Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 47  APRIL 5TH 2002 – ROCK IT  TO YOU




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1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo – Tide Predictions

4. New Printables -  Rock Hound

5. Technical Stuff - MOZILLA the latest Greatest Browser

6. Web Site Focus - ROCKS AND MINERALS

7. Great Web Design

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE  This fortnight has been a very

exciting one, prompted by some minor interest in rocks by some

children I dug out my old rock collection. A past passion of mine when

I dreamed of being the first female geologist to 'rough it' in outback OZ,

finding gold and fantastic treasures.  My dream died due to the lack of

female loos, in the outback of the time, potential employers believing

this an impossible hurdle for junior female geologists.  'Never Say Die'

(from the master of the movie title for every occasion) my collection

lives again.  Below is a list of great geological resources on the net,

also a printable for the junior rock hound to complete.  The Australian

Museum has a great rock collection and used to allow rocks to be

borrowed, as well, may still do, worth checking out.  I love my rocks,

hope you love the sites. Rock it to you.  Have a great week.



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people

can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever

has."  Margaret Mead



By Postman & Weingartner


1. Declare a five-year moratorium on the use of all textbooks

2. Have “English” teachers “teach” Math, Math teachers English,

Social Studies teachers science, Science teachers Art, and so on.

3. Transfer all elementary teachers to high school and vice versa.

4. Require every teacher who thinks he knows his “subject” well to

write a book on it.

5. Dissolve all “subjects”, “courses”, and “course requirements”.

6. Limit each teacher to three declarative sentences per class, and

15 interrogatives.

7. Prohibit teachers from asking any questions they already know

the answers to.

8. Declare a moratorium on all tests and grades.

9. Require all teachers to undergo some form of psychotherapy as part

of their inservice training

10. Classify teachers according to their ability and make the lists public.

11. Require all teachers to take a test prepared by students on what

the students know.

12. Make every class an elective and withhold a teacher's monthly

check if his students do not show any interest in going to next month's


13. Require every teacher to take a one-year leave of absence every

fourth year to work in some other “field” other than education.

14. Require each teacher to provide some sort of evidence that he or

she has had a loving relationship with at least one other human being.

15. Require that all the graffiti accumulated in the school toilets be

reproduced on large paper and be hung in the school halls.

16. There should be a general prohibition against the use of the

following words and phrases:

Teach, syllabus, covering ground, I.Q., makeup, test, disadvantaged,

gifted, accelerated, enhancement, course, grade, score, human

nature, dumb, college material, and administrative necessity.


From OZ Teachers list

The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered!


The element, tentatively named Administratium, has no protons or

electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0.


However, it does have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75

vice-neutrons, and 111 assistant vice-neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.  These

312 particles are held together in the nucleus by a force that involves

the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.


Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert.  However, it can be

detected chemically as it impedes every reaction with which it comes in

contact.  According to the discoverer, a tiny amount of Administratium

caused one reaction to take over 4 days to complete.  It would normally

occur in less than 1 second.


Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately 3 years.  At this

time, it does not actually decay, but instead undergoes reorganisation

in which assistant neutrons, vice-neutrons, and assistant vice-neutrons

exchange place.  Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually

increased after each reorganisation.


Researchers at other labs indicated that Administratium occurs naturally

in the atmosphere.  It tends to concentrate at certain points, such as

universities, government agencies, large corporations, and schools.  The

element can be found in the newest, best-appointed, and best-maintained



Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any

level of concentration, and can easily destroy any productive reactions where

it is allowed to accumulate.  Attempts are being made to determine how

Administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but

results are not promising.  They will, however, keep fighting to control

the spread of this deadly element.


"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher




Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints

and problems, known

as submitted by QANTAS pilots and the solution

recorded by maintenance


By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that

has never had an class A accident.

P = The problem logged by the pilot.

S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.


P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.


P: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.

S: Autoland not installed on this aircraft.


P: No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid.

S: No. 2 propeller seepage normal. No's 1, 3, and 4

propellers lack normal seepage.


P: Something loose in cockpit.

S: Something tightened in cockpit.


P: Dead bugs on windshield.

S: Live bugs on back-order.


P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200

fpm descent.

S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.


P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.

S: Evidence removed.


P: DME volume unbelievably loud.

S: DME volume set to more believable level.


P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

S: That's what they're there for.


P: IFF inoperative.

S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.


P: Suspected crack in windshield.

S: Suspect you're right.


P: Number 3 engine missing.

S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.


P: Aircraft handles funny.

S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and

be serious.


P: Target radar hums.

S: Reprogrammed target radar with words.


