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Check It Out: November 30, 2016

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Common Sense Media Survey for Elementary Librarians

We have had already had 38 responses!  Please make sure your voice is heard before Dec 16th.

After some discussion between our Common Sense Media trainer and library services, it has been determined that elementary librarians will conduct two Common Sense Media Lessons per school year for grades 3-6 starting in 2017-2018.  We would like your input on which lessons you would like to teach.  Please use the survey attached to see which lessons are available at each grade level.  Items with ** are the traditionally required lesson taught each year.  Items with * are the optional lessons.

Attached you will find a document with a suggested scope and sequence for all grades for CSM lessons to ensure overlap does not occur.  You can use the blue links in each cell to view the lesson plan online.

Please note that teaching these lessons does not absolutely require technology access. (I taught them for several years with only a projector).

We would like input from all librarians as this will affect what each of you will be teaching.  When completing the survey, you will need to pick TWO lessons per grade level.  Please complete the survey by December 16th.

Fun Lesson Idea for Elementary

A young boy wants to write a story, just like his big sister. But there's a problem, he tells her. Though he knows his letters, he doesn't know many words. “Every story starts with a single word and every word starts with a single letter,” his sister explains patiently. “Why don't you start there, with a letter?” So the boy tries. He writes a letter. An easy letter. The letter I. And from that one skinny letter, the story grows, and the little boy discovers that all of us, including him, have what we need to write our own perfect story.

Robin Walker reviewed A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larson for the Elementary Review Committee. From this book, Robin created a fun lesson that allows students to use their creative thinking skills to develop their own squiggly letter drawings.  As a bridge between the story and the activity, she showed the students this video by Alex Raffi--a drawing from letters lesson for kids. starting at about 30 seconds and ending at the 6 minute mark.  She then gave students the attached sheet whee they could turn letters into their own drawings.  There are so many fun ways you could adapt this lesson for your students!

Free Skype Visits from Sourcebooks Authors


Please note, if you are interested in one of these virtual visits, you will purchase your books from one of our approved vendors, not from SourceBooks.  You will need to provide an invoice/receipt from that vendor to share with SourceBooks.  Author availability varies, so you will need to determine what is possible prior to purchasing books.  Visits are generally 20 minutes but can be increased if the author is amenable.

Bring Award-Winning Authors into YOUR Library or Classroom!

Your Participation Will Include:

1. An interactive Skype or Google Hangout session with the author for your library or classroom. (The visit is FREE—we just ask that you purchase the author’s title(s) according to the guidelines below to prepare your students or patrons in advance of the visit.)

  • Groups of 1–15 must purchase 2 books, or at least $25 worth of the author’s title(s)
  • Groups of 16–30 must purchase 4 books, or at least $50 worth of the author’s title(s)
  • Maximum group size must not exceed 30 students/patrons (exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis)

2. Downloadable educator guides aligned to Common Core State Standards (if available).

Click Here to find the full list of authors available

Who Ya Gonna Call...or Email?

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

  • Stacy Lickteig (531) 299-9614: Technology, cataloging, copyright, budget and ordering
  • Courtney Pentland (531) 299-9609: Library curriculum, Super 3+/Big 6+ Inquiry, Professional library, Newsletter Items
  • Laura Pietsch (531) 299-9615: Policy, personnel and evaluation, Sherwood grants

Please Answer This One Question Survey!

Educational Leadership December 2016

This is the cover of the December 2016 Educational Leadership Professional Journal.  Look at all of the skills they identify as needed for the Global-Ready Student--how many are things you teach each and every day?

Creativity, Ethics, Technology, Collaboration, Cultural Awareness, Communicating, Geography, Social/Emotional, Deep Knowledge, Problem Solving...

NPR--Fake-News and Students Study from Stanford

This article presents very valid reasons why learning to evaluate informational sites is a skill critically needed by our students today and that is something that is embedded and essential to the inquiry process taught by certified school librarians.

Students have 'Dismaying' Inability to Tell Fake News from Real, Study Finds (November 23, 2016)  by Camila Domonoske

"The researchers at Stanford's Graduate School of Education have spent more than a year evaluating how well students across the country can evaluate online sources of information.

Middle school, high school and college students in 12 states were asked to evaluate the information presented in tweets, comments and articles. More than 7,800 student responses were collected."

CSM--How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to be Media-Savvy)

From Common Sense Media:

If you get your news online or from social media, this type of headline sounds very familiar. What's real? What's fake? What's satire? Now that anyone with access to a phone or computer can publish information online, it's getting harder to tell. But as more people go to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other online sources for their news and information, it's even more crucial that all of us -- especially kids -- learn to decode what we read online.

Check out the link below to the full article which provides some basic questions students should ask themselves when encoutering apiece of media and some trick older kids can use to spot fake news.

Teaching Information Literacy Now--School Library Journal

Last week, a new study from Stanford University revealed that many students are inept at discerning fact from opinion when reading articles online. The report, combined with the spike in fake and misleading news during the 2016 election, has school librarians, including me, rethinking how we teach evaluation of online sources to our students. How can we educate our students to evaluate the information they find online when so many adults are sharing inaccurate articles on social media?

While social media isn’t the only reason for the surge in fake news over the last 10 years, it’s certainly making it harder for information consumers of every age to sort through fact and fiction. As articles about the Stanford study get shared around Facebook, I have two thoughts. One, I have to teach this better. And two, as information literacy experts, we school librarians are more important than ever. Joyce Valenza offers timely tools in her news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world.

Winter Display Ideas

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).