Media Matters

Chatham Middle School Media Center - Volume 1, Issue 2

Resource of the Month

Facts on File is an extensive database covering multiple topics. For this month, we would like to focus on the Curriculum Resource Center, which is one of the titles available in this database. It can be found on the library homepage in the "Facts on File Database" or click here:

The Curriculum Resource Center has documents to download on various topics including math activities (algebra, calculus, etc), science (diagrams and experiments), historical timelines, image galleries, maps (historical and geographical), and easy to understand fact sheets on multiple topics.

It's really awesome! Take a few minutes to check it out.

Google tips of the Month

Did you know...

that you can search for an exact phrase in Google. Just put quotations around the phrase. For example, if you are looking for the short story One Friday Morning by Langston Hughes, try this search: "One Friday Morning" Langston. This will keep the short story title together and also search for Langston at the same time. Without the quotes, Google is searching for each word separately. The title of this story contains very common words which would send back a large search result, and not necessarily what you are looking for.

Did you know...

that a Google Doc can be shared and worked on by 10 people at one time?

that a Google Spreadsheet can be shared and worked on by 50 people at one time?

Spotlight on...our professional collection

Book Recommendations

We welcome any teachers to send us a quick email about a book or resource that they recently read and would like to share with the rest of the staff. We will include this in our Media Matters flyer.

Independent Reading: Check out and encourage your students to sign up for a free account. They can set up a virtual book shelf to keep track of all the books they have read this year and books they want to read. You can use this as your traditional tally lists instead of the notebook. It will even give you the option to print the bookshelf and show stats!

Jen Agens recently sent out an email to the English department about a really cool website called and we thought it was a great idea to share it with all of you! The website offers free and/or discounted ebooks supported by the following retailers: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Kobo & Smashwords. You can set up your preferences and it will make suggestions for you! Check it out by clicking here:

Mrs. Jacqueline Chirico

There's something incredibly comforting and exciting about the smell of new books. Call me crazy, but I'm sure my English colleagues can attest to the feeling you get when surrounded by carts of new books. I was incredibly excited to unpack the boxes of new books that we ordered to add to our collection, and though it has taken several weeks, I have finished previewing each and every one. I can't wait to read through them and share my recommendations with you!

I just finished Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle. Here's a short synopsis:

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

I know we all have students who are reluctant readers and it can sometimes be difficult to find a book that will speak to them. Better Nate Than Ever speaks directly to the 13 year old boy who finds it difficult to fit in because he is busy trying to stand out. Please keep this hilarious and heartbreaking novel in mind for those students. And the best news? There's a sequel!

On the professional end of things, we have gotten in some content specific materials and I have emailed those departments directly, but we do have extensive professional materials in our collection and I encourage you to come down and check them out!

Mrs. Rebecca Zarabi

My children had some trouble getting back into a routine this past month. Maybe yours did as well? September is always a little bumpy with transitioning back to work. Therefore, the book that I am reading now is a parenting book called Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering our Children I'm only through the first chapter, so I can't review it in its entirety yet. The premise seems to be that we should remember that we aren't raising "mini-me's" and also that our reactions to their behavior are often based on our own childhood experiences. The author argues that once we realize why we react the way we do, we can alter our reactions and responses to better suit our child's personality/behavior. I will try to remember that when my 8 year old is taking 30 minutes to get dressed in the morning and is screaming that it's because she has nothing to wear or when my 4 year old is throwing herself on the floor after I tell her she can't watch another tv show.

; ) - Rebecca

Mrs. Kathy Dillon

First: "Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour" by Lynne Olson. Recounts the pre-WWII and WWII involvement of Edward R. Murrow, Averill Harriman and John Gilbert Winant (US ambassador to Britain) in their determination to save London from Hitler, and how their political relationships with Churchill and FDR often spilled over into very personal ones.

Second: "Flash Boys: a Wall Street Revolt" by Michael Lewis (author of "The Blind Side"). Eye-opening expose of the rigging by high-frequency traders of the post-financial crisis stock market.

Third: In the name of cultural literacy...August and September People magazine.

Mrs. Sue Braviak

If you would like to request a professional publications to review, please use this link: