Virtual Teacher Newsletter No. 19 November 24th 2000
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Contact: cathy@virtualteacher.com.au
Website: http://www.virtualteacher.com.au
Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. The SchoolYard Garden and Habitat Project
4. New Printables - Evaluation
5. Technical Stuff - Websites, Eudora, IE
6. Book Review - Managing ICT By Terry Freeman
8. Christmas
9. Great sites
10. Readers' Requests/Comments
11 Next Issue
12. Code of 'Netizens'
13. Tips
1. Welcome everyone. Last week I went to a fantastic Seminar run by
Scholastics, the speaker was the wonderful writer - John Marsden.
The seminar was held at the Epping Club, a lovely place with easy
parking. John was inspirational, lots of anecdotes, jokes and great
ideas. I left with a swag of dazzling innovative writing activities
to try that encourage creativity and experimentation. I have a have
already tried a few, which have left the children and I in stitches.
I have also purchased a couple of his books, including his latest
'Winter' - which I can't put down. Scholastics runs lots of these
seminars throughout the year, to order their free yearly program:-
Phone Sarah Blackall or Margot Smith 1800 649 408
You can check John's site out at:-
2. Mind Candy
Subject: Work Rules SICK DAYS:

We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness.
If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
SURGERY: Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee
here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing
anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes
a breach of employment.
BEREAVEMENT LEAVE: This is no excuse for missing work. There is
nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or coworkers. Every
effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the
arrangements. In rare cases, where employee involvement is necessary,
the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be
glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently
leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is enough to
keep the job going in your absence. YOUR OWN DEATH: This will be
accepted as an approved excuse. However, we require at least two
weeks advance notice, as it is your duty to train your replacement.
REST ROOM USE: Entirely too much time is being spent in the rest
room. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in
alphabetical order. For instance, those whose names begin with 'A'
will go from 8:00 to 8:10, employees whose names begin with 'B' will
go from 8:10 to 8:20, and so on. If you're unable to go at your time,
it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your time comes
again. In extreme emergencies employees may swap their time with a
coworker. Both employees' supervisors in writing must approve this
exchange. In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in
the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm bell will sound,
the toilet paper roll will retract, and the stall door will open.
PAYCHECK GUIDE: The following helpful guide has been prepared to help
our employees better understand their paychecks:
Item Amount: Gross pay $1,222.02
Income tax $244.40
Outgo tax $45.21
State tax $11.61
Interstate tax $61.10
County tax $6.11
City tax $12.22
Rural tax $4.44
Back tax $1.11
Front tax $1.16
Side tax $1.61
Up tax $2.22
Tic-Tacs $1.98
Thumbtacks $3.93
Carpet tacks $0.98
Stadium tax $0.69
Flat tax $8.32
Surtax $3.46
Corporate tax $2.60
Parking fee $5.00
FICA $81.88
T.G.I.F. Fund $9.95
Life insurance $5.85
Health insurance $16.23
Dental insurance $4.50
Mental insurance $4.33
Reassurance $0.11
Disability $2.50
Ability $0.25
Liability $3.41
Unreliability $10.99
Coffee $6.85
Coffee Cups $66.51
Floor rental $16.85
Chair rental $0.32
Desk rental $4.32
Union dues $5.85
Union don'ts $3.77
Cash advance $0.69
Cash retreats $121.35
Overtime $1.26
Undertime $54.83
Eastern time $9.00
Central time $8.00
Mountain time $7.00
Pacific time $6.00
Time Out $12.21
Oxygen $10.02
Water $16.54
Heat $51.42
Cool air $26.83
Hot air $20.00
Miscellaneous $113.29
Sundry $12.09
Various $8.01
Net Take Home Pay $0.02
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a
positive employment experience. All questions, comments, concerns,
complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations,
allegations, accusations, contemplations,consternations, or input
should be directed elsewhere.
"The amount of sleep required by the average person is about
five minutes more." -Max Kauffmann
The people who vote decide nothing. The people who count
the votes decide everything.
---Josef Stalin.
Lincoln studied by the light of a fireplace. Mozart composed
by candlelight. Galileo invented by oil lamp. Didn't they ever
think to do their work during the daytime?
---Jersey Tomato
3. The SchoolYard Garden and Habitat Project
Take a look at what Nancy is doing in this exciting project. This
project could be also instigated at Primary level as well as
secondary level, what a wonderful learning experience for her lucky
students. All the hard work is done - stay tuned for further updates
from Nancy - this is just the sort of stuff teachers of the world
should be doing and sharing. Go Nancy Go Nancy's Class.
The Schoolyard Garden and Habitat Project serves high school students
with specific learning disabilities. The project is designed to
provide academic and life experiences for these students through
environmental, ecological, and specific core curriculum activities.
The objectives are: 1) the students learn specific core curriculum
standards in a direct fashion, as opposed to only abstract classroom
learning, 2) the students learn related functional skills in the
areas of reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, life
skills, and technology, 3) the students learn skills necessary for
the transition from their school life into adult life. The project
teaches students in the areas of language arts, mathematics, science,
social studies, and life skills both in the classroom and within the
(see Nancy's letter below)
4. New Printables - Evaluation
Here is an acrobat file of some evaluation formats. These include
the evaluations of 'Rainforest', 'Mythical Creatures', and 'People
and their Beliefs' Webquests, and also a 'reflections' template for
students to complete. Please feel free to copy paste and alter as
you wish.
5. Technical Stuff
>Hi Cathy
>Thanks for the note. Yes, we have just changed internet providers
>and will need to wait until next week until we can modify our
>I understand that we have set up the site using Internet Explorer
>and it does not operate under netscape Navigator. I have been told
>that some of our links and pictures have spaces between the words in
>the file name and there should not be any.
>If you have any further advice regarding this problem I would be
>interested in hearing from you.
>Cheers Neil
Hi Neil,
Websites designed in simple HTML will be OK on both Explorer and Netscape.
General rules for websites using the 'KISS Principal' that no one
writes about are:-
1. Keep file names to 8 characters or less
2. Don't have any spaces.
3. Use lower case only
4. Use letters and numbers only no commas slashes question marks etc.
5. Save all images as jpegs
6. Make sure all images are less than 30k
7. Remember monitors display at only 72dpi
Hope this helps.
An update is now available for Eudora - this is my favourite email
program. Some subscribers still have trouble with live links in this
newsletter, text scrambling and many other problems, an offline email
program like Eudora is fantastic in avoiding these problems, as you
can set everything you want to, and offers loads of options. Eudora
also has some fantastic online free tutorials - live that word. The
program is free if you are happy to take some advertising in the
corner - I like it as lots of interesting sites are displayed there
including the tutorial sites.
I've always loved and used Netscape as a browser, but the New
outstrips it entirely. I suggest you download it now and
enjoy it immediately - so much quicker.
For Mac - IE 5 - It really has become the best browser - even better
than the Windows version
For Windows IE 5.5
6. Book Review - Managing ICT By Terry Freeman
Managing ITC is a comprehensive guide to Computer solutions in
schools. The book offers down to earth practical advice on all
aspects of computer usage from hardware and software, maintenance
and classroom organisation strategies to finance and infrastructure. 

