No: 212

VT's FREE Newsletter for Educators - Insight, Inspiration and Ideas that Work!

Hello Everyone,
Easter will be upon us shortly. Check out the VT Easter page for some eggceptional ideas.

Here's one of my favourites The Snorkellers.
Take a look at the persistent inspired work of Jack Andraka and the Amazing TRANSFORM technology invented by MIT. This is certainly a great video to inspire your students.
MEMES have been around forever. Take a new look at them and see if you can spread learning virally in your classroom.

It is already a year since my last supporter drive. Thanks to all the folk who support VT just $5.00 per year.

To become a VT supporter. Just click on this link & support VT Thanks to all the recent purchasers of Do You Need a Hammer to do Multiplication?
Get your own copy, and find out the ANSWER. Just $4.95
Spread the Word about VT, email this newsletter to someone you think might love it. And send in your Impossible ideas.

Have a great week, make it count.


The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice,
peace, and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!

Martin Luther King, Jr., civil-rights leader (15 Jan 1929-1968)

If we teach only what we know how to test, we won't survive. We won't deserve to survive.
A Seamless Curriculum* *A single, systemically integrated whole, every part of which relates logically to every other part.

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer

Fable for the School People A cautionary tail worthy of discussion.
This is Jack Andraka
And trust me, you're going to want to remember that name. Watch the Video.
Take a look at the site.
A true Super Hero. Jack developed a reliable test for pancreatic cancer using Carbon nanotubes.
A great story where persistence paid off.

TRANSFORM - Amazing Technology Invented By MIT

Watch the Video TRANSFORM fuses technology and design to celebrate its transformation from a piece of still furniture to a dynamic machine driven by the "stream" of data and energy. Created by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and the Tangible Media Group from the MIT Media Lab, TRANSFORM aims to inspire viewers with unexpected transformations, as well as the aesthetics of the complex machine in motion.

SPEAKING & LISTENING How to speak so that people want to listen - Julian Treasure

EMPATHY RSA Shorts - The Power of Empathy What is Empathy? What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy K-2 (2.30m)Ramsey McNabb on knowing how other people feel.
The Paradox of Empathy Great discussion starter for Stage 3Tragically, Hector’s father is involved in a car accident and dies. Hector is devastated. An acquaintance, Anita, tells him that she knows just how he feels. Angered at her presumption, he responds, “No, you don’t know how I feel!” After all, how could she know how he feels? She doesn’t know what he is going through, what he is thinking and how he is feeling. No one can know how anyone else feels.
GREAT RESOURCE Using Children's Books to teach Philosophy
Ready to try your hand at having a philosophical discussion with children? To help you out, we’ve assembled all the materials you’ll need to do so, except the books.
This site also has lesson plans and resources one of my favourites is Plato’s Ring of Gyges

Kinder Philosophy - Creative Critical Collaborative Inquiry

If you would like some great advice or to attend acredited courses my good friend Kate Kennedy White
runs some excellent courses.

I must admit this is exactly what I thought of first when I saw this word. But MEMES can be a lot of fun. Memes have been around for a long time, well before the Internet, with signs that spread like wild fire, "Kilroy was Here" which showed up well before World War 2, "Frodo Lives" was another spray painted phrase that spread all over the world.
What is a MEME wikipedia says its an idea behviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture a MEME can be anything from a symbol, a word, a phrase or a gestere or even a ritual.
The word MEME was coined in 1976 by a British Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene, as a concept for discussion evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas in cultural phenomenon.
Take a look

So how great is this. You can use MEMES in the classroom to spread ideas. If they are fun and engaging students will want to share them and spread them. What better way to build a classroom culture than to use a cool MEME to promote great classroom behaviour. Are you getting any ideas?
Here's a few of my favourites.

And here's one about a classroom theme.
Check out Mrs Orman's Class for some ideas for Memes
Make your own MEME online


Check out the Virtual Teacher Easter Web Page for lots of great Easter Resources.
Australian Wheat Harvest 2015

2015 harvest using a Phantom 3 Pro drone

shows the airborne footage of the 2015 wheat harvest - amazing footage - huge machines and vast wheatfields.

And for absolute Madness

Head to this Hema product page for an epic online Rube Goldberg.

Hema is a Dutch discount retail chain that you’ve probably never heard of. What do think of this? Does it enhance the shopping experience, would you buy more from this onlin shop. It made me laugh. I certainly would. What do your kids think?? Is this a good marketing tactic? Is amusing your customers part of a good retail marketing strategy??

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

Hi Cathy
The story on Malta brought back memories. We visited in 1984 - living in the UK at the time and it was a relatively quick hop across. Loved the sun, the quiet, the history and the people. Couldn't drink the water - I believe it was desalinated, but not very effectively. Also, the roads were a shocker - we had a small hire car, Ford Escort, and some of the potholes were as big as the car.
Just moving on to teaching things for a moment.
You may be aware that teaching 'philosophy' in junior school is the next big thing here in Queensland - a teacher by the name of Adam Kuss is leading the charge - he has established an Academy of Ideas, and teaching 'philosophy' at selected junior schools is an integral part of its mission.
I have found a few things relating to 'philosophy' on Virtual Teacher - was wondering if you knew of any other courses or resources that might be appropriate for a 'gifted' eleven-year-old who loves debating 'philosophical issues'.....e.g. the human condition....and e.g. the validity or otherwise of the Australian monetary system.... Any thoughts, suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks and regards

Hi Ron,
Roads are still the same, parking is impossible, people are lovely, climate is amazing and prices are so much cheaper than Australia. Food is fabulous and coffee even better.

I've been teaching Philosophy to primary school for years. I did a couple of years of study at Uni in Philosophy. I think it invades almost every other subject, and that's the way I teach it.

There is a link on the VT site for Philosophy
I loved the Julian Treasure Video and The Sesame St discussion on Empathy.
I have added some other links on the page as well that are great.

I also use some of the stories under the mind candy drop down as well.The Starfish story is a good one. To get an idea of alternate Philosophical approaches take a look at the 'Why did the Chicken Cross the Road Page".

Another approach is to investigate the philosophical disciplines/major philosophers and review situations and stories from those perspectives.

I prefer the former approach.

I will put resources for this topic up in the next newsletter so if you have some great ideas send them in.



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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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