Let That Be A Lesson!

Where did the summer go? Your children and teen patrons can soak up the sun guilt-free a little longer, but those of you who serve teachers and other classroom support staff know that plans and preparations for fall learning are already in full swing. Did you know that some of our electronic resources contain materials that can help them prepare great lessons and classroom activities? Read on to see what you can find, and where to find it.

Teacher Reference Center 

trc_button_150x75Let’s not overlook the obvious: this resource has “teacher” right in its title, and yet your users might not know it exists. Educators looking for new ideas can consult abstracts of 260 periodicals for articles about topics such as:

  • Assessment
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instructional media
  • Literacy standards
  • Science & mathematics

plus a whole lot more!

Although Teacher Reference Center is not full-text, you can often get to the full-text by

  • adding other EBSCO databases to your search.
  • searching the article title in other county/POWER resources.
  • submitting an  ILL request.

For more immediate needs in the social sciences, Gale’s got you covered.

History in Context (U.S & World), Opposing Viewpoints

uhic-webThese three databases feature a taxonomy of content linked to current educational standards. When you enter each of these databases, you’ll see a link to “Curriculum Standards” at the top. Clicking this brings up a drop-down menu of national and state standards (World History in Context also includes international standards–neat, eh?).

whic-webOnce you’ve selected your state, you can choose to see the social sciences standards for either middle school or high school. Subdivisions within each standard are linked to specific database content. So, for example, teachers preparing a lesson for 9th graders on the rule of law could access U.S. History in Context and, using the taxonomy, jump directly to materials on that topic, as well as on civil rights and the common good.

ovic-webOpposing Viewpoints in Context contains curriculum standards for both the social sciences and the hard/applied sciences. There is also a “Maps” feature that provides not just maps, but all sorts of graphics teachers can use to share statistics or present key information visually.

Speaking of science…

Science Reference Center

SciRC_button_150x75This resource is a gold mine of information for the science teacher who could use support. The reference shelf, on the right-hand side of the landing page, contains links to:

  • More than 2000 lesson plans on a wide variety of topics.
  • Science experiments (full projects and support articles).
  • Research and citation guides to share with students.
  • Worksheets for chemistry, physics, biology, scientific math, and more.

Like the social science databases, Science Reference Center also contains curriculum standards organized by state, grade level, subject, and subtopic. However, instead of linking the user directly to the material, EBSCO provides suggested search strings.

Novelist / Novelist K-8

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English teachers will love the support materials they’ll find in Novelist and Novelist K-8.   If they’re in a hurry, you can very quickly show your patrons how to search by lexile and Accelerated reader. If they’ve got time to spare, though, there are more materials to show off.

If you select the “Quick Links” tab in either database, then click “Curriculum Connections,” you’ll find tons of book lists on common classroom themes. “Books to Reinforce the Alphabet,” for example, suggests books for teaching individual letters. Results can be limited by age, subject, and a variety of other ways. These include curriculum standards for those seeking specific lesson plans to illustrate a particular point.

logoNOVELISTK8Lg“Picture Book Extenders,” the last option under “Quick Links,” also contains curriculum standards-aligned activities that can be used in conjunction with specific picture books. This option, like “Curricular Connections,” is available in both Novelist and Novelist K-8, and results have the same set of limiters mentioned above. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will find these especially helpful as they pave the road to independent reading.

Novelist‘s book discussion guides are a good resource for high school English teachers looking for additional questions to get students thinking about assigned texts. Also located in the “Quick Links” section, these searches can be limited to teen audiences for best results. Each discussion guide contains a list of questions and answers, as well as recommended read-alikes that can help teachers get a curious child to their next book. Please note: this option is not available in Novelist K-8.

Although classroom teachers are the primary audience, these resources might also be helpful for homeschooling parents, child care center workers, or volunteer tutors. With a little help from you and a database, your patrons prepping for back-to-school time might just breathe a little more easily this year.

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Gale LegalForms are Here!

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Introduce your patrons to Gale LegalForms.   This new resource is replacing LawDepot.  It provides access to hundreds of easy-to-use, authentic, legal documents broken down by subject area.  Patrons can use these forms to create wills, powers of attorney, landlord tenant forms, bills of sale, contracts and much more.    Also, Gale provides step-by-step  guidance that helps patrons confidently address their legal issues.  Forms are drafted by attorneys and are customized to Pennsylvania law.

Gale LegalForms information resources also include:

  • Legal Definitions
  • Law Digest
  • Legal Q & A
  • Attorney Directory
  • Sample Letters

There are external links to the Department of Transportation and vehicle services forms, IRS, PA State tax forms, and Vital Records forms.

Check out this great new resource and encourage your patrons to use it!

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By Lisa DeLucia, Upper St. Clair Library

 

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Fizz, Boom, Read…online

Are you a secret science junkie, bubbling over with excitement about this year’s kid’s summer reading theme? If so, you probably already know that Gale’s Science in Context offers access to articles from The Science Teacher and Popular Science as well as information from a variety of other sources on hundreds of science-related topics.

The intended audience for this database is high school and above, so you probably won’t find material suited specifically for children but if you’re looking to brush up your own knowledge it’s a great resource.

BookFlix, on the other hand includes books and videos just right for an early elementary audience. By combining engaging stories (like Scaredy Squirrel) with informative texts (Backyard Wildlife: Squirrels) BookFlix offers the best of both worlds and makes learning painless. Sections on Animals and Nature

Bookflix

 

 

 

 

 

and Earth and Sky fit most obviously with the theme, but don’t overlook People and Places or even ABCs and 123s. Basic skills, after all, are the foundation of many different kinds of literacy.

Then there are TumbleBooks and OverDrive. Both offer a wide variety of children’s titles to read for information or for pleasure—and to log for summer reading. The TumbleBooks homepage highlights a variety of offerings:

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In OverDrive, use the drop-down subject guide on the kids’ OverDrive page to find books on Science & Nature, or locate Sci-Fi & Fantasy titles.

Finally, if you have a CLP card but haven’t yet spent much time browsing through Facts on File’s Science Online this summer is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with this resource. Whether you’d like to plan a program that features a science experiment on a popular topic like Forensic Science, browse a timeline that offers a glimpse of scientific discovery through the ages or view a brief video on a science-related topic, this easy to use database offers lots of different ways to explore this year’s summer reading theme.

Are there other great summer reading resources lurking online? Share them in the comments.

Lisa (CLP)

 

 

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Gale Biography in Context

Think Phil is the most famous denizen from Punxsutawney?Phil

Searching Gale Biography in Context produces names and biographies of notable people (but not rodents) no matter how big or small your birthplace, worldwide.

From http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/bic1/?userGroupName=ein_remote above the search box, click on Birth Place. (You can also search by Occupation, i.e. Meteorologist; Nationality; and Death Place.) Begin to type in your chosen location and autofill will guide you, extremely helpful when you are typing a place like “Punxsutawney”. The search reveals Punxy to be a hotbed for writers and scientists!

Click on the individual’s name for brief reference information and then again on his or her name for more detailed biographical information, which often also includes current contact information – as it does for Crafton native Leroy Newby. Standard Gale tools such as sharing the information via many social media, citation information, and saving or downloading are shown to the right in the detailed information.

Searching Cresson, Pennsylvania, reveals it to be the Birth Place of North Pole discoverer Robert E. Leary!

Spend some time searching for people from your hometown in this terrific database – Mercer, Pennsylvania anyone?

Reznor

Debi –

ACLA

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