Virtual Teacher Newsletter No. 26 2001

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. Book Week - Shortlisted Books
4. New Printables /New VT Pages
5. Technical Stuff - Printer Inks
6. Art and Computers
7. The case of the Bouncing Email
8. Great Sites
9. Readers' Requests/Comments
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
12. Tips
1. WELCOME EVERYONE. The end of the school holidays
is nigh. So here's a dose of some great ideas and
websites for inspiration. The shortlisted books for bookweek
have been announced, so its time to get stuck into some
excellent reading. See if you can second guess the judges,
what books does your class enjoy. Check out some authors
sites on the net. Also take a look at some of the great art
sites around , yes you can teach anything including art
with computer assistance. Get involved in the Website
competition, or become a forensic scientist. It's all there
on the wonderful web but wait there's more and
more and more.........
1. In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed
frames by ropes when you pulled on the ropes the mattress
tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the
phrase "goodnight, sleep tight"
2. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago
that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would
supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink.
Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was
lunar based, this period was called the honey month or what
we know today as the honeymoon.
3. In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled
Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.... and thus the word
GOLF entered into the English language.
This speaks a lot about the quality of Japanese products
and their standards:

They're still laughing about this at IBM. Apparently the
computer giant decided to have some parts manufactured in
Japan as a trial project. In the specifications, they
stated that they will only accept three defective parts
per 10,000.

When the delivery came in there was an accompanying letter.
It said, "We Japanese had a hard time understanding North
American business practices. But the three defective
parts per 10,000 have been separately manufactured and
have been included in the consignment. Hope this pleases
A feisty little old lady was among a group looking at an art
exhibition in a newly opened gallery. One of the contemporary
paintings caught her eye and she inquired of the tour guide,
"What on earth is that?"

He smiled condescendingly. "That, dear lady, is supposed to
be a mother and child."

"Well, then," snapped the little old lady, "why isn't it?"
The CBC short listed books have been published at:-
So now is a great time to get started by reading some of the
fantastic books on the list. You can also visit some author's sites,
students can often email authors at these sites, as well as find
out more about the authors and books. In some cases, these
sites include great writing ideas as well as games and
excerpts from their publications. Below are links to some of
the short listed authors, as well as some other interesting
author sites. You can have your children read and vote for
their favourite books.

Steven Herrick (The simple Gift) is one of my all time
favourite poets, he's great for school visits as well , very
Ursula Dubosarsky (The Game of the Goose)
Sonya Hartnett (Thursday's Child)
Ron Brooks (Fox)
Alison Lester (Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo)
James Maloney (Touch Me)
Errol Broom (Away with the Birds)

Morris Gleitzman
Andy Griffiths
Click on the 'fun' section
Do the Quiz "How Tricky are you"
and "How annoying are you"
Libby Gleeson
Goeffrey McSkimming Learn all about Cairo Jim at this
wonderful site. I love Geoffrey's Books

Oz Kids Lit Page - great children's writing links
Look for authors on line at this site
Write Around Australia Nestle Competition
Enter the competition
Australian authors and illustrators site
If you have some other great author sites send them along
- next issue I will also look at some international Children's
Author Sites.
Australian Writers' and Readers' Database
Pick your Fear - ask your students to pick their fear, or at
least pronounce the fears in this list.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - Fear of long words.
New Science Page - lots of fantastic links and online
experiments the visible human embryo site is most informative
Printer inks are the stuff nightmares are made of. The
prices can make colour printing prohibitive in schools.
Another option is to use non standard printer inks. These
can be half to a third of the price of the originals, and can
mean the difference between children printing their work or
not. I have used the Calidad range for some time and found
them excellent - no problems at all. They have products
suitable for most printer types and agents everywhere, you
can also order them online. Check it out at:-
The average price of the Calidad ink is $20.00
Please Note - Some folks say that inks may clog the printers,
especially if printers are not used constantly. I have never
heard a user complain about this , however several suppliers
have warned me of this possibility.
PPS I hate the refills.
There is a wealth of fantastic art sites on the internet.
Combining art and computers can have some wonderful
results. For a start the internet allows access to almost all great
works of art in the world immediately. And with the nifty new
attachments for projection on TV screens and projector screens,
these images can easily be used for whole class lessons.
Also some of the sites offer instructional info for teaching
art, still others offer young artists the opportunity to create online.
Once inspired young artists can work on computer graphics
programs to produce their images, using programs like
Kid Pic, Microsoft Draw, The Draw tools in Microsoft Word,
and move into more sophisticated programs like Photoshop
and Illustrator, and/or they can produce their drawings or
paintings the good old fashioned way. The internet offers
huge potential for inspiring young artists.
NSW Art Gallery
Australian National Art Gallery
NGA Kids Site - Adventures in Art and Activities online
List of Art museums online with a small annotation
Complete the Art Safari
Art Teacher On the Net
Gardner's Art Through the Ages- the internet links at this
site are particularly useful.
Vincent Van Gogh
Cubism to Abstract at the Web Museum - great resource
Just goto the Web Museum - and type in the artist or movement.
You will find just about any artist at this site - and the prints are
large and look great on a monitor or a projection screen.
Bouncing babies conjure up a picture of happiness and joy,
not so the bouncing email or 'daemon mailer'. I receive many
requests for assistance on a variety of topics, and I try to attend
to them all, but many are subverted by the 'daemon mailer'.
Why is this so?
1. The online email box is full. Online free email services like
'hotmail', and 'yahoo', limit the amount of storage space available
on their site for each user. Users must delete their emails regularly.
Emails will be bounced when storage exceeds the allocated amount.
2. Some email providers set limits to email size, emails over a
certain size will be bounced. Check with your provider.
3. Some email programs will bounce emails over a certain size,
check the preferences on your email program
Don't miss out on the sheep's brain dissection at this site and
all the other great stuff
Kindergarten Web Page for Letters and Sounds
Use the letter links to find activities, songs and stories for each
letter of the alphabet. The design of this hotlist makes it easy to
How Volcanoes Work - a great little site
Check out the adventures of "Herman the Worm" Solve the
Great Plant escape, great online lessons for primary and
secondary students.

