No: 191

VT's FREE Newsletter for Educators - Insight, Inspiration and Ideas that Work!
Working Scientifically with RUBE Goldberg

Hello Everyone,
What a wet and wild week we have had. Just the sort of weather to build a RUBE Goldberg Machine. Take a look and enjoy.

You'll love the Narrative Voice spider, what a great idea for simple classroom videos.

I am really excited about looking at Improvisation & Jazz. I love jazz and so will be including some great ideas about working with kids and Jazz in the next newsletter - send in any.

Thanks to VT's newest supporters, I love the comments and stories about how VT is used, keep sending them in. You can become a supporter too, at Virtual Teacher for JUST $5, just click on the supporter link on the left hand side of the home page.
Thanks to all the recent purchasers of Do You Need a Hammer to do Multiplication? Take a look at some of the pages in Do You Need a Hammer to do Multiplication?, get your own copy, and find out the ANSWER.
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It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought -- that is to be educated.
Edith Hamilton, educator and writer (1867-1963)

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.
Robin Williams - Dead Poet Society

Narrative Voice
Narrative voice is another name for a person telling a story. The narrative voice adds clarification and can better explain what is going on in a scene -- it's even an insight into a character's thoughts. Take, for example, this spider who couldn't hide. Fabulous. Use this as inspiration for making a video, use iPads. Write and record POV for the For the Birds | Original Movie from Pixar(3.26m) or for Pigeons (2.5min rest is credits) Also try some live action videos from the Discovery Channel - try activities with whole class first then in pairs. (short videos about 2mins)

You Can Learn Anything

This is a great motivational video from Khan Academy(1.30m). Try it with your kid -let me know how it goes.

Rube Goldberg
If you are interested in Hypothesising, Creative Problem Solving, Trial and Error, Innovation, using variables, asking questions, discussing outcomes and having fun, then RUBE is the Goldberg for you.
In fact these are the "Working Scientifically" skills and outcomes in the New NSW Science Syllabus. And then of course you could take a look at the "Wallace and Gromit" Videos(All available in full length on YouTube), and then to Narrative and claymation, for a little multimedia cross-curriculum integration. There's maths with the number of parts used, trials taken - graphing the results - the list is endless. And it's lots of fun and totally engaging.

Massive Rube Goldberg This video shows a massive chain of dominoes (Rube Goldberg) where different clips are put together to make it seem like one big domino chain!

fghhg. What it means to ME(the teacher)
RUBE Goldberg APP
& costs $3.79
The first and only official Rube Goldberg puzzle game. Solve everyday problems in Rube’s trademark elaborate style by creating complex and hilarious machines.

One of the Coolest APPS
Solar Walk
Tour the solar system with this dazzling astronomy app, which lets you fly Google Earth-style from one planet to another, learning along the way.

It has a beautiful pictures, the easy to understand interface and the abundance of information.
There is a free version but it has a lot of limitations, the paid version offers much more and is way less frustrating at $1.29 - much better deal.

3 Great DANCE Links
The Great Pyramid of Egypt (How was it built) - BBC
A realistic and breath-taking step by step recreation of the building of the pyramid in Egypt pharaohs
check out other Egyptian Links on the Virtual Teacher Ancient History page
Chain Reaction a nice adjunct to the RUBE Goldberg effects.
I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

Hello Cathy,
With the start of the school year it is opportune to mention what is coming up with Inanimate Alice. A great deal is happening behind the scenes that is not reflected on the website.
You can expect to see episodes 5 and 6 before too long and much more besides. You have been waiting forever for Episode 5 to appear….and still we have not delivered! I can tell you that the episode is complete and in final testing. It is a much larger file than the previous episodes and will take longer to download. But it will be worth it.
Expected publication October 2014. We are thrilled to have received a Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council of England for the creation of Episode 6 of the series. This will be Alice’s first fully 3D adventure in an explorable game-like environment. No guns, cars or sports of course, it is first and foremost a high-quality literacy experience. Expected early 2015. In the meantime, we have been translating the series into Japanese and Indonesian for Australian learners of those languages. Those translations and the accompanying interactive journals will appear on Education Services Australia’s Language Learning Space soon. The translations will also appear on
We are aiming to see Alice appear at many more educational events over the next 12 months with presentations scheduled for BETT and ISTE.
We are earnest in our desire to see Designer Librarian Amanda Hovious present at SxSWedu – /help-me-bring-alice-to-sxswedu-2015 /help-me-bring-alice-to-sxswedu-2015 Can you help with that? Please spend a couple of minutes giving Amanda a “thumbs up” on the SxSWedu Panelpicker site.
We’re always interested to hear how you and your students are getting along and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the new adventures. Drop me a line at
All the best, Ian Harper
Hi Ian,
Inanimate Alice is a Great webisode story - fabulous teacher resources a multi-modal text. Download the Teacher Resource pdf lpdf lesson starter

GO take a look and support "ALICE"
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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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