Virtual Teacher Newsletter April 28th, 2000 No. 4

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. ESL and LOTE Internet Sites
4. Mother's Day
5. Technical Tips
6. Net Detective - Webquest
7. Absolutely Fantastic Site - Kids-Space Org
8. Great K-2 Site
9. Great Sites to Check Out
10. Readers Comments
11. Readers Requests - Can you help out?
12. Next Issue
13. Code of 'Netizens'
14. Tips
1. Welcome all. I have been re-reading Seymour Papert's "Mind-storms"- Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas. I love his statement in the intro of that book - "The computer is the Proteus of machines. Its essence is its universality, its power to stimulate. Because it can take on a thousand forms and can serve a thousand functions, it can appeal to a thousand tastes".
Lately I have noticed an increased interest in the Internet by several 12-year-old friends. The universality is timeless, a sudden and undeniable interest in the opposite sex. Skills of email communication have been honed remarkably, over the period. Even spelling has improved, when rather cutting remarks were passed in regard to this inadequacy, and the use of the spellchecker is now mandatory. There is an increased used of the internet to find the best sites to recommend, jokes to tell, games to play, and general composition and word processing skills have increased 10 fold.  Young love what a universal motivator. The beauty teaching computer skills is that the students are already motivated in one way or another.
Linda Dennis - Editor-in-Chief, of "The Premiere Magazine for Computer And Photo Crafting" (US) will be reviewing the Virtual Teacher site and newsletter shortly. Virtual Teacher will also be providing a column about the Internet downunder in the fall issue of this magazine - I am pleased as punch about this. So if you have any recommendations for great Australian sites send them in and I'll include your email address in the article. What fun this could be. I'll provide you with more details later.
Mother's day is fast approaching so I have included some links for ideas to celebrate these great people. Keep the contributions coming. I have had some requests for info on ancient history from subscribers, perhaps you can help, I'll include these in the next issue. Hope you enjoyed Easter.
2. Mind Candy
Innovation 1872
Check out the Rules posted by a Manhattan Principal in 1872.
If you've ever wanted alternative words for school reports - here's your list of politically correct terminology.
Children remind us of who we were while helping us to
see who we have become.
Maureen D. Aube,
3. ESL and LOTE
This initials mean English as a Second Language and Language other than English. The web resources for these are vast, I love the translation pages and have had a lot of fun with then - especially the ones that offer sound wav. file translations as well as written ones.
ESL LOTE Resources General
This is the best links page on the net I have found, but you'll need your flicker glasses on to view it.
Teaching Ideas for a variety of subjects including ESL. These ideas are mostly submitted by teachers.

Edu Hound ESL and Foreign language
Multicultural Calendar

The Department of Education Employment and Training's LOTE Key Learning Area website has links for all teachers of languages.
The above site includes links to subject associations, websites and LOTE links sites
There is also an alphabetic listing of LOTE resources available from
Christine EkinSmyth
Centre for Technology Supported Learning
DEET, Victoria, Australia
Another question from ESL was regarding Chinese Language translators etc some interesting sites for online Chinese language tuition:-
These sites offers lessons in speaking Chinese free online, I liked the fact that it had sound files accompanying it so that the Chinese words could be heard as well.

Here's a good set of LOTE Links

'Everything ESL' is an interesting friendly site, with some great ideas from working teachers.
Thought you might be interested in referring to some of these resources in your next newsletter.
For teachers of German as a second language there is the GermanLinx website <>
a collection of web resources for students and teachers of German. There is a link from here to Das Teddy Baer Projekt, a collaborative project for students of German as a second language. There is also a link to an international website competition running this year for students of German on the topic of the Olympic Games. Development of the competition is supported by the Goethe Institut in Melbourne and we are keen to encourage groups of students to develop a website and enter.
The Association of German Teachers of Victoria also has a website
Please use these as you see fit.
Christine EkinSmyth
Centre for Technology Supported Learning
DEET, Victoria, Australia
4. Mother's Day
Kids Domain never fails to come up with some great ideas for holiday celebrations check out their Mother's Day suggestions.
5. Technical Tips
Put a computer operations instruction list next to each computer for both students and teachers. Stapled into a manila folder it is a great idea. Include startup and shutdown instructions, maintenance and troubleshooting tips. Here's one I did recently for the Macs at a recent school inservice I conducted.
I'll be doing one for PCs in the next newsletter, unless some of you kind souls have already done one??? Send it in.
Try the online Eudora Tutorials at
6. Net Detective
Net Detective
Use this webquest to develop Internet search skills. This is an excellent webquest with student evaluation at the end. You can also download it and change the questions to suit your topics.
7. Absolutely Fantastic Site - Kids-Space Org
This was such a fantastic site I just had to review a lot of its pages separately. It is so kid friendly. I loved the roving balls that follow the mouse pointer, I could have played with those for ages. Children can submit their own work to this site - what a class project this would make. Have some fun, dive in and take a look.
Create your Own story with the animals - and then print it out. 7- 10 year olds
Make your own sound sequence with this picture. Press record, click on various things in the picture, then press play. Great for 5-8 year olds
Read some great stories by other children, these stories include some pictures in place of words. 7-10 year olds.
I loved this section, make up your own tunes with the leaves and flowers and then give yourself a round of applause by double clicking on the chipmunks.
Try out the sounds of the street in this scenario. 5-8years old.
Learn about scales and musical notes here. This site is just great, 5-12 year olds.
Here is a brilliant page filled with children's compositions that you can play online. How better to motivate a budding musician. I loved this space. After listening to the music you can even write to the young musicians for their scores.
Listen to children singing songs. 3 children singing so far. 5-12
8. Great K- 2 site
Great Class Sites
Kindergarten Miss Fontanella's Kindergarten Class
9. Great Sites to Check Out
Recipe for a Successful Website
A well-done essay dealing with the right way to design
a Web page giving practical ideas and links to example sites;
well worth reading for learning how to design and how to
evaluate Web sites. Fun to read as well. Suitable for 11 years onwards.
Kudos to the National Audobon Society for this great site. Now, you have
access to field guides for more than 4800 species of plants and
animals. Start a list for you, as an individual or for your class, and
add species as you see them. Find out more about various habitats in
the US, or ask an expert about a species you have observed. 11 years onwards, US animals and maps.
Grade Level: Elementary, Middle School, High School, College,
Content Area: Science (Environmental Studies/Life Science) [Dewey #570]
Application type: Project, Resource
Submitted by: Webmaster:
10. Readers Comments
I like your newsletter and web site very much.
I am the technology coordinator for my elementary school (K-5), as well as a
third grade teacher. I am happily sharing the newsletter with my colleagues.
Best wishes,
Fred Mc Gehee
Cullen Elementary School
Glendora, CA

....extremely helpful and age appropriate.
11. Reader Requests - Can you help out???
Susan Gaynard
I am particularly looking for info on Ancient Greece.
Other Readers were also interested in ancient History resources on the web.
Send in your great sites.
12. Next Issue Virtual Teacher will take a look at Microsoft Word 2000(Mac '98). If you are currently using this wonderful program send in your ideas - there's some great stuff in this program. I am also looking to review some great school sites, so if your school has a good site send along the URL and I will review it here. I have had requests for more information about the contributors to this newsletter. In future I will publish your name, school/organisation and email address along with your contribution - unless otherwise requested - so please include them. This should be great, and should get everyone connected. Should you not wish your name published just let me know, and I will credit your contribution to anon.
13. 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!!!
14. 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 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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