Tag Archives: Online Resources

The Broadening Scope of a School Librarian’s Job: One Aspect

It’s my job as school librarian is to get resources to teachers and students. That used to mean pulling teacher resources and assembling a box of books on the requested theme, which I would then deliver to the classroom.

That’s still true – I still do that – but I no longer check encyclopedias, almanacs and the myriad of other treasured tomes in the (no longer extant) reference centre.

Since any school project now includes electronic resources, I also will search Discovery Ed for relevant resources, which I place in the appropriate folder for the teacher’s use. I check LearnAlberta’s Online Reference Centre and Learn 360, all of which are resources paid for by government of the school district. I check for Smart Board activities and other online resources.  Then I go to the Internet and see what I can find there.

CaptureIn response to a Grade 3 teacher’s recent request, one of the services I am supplying is a page on owls to be linked to her teacher page on our website. This will be for the student’s use as they research owls for her theme.

I will suggest that she allow the students some time to ‘play’ on the site and let their natural curiosity lead them where it may before assigning a project. They may go first to an activity like word search and then, when they discover that they want to know more, begin to peruse some of the linked sites.

The image is linked to the page from here, but it is not live from our website yet. The teacher will not be using it until after Christmas. If you have any suggestions to improve it or know any great kids’ owl sites, please share in the comments.

I’d also love to know what methods you use to get non-print resources to teachers.

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Resource Wiki for Elementary School Libraries

This is one of those discoveries that gets me all excited and then almost as quickly I’m deflated.

“This is Awesome.”

“I don’t have time for more projects.”

Then as I look closer, the air begins to seep back into my balloon as I realize that this place is a refueling stop, a routine ‘enhancer’.

The Elementary Library Routines wiki is a constantly updated collection of very nicely organized ideas and plans for elementary school libraries. Under broad headings: Routines, Administration, Curriculum, Promotion & Misc is a plethora of tips, tools and tricks that a current total of 1232 library people share with the rest of us.

This is a place to fine-tune what you already do in the library and get ideas that convince you to drop something you’re already doing, because a new

idea is so much better.

Traditional Style Rainstick

Traditional Style Rainstick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going to look for a rain stick based on ideas shared on the ‘Attention Signals’ page and in the meantime might try using a little ceramic bell I have instead of my voice for the “time to put cushions away and line up” warning. I like the idea of using a soft sound like the rain stick.

There are some great printables under ‘Brochures and Bookmarks” and some good advice on computer management in ‘Computers and Laptops’.

I’ve only just begun to explore these resources and have added it to my favourite sites on my school library website profile. If you find something useful there, please share it in the comments, so that I’ll be sure not to miss it.

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A Great List of December Holiday Links for Last Minute Time Fillers

Thanks to the Edublog Awards, I just discovered The Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet, where I found the following lists within a larger collection of “Resources for all the holidays celebrated from September to June”. Great stuff here!

CHANUKAH (December)
AtoZ Teacher Stuff– coloring pages and crafts; sorted by grade level
Awesome Library– recipes, worksheets, activities
Billy Bear 4 Kids
– crafts and games
Class Brain
– coloring pages
Internet 4 Classrooms
– games, songs, stories
Kids’ Domain
– coloring pages
Teachers First
– traditions, learn about the menorah, games
Teacher Planet
– lessons and worksheets
Teachnology
-worksheets, songs, writing paper, workbooks
Yahoo! Kids
– cards, recipes, history, stories, poems, games

CHRISTMAS (December)
A to Z Teacher Stuff– sort resources by age level
Christmas Around the World
– long list of countries
Christmas Lessons and Teacher Resources
– from the Lesson Plans Page
Christmas Teacher Resources
– from TeacherVision
K-12 Teacher Resources
– nice listing includes lesson plans, worksheets, interactive online activities
Online Christmas Games

Puzzles and Word Searches

Super Teacher Worksheets
– includes puzzles and Christmas math worksheets
Teacher’s Guide to Christmas Holidays
– from TeAchnology
Teacher Planet
-lessons, worksheets, clip art
The Teacher’s Corner
-how Christmas is celebrated around the world

KWANZAA (December)
Apples 4 the Teacher– coloring pages
A toZ Teacher Stuff

Class Brain
-coloring pages
DLTK Kids
-coloring pages (posters)
Internet 4 Classrooms

Kids’ Domain
– coloring pages
Teachers First
– planning materials, fun, games
Teacher Planet
– lessons, worksheets

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MARC Records for Web Resources

It’s true that you learn something new every day and when you’re in a position that was traditionally filled by professionals with master’s degrees, you always feel like you’re on the middle rung of a never-ending ladder that’s sinking in the mud: constantly climbing, but never getting to the top. I knew I could include links in print resource records, but today I learned that you could potentially include web resources in your online catalogue. Why did I not know that before?

Web resources that I discover are usually delivered to my K-12 staff by email and the onus is on them to bookmark them, or otherwise note them however possible. I’ve tried various methods over the years to organize them and make them more permanently available, from themed card-stock bookmarks to custom websites and bookmark sharing sites. With the often ephemeral nature of individual websites, changing staff and curriculum, and the always present challenge of time, these methods proved to be little more than make-work projects. The time involved did not compare favourably to the usefulness.

Through Diane Galloway-Soloman, the ORC Coordinator for Alberta Learning, I have just learned about a very interesting program by Marcia Mardis documented in the School Library Journal. Marcia has built a program that automatically generates a MARC record for online resources.

“The Web2MARC tool allows school librarians to automatically generate MARC (Machine-Readable-Cataloging) records for anything they see on the web…and tailor the records to their local needs—no cataloging required,” says Mardis

What a great idea! I’m off to learn more about it. We’ll see if it works with my software.

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