Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 56  August 9th 2002 – ROARING SILENCE




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1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo – Career Site

4. New Printables -  Sports links

5. Technical Stuff – Internet Connections Speed

6. Web Site Focus - Maths

7. More PowerPoint

8. Spinout Stories

9. Great Sites

10.  Readers' Requests/Comments

11 Next Issue

12. Code of 'Netizens'

13. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. Roaring silence. An oxymoron that

makes you stop, makes you think, challenges your usual notions

of silence. Creative inventive, new.  The silence inside an

Egyptian pyramid when the last door has been sealed is roaring

silence. Creating new imagery, inventing new ways to express

ideas, is the best way to make an impact with writing, and to start

your audience thinking.  Below is a list of some more oxymorons

I think you will enjoy. Some are clichés and old hat, some are

refreshing and new.  Check out your internet connections speed,

and make some comments on the connections speed report for

schools.  Don’t miss the ‘Angles away’ site, terrific, or the extra

PowerPoint tips. 



Time is not measured by the passing of time, but by what

ONE does, what ONE feels, and what ONE achieves.

- Nehru


"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." John Cotton Dana



45. Act naturally

44. Found missing

43. Resident alien

42. Advanced BASIC

41. Genuine imitation

40. Airline Food

39. Good grief

38. Same difference

37. Almost exactly

36. Government organization

35. Sanitary landfill

34. Alone together

33. Legally drunk

32. Silent scream

31. Living dead

30. Small crowd

29. Business ethics

28. Soft rock

27. Butt head

26. Military intelligence

25. Software documentation

24. New classic

23. Sweet sorrow

22. Child Proof

21. "Now, then ..."

20. Synthetic natural gas

19. Passive aggression

18. Taped live

17. Clearly misunderstood

16. Peace force

15. Extinct life

14. Temporary tax increase

13. Computer jock

12. Plastic glasses

11. Terribly pleased

10. Computer security

9. Political science

8. Tight slacks

7. Definite maybe

6. Pretty ugly

5. Twelve-ounce pound cake

4. Diet ice cream

3. Working vacation

2. Exact estimate


...And the number 1 oxymoron is..

1. Microsoft Works



Welcome to the facts. Here you have access to information on

career related topics. Select the topic you are interested in and

search, browse or read through detailed information, articles and/or

links to other useful resources.’



The start of a Sports Link page send in you sites at

The Bradman link is outstanding and the info on the Australian

Sports Web is most comprehensive.




56K modems run at about 48Kilobitspersecond on a good day

- 9Kbps on a very bad day.

The best you will get out of a 56K modem is about 5 kiloBYTES per

second (Byte = 8 bits)

That is a floppy disk every 8 or 9 minutes (on a good line)


Network Speeds – What do they mean???

Here’s a natty little online device to test the speed of your internet connection




Read the Report below and send in your thoughts regarding

internet access for schools.

Broadband in Australia Availability Issues and initiatives Report


Do you have a student with a passion for science and an

extraordinary flair for public speaking?

Then why not enter the Powerhouse Museum's Talking Up

Science competition?


FREE/DEMO Software/Downloads

I have had many requests for available free programs –

so here are some. Beware FREE Downloads some are

great like Crocodile Clips others are just a waste of time.

Great selection of software downloads from Edsoft,

Crocodile clip is a must have.

Free Downloadable Map puzzles.

Educational Software Co-operative

Free Worksheets and online Games

Hot Potatoes


Recycled PC's Pentium 1, 2, and 3s Available.

Jeff Harper

JKH Brokers

Cartridge Collection

Turn Trash into Ca$h!



Hi Cathy

I facilitate an online project for teachers. It is called the Teddy

Bear Project.

Teachers register on the website, then I match them with a

class in a different country. A teddy bear or other soft toy is

then exchanged.  The teddy writes home a diary by email.

In this way an authentic purpose for reading, writing and using

technology is provided. It is also a wonderful to foster tolerance and understanding of cultures other than our own.