P: Mouse in cockpit.

S: Cat installed



It is amazing.


It takes less than a  minute.......

Work this out as  you read.

Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've  worked it


This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you

would like to have  chocolate. (try for more than once but less

than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (Just to be  bold)

3. Add 5. (for  Sunday)

4. Multiply it by 50 I'll wait while you get the


5. If you have already had your birthday this  year add

1752....  If you haven't, add 1751 ..........

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you  were born. You

should have a three digit number .....

The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how

 many times you  want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are ........... YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it





3. WWWinf- Tidal info

Tide Predictions for around the globe.



Rock Hound printable



Mozilla - here's a great new browser based on Netscape, for

all platforms, particularly excellent on Macs - overcomes a lot

of problems- download it here - a Recommended VT Browser

If you are interested in other types of Browsers check them out here:-


Educational Templates from Microsoft included student awards etc.



Check out the FREE online tutorials in Educational info at adobe

Free Online Courses

Start your Adobe product training with these new interactive courses,

now featuring an introduction to Adobe® Photoshop® Elements.

Free Photoshop Elements Tutorials

Download project-based lessons and learn some great ways to use

Photoshop Elements in the classroom.

Free Acrobat Curriculum

Download the Adobe Acrobat® Curriculum Guide, a rich resource

of lessons, project files, and interactive exercises for learning and

teaching Adobe PDF.

Free Web Curriculum

Download the Adobe Web Project curriculum – everything you need

to introduce basic Web design using Adobe's integrated set of tools.

New QuickTime Tutorials

View free Total Training tutorials on Photoshop 6.0, InDesign®,

Adobe Premiere®, and After Effects®

Learn That has a wide range of FREE tutorials on most popular programs


National Youth Week 2002

from the 7th - 14th April

It's huge .. for example .. last year ..  

1. Over 1,500 activities and events at the national, State and

    Territory and local levels were held around the country, thus

    making it the largest single celebration for young Australians

2. has received in excess of 2.3 million hits

   since its launch in February 2001.

3. Approximately 1 million young people took part in both the virtual'

   and 'live' activities and events during National Youth Week in 2001.

4. More than 10,000 young people entered the Win Free Stuff comps

   (via The national online competitions - RockIT,

   DesignIT, WriteIT and ShootIT attracted 1,000 entries and 8,000 votes

   for the winning entries last year.



Rocks and Minerals slide show - great pictures and info - not to detailed

Mineral Gallery - detailed site

natural History Museum and research Centres

Minerals and Ore Great pictures.

Rocks and Minerals for Kids

The Stupid page of rocks

BBC Primer



Website design

Very comprehensive site on Web design, History of the World

Wide Web, all about ASDL, Broadband and Satellite.


Good Website design

Here is some useful material


EdNA has a category called Web Design Guides


Online Guide to Websites




For the more advanced


TIPS for Building a website

1. Make a folder, put everything in it you want to put on your website.

(some folk use one folder for html pages and another for images,

when your starting out just put everything into one folder.

2. Plan your website, WHAT WILL EACH PAGE BE??

3. Your first page will probably be index.html(double check this

with your provider)

4. Name your pages like this:-





5. Use only 8 characters. no spaces, slashes, dots dashes, or

anything other than letters. All lower case.

6. Name your pages so they make sense.

7. Save your pictures as jpegs of between 20-100k only - nothing

bigger - the smaller the better.

8. Keep it simple.

How to Build a webpage in 25 Steps (old VT amusement)




Misunderstood Minds, Everyone should go here and try this stuff.

 Experience learning to read and write and listen from a different

perspective go on see if you can do it. Learning difficulties site.


ASX Schools' Sharemarket Game

School students, years 7-12, around the nation take a free lesson in share

investment as they trade on-line with a hypothetical $50,000 to invest in

the sharemarket over a ten week period. Their challenge is to achieve the

highest valued share portfolio in the nation. Registrations for the next

game are now open. Registration ends 27 February 2002, the game starts 5

March 2002 and ends 10 May 2002.


Australian Eye

Improving relations between people from diverse backgrounds and life

experiences is a widely held societal goal. However, learning to celebrate

diversity rather than fearing differences is not always as easy as we might

like it to be, as Australian Eye shows. The site, from SBS, provides

information about the Jane Elliott's "blue-eyed/brown-eyed" workshop.

Included on the site is a 'Koori IQ test', designed to show non-Indigenous

student teachers how the value of knowledge is culturally constructed and

what it is like to be assessed and graded on the basis of alien criteria.


