Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 78  2003 ­CARE TOO MUCH




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  RUBRIC

5. Technical Stuff ­ Conference ­ G&T

6. Website Focus - SCIENCE


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. I have been going through some

old papers and pulled out my First Year Teacher Review, it was

interesting reading, an assessment of myself from way back. 

One thing that stuck out at the end was this comment Œshe

cares to muchı.  I remember thinking it was rather odd then,

and I still think so today, and still today I havenıt corrected

this Œflawı. 

Clive James was recently awarded the annual Philip

Hodgins Memorial Medal by Peter Goldsworthy, Chair of the

Literature Board of the Australia Council. In accepting the

award, he commented that he was humbled to

receive this, as his work wasnıt particularly important when

compared to the work of Doctors, and others who did REALLY


Teachers do work that really matters, work that is really

important, in fact, teachers have potentially more long term

impact on the future of the human race than even doctors. 

We have to CARE TOO MUCH, what we do matters,

it IS important.

I attended the Rock Eisteddfod on Thursday night to see

my daughter and many other students perform on stage at

the Entertainment Centre. They were amazing. I know first

hand the enthusiasm the passion, the CARING TOO MUCH 

that went with Rose Bay Secondary Collegeıs performance.

Under the tutelage of the sensational Ms Jackaman, they performed

like pros, had an exceptional experience and received resounding

applause from the audience. We need passion, we need enthusiasm

we need the spark to excite and motivate our students. 




Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen,

but to think what nobody yet has thought about which everybody

sees. - Schopenhauer


The method people naturally employ to acquire knowledge is

largely unsupported by traditional classroom practice. The human

mind is better equipped to gather information about the world by

operating within it than by reading about it, hearing lectures on it,

or studying abstract models of it.

Roger C. Schank and John B Cleave


Learning is a consequence of thinking.

David Perkins Smart Schools 1992



No One has sent me in any SMART questions this fortnight ­

Come on ­ I am sure you have some terrific questions ­

sent them along.

What does it all mean?

Has education ceased to be about learning?



Merici College Rubric produced using Rubistar.



The Regional Conference of Qld Assoc for Gifted & Talented

Children is being held at St Mary's School on Sunday and

Monday, 21 & 22nd September.

The web site is

The full conference details are there including the abstracts of the

papers, brief bios of the speakers, timetable, and registration form.

The papers cover a wide range of interests, definitely worth checking out

if attending part or all of the conference is a possibility for you.

Check out the FREE seminars ad notes at ADOBE

These seminars are always entertaining and a great way to

find out about new programs and ideas.


6. Website Focus - SCIENCE

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software for Homeschoolers

"MERGE-AI is a computer-based educational system that

teaches kids how to draw and interpret graphs of data. It

combines computer-delivered verbal instruction with 'cognitive

tutoring,' where the computer observes each student drawing

and interpreting graphs, in order to tailor its instruction exactly

to that student's needs. MERGE-AI is designed for home-school

students between the ages of 10 and 13." Sign up and receive

MERGE-AI on CD, completely FREE of charge.



Lessons, tools and resources for K-12 science. Search for

materials by grade or subject area ("benchmark").

Free e-newsletter available.


Science Friday Kid's Connection

Ira Flatow's Science Friday program airs on public radio.

The site posts science curricula that correspond with the shows.

Teaching materials are typically posted one week after the

associated radio program was broadcast. Recent topics include:

Artifacts Stolen in Iraq, Apes in Crisis, SARS, Autism, and

Environmental Effects of 1991 Kuwaiti Oil Fires.


The Museum of Unworkable Devices

"Houses diverse examples of the perverse genius of inventors

who refused to let their thinking be intimidated by the laws of

nature, remaining optimistic in the face of repeated failures."

Includes a gallery of artistic impossibilities. Can be used to

illustrate basic laws of physics. Great site ­ love the Principles.

Principles of Unworkable Devices.

Perpetual motion machine inventors do have principles.

Unfortunately the  physical principles they assume are often

ones not obeyed by nature.  Let's examine just a few.

The principle of unlimited possibility. Anything is possible in nature.

The "heavier on one side" seduction.

The "more weight on one side" distraction.

The "unbalanced torque" deception.

The cyclic disappointment.

The elastic/inelastic dilemma.

Failure to isolate the system.

The static/dynamic trap.

The apples/oranges equation.

The artistic illusion.

Experimental "gotchas".

The "dog chasing its tail" principle.

Reinventing the square wheel.

The psychology of perpetual motion seekers.


Human Genome Research Institute

Educational resources include: genetic education modules

for teachers; teaching tools; talking glossary of genetic terms;

multimedia glossary in English and Spanish; fact sheets,

 research techniques, and more.


Greg's Science Song Music ­ Iım loving this.

Audio files (in MP3 format) and sheet music files (in PDF format)

for some fun songs about science, including "The Waltz of the

Ribosomes," and "Semiconservative Science Geek," as well as

"The Nucleus I Like Best."


Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)

Promotes the use of technology in K-12 scientific and

mathematical concepts, thinking skills and "authentic,

interdisciplinary projects."