I have quite a few teachers from the US who teach Prep,

Year 1 and Year 2 waiting for classes to be matched to.

Over 3000 teachers have participated in this project since 1996.

Could this publicised in your newsletter please?


The Teddy Bear Project





Angles Away – This site is sooo hot  you can see the team rising.

Links Sites


Make your own Fractals and understand them, great site for independent workers and extension.

Count On – Great Maths site

Tangram site - interactive applet




Please let Paul know that quizzes in Powerpoint, if kept simple,

are very

easy to do.  The responses are simply links between pages of the

presentation, so students can select responses, be linked to a page if the

answer is correct, another if the answer is not correct, and be able to

return to the question or go on to the next question.  In our school

district in Arizona (USA), we use PowerPoint for Jeopardy-type games.

(Don't know if you see Jeopardy in Australia or know of its popularity here,

but it's great for school.)


Yes this is quite true Paul – but keep it fairly simple.


1. Set up your questions, multiple choice is best. eg

What is a googleplex?

  1. a number made of plexiglass
  2.  a silly number that tells jokes
  3.  a very big number
  4. a very small number

2. Each answer is then hyperlinked to another page within the

PowerPoint presentation. Incorrect answers might be all linked to

a page that says NOPE!! Go back and have another GO!!, with a

hyperlink back to the original questions.  The correct answer is

hyperlinked to a page that might say

‘YIPPEE!! Your right!!!’ – with applause sound effects,

‘HERE’S  the next questions’.  (You can thus build up a series of

questions in this way)

3. To Hyperlink pages, highlight the answer to be hyperlinked,

goto the Insert menu, goto hyperlink.  On this menu you will find

a button, on PCs usually at the side, on Macs goto ‘DOCUMENT’

then to ‘LOCATE’ near the anchor dialogue box.  This will allow

you to hyperlink within your PowerPoint from one page to another.

TIP: Each question should have its own correct and incorrect

answer pages, otherwise it becomes hard to return to the correct

section of the presentation.

TIP2: You can use pictures and hyperlink these as well.(Your

MAB block pictures??)

TIP3: Sound effects make it great fun. (Added through

Sideshow/Custom animations – best set on ‘Automatically’)

TIP4: Students can write their own 3 page question and answer

series which can be added together to form one long presentation. T

o Add extra slides GOTO Insert/Slides from file.





“Spinout stories. The Spinout Stories packages combine computer

software and printed books.  They are designed to promote literacy

among students with reading problems in late primary and early

secondary.  The stories are a mixture of informative non-fiction

and interesting fiction, specially written for these older students. 

Each story is available at three levels of difficulty, allowing the

student to start at a suitably easy level and progress in gentle

stages through to more demanding words and sentence constructions. 

At the highest level, the software includes an optional hypertext

facility, allowing the student to click on key words (shown in blue)

and on picture hotspots - this brings up extended information on

the selected subject, with web-like links to still more information.”


This program is easy to load, easy to use, I can see the appeal

for many teachers.  Children in lower primary as well were

motivated by the program as were ESL and remedial children. 

However, not as inspiring as Circus Maths or the Kidspiration/Inspiration packages, not as open ended and creative - even though you

can write your own stories. Many teachers will love the printable

worksheets which can generated from each story according to

personal preferences. I can see a niche for it.

This product is well worth a look. 

Linda Zugai

NSW State Manager

Edsoft Pty Ltd




Here is an excellent set of Primary School Links


Ooey Gooey science recipes


These sites have links for inventors & inventors.

This webquest, although for middle primary children


Book WEEK winners



Before more children get misinformed, read this:


Simon Beck

London, UK

Hi Simon,

I number  of folk have been concerned about this info at VT so I have added this site to the bottom of the page


Thank you Cathy:-) I enjoyed viewing your Web Site.

