Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 68  arch 28th, 2003 ­ SURPRISTY




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  TESSELLATIONS

5. Technical Stuff ­ Apple Site and Coferences

6. Web Site Focus ­ Laugh at Work Week

7. Drawing Cartoons

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE.  Itıs the Easter break here in Sydney.

VT will be taking a break to, the next issue will be out on May 2nd.

As you will see I havenıt covered Databases in this issue, I will

leave them till after the holidays.  I was sidetracked with some

wonderful tessellations.  The printout is a tessellation, and there

are also some wonderful Tessellation sites, which I have added

to the VT site, including moving tessellations.  The standout site

of the month is the Panoramas,

youıll love them, a free holiday for those not actually leaving

town this Easter.

Have a great break.



Schools should be a mirror of a future society.'        Anon


I touch the future. I teach.


'As a child lives today he will live tomorrow'                John Dewy


Chaos breeds life while order breeds habits'           Henry Adams.


'It takes a whole village to raise a child.'        African saying


It's not the biggest, the brightest, or the best that will survive,

but those who adapt the quickest'.        Charles Darwin


'To raise new questions, new problems, to regard old problems from

a new angle requires creative imagination and makes real advances'

Albert Einstein


' Education for the future has left the harbour and is already

on the open seas. Some educators are still clinging to the

belief that the ship hasn't left and are invested in business

as usual. Some educators are enjoying the freedom of the

open seas .... excited about the foreign ports and places

they will visit '

Renata and Geoffrey Caine


3. WWWInfo - Panoramas - They're fantastic!!!!

This is a fantasic site  high on the WOW! factor.

Just click on some of the panoramas - the pyramids,

La Tour Eiffel - The Eiffel Tower - Paris

Niagara Cascade at Reunion Island

Inside Dr. Rileys Mouth

Time Square

You will need the quicktime to view this site, the latest

Free download is at:-



Make your own using Paint.



Apple website info Education - Especially for Australia - review

distinguished schools program


Visions & Reflections, the 24th annual National Educational Computing


The 24th annual National Educational Computing Conference

(NECC) is presented by the International Society for Technology

 in Education (ISTE) in conjunction with the Northwest Council for

Computer Education (NCCE).  It will be held in Seattle, June 29

through July 2, at the Washington Convention & Trade Center. 

You may pre-register now through June 18 at


Australian Computers in Education Conference

To join this list send a blank email to

The manager of this list is Kerrie Smith

The Australian Computers in Education Conference (ACEC2004) biennial

National Conference will be held in Adelaide in July 2004. ACEC2004 will

cater for educators who use computers in their teaching from K-tertiary.

Why not take a holiday in South Australia and participate in a vibrant

and inspiring computers in education conference? An Information

Distribution email list has been created to distribute information on

a regular basis to possible presenters, participants and sponsors.

It will alert you to progress in planning, paper submission

deadlines, and registration information.


World Environment Day (WED)

World Environment Day (WED) will be celebrated on June 5,

2003 and this year's theme is "Water ? Two Billion People

Are Dying For It". The  United Nations Environment Programme

is preparing a booklet to be used  for  environmental education

programmes in and out of school settings among

children and youth.


15th Biennial World Conference for Gifted Education

 Date : Friday, 01 August 2003

Venue : Convention  Centre, Adelaide, Australia


Our Children of the Future 3

Date : Thursday, 01 May 2003

Venue : Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia


12th State Conference of the Queensland Association for Gifted & Talented Children

Date : Friday, 16 May 2003

Venue : QUT, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia


Island Journeys : a quest for inspiration

Date : Thursday, 02 October 2003

Venue : Wrest Point Casino, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


6. WEBSITE FOCUS ­  Websites for 2 - 7 year olds

Som fantastic letter templates, links and ideas at this site.

Printouts are exceptional

Games Themes and Resources

Interesting Site, some great ideas and resources

World of Peter Rabbit

Crayola Site, Craft Printouts, sections for Educators and parents

Printouts and Games, Fairly commercial, however if your

Children are keen on the Wiggles, this may be just the ticket.

ABC has some great activities, hereıs the link to the games page.

Fantastic Site, often mentioned in VT, great info, great printouts.

Some Great Games and activities here, my children love the

Little Animals Activities Centre

Loads of fun great resources



STARS is a student tracking and reporting system that is easy

and effective. Designed for K - 6 NSW Primary

schools, it is a database entry for Maths and English allowing

data analysis across the school, over time.  Curriculum outcomes

for these 2 Key curriculum areas are updated with syllabus

changes and include all outcomes for these 2 subject areas.

Other areas can included in the 4 page report document.  The

cover and backpage can be personalized by the schools

themselves as these are word templates.  The 2 internal pages

include the maths and science data entry results shown as

heavy line, referencing grade level and WT,(working toward)

A (achieved) indicators. There is room for comments as well as

other subject reporting.

STARS streamlines the process of recording and reporting on

student progress. It provides teachers with a time-efficient and

 manageable way to map kids. Itıs as simple to use as handling

your email!  The philosophy underpinning STARS was developed by

Dr David Cullen, the Principal of Narrabri West public School

from 1998 to 2000.

I liked this program ­ it is particularly suitable for reports for years

2-6, for lower grades there is little movement on the

outcomes for the first 2 years of school, however teachers

in these grades can still input  information for Maths and

Science.  Take a look at this program if you are considering

a reporting package to provide statistical cross grade information

for your school.  Download the brochure at:-

A free demo CD is also available.