"Findings" Magazine

A free 16-page, full-color print magazine that profiles fascinating

scientists doing cutting-edge medical research. Look at the

online version, order free print copies, or sign up to receive

free issues of Findings in the mail by visiting


It is time to rethink our educational practices, to allow excitement

enthusiasm and passion back into our classrooms.  This timely fable

is one of my favourites.  Over the last few weeks I have seen quite

a few EAGLES squashed by relentless and unforgiving Education




Reinventing the wheel - don't do it, use the great resources on

the web




This is the coolest alphabet site I've ever seen. You have to

have Flash, and it takes forever to load, but it's worth the wait.

 Knit or eat while it's loading. The first time you'll get a cute line

of alphabet to play with, but that's not the good part. When you

click on the letters, which all make real animal noises, the letter


will transform into a sophisticated artistic rendition of an animal

whose name starts with that letter. This is truly an amazing

abecedary. (Note: Go to this website before you show it to your

kids, so you can play with it first. This is the voice of experience.)


WOZA ­ The Great globe Gallery on the worldwide web.


Nobel e-Museum

offers information on all Prize Winners to date, the

Nobel Organization, Alfred Nobel, and Nobel events, as well

as related

material and games. The games are located at

 and they are

educational. They provide information. simulations, and challenges on:

Microscopes, Lasers, the interior of matter, energy, X-rays,

accelerators, and vacuum tubes. Age/grade levels vary. Requires

Shockwave. A novel approach to what could have been a dry




Flight-History is developing an extensive on-line archive of aviation

history. Current focus is on the pre-jet era. Consists of stories,

photos, plane details, and the ability to send an electronic postcard.

Flight-History is a division of Ghosts of Aviation Inc., which is

located in Calgary, AB, Canada.



Hello Colleagues,

As always, I find something new and fun in your newsletter. 

Thanks for all

the great links and tips.

Terrie Rust

Peoria, Arizona USA


Your article was very timely. The Head of History and I are

presenting a paper on questioning as a teaching tool at the

ASLA conference in Hobart in October. We have spent the year

observing the questioning practices at the school in year 7 history

 and have been working with the teachers in trying to create a

climate of awareness of questioning. It has been really interesting

and I have enjoyed reading widely in this area. We have found

that working as a team to develop a range of questions has been

the most productive approach. It is very hard to ask good questions spontaneously whatever ones level of experience. The idea of

building each unit around several core questions has been an

exciting way of looking at curriculum design. It has also produced some sustained discussions in all the classes regardless of the ability level.

For example when discussing the middle ages we built the unit

around the 2 core questions of "Can torture ever be justified" and

"Is religion a legitimate excuse for going to war" As you can imagine we had some interesting lessons.

I found your comments validated all we had found as well. I would

be really interested in seeing what questions were developed

during your Professional Development at Merici College. I am happy

to share any of our experiences as well.

Susan Glasson

Mansfield Library

Cranbrook School


Hi Susan,

The paper I presented at the IES conference also addresses

questions, I actually prefer to train the students to develop the

questions rather than present them with the questions.  If given

time students can develop brilliant questions.  The idea is gradually

to reduce support to students, to become in fact redundant ­ so

that student can become life ­ long learners and leave school with

 the knowledge that they can learn anything.


Hi Cathy!

I used to live in Sydney but are now living overseas. I am thinking

about sending my daughter back to Sydney to study. What are

some good, affordable private schools(preferably coed)?

(Year 11) My daughter wants to go to Redham House, do you have

their contact number or website? I have been looking around but

cannot find anything on it.



I Hi Jay,

Reddam House website


Hi Cathy, Great newsletter and congrats on the great results.

I've just spent all afternoon working on some PowerPoint instructions

for my Year 7's. Then I got the newsletter and suddenly thought

"I bet there are some instructions for kids somewhere in Cathy's

 archives' Talk about revinventing the wheel. Could you have a

look at mine so far. Will they work with the kids? The website

address is

Thanks, Lyn


Hi Lyn,

I like to start by selecting the topic or question, and doing a

six slide layout with images and words.  the first slide is a title

slide, the next four are the text and image slides, the last slide

is a 'the end' slide or final summation.  Because of the nature

of the text and image slides you need 4 topics or questions as

the headers, then you need 3 or so bullet points of 5-10 words

each, and an appropriate picture.  If the students can prepare

all this before they get to the computer, they can just concentrate

on the PowerPoint.

6 slides keeps it simple and constrained and is great for the first

time. Once they have mastered a limited simple PowerPoint ­

the skies the limit and they will invent all manner of things.  Let

me know how you go.  the trick initially is to keep it short and

simple and have the content ready before hand.



In Word, when I type a word, and there is an error in it, I highlight

the incorrect part and retype it. However the highlighted part does

not disappear and I have to delete the incorrect part manually.

eg sydney becomes Ssydney

What do I need to turn on or off and how?

Regards Terrie

Thanx for a great teacher resource


Who can help Terrie?????


10.  NEXT ISSUE ­ I will be looking more into 21st Century

Learning ­ methods and means.


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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