Philosophy Games - TPM Online

This page contains links to a number of philosophical and logic games and

puzzles that may appeal to senior secondary students and older. TPM Online

is The Philosophers' Magazine on the net. The site is interactive and users

are given feedback about their choices in the online games.



National Parks links

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. At

the bottom of their cool stuff/ school stuff

 Download this


Thematic Units younger children


Surfnetkids - science of colours


Brainpop has a couple of movies on light, rainbows, etc. A great

site for short animated science movies online.


Love this - Hazel Edward 'There's an Elephant on my roof Eating

Cake page



Hi there Cathy,

I teach in a Specialist school for children with disabilities.

Do you have any lesson info or web links that would be suitable for

K-3 special ed kids?


Desi Emberson


Hi Desi.

There are some sites on the gifted and talented page

One particularly useful might be

Includes a variety of disabilities and teaching strategies. 

This site also has a good selection of links. probably the best place to start.

SERI is also a good starting point




Peter [rebek@ etc], from Melbourne. Sorry about your 'meltdown',

and hope it has not been too much of a problem to fix. God,

the hours you must spend on



Peter J Wakeham


All received OK!    Keep up the good work!

John Annable

Thanks Cathy


Dear cathy,

I am faced with the bewildering task of developing a scope and

sequence of computer skills. Would love to know if people have

already invented the wheel and have a proven formula they can share.

Many thanx for all your wonderful help.

Sharon G


Hi Cathy,

Your (Virtual Teacher) website was recommended to me

as I'm putting together a K-6 technology Scope &

Sequence but I can't seem to find it on your site.

Can you help please. Do you know of any others? I don't

see the point of re-inventing the wheel!




Hi Sharon,

Yes they have, Gosford Public school has a good one - I based

the on I developed around it

You can download them from there.  also WA has an excellent

Scope ans sequence I believe - however I haven't ever been able

to get hold of it.  Also if you do a search on google there a few

good ones in the US.




email me with Australian sites



Hi Ian,

Don't quite know what you are after, austrtalian sites at my site


Can you please help me to find a site with awards and certificates

for my students.  Many thanks


Hi Sally and Doron Galili,

The Microsoft Templates site has a number of certificates at,942,858,862,929,1185,886,816,821,1297,902,824,823,825,839,1138,829,844,1279,1295,&RC=4&M=27&mh=20&qu%3D%26ct%3D%26cid%3D0%2E145%2E149

Also Virtual teacher at

Enchanted Learning aslo has a nice range of awards

Also some clipart awards at:-

Some programs like Microsoft Word and Powerpoint will often have awards templates as well.




I love what you are doing with your newsletter.

I have built a successful Primary maths website, containing over

100 complete primary maths lessons written in PowerPoint from

age 5 - 12. They are all free and ready to download.

It is

The vast majority of lessons are based on UK department of

Education lesson plans. I think you will still find them highly

useful though, as teaching adding, counting etc is the same

the world over. And as I get over 2000 visits a month, I think

that is a good enough recommendation in itself!

I also have sourced a wide range of online maths lessons and

resources on the site and about to start to create my own

interactive lessons in the next few weeks.

Keep up the good work!

Dr P. Fogarty


What do you think of this site???


Dear Cathy

Your recommendation "An excellent history of education site is

available at

has been an incredible source of reference and knowledge to me as

a student teacher. Thank you so much! And thanks to all who share

their wealth of knowledge and experience here, so freely!

Take care

Tracy Veale-Chan



Recently grade nine students at my school were exploring Shakespeare and

his times, and while using the Internet, somehow chanced upon this page:

Life in the 1500s


They found the various bits of information on the page entertaining,

sometimes amusing, and provocative.  However, some of them, as they had

been encouraged to do, questioned the information's authenticity.  As

there are no links to any other pages from this page, they could connect

it with nothing, and had no way, short of researching all the

information themselves, of determining its authority.


Can you help them?  The page has SOME connection to virtualteacher,

after all.  It seems to have a home at your site.

Thanks for your time.

Peter Buehler



I use these types of things as a stimulus to writing - this is a good example of a bogus piece of writing - challenge you students to argue for and against the truth of each statement.  As you probably know there are many such lists on the internet - here is a version

another site credited to Lee Hamason


According to SNOPES - which is a good site to check on internet hoaxes - this is one.

Claim:   The numerous current sayings listed in the popular "Life in the 1500s" e-mail sprang from ordinary living conditions in that era.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 1999]

Your students may enjoy investigating the snopes site for other internet hoaxes - you will probably need to be selective about the categories as some can be a bit risque.




10.  NEXT ISSUE - I'll be taking a look at the history of the

computers - Nerd world.

Send me your thoughts.



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

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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