Computers and Email

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 24 -23rd August 2006

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.   Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list.  Thank you.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

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My PD Updates

Watch this space for forthcoming presentations.

I will be in New Zealand in October.  If you have any contacts in New Zealand who would be interested in hosting a PD in early childhood music and movement, please let me know their contact details and I will contact them direct.  Many thanks.

Book Stocks Low

Kidz-Fiz-Biz has gone international with the release of the new UK version (revised 2nd edition) of the original 2 book pack.  This has been released simultaneously throughout the UK, USA and Canada.  When stocks of the original are all sold in Australia, the UK version will replace the original.  What that means is that the original will become a valuable collector’s item.  It will not be reproduced so if you own a copy, celebrate!  As there is limited stock still available, if you would like to purchase a pack or know someone who would, please get them to get in touch with me asap before they all go.

Computers and Email

Love them or hate them, computers are a part of our lives. Our children do not know a world without them. To be a part of the child’s world, even a pre-schooler’s, is to be computer literate. At the very least, you must know the basics. It is essential that you make your computer your friend. I make this comment because I am amazed at the number of teachers and others who tell me they don’t have an email address or they can’t remember it. This is extraordinary given that education departments give every teacher an email address and that you can open up a free account with hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc down at your local library or for a minimal cost for your time, down at the local internet cafe. 

Of course the downside is the amount of junk mail that comes through your email inbox but there are ways around that.  Since you are reading this newsletter on your computer screen, I am obviously preaching to the converted. I am suggesting that you encourage people you know who currently have a phobia about using the computer to just have a go.  Lead them by the hand if need be. You do not have to be an expert. I am still basically using my computer as little more than a word processor with access to emails and the web but I can’t survive without it. I am the first to encourage children to be active, to read, to play, to talk and so on, rather than be in front of any kind of screen, but the fact is their lives are dominated by computers. Use that to your advantage.

Alvin Tofler in his book “Future Shock”, written about thirty-five years ago, which is when computers were beginning to be used, although PCs were not yet invented, said that people who would survive and thrive in the 21st century were those who could best adapt to change.  He was right of course.

In case, like me, you don’t fully appreciate all that your keyboard can do, you may find the following of benefit to help you with some basic functions.  I found it amongst the newsletters from Jason Jordan’s PCGURU newsletter ( You might like to cut and paste it or print it for future reference.

In Microsoft Word, you can use all of the function keys for common commands. Here they are:

F1 – Get Help or the Office Assistant
F2 – Move text or graphics
F3 – Insert an AutoText entry (after Microsoft Word displays the entry)
F4 – Repeat the last action
F5 – Choose the Go To command (Edit menu)
F6 – Go to the next pane or frame
F7 – Choose the Spelling command (Tools menu)
F8 – Extend a selection
F9 – Update selected fields
F10 – Activate the menu bar
F11 – Go to the next field
F12 – Choose the Save As command (File menu)

Function keys are also valuable in many games. You use them to load guns, blast aliens and cast spells, among other things.

Quote of the Week

The computer allows you to make mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
– Mitch Ratcliffe.  (from Jason Jordan’s newsletter ‘ PC Guru –


Advice from Technical Support: Here are a few possible solutions to your computer problems – go for a walk, ride a bike, play with your kids, talk to your partner, read a book …

I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer for several evenings at bedtime. She would repeat after me the lines from the prayer.
Finally, she decided to go solo.
I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer:
“Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from E-mail.


Dear Marlene,

Thank you for your product. It was really helpful to me, and the children love dancing and performing those activities.

It was worth buying it..


How wonderful to have this new book for the very young child! Clearly written and sweetly illustrated. A charming book, I recommend it.

Dr Betty Rudd, Chartered Psychologist & Teacher

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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