by CATHY BROWN No:242 07 06 2019
We have been discovering things. The kids have been so excited - working things out for themselves and making their own discoveries. I have posted a few headless videos on the youtube channel for VT so check them out.
We had some great fun with Sphero Knievel the kids were so engaged. I'm sure you wil enjoy the Personal Branding ides as well. There are so many themes that can be discussed.
Please enjoy and let me know your thoughts.
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Manifesto of Core Values
Classroom cultures are real, powerful and they can work wonders. I have just written a Manifesto of core Values to set the tone of the room, to get the team working together.
To make sure that when I am working, I actually enjoy the team I am working with.

This has proven really successful. It is not a list of rules, but proactive in creating a great working environment.

Set up one
for your classroom, your school, make them places you want to be, you can make the change. Make it specific, make it personal, make it original, don't use clichés.

Here is one version.

Core Value number 1
We tell the truth. It's an absolute core value, we are just not interested in slimeballs, "politicians"
and liars, if you're into this your outa here, you are immediately persona non grata.

Core Value number 2
We're here to win. To continually do better and beat OUR last performance. We don't accept anything else but constant improvement. Our class is the best, we are smart and we work hard. We value attention to detail, and precise knowledge, logic and reason. We don't let things languish. We solve the problem and we don't catastrophize.

Core Value number 3
We do what's right for ourselves and the class. Individual initiative will be acknowledged and rewarded. Everyone needs to work toward improving their individual performance and the group's performance, it's your job to think about what you can do and improve it. Go, be proactive, and make it happen.
Core Value number 4
We set goals to improve, be more efficient, waste less time and equipment, improve performance, and personal relationships because the alternative is rotten, to be an aimless floater, with no goals, no objectives, who says:- What? Who am I? Why am I here?
Core Value number 5
Quality is job number one. Quality classroom environment and quality work. It's the most important thing we do. We do the best we can. Our Class needs to be a friendly place that folk enjoy coming to and feel welcome. We believe in quality work, no work leaves our desk, that isn't a great work.

In every job that must be done there is an element of fun, you find the fun and SNAP the jobs a game.
Mary Poppins

Teacher: How old is your father?
Kid: He is 6 years.
Teacher: What? How is this possible?
Kid. He became father only when I was born.
(Logic!! Children are quick and always speak their minds.)

AUSTRALIA in the 1960s

The National Film and Sound Archive have a great series of films of Australia in the mid 1960s. The films cover each capital city. They are great to use in conjunction with history units based on past and present studies. The NFSA has a number of online films, a great resource.
Made by The Commonwealth Film Unit 1966. Directed by Joe Scully. Episode 12 shows an idyllic picture of life in the New South Wales capital of Sydney in the mid 1960s. This series was made to encourage immigration to Australia and to highlight the various social activities, employment and educational opportunities and lifestyles of the various cities and regional centres throughout Australia.

Icelands Glaciers are Expanding


The researchers were shocked by the discovery that all of Iceland’s glaciers, including Vatnajökull, Langjökull, Hofsjökull and Mýrdalsjökull, have expanded in the last twelve months, from autumn to autumn. With Mýrdalsjökull showing a really “significant addition of ice this year.”
Our star has just exited the Modern Maximum –a 30-or-so year period of high solar activity– and is now on the slide back down.


This lesson was a smashing success we all had great fun and discussed gradients, inclines, angles, speed etc. The kids want to redesign their ramps and add a second landing ramp as well as an initial ramp to boost momentum - so next week this is our plan.
Mission Objective: In homage to everyone's favorite Daredevil of the 60's and 70's, Evel Knievel, this challenge requires you to design a ramp. Our thrill-seeking hero, Sphero, wants to defy gravity in his attempt to jump over as FAR possible, but needs your help in designing the perfect ramp. How far can you propel Sphero?
Supplies: Sphero BOLT, centimetre measuring tape or metre stick, cardboard, scissors, Ipad -SLO-MO camera app masking tape, Lego, and other things.
Background: King of the Stuntmen
Who was Evel Knievel, you ask? Long before the X games, the internet, viral videos, or YouTube, there lived THE daredevil, Evel Knievel. Known for his flashy white leather jumpsuit adorned with stars and stripes, Knievel performed some of the greatest stunts ever attempted. He jumped over fountains, cars, buses, and semi-trucks on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and even attempted to jump Snake River Canyon in his rocket-powered, X-2 Skycycle. Although idolized for his great jumping feats, he is also most remembered for his many horrific crashes. It is rumored that he suffered 433 bone fractures from his death-defying stunts! His last attempted jump was in Chicago, Illinois over a 90-foot tank of live sharks in 1977.

