No: 183
VT's FREE Newsletter for Educators - Insight, Inspiration and Ideas that Work!

5 Reasons To Be PASSIONATE About Writing
Hello Everyone,
This newsletter is all about reading and writing. I love reading, I have just finished reading the most marvellous book, The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion - fabulous. Then there's Agatha Christie's Big Four and Stardust by Elin Kelsey. I have had an amazing time with this one, its truly a goosebumpelicious treat.
Read it and tell me if I am wrong. Don't forget to buy them through Virtual Teacher's Bookstore
Flow Writing is the most amazing way to write, if you read you absolutely must write.
I was honoured to be able to email Jackie French recently,she is the Australian Children's Laureate for the next 2 years.
There are some amazing events planned, and also online activities. Share a story with Jackie on the Laureate site.
Don't miss out try it now. It will make your life sooo much easier and your students will go ahead in leaps and bounds.
MADE for Australian students
DESIGNED BY Australian teachers
Thank you for your support & contribution! You can become a supporter too. It is the start of a New Year, a great time to become a supporter of Virtual Teacher for JUST $5, just click on the supporter link on the left hand side of the home page.
If you have a book to promote please email me and I will great ones to the Virtual Teacher BookStore, remember support Virtual Teacher and buy your books at the Virtual Teacher Bookstore by clicking through from the site.
Maths Hammers has had a great increase in purchases over the last fortnight - everyone has loved it. great for whiteboards. If kids leave primary school knowing their tables then they are in a great position for high school maths.
Spread the Word about VT, email this newsletter to someone you think might love it.
Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.
Ivern Ball
There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
Anais Nin, writer (1903-1977)
Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.
Ivern Ball
Every noble work is, at first, impossible.
Thomas Carlyle
Outside a dog a book is a man's bes friend, inside a dog it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx
I feel fabulous because words come rushing out of your mind, you cannot finishing
writing all the words!
It feels amazing. It feels like your imagination is doing the work.
It was just like my brain was sucking it out onto the paper.
WHAT is it?
FLOW, The Secret to Happiness - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mihaly looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow."
You are in FLOW when:-
you are completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost. And it feels fantastic.
Flow Writing brings FLOW, WELL; to Writing. read more

Agatha Christies:
The Big Four
I have just finished reading The Big Four - Fabulous read - nothing new really Agatha Christie is THE most popular Crime writer in the World. Take a look
at the Ranker site (great for Bios and information). I love the
characters, the language more than anything is idiosyncratic to each one. I am still talking like Hercule
Poirot and using my little grey cells. Suitable for stage 3 and up. Buy it through th VT bookstore.
Agatha Christie is splendid for visual Literacy as well, compare the books to the movies and take a look at the David Suchet's interpretation of Poirot.
Take a look at the Agatha Christie website - and the rejections she recieved. Most of the cideos are availbe on Youtube for FREE The Unexpected Guest Poirot's David Suchet The Big Four - promo
You Are Stardust
writer - Elin Kelsey and artist - Soyeon Kim

An extraordinary picture-book that that is boldly optimistic and introduces the idea that all nature is connected. It gave me goosebumps when I first read it, and still doeas, it is positively goosebumpelicious.
“Every tiny atom in your body came from a star that exploded long before you were born."
Based on current science, this exquisite picture book provides a great jumping off point for children to use their imaginations and wonder about some big ideas.
”I wrote this book as a celebration — one to honor
the extraordinary ways in which all of us simply are nature. Every example in this book is backed by current science. Every day, for instance, you breathe in more than a million pollen grains."
There is also an app for this book. Showing how to create you own diorama, and looking at connections between people and nature.
This book is perfect for creative activities! Try piecing together different materials to make your own collage/diorama! I'm dying to make one of those little flying capsules on the cover.