The initial statement of principals in "Managing ICT" outlines a
hands on approach to computers in schools and the books layout
offers clearly defined headings with a step by step approach, that
offers a broad comprehensive coverage of the subject.

From the editorial at the beginning, which provides the ICT
co-ordinator with all the information needed to convince possible
staff sceptics of the value of computer technology, through to the
classroom strategies and checklists for development of a school
specific ICT policy, this book has it covered.

Being an English publication many aspects are specific to the UK like
the "LEA advisors", "INSET" and the UK syllabus, which can be
disconcerting for foreigners to read, as reference is made to the
specific aspects of syllabus requirements and has little or no
relevance to countries outside the UK

I most enjoyed the sections on classroom management, various
checklists and the pro forma planning documents, the trouble shooting
guide and the 'Software Copyright' poster which could be immediately
put into action. Also the checklists of 'considerations to discuss'
when developing a whole school ICT program, are most useful.

This book puts ICT into perspective, and demonstrates excellent
organisational techniques and strategies which can be developed over
time to suit individual schools. It offers pro forma documents for
classroom management and organisation, as well as practical and
useful solutions to ICT development and planning. Despite its UK
bias, this book offers a great deal to the ICT co-ordinator at any
How do you manage your ICT? http://www.ictineducation.org --
officially approved content for the National Grid for Learning
PS The new edition of Computers in Classrooms is now out, with an
expanded Tips section and these features:
Terry Freedman on PowerPoint * Chris Wood on Digital cameras * Vivi
Lachs on Multimedia in the Classroom
7. BREAKFAST FOR THE BRAIN - from School Daily
BFTB: Breakfast for the Brain
Using your local newspaper find:
1. Some news about the US election.
2. The main national news.
3. The main regional news.
4. A nation facing conflict.
5. A natural or human disaster.
The attention of the international education community will be focused on
38 Queensland State schools next year when they introduce the first Rich
Tasks as part of the New Basics action research project. Education
Minister Dean Wells said these Rich Tasks would dramatically
improve the intellectual work of Queensland State school classrooms.
interesting articles from the School Daily.
8. Christmas
Check out 'How Stuff Works - Christmas" By Marshall Brain - this site
includes how Christmas Light bulbs work as well as Christmas
Traditions which I loved
Christmas Crafts for Kids from Kids Domain - great ideas
Christmas in Australia
Christmas in Australia
The Christmas Stocking Legend
The Story of the Christ Child
Many Faces of Santa
The Story of Christmas
Jewish Christmas Children's Game - Online
This site is a brilliant site with artworks from the Vatican city.
Christmas Games
Christmas Clipart
I have also put some direct links up on the site at:
Hi Cathy
Some Christmas sites sent to me by a colleague. they could be useful
for young children.
This is a interesting site, including printables, cards to send, and a quiz.
This site has some games, take the elf exam, and activities, as well
as some brief information on Christmas in different countries
This site has a great number of links including a link to the
original "Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus" Text.
9. Great Sites
Consumer Kids is a great site to learn about consumer rights, making
choices, and government legislation. Go to the Staff section for
teacing notes. A great unit of work.
Seussville Here is a great site about the Dr Seuss books. Lots of
activities and games,although i think some of the games are a bit
ordinary, the resources are great with downloadable printables as
well as craft activities.
Atlapedia is a great site with easy navigating to most countries.
Cultural Connections this is a fantastic site about countries of the
world. It includes, recipes, people, animals, architecture, maps,
Top ten geographical features
Try the super quiz if your game
Know your world map and help the Alienz
World Map Quiz
South East Asia Country Quiz
This is a fantastic site for everything. Encyclopedias, search engines
How to search the World Wide Web, here's a great site with all the
insider info. Kids will love it.
Cool sites for Kids
Fact Monster - information at K- 6 level on just about everything.
A Fantastic natural disaster Site. Easy Navigation, concise text,
and great pictures. This site is remarkable for its depth.
A diary of the Planet has current details of events effecting our
planet, it included temperature extremes, earthquakes, eruptions,
Ebola outbreaks etc. this site is updated regularly
10. Readers Requests/Comments
Can you help Susan?
Looking for great Ancient Egypt sites!
Hi Cathy.
Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a week away? With the holidays quickly
approaching, I thought you and your readers would enjoy GourmetSpot.com's
Thanksgiving Dinner feature at
http://www.gourmetspot.com/features/thanksgiving.htm. It gives helpful
turkey tips and points you in the right direction to find tasty holiday
recipes online.
Hope you'll take a look and consider including it in your newsletter. Happy
Best Wishes,
Cara Flesher
StartSpot Mediaworks, Inc.
Hi, Cathy,
Let me begin by saying I thoroughly enjoy receiving and reading your
wonderful newsletters. They are full of so many informative items,
and your efforts are to be highly commended. Although I do not know
where I found you, I'm ever so glad I did.
Just for your information, for some reason I am receiving duplicate
copies of the newsletter. Please check your mailing list to see why
this is happening. However, be careful to not delete me from the
list. I look forward to receiving these missives.
Thanks, and let me know if I can ever be of assistance. FYI, I am a
high school, special needs teacher in New Jersey. An interesting
project I and my students have created is a working schoolyard garden
and habitat. From efforts and research given, I have many things
that could be shared with others. Let me know if you are interested
in receiving information, and tell me what you might specifically be
looking for.
Nancy Sklavos-Gillett
(see number 3 above)
>Hi, great newsletter!
>I am interested in viewing some of the links you mention but they do
>not come as highlighted text for websites and it is very time
>consuming to write it down. Any suggestions would be useful as
>inevitably mistakes are made when copied down, it would be easier to
>be able to just 'click' on it and hey presto!!
>Keep up the great work.
>Gaynor Furnell
<mailto:gfurnell@iprimus.com.au>gfurnell@iprimus.com.au Hi Gaynor,
links are all sent as hot links, you may need to enable your email
server to accept html as well as text. Otherwise copy and past whole
newsletter into Microsoft word and format all the links. Or go to
the website tomorrow when the newsletter will be loaded under
Or if you use an online email server like hotmail or yahoo, open 2
browser windows and copy and paste the URL from the newsletter to
the browser.
Hope this helps.
11. Next Issue -  I have started to do some planning for next year,
and I am looking at pro forma whole school curriculum planning, send
your thoughts or templates along to share. I have also started a
link to subscribers sites from my virtual teacher site - if you have
some great sites to include here, send them along. Happy
Thanksgiving, and a happy fortnight.
12. 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!!!
13. 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 newsletter.
4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in this
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 mailto:comfilm1@optusnet.com.au
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