for Term 4 2002 / October

2002 for use in



Free Programs to download entire Websites – this is particularly

useful if you want to use a site offline for an entire class.  You can

download at copy it to the network or CD. Will not download

interactive server sided material


HTTrack website copier for pc available from


Adobe Roadshow is coming up in October - Registration

will be available from

So Keep your eye on this site. It's FREE, and these are usually great.


6. WEBSITE FOCUS – Interactive Real Life Maths

I checked my list of interactive math sites to find some life skills

oriented ones for Dean.  A few are:

Math In Every Day Life:

Interactive Math Lessons With A Problem Solving Approach:

Tax Interactive IRS - USA

Hopefully, these are the type of sites Dean is looking for, and

that they will help with building his collection.    .... Nancy S-G


Beenleigh High School maths

Primary Resources online Activities

Online Maths Games from the BBC



I have had a lot of questions about digital video and editing

over the last fortnight, so thought I would give you some of

Cathy's tips.


1. Mac's are great for this with IMOVIE and Firewire it's the

simplest way to introduce digital editing to Primary school children.

 If you don't have Mac's get them for digital editing.

2. The latest EMAC, is the best value deal in town, retails here

for around $2,200AUD

It's perfect for doing the job.

3. You will probably need extra storage, an 80gig firewire

drive should do the trick.

4. The CANON DM- MV 500i

is an excellent  little camera, and retails for around $1,300AUD. 

It had firewire in and out( allowing import onto your Mac and

export back to the  camera after editing). Also allows playback

in analogue on your VCR or TV, you can then record to VHS

if you like. Downside is  short battery life.  Other cameras do

this, make sure yours has the DV export facility.

5. Buy a tripod, even though the cameras are small, taking good

video requires a tripod.


6. Don't fiddle with:-setting time and date, in camera features

such as fadein/fadeout, sepia etc.

7. Do fiddle with lighting setups like backlight, daylight, nightime.

8. Avoid using zoom while you are filming, zoom in frame your

shot, them shoot with steady zoom.  Zooming on small cameras

will be shakey and uneven so unless this is the effect you want,


9. Avoid attempts at handheld camera movement to follow action.

Unless you want that particularly distinctive wobbly effect,

commonly called wobble-cam. Use a tripod.  If you don't have

a tripod support the camera securely on a nearby shoulder,

knee or available furniture.


10. First have a fiddle around, let the kids have a fiddle around,

cover the school concert, assembly or sports carnival.

11. Do the  IMOVIE Tutorial, in the Help menu of IMOVIE.

.............More on Editing next newsletter.  You'll just have to

wait.  Meantime here's a site to get you moving:-


Everything you could ever want to know about digital Video

Digital Video



Using Live Insects in Elementary Classrooms for Early Lessons in Life

This site, created by the Center for Insect Science Education Outreach

at the University of Arizona, is online curriculum and resources

developed to support K-3 teachers interested in moving from a

traditional textbook-driven curriculum to a more integrated, hands on,

inquiry approach. This site contains  twenty integrated lessons with

science and math activities that use live insects

Early Childhood and Elementary


Great Lesson Plans graded with excellent suggestions.


REAL GEM  - The Astsongbook - a whole heap of songs about astronomy with guitar chords and all the words.



Tips for Better Writing


Colours for 5-6 year olds the colorworm site at

These are some excellent resources .....



What's your favorite OLogy? If you are fascinated with spiders, then

you're into ARACHNOLOGY. If you erupt with joy for volcanoes, then

VOLCANOLOGY is your thing. If you're completely wowed by planets and

stars, then you love ASTRONOMY. Brought to you by the National Museum of

National History.


Click on the button "2Minute Science Log" and listen to the

coolest science news of the week...


Extreme Survival

Extreme stories about suvival against all odds. Read about it here and add your own story.