5 Reasons To Be PASSIONATE About Writing
1. Facts are now available to everyone.
2. Anyone can write down a list of facts.
3. Facts are just facts without enthusiasm.
4. It's your passion and enthusiasm that compels your audience to stop and listen.
5. This is the reason you can positively electrify your writing by sharing your passion and enthusiasm.
Open with a great hook relevant to your topic: a quick anecdote, a surprising statement that grabs attention, a great headline and by line.
Provide reasons why your audience should be passionate about your topic. Make it relevant to your audience? Use vivid power words that entice your reader. Share your delight about your topic!
Pariculary for a product or book review etc.
What should your audience do? Tell your audience in a clear and motivating call-to-action with a large dose of passion. You must read this book. You must buy this product. Tell me what you think.
Author Questionnaires - Australian Authors and their comments on Writer's block, this is a
downloadable pdf.
Do you get `Writer’s Block?’ What do you do about it?
All writers have times when for one reason or another they don’t feel like writing. Occasionally, this happens to me. My response is to `go with the flow’. Moya Simons.
Writer's Block - Cube on Inspiration - Download the cube or a blank version of the cube
How Writer's Write Now downloadable PDF - The Brief, Style, Skeleton, Writing preflight and Layout.
Definitely not a Text Type. Read and view more links....
Some writer's seem to get it others deny its existence at all, but working with a class of 30 students it's apparent that writer's block does exist.
So how do you overcome it, how can we help our students improve their writing, value themselves and gain the most from the writing experience? read more
fghhg. What it means to ME(the teacher)
From Jackie French the current Australian Children’s Laureate
The Australian Children's Laureate acts as a national and international ambassador for Australian children’s literature to promote the transformational power of reading and story in the lives of young Australians.
So far I've had exactly 40 days as Laureate - the term is for two years. It's been hectic, and extraordinarily exciting. In the next two years I'll tour regional areas in each state; attend at least 14 festivals and conferences this year alone; speak to tens of thousands of kids as well as adults on the power of a book to change lives.
Each Laureate brings their own passions to the laureateship. Mine are to help ensure every child in every school learns to read, with the help of trained professionals, and to be guided to the books they'll love by trained teacher librarians.
I'm dyslexic, and know the battle school can be, BUT also, as a desperate teenager, a wonderful teenager gave me books. A book can change a child's life. Books don't just help us understand the world. They give us the empathy to understand each other, and the tool and confidence to shape the future.
If you'd like to attend any of the festivals, be part of the tours or any of the many video conferences in the next two years, go to the Laureate website at
But I'd also love to hear from you. The theme of my Laureateship is 'share a story.'
Reading Changes Lives’ so ‘SHARE A STORY’ with Jackie French, the Australian Children’s Laureate, today!
‘There are a million ways to share a story,’ Jackie said. ‘To read to a child on your lap; to have a child read to you while you cook dinner; to read to the dog when it has to go to the vet to calm it (or you!) down; to join a storytelling session at your library. You can also tell your grandchildren what life was like when you were young over the phone or Skype or read to thousands of people via video conferencing.Stories tell us who we are. They teach us empathy so we understand who others are. They give us the power to imagine and create the future.’
Share your story on the Laureate website: stories of inspiring people who help kids, but also stories from kids, too. Over the next two years I'm collecting kids' suggestions about how school could be made better.
The suggestions have been extraordinary:
SAM at 5 and 3/4 wants time to do inventions. Think about it: humans are the most inventive species on earth, but kids don't get to invent anything at school. Sam is currently working on his machine to mine the asteroids.
EMILY wants a 'dress up library' at school, so every day you can choose a tiara or pink socks.
A boy in the Northern Territory wants school to start at 4 pm, because his older brothers keep him up late so he doesn't wake up to 10 am, and then it's not worth going to school. By 4 pm, he says, he'll have done 'all the good stuff' and be ready for a quiet sit down and some teaching. He reckons all his mates would come to school if it didn't start till late afternoon.
Please, send us your stories, or send in your kids' stories, and share in celebrating one of humanity's great achievements: not just writing, the magic of stories, the excitement of passing on ideas, but the joy of sharing it with each other.
Jackie French Australian Children's Laureate

From Jackie to Virtual Teacher
Many thanks! The site looks superb. Would it be possible to send a paragraph on it and a link to the Laureate Office so we could put it on the web site? All the very best, Jackie Australian Children’s Laureate
Of Course

SEE packets of light at a TRILLION fps

A must watch video.
Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look "around" corners or see inside the body without X-rays.
ASK students to take notes and invent a superhero with this new Super Power.
ASK students to describe how light moves in slow motion.
INVESTIGATE the Theory of Relativity.
FIND OUT what this packet stuff is.
EYE Piece - be Amazed

Amazing - were you tricked - did you say WOW!
What does this mean for visual Literacy?
Does it look real to you?

I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

I'm very impressed Cathy..brilliant. I'll pass this on to my other contacts.
All the best

I just checked out your website....all I can say is WOW! Absolutely fantastic! Well done!
Thanks so much Ben & Karen its great to get feedback. good to know you find it helpful

Hi Cathy … I am hoping you could include something about MathsRepublic in your VT newsletter in the near future. In brief I launched MyMaths in Australia in 2010 and it was later acquired by Oxford University Press. It eventually moved operations into its Melbourne HQ but in my time presenting to schools and speaking at conferences (also from my teaching experiences) I developed the concept of Thinking Skills through Problem Solving.
I put together a company MathsRepublic with two others and we designed the site and its functions for the software to be developed over a few months.
Full launch has just happened. If you go to you will appreciate the website and the video explains the concept using animation.
The marketing is always a challenge and although MR is designed to integrate with any T&L resource (including textbooks) many teachers are slow to understand learning and prefer their traditional methods used over many years. All the research supports the concept of problem-solving developing thinking skills (and flipped classrooms etc) so we have I believe a good product.
I am happy to write a brief article etc re problem-solving/thinking skills or provide whatever additional information you would like.
Appreciate your assistance.
Best regards,
Alan Power
Thanks Alan,
What does everyone think of this site?
Next newsletter will be all about HORRIBLE THINGS,Horrible Horrible, Horrible . Don't miss it or it will be HORRIBLE. Please send in any other great ideas or websites, whiteboard sites or fabulous things you are doing.

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Happy 2014
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!!!
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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 an email or tweet me.
Editor: Cathy Brown

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