Try the 'Out on a Limb' - guide to getting along at this site a
s well (Years 3-4)
Handbok of Forensic Science
Who Dunnit - Crime Scene Investigation
Cathy, you are absolutely amazing. My only hope is that
others are doing as much for you as you are doing for others.
I am deeply in your debt, and cannot thank you enough for
putting the sites together for us... .........
We're now collaborating with the core science teacher,
and her many students. This should get the habitat rolling
even more quickly than planned. Unfortunately, we did not
earn the "Best Practices" award this year, despite all of the
work I did on the grant proposal. I'm hoping to take a class
to help me learn more about this style of writing, but have
had difficulty in finding an online, for credit course. Once
this is under my belt, I'm hoping for more success in getting
needed funding.

Glad you are enjoying the links. I try to not overload anyone
with my hours online, but occasionally run into a few interesting
sites, which I feel teachers might benefit from. If ever it gets
too much, please don't hesitate to let me know.

On a more personal note... Have you settled into your new
digs? Do you know where the spatulas and cereal boxes
are kept? Hopefully all is in good order. There's so much
purging I'd like to do in my own little cottage, but I'll have to
wait for summer break. I'm in the mood to rid myself of
ever so much flotsam. First things first... it's planting
season - yippee!

Meanwhile, your newsletter is one of the best I've
received, and I always appreciate the information and
details contained within. Take the strokes. You deserve
these and more.

Keep in touch. It's always great hearing from you. ... Nancy
Check out Nancy's Schoolyard habitat Site at:-
Hi Cathy,
I have finally written a draft lesson plan for the holiday
lesson - Philippine Parols. I have attached it. It is a
microsoft word document. So far the web site that I
used is still active - as you know, these sites move,
change, or who knows. I always remind everyone,
please review the site and rescreen its content - sites
are updated or change. One tip is to save or download
the file to your hard-drive - this way if the Internet is
down or for some reason the site moves, you can still
do the lesson by projecting it from your computer or
saving it to the network and provide a link for students
computers to access it. Please read the lesson and let me
know if you can use it or what you think. It's always great
to have input from other teachers. Have a great day
and thank you for your newsletter.
Cathy Maher
Computer Teacher / Technology Coordinator
St. Mary's School - Richmond
Thanks for the Parole sheet, it is well explained and easy
to follow, the link is fantastic. What a great idea, anyone
who is studying Asia will love this activity. Here is the
link to it:-
Thanks so much for the Goals site reference. It is extremely well laid out
and very valuable. I am a high school teacher endeavoring to help teenagers
plan for their futures. This set of tools is a wonderful addition to my kit
bag of tools for learning. Thanks again.
Laverne E. Denyer
Hi Cathy
Any sites for secondary school teaching especially TAS subjects?

There are lots of useful links in past newsletters and on the VT site to try Can
anyone suggest some additional sites for Mausi ??????
I would like to subscribe to the Virtual Teacher Newsletter.
The issue I have seen was excellent.
Thankyou Penny Allibon

Glad you enjoyed it Penny

Nora Boekhout
and a question for you...
I send out a newsletter every two months to my group of
teachers around the world (only 110 of them at this point!)
and currently do it by sending a letter to myself and blind
carbon copies to my membership list which I have as a
"group" on Outlook Express. I'm sure that people such
as yourself (with a large membership) have a more
efficient way of doing this! Would you give me a pointer
or two on this?
Thanks for any suggestions!

I use mojo mail an online mail server. You can also use
other online newsletter delivery services like Majordomo.
If you have a good link or even better a cable net link you
can easily cue messages as you have suggested.
Use the bcc for your list rather than cc, email recipients
will not see others on your subscriber list.
To do this well I recommend you use a program like
'Eudora' which is a separate email program to your browser.
''Eudora' is free if you suffer a bit of advertising on your desktop
( I find it no problem). This program allows you to build address
lists for your subscribers and easily attach these to your mail.
For outgoing mail most dial-ups will see a send of over 20 emails
as spamming and disconnect you. This doesn't seem to happen with
cable connections. So if you are sending via dial-up keep bccs
to about 10-15 per email, and send out about 10-15 at a time. goodluck
10. NEXT ISSUE - I will be looking at international
Children's/Young Adult Authors online - so if you know any
great sites send them along. Have a good one.

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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