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Check It Out: August 26, 2105

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff


Elementary librarians, if you have not taken the scheduling survey, please do so now. Here is the link: Survey

Schedules are due to Library services by August 28. You can send them to Gwen Jackson.

Curriculum Day will be September 18.

High School Librarians will be AM at Northwest

Middle School Librarians will be PM at Hale

Social Media as Advocacy

Here is why you should remember to send those photos our way: Our reach on social media is growing every year.  We currently have over 200 followers on Facebook and we had two posts last week reach a crazy number of people.  One post has already reached over 2200 people and another 1400 people!  We have a large following on Twitter as well at almost 200--which include community groups, OPS schools, OPS administrators, and school board members. These people are great advocates for you and your school libraries.  Let's keep them informed about the wonderful ways you are helping your students grow every single day.

Video Use Practices

From time to time I get call from administrators regarding proper use of videos, and I am guessing that many of you get these questions as well. The following information from Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment outlines the practices of the Omaha Public Schools:

The use of video (i.e., DVDs, videotapes, streaming video, YouTube, etc.), when used judiciously, can effectively promote student learning in the classroom. Brain research shows that students in grades K-7 can generally attend to instruction for 5-12 minutes while older adolescents can attend for approximately 12-15 minutes before their attention lags (Jensen, 1998). Researchers have suggested that students’ focus wanes after 10 minutes of passive viewing of videos (Adams and Hamm, 2001). So, while videos can enrich educational experiences, educators must be conscious of time constraints on a student’s ability to attend and process visual media (Schulz, 2006).

When using video, district best practices must be considered and all of the following conditions must be met:

  • Copyright laws must always be followed.
  • Video may not be used during instructional time for the purpose of entertainment, incentives, or reward. This is a copyright violation.
  • The video must be previewed by the instructor prior to classroom use.
  • Video that is used in a lesson should be documented in the lesson plan.
  • Excerpts should be generally used along with activities requiring active student involvement such as discussion or analysis of the media.
  • Complete videos that last more than one instructional period should be used only if they are approved as part of an established curriculum. These resources should be written into curriculum guides and/or maintained by the content area supervisor.
  • A public performance license is required when showing video for entertainment purposes and is permitted only during non-instructional time (i.e. after school, during recess, movie nights, etc.) Movie Licensing USA provides public performance license for schools.

Works Cited

Adams, D. and M. Hamm, Literacy in a Multimedia Age. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc., 2001.

Jensen, E. Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1998.

Schulz, Cynthia D. “Timing Is Everything: Using Videos and DVDs with Students.” Library Media Connection 24.4(2006): 14-17. Education Research Complete. Web 19 Mar, 2015.

Connecting to Big 6+ Inquiry

for Big 6+ Displays or Interactive activities with students

wonder board - use pictures of current unit? Great for animal investigations/ nonfiction research unit. Could also use for Florida History and Science :)

Elementary Libraries--Pinterest Finds

A free template for the t-shirts is included on the website.

Have a few spare minutes? 

Here's a great idea to keep your students engaged and learning!

Critical thinking and team work activities

Contacts for Library Services

The fastest way to get your questions answered is to contact the right person!

  • Stacy Lickteig: Technology, cataloging, copyright, budget and ordering
  • Courteny Pentland: Professional library and curriculum
  • Laura Pietsch: Policy, personnel and evaluation, Sherwood grants

Moonshell Storytelling Festival

Diane Cox sends the following information:

Saturday, September 12

10:30a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Mahoney State Park

Open Air Pavilion

The Nebraska StoryArts will be presenting the Moonshell Storytelling Festival at Mahoney State Park (Open Air Pavilion).  It is free to the public.  The only cost for the day would be the state park fee for your car.  It runs from 10:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. (after the ghost stories), with story performances during the whole day (except for the supper hour).

Also during the afternoon, there will be workshops presented by some of the nationally recognized tellers at the festival.  There is a cost for these, but if a group signs up, there is a sizeable discount. (Call Donnis at 402-895-3689 for more information.)

This year's storytellers are:  Connie Regan-Blake (one of America's most celebrated storytellers); LaRon Williams (We had him tell stories at Field Club several years ago.)  Heather Forest (who blends stories, music, and poetry); Jeff Doyle (who tells wild, funny and scary stories).  Local artist Brad Hoshaw (an Omaha native singer/songwriter).

If you don't think you could sit still that long, there are also state park activities that you would enjoy. 

Consider a day at Mahoney...a day of stories. It will be a good time!  Want to know more?

Go Noodle Plus

If you experience problems with accessing the new video player from Go Noodle, please see if the following suggestions help.  1)  Use Firefox.  2) Authenticate the filer through YouTube.  Let us know if this does not work for you. 

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).