Your students may find my research in Vincent van Gogh's life..

interesting and intriguing. My friend. Artist Jan van Gogh, will be

visiting my home in September, and yes.. I will learn more of the real

Vincent van Gogh.. who I believe was a true " Artistic Minister.. ", in

his journey through life.


Dennis Pelliccia

Grants Pass, Oregon

Keep us updated the site is most interesting.


Hi Cathy,

Just letting you know that the jokes and riddle link on the year

2/3 page is not working. I am just checking out the newsletter this month. 

Great as always!


Susie W

I have fixed the link – thanks – keep your eye out for more.


Hi, Cathy,

It's been a while since we've shared contact, though I'm still scouring

your wonderful newsletter for new information.  Needless to say, it's

always readily available!  I loved reading about making mistakes, being

able to do so in front of one's students and using them as a problem

solving opportunity.  I tell my students they can add 5 extra credit

points on any assignment should they find an error I've made. Needless

to say, they love it and usually pay closer attention to the materials

presented.  It's a nice incentive, and it also helps their grades.


You should also know that I was able, thanks to you, to get to know and

visit another schoolyard gardening teacher in Illinois.  We initially

connected through your newsletter.  Tracy and I would like to thank you

for the introduction, and we look forward to having an opportunity to

network with others who might have similar projects.

Nancy S-G

Thanks Nancy Always great to hear from you.


I request your permission to create a link

between your website and ours at:

Thank you

Brad Woodbrook

Primary School SIDE 

Conquering  Distance

Challenging  Minds

Thanks Brad, What does everyone think of Brad’s Site???


Hi thanks for your help on the middle ages.  I have another

question this time on the Novel The Wave by Morton Ruhe. 

If there are any sites that have

suggested units or  relate to the actual event on which the

book is based I would be very, very grateful.


Thanks Andrew.

Is there someone who can Help Andrew???


Hi Cathy,

Thanks for all the great links - I mostly appreciate the quality

of your selections. My 5 yr old daughter is focusing on space

at the moment.  I have been searching everywhere on the web

for a simple animated orrery(that works!) of the planets moving


around the sun, so she can have a greater understanding of the

different speeds and orbits of the planets as they go around. 

I have used all the usual search engines.  There must be such

a site out there somewhere surely?!!


Susie W.

Hi Susie,

This one might do:-



Thanks Cathy, you are a gem!!!  It is just what I have been l

ooking for.  You have no idea how many people I asked about

this, and it had stumped us all.


Susie W.


Hi Cathy,

Do you know of any sites where I can send a 13 year old who is

learning German to extend his studies and back up what he is l



Glenda Begg


Hi Glenda,

A quick google search should net you a wealth of resources,

her are a few to start with

and of course the BBC site is excellent

There are also some links from my site at




To Cathy,

I got two replies with an ERROR IMPERATIVE on both - and

I was unable to read them.

Perhaps, we could try again.

I'm looking for an interactive site (games etc.. )for Year 3/4s

with the 100 demons (ie spelling words), plus a site that you

can enter your own list of spelling words onto.

Also, I'm looking for a site that tells me about any feedback

(to the Govt.) from the Australian public on a proposed nuclear

dump in South Australia.  What are their views, and do their

views hold any power anyway.

(Whether they have been consulted I'm unsure?)

 PS - the sites you recommended on McCarthyism were fantastic. 

Thank you.


Hi Maria,

The Spam assassin seems to be alive and well and living at the

CEO at the moment.  The only scrambled message reports I

get are from maybe I am seen as a subversive

force for evil by the CEO I don't  know.  I will add in my defense

that I did theology through the catholic college of education at

some time in the distant past - and passed with distinctions.


Spelling Demons listed at:-


Make your own game at Quia or try some of the games already developed.




Can anyone help Maria on the on the Nuclear dump in SA???


10.  NEXT ISSUE  Looks like the Circus is in town and letter

writing will be on the agenda.  Send in any Sports sites that

are great. Have a good fortnight.

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

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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