Skip to Main Content

Check It Out: 5/1/19

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Ramadan 2019

OverDrive Summer Read 2019

OverDrive Summer Read is an annual program for schools in the US and Canada designed to encourage your students to keep reading all year long. This year’s 10-week program, running June 6 – August 15, is our longest ever. We’re also offering more titles than ever before. Thirty free and simultaneous use juvenile and young adult ebooks (and select audiobook and Read-Along options) will be available to students in participating schools. These titles will be prominently displayed in Sora so it’s easy for students to find their next book and chill out and read.

If your students read them all, they can always check out more books from their public library without ever leaving Sora.

What to do on Lame Duck school days...

"The term “lame duck” is most often used to describe a president who is still sitting in office after his or her successor has been elected. Technically this person is still the president, but his or her decision-making power is generally perceived to be minimal.

We have something like that in school: those days when technically we’re still in school, but because it’s right before vacation, the end of the school year is near, or we’re in the middle of standardized testing, those class hours don’t have the same instructional potential as your average school day. In some cases, like on standardized test days in certain districts, teachers are explicitly told they CAN’T plan regular instruction. On these Lame Duck days, it’s hard to figure out what we can do to still provide valuable learning experiences for our students.

Sometimes instead of days, we have small bursts of Lame Duck time: The leftover 15 minutes after the fire drill, when you know you don’t have enough time to actually finish the lesson you were teaching, but you don’t want to just let them sit there. We often call the activities we need for these times “sponge activities.” Regardless of what you call it or how much you need, we all have those times when students are right in front of us but the regularly scheduled programming just isn’t going to work.

What then?"

The paragraphs on why not to show videos in class provide the author's perspective.  For you, it comes down to the Media Use Guidelines in the A+ Curriculum Guides and copyright.  There are some activities in here that do not provide much of an instructional component (like coloring books), so be sure to read through the offerings carefully.

Great for full days:  Mystery Skype, Board/Card Games (from you Makerspaces), Minute to Win It Games, Kahoot, STEM Challenges, Genius Hour, Community Service Project, Student Video Project, Breakout EDU, TED Talks

Great for 10-15 minute bursts:  Clean-up Day, Thank You Notes, Philosophical Chairs Debate, Group Story/Progressive Writing, Found Poetry, Icebreakers, Podcast reviews, Read Aloud, Mindfulness Practice

Happy May Day!

Scholastic Letter Writing Resources

Letter Writing Activities

Celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month
with these inspiring and engaging materials from
Scholastic and the United States Postal Service®.

Use these lessons to support literacy skills and encourage your students to connect with others in a meaningful way through the art of a handwritten letter.

Lame Duck and Sponge Activity Ideas from OPS School Librarians

*  Practice typing skills (Angela Ralph)

*  Storygami, Smarty Pins on ipads, creative writing prompts, quick letters to tech buddies (1st graders and 6th graders), maker spaces, quick reads and exit ticket responses. (Judy Bauer)

*  Show book trailers from YouTube (Cari Poston)

*  I really like a good game of Eye Spy.  This is a terrific question skill builder.  Learning how to ask questions that limit the possible choices helps students think about how they frame their inquiry! (Deb Nichols)

*  Book talk a few lonely titles and see if they can get a check out!  Or, makerspace or games are great!  I'm always surprised how many choose a board game even when computer games are an option. (Lisa Raszler)

*  Read aloud for fun or makerspace activities (Donna Garcia)

*  Informal review of previous materials or makerspace (Robert Schull)

*  Makersites (online makerspace activities)   (Robin Walker)

*  Read aloud, sing library songs, stand up hand up pair up discussions (Michele Tilson)

*  10 min:  Logic Puzzles (Perplexors or Bella's Mystery Deck are good options), Calm or mindfulness activities on GoNoodle  Whole Period:  Prodigy,, Minecraft EDU, Fake it to Make it, Scratch, Storybird, etc. (Graham Engdahl)

*  Use leftover activities from last year's summer school (i.e. launch rockets with straws from Summer 2017).  Read to a partner--anywhere in the library, but you must be reading.  Ask students to for book suggestions to help you get an order list ready for next year.  (Kim Beebee)

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).