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Check It Out: November 28, 2018

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Winter Display Ideas

CSM--5 Must-Have Google Search Tips for Students

For those of us who remember a time before the internet, using Google for research might feel strange -- like being thrust from the cozy confines of a favorite library straight into the Wild West of the web. But in today’s world, it’s impossible to ignore Google Search as a legitimate tool for research.

Most of us begin any simple quest for knowledge with a Google search. So it makes sense that more serious searches might start there, too. But is Google OK for formal research? That depends. It’s still best to combine Googling with other forms of research, like visiting a library or using an academic database. But the good news is that Google Search can get you well on your way to finding credible, accurate information for a research paper or project -- that is, if you know how to use it.

Check out the video and tips in this article.  This might be a great link to provide to your students or share with teachers as they begin the research process.  (You may have once heard some of these referred to as Boolean operators. I personally like the term "search operators" the author references in the video as a term used by Google.  It makes more sense to students).

Who Ya Gonna Call...or Email?

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

  • Laura Pietsch (531) 299-9615: Policy, personnel and evaluation, Sherwood grants and building projects
  • Stacy Lickteig (531) 299-9614: Technology, cataloging, copyright, budget and ordering
  • Courtney Pentland (531) 299-9609:  Inquiry, professional library, newsletter Items; Secondary Review Committee; secondary author visits, skype visits
  • McKenzie White (531) 299-9362 Instructional technology , ITL Program

  • Gwen Jackson  Elementary author visits

Technology Training/Support

  • Debra Bordenkecher  531-299-9841: Handles training needs of classified staff (including paraprofessionals)
  • Hardware issues should be handled by your building assigned technologist. If this person is not in the building, call or email the Help Desk 531-299-0300

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

This article contains some interesting ideas for brain breaks!

When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.

Brain Breaks

A brain break is a short period of time when we change up the dull routine of incoming information that arrives via predictable, tedious, well-worn roadways. Our brains are wired for novelty. We know this because we pay attention to every stimulus in our environment that feels threatening or out of the ordinary. This has always been a wonderful advantage. In fact, our survival as a species depended on this aspect of brain development.

When we take a brain break, it refreshes our thinking and helps us discover another solution to a problem or see a situation through a different lens. During these few minutes, the brain moves away from learning, memorizing, and problem solving. The brain break actually helps to incubate and process new information. Consider trying the activities [linked in the article below] with your class.

Island of Misfit Books

These books have been ignored and unloved.  Save them from a boring winter by checking one out today!

(Fun idea for your books that are not getting checked out but are still great, relevant reads for your students.)

Minecraft in Education Training Saturday Dec 8

A face-to-face Minecraft Education Edition workshop is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 from 8:30 - 3:00. If interested in participating, please use the form link to register.

The workshop is open to all levels of experience with Minecraft.  The only requirement is a desire and interest to learn about the learning opportunities that can be created for students. ALL teachers and students in Omaha Public Schools have Minecraft licensing available to them this school year. This workshop is voluntary and optional, unfortunately compensation is not currently available for attendees. 

For those that register, specific location and additional information will be sent in email by Thursday, December 6. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

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 (531-299-9822).

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 (531-299-9822).