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Check It Out: March 16, 2016

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Check Out Advice for Elementary Librarians

Advice from the Experts (YOU!)

I send the teachers an email reminder cycle days 10-4 because we checkout 1-5. I created a group for each cycle day and send the email to remind them to return books. I saved the general message in my Add-ins (top of an email), so I just change it to the right day or add any additional information I need. The students then bring their books back a day before, so we narrow down what's missing, too. I have my students check themselves out unless time is an issue. While that happens, I can circulate and help the students looking for particular books. I have several experts in each class, who can help monitor checkout if needed. My general message is below.      A. Amante (Walnut Hill)

Good Evening,

   Tuesday is cycle day 10, which means it is time to return books. Please have your students return the books to the back table. We will checkout on Wednesday after our lesson.I greatly appreciate your support! 

As far as checkout/check in w/o a para. I spend the 1st 10 min or so of class teaching the students a new iPad app, computer game, technology something.  As students work independently on the iPads/computers I check books in.  Once books are checked in students are called a table at a time to check out.  All my students 2nd-6th check themselves out.  It is a lot of work in the beginning of the year, but it pays off later!  A. Coffman (Ponca)

At Back to School Night I had parents sign up for Remind. (The classroom teachers are also added to the list.)  So the night before their child's books are due I send out a message.     IT HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL!!  In the past I have also asked teachers to have students write it in their planners and put stickers I have printed "check out tomorrow" on clothes. A. Coffman (Ponca)

Suggestion Resource

On the days you have the laptop cart, here is a new website that is user friendly and a great way to encourage students to write and create a story. It is called My Storybook.

from Cindy Jackson at Druid Hill Elementary

Goodbye, Boring Database Instruction.

Librarians are keenly aware of the value of teaching students to use databases. But has your “tried-and-true” instructional approach to these resources become “tired-and-boring?” If so, flip your instruction into a Search App Smackdown! This fun, challenging, and competitive gaming approach meets the American Association of School Librarians’ 21st-Century Learning Standards, skillfully integrating technology and standards by putting kids in the driver’s seat.

Resources that are Out of this World!

Below are just a few of the many you can find from PBS for free! 

READY JET GO! is a new animated series designed to help children learn about astronomy and Earth science concepts.

READY JET GO! encourages a love of learning and exploration, broadening kids' horizons to the outer limits of space and imagination.

Looking to engage your class more deeply with outer space themes? Check out our new interactive "Mindy's Constellation Exploration" and help your students to connect the stars and learn more about the myths and legends that inspired the constellations. View Interactive


Is There Life on Mars? | The Advanced Apes

How can we be sure what life on the "Red Planet" may look like? As our technology has improved, we have begun to start answering these questions- but there are still more mysteries to discover and more exciting missions ahead of us... including the potential for a new home away from home. View Resource


How Big is the Solar System? | It’s Okay to be Smart

Take a virtual field trip to one of Austin's famous moontowers to see the enormity of our solar system. With the help of a grapefruit and a lot of walking, your students will get an idea of just how tiny everything is in the enormity of space. View Resource


Neil Armstrong | PBS World Explorers

Neil Armstrong was the leader of mankind's first mission to the moon and the first to set foot on its surface. His words, "That's one small step for man... one giant leap for mankind," are now world-famous. Learn more about the man who summoned the courage to climb on board and command the mission. View Resource

Culturally Diverse Literature

We hear over and over again from teachers across the country how they want to infuse more culturally responsive and relevant texts into their district or school-mandated curriculum.

It’s challenging to do, but what if we had some resources to share to help you out?  Check out this article online to learn about some great resources to help with this challenge.

Ideas for School Library Month (April)

Challenge your students to read every book in a specific section.  This librarian chose the E (Picture books) section.  Another said she would pair this with the poetry session to coincide with April also being National Poetry Month.

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).