SJSH School Library News

January 2016

New Online Resource

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a tool for inspiring discovery and creative use of the Smithsonian's rich digital resources. Explore the resources anywhere anytime. Create complete lessons or artistic collections, and build upon each for more personal connection and memorable learning. Quiz students on the US presidents. Students will awe their friends with their hand picked art and share it with a global community of learners.


Here's an idea: Ever tried to learn a second language? Then you know that mastering fluency skills can be an intimidating process-too many handouts with large blocks of text which leave you feeling overwhelmed trying to define every word.

A common learning strategy in an ESL classroom is to build vocabulary and confidence in conversation skills using images, objects, and reality in lessons.

Why not use Smithsonian's teaching collections centered around themes to spark curiosity, conversation? Smithsonian has found this strategy works great with all learners too. Keep it simple. Not too broad. How about Shoes?

  • Shoes form around the world
  • Shoes for work
  • Shoes as art
  • Shoes for sport and play
Use Smithsonian's digitized collections to help build your student's vocabulary, spark conversation around historical era,enable compare contrast discussions, and share out with others about their findings.
For complete details on this lesson click here. Try it today! Access is free.
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Book Trends of 2016

According to a feature article in the January 2016 issue of School Library Journal, a few new serious trends in books have been emerging:


  • A goofy trend for adults that may trickle down are the coloring books for adults craze. Secret Garden by Joahanna Basford sold 452,857 units. Publishers are now looking for related niches.
  • In 2015, books were beginning to approach a topic too often passed over-economic disparity. With families facing tough economic times everywhere, it's more important than ever to make children aware of it. Check out Christina Applegate's middle grade novel Crenshaw. The book concerns childhood hunger and homelessness. Applegate launched the Crenshaw food drive asking booksellers to hold food drives to benefit local food pantries.
  • Simply acknowledging that some people have less money than others: Matt de la Pena's On Market Street gives alot of thought to have and have nots while "eschewing didacticism for wisdom"

Check out regular announcements in Publishers Weekly for new book announcements of the first half of 2016.

For a sneak peak peek at fall 2016 Children's and YA books read Publisher's Weekly.

Reference Review

Online. Rosen's Teen Health and Wellness provides teens with accurate and timely information and supports state and national curriculum standards. Whether seeking information for reports or personal reasons, users will find a trove of material here. Audrey Sumser, SLJ.


  • Content is arranged alphabetically, 15 broad subjects including Body Basics, grief and loss, and skills for School, Work, and Life, and serve as portals to more in depth subjects. Under broader Mind, Mood, and Emotions heading, teens will find more specific topics arranged in alphabetical order: Academic Anxiety presents thorough explanation of disorder and its causes and symptoms and ways to manage it.
  • Users can share information with their preferred social media or Web 2.0 tools.
  • Students ca change the default language of English to 90 others. For people who are auditory earners or read below grade level can elect to listen to English narration.
  • Did you Know introduces an interesting fact that serves as a discussion starter; and Cast your Vote an interactive poll on a health and well-being topic. Full glossary and helpful icons included too!
  • Student and Teacher Resources: Immediate updates available by following @RosenDigital on Twitter. Subscribe to RSS feeds for three of the databases's columns.
Verdict: Rosen created a resource that builds student knowledge, self awareness, and sense of community and does so while meeting curricular standards and varied needs of users of all abilities. A powerful and versatile resource. Audrey Sumser,Kent State.



Access Rosen's Teen Health and Wellness through the database portal from the High School Library's web page!

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Ode to Librarians

A Fun Tool

Storyboard That is a cool tool to create digital storyboards and now has a new set of US History Teacher Guides covering the following periods: pre-colonial-1776, Independence to Civil War, Reconstruction- WWII, and post WWII. Thanks to Richard Byrne for the recent blog posting of highlighting this great resource in Free Technology for Teachers.

No time to Type?

Need to create a Google Docs quick? Pressed for time? Use the voice typing feature in Google Docs to dictate your document, instead of typing. For an easy online tutorial, check out The Library Voice blog for tips and tricks.

New Resource

We now have 10 iPADs which have been pre- loaded with some of ALA's Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2015. Check out the Webmix I created which allows you to give each resource a try first.


  • Book- War Horse-interactive
  • STEM-WWF Together-teach students about different endangered animals
  • Social Sciences- Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery
  • Content Creation-
  1. Adobe Voice-create stories by recording your voice over images
  2. Buncee for Edu-Create beautiful digital stories using audio recordings
  3. Glogster- A favorite web based interactive poster tool w/drag and drop canvas
  • Organization & Management- Instagrok: an educational search engine on an interactive content map which includes images, videos, and text resources. Students take notes and pin resources to their own Grok
Teachers may sign out iPADS daily to use in class with their students. See Laurie to check them out today!

Laurie Winder, LMS

Mary Heidenreich, Technology Assistant

Library Hours 7:30-3:00 pm Mon-Fri