SSHS Library Newsletter

Spring Edition, 2019

What's New In the Library?

What’s New In the Library?

Well, first, our new fiction books, and our new biographies, finally arrived. Yay!

Also, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who submitted a favorite book title. Our reading campaign, “Books We Love at Santa Su” was a big success. The books you recommended have been flying off the shelves. The students love seeing your favorite titles.

Another success was our “speed dating” new books. The new books are now in high demand. 7 out of the 10 most circulated books at SSHS right now are the titles that were previewed during this speed dating lesson (the other 3 were staff faves).

The final item I’d like to share is a new collaborative lesson between the library and Mr. Golden. You may remember that I mentioned in a previous newsletter about teaming together to create new lessons for the classroom. Luke and I teamed together to have his 12th grade English students visit the library, and in small groups, they learned about various, little-known features found in Google or Google Scholar; the students then created a multi-media lesson to teach these skills to their classmates. Our hope is that our students will leave Santa Su with plenty of great research and productivity tools in their "online toolkit" for college and beyond.

Carol's Corner - Google Tips & Tricks

Here are some Googley things I’ve learned and would like to pass on to all of you. I hope you find them helpful and encouraging. Some may be basic, but others are game-changers.

Google Tip #1 - Setting Alerts in Google and Google Scholar

Google Scholar alerts allow you and your students to research 24/7. Set an alert and then go to bed; wake up with new scholarly research on any topic. Google Scholar will email you every day that there is new research on your topic, until you delete the alert. This is a great feature to share with your students at the beginning of every research assignment.

Google Alerts:

Looking for a way to keep current on everything out there?

Google Search has alerts, too. Just type in a topic. Google will even give you a preview of the alerts you will receive. (My daughter is currently using Google Alerts to immediately hear about new job openings in her field that are within 60 miles of the area in which she wants to live.)

Google Tip #2 - Converting a PDF or image into a Google Doc.

Have you ever wanted to get the text from a PDF without having to type it all into a Google Doc?

Just upload the PDF to Google Drive. Then right click on it and select “open with Google Docs”

To get jpg, gif, & png images and text from an image or flyer you see, you will need to download the Google Drive mobile app on your phone. Then, take a picture of the poster, flyer, image, etc. Upload the image from your photos to the Google Drive app. Next, go to Google Drive and right click on the image and select “open with Google Docs” Presto! There is the image and text. Thanks to the Optical Character Resolution (OCR) feature now found in Google Drive.

Google Tip #3 - Sharing multiple files with students or colleagues.

Obviously, if you want to share docs and files with students, you could use Google Classroom. However, sometimes you may want to share with students or colleagues that are not in one of your Google Classroom classes. Google Drive sharing to the rescue. You probably already know how to share one doc in Google Drive. Just open the doc and then click on “Share” to select how and with whom you want to share the doc. If you have multiple documents, and you don’t want to take the time to share each one individually with a group of people, just put all of the docs into 1 folder. Then, share the folder. Each doc in the folder will have the same sharing permission you assign to the folder. You can limit who sees them and what editing rights they should receive.


Beta-testing Gradebook and Locked Mode Quizzes in Google Classroom

Here are the details on the G-Suite site:

With Gradebook, teachers can:

  • See all grades for a class.

  • Add and update grades for classwork created in Classroom.

  • Create grading categories and set weighted percentages or default points for each.

  • View an overall grade for students based on all work for a class.

With locked mode quizzes, teachers can:

  • Lock the browser on Chromebooks managed by your school while they’re taking a quiz. Students won’t be able to leave the quiz until they submit their answers.

  • Turn on locked mode for a quiz created in Google Forms or for a quiz assignment created in Classroom.

To apply to be a beta tester, click here:

Otherwise, be looking for these new features in Google Classroom soon.

Google Tip #5 - Share to Classroom extension

An invaluable Chrome extension for Google Classroom users

You may already know that I am a huge fan of Chrome extensions. I will cover those in a future newsletter. However, I couldn't wait to tell you about this extension I just discovered.

The description states: "The extension allows you to push webpages to any of your Classroom classes, so they open instantly on your students' computer.. You can also post announcements, create assignments, or save webpages to post to Classroom later."

Best of all, it's free. Just go to the Chrome Store. Click on extensions and type "Share to Classroom" in the search extensions box.

Library Snapshot

  • So far this school year, we have checked out almost 3000 library books and 8300 textbooks/core novels

  • The top 5 ACE classes with the highest check-out rates, are: Higby, Halula, Helmuth, Bonvehi, and Bradley.

  • The top 10 library titles being checked out right now are:

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

  2. Children of Blood and Bone

  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  4. Queen of Shadows

  5. A Torch Against the Night

  6. Warcross

  7. Wildcard

  8. The 57 Bus

  9. Catwoman: Soulstealer

  10. P.S. I Love You



Nearpod allows you to find or create wonderful, interactive lessons. SVUSD has a district-wide license, so teachers can use the full functions of this site. Simi teachers who have been using Nearpod, absolutely rave about it. To get a free license, just contact Dan Shuster. (


Did you know that any teacher with an education email address can get all of the programs in Autodesk for free? Autodesk offers specialized software programs for engineering, and artistic tools for the entertainment industry. Autodesk includes programs, such as: Autocad, Revit, Maya, Civil 3D, and 3ds Max. For most of us, this may sound like Greek. However, to some of you, these are industry standards.


Easily create interactive maps, infographics, 3-D tours, and diagrams. When you are finished with your thinglink creation, you can even embed it into your website or blog.

Book Creator

Great site for allowing students to create their own eBook. This site lets students not only add text, but also allows them to add: images, audio recordings, videos, and maps. Students can insert the media that they have created, or they can embed content from sites like YouTube.


If you are looking for a site that lets students collaborate on a group eBook, or share and critique their work with each other, consider WidBook


Since Easter is the holiday boasting the 2nd highest candy sales, let’s see what you know about the candy world. All correct entries received by 3:00, Monday, March 18, will be entered into a prize drawing.

Identify the candy with these slogans…

  1. Gimme a break

  2. Taste the rainbow

  3. Get the sensation

  4. Try both, and pick a side

  5. For the kid in you

  6. You’re not you when you’re hungry

  7. The great American chocolate bar

  8. Complete the line, "How many licks does it take to ______________________________________?"

  9. In 1995, which color of M&M was voted into packages by the public?

    1. Blue

    2. Red

    3. Green

    4. Orange

  10. Which of these was not among the four original “Starburst” flavors?

    1. Lime

    2. Cherry

    3. Strawberry

    4. Lemon

  11. What candy was named after a family’s horse?

    1. Butterfinger

    2. Snickers

    3. Skittles

    4. Baby Ruth

  12. What candy bar was originally named “Kandy Kake”?

    1. Heath Bar

    2. Snickers

    3. Milky Way

    4. Baby Ruth

  13. How many chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year?

    1. 1 million

    2. 12 million

    3. 90 million

    4. 700 million

  14. How many Peeps do Americans buy each year?

    1. 1 million

    2. 12 million

    3. 90 million

    4. 700 million