by CATHY BROWN No:239 28 01 2019
Hello Everyone,
Here's hoping you all had a great holiday, I did, lot's of relaxing, reading, checking things out and well, just doing exactly what I wanted.
You will love using the OZObots, I had such great fun with these your kids will love them.
The FRANKENSTEIN words were a lot of fun. The kids illustrated them as well very cool. Hope you love them.
Valentine's Day is on the 14th of Feb as usual, check out the Virtual Teacher page on Valentine's Day. Some great ideas.

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And send in your Impossible ideas.



Love these little robots.
The OZOBOT site has great tutorials and lesson ideas. You can code the OZOBOT in using colour markers or using block coding with OzoBlocky
Begin by learning Ozobot’s simple color language as you draw mazes, paths, intersections and create entire worlds to explore puzzling playgrounds, fast tracks and intricate labyrinths. with colour markers.
OzoBlockly gives you the power to fully control your Ozobot's movement and behavior. Powered by Google’s Blockly, OzoBlockly offers five modes from Pre-Reader with icon-based blocks to Master with support for many low-level functions and advanced programming concepts. It has something for everyone!
1. Create a story map – plan it out so you know where the robot will stop spin, or speedup.
2. Draw your story map with illustrations and coding in the tracks.
3. Include at least 2 of the following
Tornado: A command to spin around twice at increasing speed, then continue following the line in the same direction.
Zigzag: A command to sway right-left-right-left while moving forward, then continue moving straight.
Spin: A command to spin around twice at a consistent speed, then continue following the line in the same direction.
Win/Exit (Play Again): A command to perform a “success” animation, then continue to follow the line

4. Write a script for your story map.
5. Film OZOBOT on your story map and read the script as a voice over.

Alligator Story Narrated (1m)
Pirate Story Narrated (1.42)
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


The Hour of Code is officially from 3-7 December, but you can do the hour of code at any time throughout the year. Code the Dance Party, or even do the Unplugged Dance Party. Or choose from a variety of coding options including Minecraft.
The Portmanteau, The Portmantrois & The Portmantout
FRANKENSTEIN words are words made up from other words.

A portmanteau is a word coined by fusing two or more words, such as motel from motor + hotel. Portmanteauing is a popular way to coin words (see
here, here, and here), but some people get carried away.
Portmanteaus were invented by Lewis Carroll, the Jabberwock of wordplay.

Meet Dr. Thomas Walter Murphy VII, a computer scientist from Pittsburgh. He gathered all the words he could find (more than 100,000) and jammed them into a single portmanteau to come up with a word
611,820 letters long.
Rules for the Frankenstein Words
1. Can’t loose any letters
2. Has to be an overlap of at least one letter
3. Create 5 Portmanteaus from your spelling list
4. Define the words.
Challenge create the longest Portmanteau you can.
What is love? - Brad Troeger
Let's Begin…
Is love a signal winding through your neural pathways? A cliché? A cult? Love is easy to compare but difficult to define, maybe because we’re fundamentally biased; we try to define love while falling in or out of it. And love feels different to every person who feels it, but this subjective emotion has evolutionary explanations, too. Brad Troeger takes a shot at the definition of love.
Also on Valentine's Day.....
CELEBRATE by finding out what your students love, what they are passionate about, what their interests are.
GET THEM TALKING about their interests and passions with peers, parents and mentors.
ENCOURAGE students to ask questions and find answers about their passions.
EXPOSE them to amazing things, great ideas and passionate people.
INSPIRE them to write and read about their passions.
EMPOWER students to find and explore their passions.
MENTOR them in their discoveries.
Their interests and passions may persist or change, this is quite OK.
You will be giving a gift this Valentine's Day
(Kids who love what they are a dream to teach and you will fall in love with teaching all over again)
I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

Greetings Cathy
I was poking around your site and I came across your amazing resource page:

I have actually created a guide on Internet Safety for parents and kids.

I have reached out to 100+ professional and asked them for advice on how parents can keep their kids safe from the digital threats and some tips for kids to be more cautious when they are online.

I got a wide range of answers - some stuff I'd heard before and some tips that were completely new to me. I took all of that advice and created a massive 4,000+ word guide!

Here it is in case you’d like to check it out: E-safety Guide for Parents to Kids Keep Safe Online

Also, my guide might make a nice addition to your page.

Either way, thanks for putting together your list of resources. And have a great day !!

Talk Soon,
Amanda Brown
Thanks Amanda - this site is well orht checking out. The videos are fun to watch. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Hi VT Team,
My name is Jane and I was looking for information about rock collecting for my young son and came across your website:
I found many of your resources really useful. Thank you for that. I just wanted to let you I found a page that doesn't appear to work. It's this one:
I have also found another resource useful, you may feel it is worth adding to your site. The link is here:
I'd love to hear what you think of it.
Thank you again,
Jane Smith

Thanks for the links - the sites are great I particularly love the one on fossils. This one is already on my website, but great to mention it again. It's very clearly written with great images. I'll put it in the next newsletter.

ciao Cathy
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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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