At my little school, the high school ELA department is already doing more research, and it is wonderful. I am finding myself pushing information out to teachers and working individually with students when they hit a wall, so I am more of a consultant than anything else. Your experience will probably vary depending on your skill set and the requirements of your teachers and students.
If you have not participated in Read for the Record, you are welcome to join!
Please save the date for this year's Read for the Record event Oct 4. The goal of Read for the Record is to have the most number of students reading and/or listening to the same book on the same day. The intention is to gather as many students as possible for one sitting enjoying the story. Information is available @ http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/read-record. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis is this year's book. If you have any time Oct 4 to read to your students, please record the number of children who participated.
If you wish to have copies, administrators, teachers, and librarians can order books or read the Spanish and English version online @
Encyclopedia Britannica is freely available to KS residents. The high school edition features some helpful study guides under the Learning Materials tab as well as news from The New York Times, a dictionary, biographical information, and a This Day in History feature. Students can also expand their search beyond the encyclopedia. For example, I searched Julius Caesar and found a solid article. To the right were links to Journals and Magazines, the Web's Best Sites, and Additional Reading specifically on Caesar. The web sites were particularly helpful. If you are in a hurry and want good information without a lot of fuss, this encyclopedia is a good place to start. One note: the audio tool feature is not as good as the text to speech feature built right into the Mac.
One thing that concerned me immediately about implementation of the Common Core Standards in our district was the fear that teachers and administration would panic about a need for resources and completely forget about the libraries, librarians, and the many resources already in place. As our ELA SAC (Subject Area Committee) was meeting this summer, I asked to speak. Our curriculum director kindly gave me time to talk about library resources.
I put together a powerpoint that probably isn't all that helpful without hearing me present it but maybe the notes will help some. I specifically went into the high school library website between slides 12 and 13 and talked about Online Databases, our card catalog, ILL, TumbleReadables, audiobooks, ebooks, working effectively with librarians, and using the library as a differentition tool. At the time, in late June, every single one of the resources I talked about was in a state of flux, so I tried to really emphasize that the links and information on the library site would always be updated, but that it is well nigh impossible to try to keep up with all the changes as a teacher while trying to teach class. With discussion, questions, and details, the presentation took about an hour and a half.
One thing that I appreciated about presenting was that the teachers were really honest about what they needed from me, and I learned at least as much from them as they learned from me. At a minimum, I am hoping they don't forget about their libraries when preparing their lessons! (MHouse)
One of the freely available online databases available to any Kansas resident is the Auto Repair Reference Center. The database includes information about repair, video about how auto components function, guides to vehicle ownership and maintenance, and in-depth troubleshooting resources.
EBSCOhost also features the New Oxford American Dictionary, the Columbia Encyclopedia, and Teacher Resources that include Academic Search Premier, ERIC, Professional Development Collection, and Teacher Reference Center. I looked up UDL, a term that I had never heard of before the day before yesterday, and found 492 hits.
The nation's first book award program of its kind turns 60 this year. The authors of the 2012 award winning books, Wendy Mass and Diana Lopez, will be in Emporia to help celebrate at two events.
Friday, October 5 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. the authors will sign books at Red Rocks, the home of William Allen White, 927 Exchange in Emporia. Town Crier will be selling books at the sites, refreshments will be served, and docents will be on hand to give tours. For information, consult the site's website.
This event is free but donations are appreciated.
Saturday, October 6 is the date for the awards celebration held in the newly remodeled Emporia State University student union. The fun begins at 7:30 a.m. with booksigning and a variety of other free activities for kids. The union bookstore will be open all day for the purchase of the award winning books and other White Awards related items. A 10:45 a.m. parade around campus will end back at the union where the awards ceremony will be held at Webb Hall. Tickets will be sold at the door, but reserved-seat tickets are available now. Full information here.
Please help spread the word about these events. Hope to see lots of Kansas librarians there!
When you want to search magazines, newspapers, or other material on the State Library of Kansas site, begin with Student Research Center. This is an EBSCO database, and it is easy to navigate and very, very useful.
As you can see from the screenshot below, you can easily control your search. You can search by topic, conduct a visual or advanced search, limit your results to magazines, newspapers, books, biography, media transcripts, maps, primary source documents, country reports, state reports, or film. I recommend that you click on the full text check box so you only get results that have the entire article. You can also just search certain dates. If you want something that is simple to read, you can control the reading level.