Hello Everyone,
It's the countdown to the end of the term. Christmas is coming, Santa has arrived in stores, and Christmas decorations are up, with some product coming down - recalls already. Here's hoping everyone has a great end of year, with fabulous parties and splendid concerts. Did anyone try out my "Let's Twist Again" item in the last newsletter??
This newsletter contains lots of Visual Literacy items, I hope you love them. The transforming Ninja Star is fabulous and can be used as a transforming Christmas Star decoration. Check out the Unreal Engine 4 videos they are amazing.
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It's the last 6 weeks of school, report writing, busy concerts, and festivities, we are tired and a little frayed at the edges. Here's something that might add some perspective


And Happy T-REXMAS to you.
Love this little fun site. It inspires lots of creative ideas and ways to take photos with a
T-Rex or any other toy you can imagine. Check it out. Great for inspiring creativity.
ALSO check out the VirtualTeacher Christmas page. There are some great activities. I love the NRICH Advent Calendar(the link is for 2017 so far but jsut as good)and of course the Santa videos.
The whole school day is a rush between meetings, preparation, writing their program, testing, Naplan, writing reports, getting and maintaining accreditation, data entry, documenting everything etc. In fact, since the introduction of the Professional Teaching Standards in 2011, no-one has any time. Everyone is so busy documenting their own teaching practice they have no time. No time to assist beginning teachers, no time to assist and support colleagues, in many cases the profession has become adversarial as teachers compete for positions and make themselves "look" employable for new advancement positions. The demands of the job have simply become too much.
"Experienced teachers have had enough," Professor Riley says.
Comments like
I don't know how much longer I can take this"
I love teaching but 80% of the time you are doing something else and not teaching."
I need a break
Teachers are leaving the profession in significant numbers — the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest 53 percent of people who hold a teaching degree, do not currently work in education.
Although the figure varies by locality, about 40 to 50 percent of our newest teachers leave within their first five years on the job.
Why are they leaving
These graduates are leaving for various reasons, but similar themes recur: they feel burnt out, unsupported, frustrated and disillusioned.
There must be a better way.
1. The International Baccalaureate Curriculum is a fully developed curriculum supplied to teachers, they do not program, they implement an existing program. A huge amount of teacher time could be reduced by implementing this system in Australian schools.
2. Testing should be drastically reduced and if required should be conducted online and automatically marked with results feeding into individual student reports.
3. Report writing should be streamlined, all data entry should be automated directly from existing programs students are working on, eg Mathletics, Reading Eggs etc. REport categories should be reduced. Reporting on individual outcomes removed.
4. Reduction of administrative task undertaken by teachers from the current 80% to say 20% by using automation and administrative staff.
Get back time to be creative and inspiring and collegial, and let teachers do the job they love - teaching


Here's some short funny videos for great digital literacy discussions or story starters.
These are great toward the end of the term and provide fun, amusement and creativity. You might like to storyboard the endings and shoot alternatives, then check out the real alternative in the videos.
You could discuss emotional responses.
You could write alternative endings perhaps using "if....then" propositions.
Hope you love them.
Also if you know of any other great videos please send them in.

Gopher Broke

This video is about a poor little gopher that can't find any food.
Love this one. Great to discuss emotions.
Cairo, 1920, an archaeologist is about to discover the secret of the Egyptian Pyramids. this one was recommended by my friend Paul. The kids laughed like drains. You can stop it at 1.13m 0r at 2.35m and ask the kids what will happen next, discussion, writing prompt, image, whatever you like.
of course the fabulous
For the Birds by Pixar we turned the sound off and wrote a dialogue script for this, including correct speech marks. Lot's of fun. The kids then read their script as a voice over.
The Box 7m - Great for discussions on Point of View(POV)

Hey Deer! by Ors Barczy 6.15m A great little Christmas story with a surprise ending.

XMAS Transforming STAR


How to make an 8 point transforming Ninja Star Use Zac Sideris Snap Guide
and follow the step by step instructions or watch the video.
Maths Investigation
How many different shapes?
How many of each shape?
How many sides in the Ninja Star?
How many vertex in the Ninja Star?
How Many Faces?
How many sides in the Octagon?
How many vertex in the Octagon?
How many Faces?


Ridiculous Realistic Looking Characters!

How far has digital animation and reproduction come? The Unreal Engine Unreal Engine 4 is a complete suite of development tools made for anyone working with real-time technology. From enterprise applications and cinematic experiences to high-quality games across PC, console, mobile, VR and AR, Unreal Engine 4 gives you everything you need to start, ship, grow and stand out from the crowd. Check out their website for Video Tutorials.
A great format for secondary students with opportunities to learn from the best.

Unreal Engine 4 FREE
Take a look at the digital person at 3.14m into the video, also Starwars and the ray tracing with reflections and Andy Circus and the alien face. This is amazing technology and all available in realtime without the need for rendering as the game is played.
Follow this up with the How Game Engines Work! video. Which is great for starting to think about how games work and the coding logic and thinking required.
these videos are great discussion starters for K-12

What makes objects look real?

What's real and what is not?

Do shadows create images that are real?

Is the shadows that create the reality?

Are 3D objects created by shadows and lighting?

How do light sources bounce on objects with movement?

What is ray tracing?
I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.
Greetings Cathy

Great to get the latest VT by email.
A FB group which may be of interest to some of your subscribers is “STEM Australia”
Mostly Australian teachers who self select into the group.
Advertising is limited to relevant events, rather than products for sale. STEM Teaching Ideas does that very well.
STEM Australia is for conversations, advice and Q&A for anyone who needs assistance with STEM, or has something to show off..
Too little opportunity for recognition of the energy and enthusiasm shown every day by teachers in classrooms.
STEM Australia currently has ~2600 members(in 18 months) and 76% female teachers with 45% primary teaching
There are over 2100 active members each week..
Gary Bass
Mag-Net- the magnificent network
Online Association of STEM Educators

Thanks Gary

Hi Cathy
I am inquiring about whether you may be interested in linking to our site from your Newsletter page?

Maths Chase is a completely free site where you can quickly test your times tables. The site is a very simple game but I think kids will find it a really fun way to learn their times tables. I am wondering whether this could be a useful resource for your site readers?

Thank you very much for your consideration.
Kind Regards,

Hi Sarah,
Interesting site for quick warm-up activities. Great that it can be set for any level. Great job.
PS What does everyone think - let me know if you try it out.
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Editor: Cathy Brown
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