News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 122 November 2015 Dear Reader, As you can see from the heading above, this issue marks 20 years since the bir


News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 122 November 2015


Dear Reader,

As you can see from the heading above, this issue marks 20 years since the birth of Starlink in 1995! Something to celebrate perhaps - well, I'm celebrating at least. :)

From its beginnings as a newsletter to connect the (then) Students At Risk projects across Victoria, Starlink has broadened in readership over the years. Readers now include not only folk from the education sector, but also early childhood, aged care, social work, youth work, business, government (state and local), consultants, and community organisations.

So it's not easy to ensure each issue contains something for everyone - but hopefully everyone can find at least one item of interest each time.

Some readers have been on the mailing list ever since the very first issue. Others joined later but have been subscribers for many years. Something I deeply appreciate and value.


Whether you are a long-term subscriber or have joined the readership far more recently, I'll take this occasion to say a heartfelt thank you for your interest in the newsletter and hope you continue to find it useful and enjoyable to read.

BJ Seminars International

Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK-12 Student Learning & Teaching


Developed by the American Psychological Association, this booklet is available as a pdf download.

Beginning teachers will find these principles can serve as an excellent foundation for their work with students.

For experienced teachers it can serve as a great reminder of the things that are fundamentally important for effective teaching and learning.

You might like to take one principle at a time for reflection and discussion at a staff meeting, for example.

While it may hold no surprises for many teachers, it is nevertheless a very useful document and resource.

Dementia Resources


This month I've found three useful resources for anyone living with or caring for someone with dementia.

First, Four Tips for Coping After an Alzheimer's Diagnosis. As the introduction says, although receiving news of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be a scary and confusing time, there are many ways to make the transition into life post-diagnosis a little less daunting. Here are a few tips on how to cope.

Second (launched just this month by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic) is the Engage, Enable, Empower website that "aims to inspire anyone who is living with dementia to know that it is possible to have a good quality of life with dementia". On the site you'll find stories from people who are living well with dementia, as well as a downloadable booklet of these stories. Although other information on the site is brief, it lists useful activities or strategies under the headings of Mind, Body, Support and Health.

Finally, here's a YouTube video - a TV documentary called Dementia: The Unspooling Mind. You will need 45 minutes to watch it all ... and possibly may need some patience or tolerance in relation to the journalistic style! :) But it's well worth watching nevertheless. It's not only moving, but has some very interesting food for thought about different models and means of caring for those with dementia.

The True Size Of ...


Fascinating for all of us, but perhaps most valuable for teachers, The True Size website is a clever, interactive map of the world in which you can use a drag and drop function to compare the size of one country with another.

Created by James Talmage and Damon Maneice, it also corrects the inaccuracies of the Mercator projection, which is the most popular and familiar of the world maps.

The problem with the Mercator projection is that countries nearer the poles are presented as larger in size than they should be, compared with the size of those nearer the equator. For example, in the Mercator projection Africa looks about the same size as Greenland but is in fact about 14 times larger.

Apparently Talmage and Maniece were inspired by two things to create their online map. One was an episode of West Wing and the other was an earlier map created by Kai Krause, demonstrating The True Size of Africa.

End-of-Year De-stress

For many people this time of year and the month ahead can be fairly stressful! For teachers there are many demanding tasks that need to be done before the end of the school year, and kids are also getting restless. Those who work in other fields are also usually scrambling to finish projects or other work requirements before the Christmas break.

All this at a time when many folk have been working hard all year and are already becoming a little tired and worn out. So here is a bit of a bumper collection of de-stressing tips and resources from different perspectives. :)


25 Tricks to Stop Teacher Burnout


Stress Busters: Top Tips for Aged Care Staff


How to Manage End of School Year Stress


Thirteen Stress Relievers You Can Do Easily Now


Christmas: Tips to Reduce the Stress


8 More Ways to Deal with Work-Related Stress


Beating Christmas Stress and Anxiety


How to Deal with Stress: 33 Tips That Work

Bullet Journal


I'm not sure if you are like me, but if so you may have found that electronic task lists don't quite work for you. I've used many different ones, but it seems my 'to do' list simply grows longer and longer and in the end becomes a kind of 'white noise', that sits on my computer doing nothing for my productivity and efficiency.

If this sounds like you as well, you may also be interested in a concept called the Bullet Journal.

Developed by Ryder Carroll, it's subitled 'the anolog system for the digital age' and described as "a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less."

I've been using a Bullet Journal myself for over a year now, and have found it's been wonderful to help me be more productive, focus on what really needs to be done, and 'nag' myself effectively to do what I need to do. :)

It's not for everyone - but you can learn more about it from the website. And if you search the web for "Bullet Journal" you'll find a wealth of other resources about it too.

Starting Blocks


From the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority, comes Starting Blocks which aims to "help new parents answer child care questions and better understand the benefits of quality early childhood education and care. It offers helpful tips for parents on early childhood development and what to look for to ensure their child gets a quality care and learning experience."

The site has a wealth of evidence-based information, resources and tips for parents of young children. It includes sections on child development, strategies to use in the home, choosing and finding childcare or early childhood education services - and many other resources.

Cause Clarity


Cause Clarity is a website created by strategic communications company, Hershey Cause. While there is (very reasonably) a marketing element to what they provide on the site, encouraging you to engage their services, there are a number of very useful resources on the website at no charge.

They have a range of three-minute 'how to' videos covering messaging, branding, fundraising, marketing, social media and media coverage.

Each video is accompanied by a downloadable worksheet provide tips and stragegies to apply in your own organisation, along with some additional references and resources.

Out and About on the Web

ABC Crayons

Teach Learn Lead


The Fundraising Authority


How to Keep your Brain Healthy


Life Changing Experiences Foundation



I've found this website useful for some stationery I wanted, so thought I'd share it with readers who may also be interested.

MassDrop is based on the interesting concept that when a sufficient number of people say they would like to purchase something, it's offered at a lower cost by the company.

Reduction continues up to a designated lowest point, as more people commit to the item.

Categories (called Communities) are fairly limited at present, but currently are: Audiophile; Corvette; Everyday Carry; Hobby Shop; Mechanical Keyboards; Men's Style; Photography; Pro Audio; Quilting; RC Cars; Technology; Ultralight; and Writing.

For more information or to join one of these communities, visit the MassDrop website.

In the interest of transparency, I'll also add that the links here are referral links. No commission is involved. But I do go in a draw to receive some surprise goodies if you use use these links and end up "joining a drop" yourself. :)

And Just for a Laugh ...


I'm sure many Starlink readers will hear their mother's voices - or perhaps their own - in this one. It's a three-minute song called Momisms by Anita Renfroe, sung to the tune of the William Tell Overture. If you miss some of the wording, you can view this version, which includes the lyrics.

And as an aside .. perhaps it's a little daunting to think I'm of the generation that still can not hear the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger! :)


Here's another to make you smile. Out of the mouths of babes ... :)

On the first day of school, a Kindergarten teacher said:

"If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers."

A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"


And finally, one for anyone who works in the community sector ...

A nonprofit staff member went on a blind date. At the end of the dinner, her date said, “OK, here’s how this works. I need you to pay for this meal. Then I'll reimburse you for it. But I can't pay for the drinks, the dessert, the coffee or tips. I'll send you a cheque ... but it'll take 3 to 12 months to arrive.”

“Really?” she said. “Remind me what do you do again?”

“I work in government. Community Services and Grants department.”

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