Famous Trials

An interesting resource from Doug Linder, faculty, University of

Missouri Kansas City. A straight-forward homepage full of thumbnails

that lead to various trials throughout history. From Socrates to OJ

Simpson, you'll find timelines, photos, excerpts from the trial, maps

and other pertinent materials. You also find thought-provoking sections

such as Exploring Constitutional Conflicts nad Searching for Evil. But

wait,There's More will lead you to other trial links.

This is a fascinating site ­ looking at polyhedra, puzzles, it is interactive and addictive.


Strategies for teaching Reading in the middle years.


Great maths site - Enquiring into number Thingys ­ Tackling someof Mathematics baffling problems ­ from a simple easy to understand perspective.



Hi Cathy

I am a new Music Specialist and wondered if you could suggest some helpful sites for teaching music to primary school students.




Hi Anne,

2 sites I like are at:-


Cathy, I'd like to reply to another Terrie who asked about instruction for

Microsoft Access.  Our school district has start-to-finish tutorial lesson

plans for teachers on our district web site.  Please refer your readers to


We teach Access to our sixth graders.

Terrie Rust



I have been integrating technology within my curriculum

for some time now and am on many mailing lists such as your

own, but I have to say, your page is the one I look forward to

 receiving the most.  It is written so teachers without a

vast technology experience can understand what to do and

for this reason Ipass it along to my colleagues.


In the school board where I teach (Halifax Regional School

Board, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, many of the junior highs

have adopted the middle school philosophy.  It is within this

approach that my team person and I work.  We

are in a technology rich school with an LCD/VCR/laptop/2

ps'c/printer/scanner in each classroom, as well as , a pod area

with 16 computers that 4 - grade 7 classes share.  They are

situated in the centre of the 4 classes with a wall of windows

from each class facing the computers so the students are visible at

all times.  The school also has a well equipped computer

lab (32 computers) with a SMART Board. Not all schools in

 Nova Scotia have this amount of technology, but thanks to

a Federal Government Initiative, all have enough

technology within each school plus are completely wired

for adequate technology integration. 


I am impressed with Australia's leading edge technology

approach.  You are by far, ahead of Canada.


I am writing to you because you requested pictures of what

was going on in classrooms around the world.  My team

person and I just finished an Interdisciplinary Unit with

water as the theme.


We regrouped our 51 seventh graders, opened up the

removeable wall between our classrooms, and began the

unit 3 weeks ago, with our finishing day on Friday. The kids

love these units with teacher as facilitator as they construct

new knowledge.  I always take pictures as the kids work, but

have few that really show them using the technology, as I

guess now I take that for granted, but here is a page of pictures

I took during the unit.  Part of the time was during our Winter

Carnival, so you will have to pardon hats, painted faces, etc.

Again, let me say thanks to you for a job well done!


P.S.  A site that many of our newbies into technology like

is created by a Canadian teacher and Technology Coordinator,

Pete McKay and is called The Teacher List.  After one subscribes,

a worthwhile Internet site is emailed to them daily.


Hi Ellen,

Thanks for the info and great letter.  The pictures look great,

seems like you are doing a really fantastic job in inspiring your

students.  More of this needs to happen.  I am preparing a

seminar session shortly and with your permission would love

to use some of you shots in the session - this type of info needs

 to be past on so that everyone can realize the possibilities.


As to the tone of the newsletter - I believe computers should

make life easier, more efficient and fun.  Computers aren't

complicated and if programs and explanations make them

appear that way, those program and explanations need to be

discarded.  I like it simple fun and attainable.


HI Cathy

Great site and newsletter-

The Library Software I use is Bookmark- an unsophisticated

software VERY suitable for Primary Schools (where, in Victoria,

 we have a lot of untrained Librarians.) You could find out more

about it from Barry or Gary at Book Mark Library Services on

03 9886 1290. Their back up service is FANTASTIC- no , this

is not a paid commercial!!

Mary Adler

Hughesdale Primary School


Dear Cathy,

Unsure as to whether you can help me - I have an assignment

 to do regarding the effectiveness of student portfolio's.

Unfortunately I am having difficulty getting information.

Have you any suggestions?????


Hi Robyn,

There is a great deal of material on the web about portfolios. 

Digital portfolios are the latest innovation.  You will need to do a

bit of reading with regard this topic, a google or edna search

should assist.  There is a digital portfolio for download at

under templates.  The nut of it is that students evaluate their own

work and can compare current to past work to see progress.

If you search the VT site with the google search engine there is

also information from previous newsletters.


Hi, Cathy,

Yet another site for you to consider for inclusion in your newsletter.

If you ever create one with an emphasis on special education, this site

is wonderful.  Teachers and parents can use it for information as well

as using the activities to learn what it feels like to have a learning

disability.  As always, keep up the fabulous work.  My mother always

said... "if you want something done and well, ask the busiest person to

do it!"

Best to you... Nancy S-G

Thanks Nancy great site as usual.



 I am a technology teacher and with my students have created

many web pages and will continue to do so in the future.  Our

school has no Intranet and I would like to set one up but have

NO idea where to start.  I continue to search the Internet and

read all that I can about this topic but the nuts and bolts of exactly

how to make this happen elude me.  Can you help?


Can anyone offer some advice here.  I will cover this in later newsletters.

So stay tuned.



I WILL cover databases and also take a look at setting up intranets.

So send in your experiences and advice and we will tackle these two

Topics.  Happy Easter to all.



 - - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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