A School for Iqbal - A Bullet Can't Kill A Dream

This site is an outstanding example of how the Web is about people and

reaching out (not bandwidth and AUPs). Iqbal Masih was sold into child

bonded labor at 4 years of age for the equivalent of $12. He escaped at

age 10 and began to speak out against child slavery. He won the Reebok

Human Rights Youth in Action Award 1994 and on Easter Sunday, 1995, he

was murdered. Students at Broadmeadow Middle School formed a campaign to

help fight for Iqbal's Dream. Also look to the Atlantic Monthly's

exhaustive and persuasive article, Child Labor in Pakistan by Jonathan

Silvers. Teachers and students could use the Iqbal site as inspiration

Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, High School,





I seem to have missed number 1of the Powerpoint tips?  I looked back

through the old newsletters and couldn't find it after seeing this one was

called number 2.  Maybe I accidentally deleted it.  Do you remember

which newsletter number 1 was in - or is the newsletter archived so I

can still find it?  If so, could you please tell me which one?

Many thanks



Hi Jude

PowerPoint 1


To find things on the site use the 'google search engine for

Virtual Teacher on the directory page



Dear Cathy,

Some info for Murray on the Brumbies.  Australia's wild horses are not descendents of WW1 Lighthorse Mounts  Don Bourke has been

repeatedly told this and continues to distribute false information

about Brumbies.  Of course Brumbies are a part of our heritage and l

egend but they really are a bunch of escaped and let loose horses,

some of who are severely inbred.  I am a horse lover, owner and

breeder and can sympathise with your feelings but feel it is important

for you to look at both sides of the story.  If you want some accurate

info email Robert Thomas, Australian Historian at   He has researched this topic for the Australian Stock Horse Society

and The Lighthorse Association of Australia.

Rachel Whiting


Dear Cathy, I have just unsubscribed your newsletter because of the

scrambling. I love the information you present and will look the newsletter

up on your website. Keep up the great website.

Regards Chris

Yes, my school address is a CEO catholic education site


Hi Chris,

Can you subscribe via a yahoo or other freemail account and

see if it still happens - I'd love to know how common this is. 

Seems to be when folk start to use SPAM software.  I'd like to

get on the 'white list' for these folk.




hi cathy,

thanks for the excellent newsletter. i have passed it on to all my

friends who are doing thier internship at the same time as me.


I'm about to finish up my internship at the end of this term, so will

then be a fully qualified teacher. (Yay!!!) I will be doing supply

teaching next term, until i start full time next year, so i was wondering

if you know of any good sites for supply teachers, with tips, ideas, etc.

your help would be very much appreciated.


Hi Keldie,

Most of the material on my site would site, particularly the

prepared lessons pages lie the one above for maths.

Primary Resources online Activities

If you have access to computers some of theprepared lessons at:-

may help.

Some of the BM’s here maybe useful

Teacher’s will often leave work to be complete.  I have found

if I have a great book to read(appropriate to children’s age),

something fun with maths, some singing games, and a really

cool writing activity, things will un very smoothly.


Cathy, I have enjoyed your e-letter for some time.  You have even posted a

response or two I've sent to one of your readers.  I have a question for you

or, if you think it would be beneficial, for your readers.  I am a graduate

student researching the teaching (or not!) of Internet ethics and etiquette

in secondary schools.  What I'd like to find out is if any of your readers

teach these topics to their students, and if so, in what grades?  Also, if

respondents are located, they may be asked to participate in a survey about

the success of their programs.  The premise is that businesses want students

to know about these topics, but from what has already been researched, it

doesn't appear as if it's being taught in any organized fashion in most

schools!  I'd like to find out if people are teaching it and the specifics

and demographics of their course.  Teachers worldwide can respond.  This is

not limited to the United States.

Can you help?  Thanks!

Terrie Rust


10.  NEXT ISSUE - Using Excel tips and tricks.  Digital photograph part 2

– The great adventure.  Have a great break.  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