Virtual Teacher Newsletter No. 34 2001

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. National Astronomy Week
4. New Printables - Text Types
5. Technical Stuff - G4 & Netscape 6.1 & Blender
6. Web Site Focus - Outer Space
7. Better Bookweek Links
8. Great Sites
9. Readers' Requests/Comments
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
12. Tips
1. WELCOME EVERYONE. In the last Newsletter I listed a
number of sites for Bookweek. Jenny sent me some wonderful
sites after receiving mine, mostly from Queensland, and I have to
say, they are excellent. If anyone has any great sites for up and
coming events please send them along to VT about a month
prior to the event so we can all share them. I have included
Jenny's resource list in this newsletter - they are fantastic.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi
Wonders of Numbers
Etc: A sign to make others believe that you know more than
you actually do.
"Learning how to learn is life's most important skill."
Tony Buzan
Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.
3. NATIONAL ASTRONOMY WEEK - Why not run an astronomy
event at your school - fundraiser - or great night of fun - I envision,
with sausage sizzle. This site provides some great info on the
STATE OF THE SKY. So look up and look into it.
The Australian 'National Astronomy Week 2001' will be run from
November 12th - 19th 2001 and provides an opportunity for
all relevant organisations to promote the science/hobby of Astronomy.

'National Astronomy Week 2001'(or N.A.W.) was instigated
by the Astronomical Society of Victoria and is being supported by

Sky & Space magazine (Australia's only Space and
Astronomy magazine) will be
providing editorial support for the week.

A detailed programme of events will be made available in
Sky & Spacemagazine and on the
site in a dedicated N.A.W. section at

The listing on the site is available
to all organisations
(i.e. non-commercial and commercial).
Please forward information on your event to:
Perry Vlahos
President, Astronomical Society of Victoria
Here are some printable text types - use and enjoy
- please send in your text type BM masters to share
for other text types.
Narrative Planner version 2
Exposition - version 1

Exposition Version 2
Take a look at the new Mac G4 Specs - at speeds of up to
11.8 gigaflops it is the fastest ever. Not only are they amazing
The New Netscape 6.1 Browser can now be downloaded for Mac,
Linux, Windows. Check your systems requirements here then
click the downloads button.
It is a big improvement on the last Netscape and might be back
as the King of browsers again, I like it so far............
For reviews and comments goto,11314,80349,00.html
Download it at:-
The latest free software to be making waves is BLENDER
This is 3D animation software, learn how to create your own
games and animations. This program is for your serious animators
years 7-12.
Free Trial for EASYTECH
Through RGMT, all Australian Schools are able to access a free trial of
EasyTech that is an online learning system for ICT, which is
gathering considerable interest in the USA. It currently covers Australian
grades R-8. RGMT requires that you register with them if you are
interested. The trial period is up to October 15th
if you are interested
Here is some info about EasyTech:,1481,9,00.html
I haven't trialled it as yet - I would be interested to hear from
anyone who has.
To go with NATIONAL ASTRONOMY WEEK some outer
sight outer space sites for Year 3-6 students.
Kids Laugh and Learn - lots of activities info and games
The Space Place
Is an upgraded version for Kids of 'Nasas wonderful site.
I know bookweek has now come and gone - but these links
are terrific and I'm sure there are lots of links here you can
use all year.
"Could I suggest that these links may be even more relevant to
Book Week than the ones you sent?
This is a site developed by the Ipswich District Teacher-Librarian
Network with lots of links to sites, resources, shortlisted authors,
activities and web-sites relating to the books.
This is the official web site of the Childrenís Book Council of
Australia. Here you will find the shortlist and winners announced
almost at the same time as the official announcement. See it here
TIPS Hot Topics - Education QLD's list of web sites that offer
resources to support the celebration of Children's Book Week.
The Curriculum Materials Information Services - Evaluation
Section from the WA Education Department has the complete list
of details relating to the shortlist, including cost. They also have a
special web site for Book Week.
State Library of Queensland Young peoples services.
Contains links to other sites and activities for a number of
shortlisted titles.
A website created by Ann Smith for 2001: A Book Odyssey built
around a space interpretation of the theme.
A web page which consists of a clickable worksheet and a
printable one for the children to complete is available at created by
Aveen, Casual Teacher-Librarian
Thanks Jenny
FROG FOCUS - National Australian Awards for Excellence in
educational Publishing for 20001 announced in Sydney on
June 20th the primary website category winner was Frog Focus
K-6 School Site with GREAT TECHNOLOGY IDEAS for each grade
This site Involves designing a brochure about emergency plan for
area if a disaster occurs.
Preparing a disaster report in the role of Monty the channel 9 weatherman.
Bushfire Survival
Australia's Tropical cyclone high risk areas
Michael Thompson's Australian Weather pages
A webquest on volcanoes for years 3-7:
I expect you'll already have the web museum on your list
(I've mislaid url) - but
may be new to you (It's a sort of yellow pages for art sites).
Neil Stanley
Programme Leader - Educational Information Technology
Teacher Training
Liverpool John Moores University
No I hadn't seen this site - its amazing - loads of links - thanks
a lot - I added it to the Art Link on VT.
Hi Cathy
I am about to undertake my Diploma of Education (Primary)
next year and subscribe to your Virtual Teacher Newsletter.
I hold a degree in Sports Administration and have been
working in the sports industry for the past 7 years,
however have always wanted to be a teacher and I am finally
fulfilling that dream with a 1 year diploma course. I subscribe
to your newsletter because I have been told by other teachers,
that I should be collecting as many resources
as possible and find your newsletter not only great for that
reason but also for my own wellbeing in learning things
about teaching and being a good teacher. I guess,
although not directly related to your newsletter, I am a little
concerned about only doing a 1 year course that I would
be missing out on a lot of teaching theory, practice etc that
a student doing the Degree course would get. You seem to
have a lot of experience therefore I am asking your
opinion and your advice as to what you feel I should try
to get information about (websites, books etc) or even take
extra subjects in, in order become a good teacher.
I'm not sure if I am expressing what I want here very
clearly. Will I be at a disadvantage as a teacher having
only completed a 1 year
I am 29 years old.
I hope that the above makes some sense to you and that are
able to help me.
Hi Ana,
A one year course is not enough preparation for teaching -
your worst fears realised - BUT neither is a 3 year course or
a 6 year course. I am still learning. I guess that is the secret.
Teaching like any profession is about continued learning.
It's the only way to keep it fresh and interesting and new.
There will always be updates new ideas, and you need to
keep abreast of these.