Step 1: Plan Your Ramp 10mins
Step 2: Create Your Ramp 30mins
Once you have a plan, you may begin construction of your ramp prototype. Your ramp must be free standing and constructed of cardboard and masking tape.
Step 3: Test
With your prototype in place add 1 metre tape along the side of the run and mark off 10cm lengths with the whiteboard marker, write a simple 'Roll' code for Sphero. Remember to turn up the speed and aim Sphero or he'll miss the ramp entirely. Test your prototype ramp!
USE the SLO-MO Camera APP on your iPad. Set the iPad up along the tape near the landing site to document where exactly Sphero Knievel made the landing. Record your length in centimetres (cm).
Step 4 : Test your prototype 2 more times recording your distances. What was your average jump distance in centimetres? What can you improve on your ramp design to give Sphero Knievel more distance? Redesign your ramp and retest it 3 more times.

Insider Information: On my prototype I had a 2.2metre run up. I managed a 70cm jump.
Hot Tip: When you set up your ramp run your Sphero Knievel toward a wall.
ADD: Events to your program once it is running OK. GOTO your Events tab at the base of your interface. Add “on freefall” and/or “on landing” then add sounds and colours to enhance these events.
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

Personal Branding in the 25th Century

I love Sci-Fi, The Orville is a great series. In Season 2 Episode 11 - Lasting Impressions - The Orville crew members open a time capsule from 2015.

In the time capsule, there is an iPhone containing text messages, photos and a video of "Laura" the owner.

This is a great intro for personal branding and discussing "who you are" and what your actions, words say about you. Just play the video from the beginning to 3.23mins in, stop when she says the word "COOL"

What is personal branding??
"Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about yourself."

Firstly we discussed what we thought about Laura. What does her messages convey, what sort of person is/was she? What does her body language and tone convey? etc.

We created a class diagram for Laura. Discussed her personality and the things that demonstrated the traits.
Then the kids made their own diagrams for themselves.
If you knew you were going to leave your phone in a time capsule what would you record on it? What would you leave on your phone that you show who you are? What do you want others to know about you? What words and actions support these ideas.

Make a video clip of a message for people of the future. Work cooperatively to successfully complete a challenge in groups of 2 or 4.

1. The script should be 30secs – 1 minute only.

2. Each person should produce their own script, this is then edited by other group members.

3. Rehearse the scripts.

4. Make a video in iMovie of each persons' script. A

5. Add Title and End credits and audio – sound effects or music over the end credits and title.

6. Airdrop finished video to me.


Write some text messages you would be proud to have people of the future to read.

Use the TextingStory app on my iPad to create a text message to add to your video.
I do answer all emails, so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

Hi Cathy,
My name is Olivia from STEMfans, an extra-curricular group looking to encourage more people to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. We think showing how integral STEM is to our everyday lives will pique the interest of more young people.
I noticed that the simple machines link on your page is no longer working: http://www.virtualteacher.com.au/VT65.htm
The link that no longer works says: http://www.edheads.org/activities/simple-machines/
And it goes to: http://www.edheads.org/activities/simple-machines/
I thought you may consider replacing it with these great visual resources that show all of the simple machines in our daily lives, including how we use them in our homes and cars:
I think that your site's visitors will find these resources interesting and learn something new from them. Additionally, we hope they will reach more people and spark some interest in STEM!
Thank you!
Thanks Olivia these are great links. I don't edit archival newsletters do will put these links on my site. http://virtualteacher.com.au/science.html
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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 cathy@virtualteacher.com.au
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