The amount of "STUFF" can appear mind boggling. That's cool.
The essence of teaching is to be an interesting creative motivated
positive person. Read, research, go to lectures or inservices
THAT INTERST YOU. Select material on the basis of your
current interests. There is no right things or ideas, you need to
make manure(heavy duty fertiliser for growing beautiful things)
of them all, and develop as a human being - this
makes the best teacher.

Hard work - YES
Easy answer - NO

I read books constantly- children's book of the year selections,
the latest thing I saw in the bookshop that looked interesting,
someone's recommendation. I have a personal relationship
with my local librarian and she puts good books aside for me.
I always check out the new books arriving at the library and
reserve any that look interesting. I'm currently reading
"The Painter' by Libby Hathorn, and "Wonders of Numbers"
by Pickover, the new NSW Art Curriculum, and a couple of

I love Van Gogh's work and have worked on activities for
students with this artist. The other day I read in the newspaper
about a new twist in the ear story - I used this in class straight
away - because I was excited about it and it was fresh and fun.

I spend time learning new computer programs - surf the
net, and explore. I love films. performance, poetry, reading,
filmaking, excercise, eating, jokes etc
All these interests I bring into the classroom dressed up as
lessons - lessons that add freshness and excitement.
This makes it more interesting and motivating for the
students BUT - way better for me - I enjoy what I do.
This is the key - ENJOY WHAT YOU DO - if it bores
you it will probably bore the students. And don't get
defeated by the old wives tale if they are motivated
there wont be any discipline problems. Even in the
most motivating lessons you may still have kids who
are difficult - and this is the challenge - to figure them
out and motivate them too - often with a different
spin altogether.
Its a challenge daily for everyone - no one knows it all -
ask for help when you need it - see if you can help out
at a school while you are training - above and beyond
any prac you do - find a really good mentor if you can -
you sound like you have a few already in the family.
Your very question shows you'll probably make a great
teacher - but the making is a continuous process.
What does everyone else think?
Any great thoughts on What makes a great teacher?
10. NEXT ISSUE - I will be looking at Poetry appreciation
and also sites for the Gifted and talented. If you have any
thoughts send them along.

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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