PMHS Library Newsletter

May/June 2015

Library News

It's amazing how fast the year has gone! April was a busy month for us. In only 17 instructional days, we had over 4,000 students visit the PMHS library during study halls and lunch periods. Additionally, we taught over 85 classes. We have many useful resources in this newsletter. Read below for more information.

Please let us know how we can help you.

Dawn & Kelly

Visit our website at

Database Review: CultureGrams

CultureGrams helps researchers from a wide range of ages discover the world with concise cultural and statistical snapshots of every country recognized by the United Nations — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Local experts document the unique, intimate details of each country's customs, traditions and daily life. Whether it's Iraq, Canada, or Kenya, each CultureGram report offers an equality of coverage detailing 25 different aspects of the country and its culture.

CultureGrams Online links you to all CultureGrams editions (World, States, Kids, and Provinces) via an engaging, map-based interface that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Exclusive online features include video clips and slideshows, a worldwide photo gallery, interviews with adults and children, and a unique recipe collection with five local recipes for each country. Plus, create-your-own data tables and charts help put dozens of facts into comparative perspective

Demo Video

**Access through the Virtual Reference Collection. For username and password, please see Kelly or Dawn**

Web 2.0 Tool Review: Blendspace

Blendspace is a free educational tool that allows teachers to differentiate instruction, flip their classroom, and enhance project-based learning. Create a class on Blendspace for free and invite 35 students. It allows you to collect up to 100 web sources in a single place that you can share with students. It offers a built-in quiz feature that you can create to test your students' comprehension. Also, monitor student progress and adapt to students need in real time. Apps for Blendspace are available from the iTunes and Chrome Web stores.

Blendspace demo

Try it today:

Learn a New Language for Free

Below are some websites that can help you learn a language or if you want to increase your knowledge of a language you already know. These are free sites that include online lessons, podcasts, social networking, and more. The majority of these sites are for beginners but an intermediate learner can get something out of them.

123 Teach Me - Learn Spanish for free with this site. It includes a verb conjugator, online lessons, games, and other resources.

Babbel – Babbel makes learning a language fun with interactive online courses, a vocabulary trainer, writing exercises, and a friendly community forum.

BBC Languages -With a selection of 40 different languages, BBC Languages offers online lessons, courses, audio, video, and much more.

Duolingo - Duolingo includes fun games, tests, interactive lessons, and more. You can also learn on the go with apps available from the iTunes store, Google Play, and the Windows store.

Live Mocha - Owned by Rosetta Stone, Live Mocha offers courses in over 38 languages, online instruction with practice, and interact with someone from that country. – This comprehensive site has more than 1,000 pages of free learning materials for people who want to learn Spanish. Specific offerings include free Spanish tutorials and lessons for every level of learners, a word of the day, podcasts, and verb drills.

Book Review

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age six. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe, and finally to Saint-Malo, where he meets Marie-Laure. This is an amazing story that cannot be missed!

Library Hours

Monday - Thursday 7:20 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Friday 7:20 a.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Closed after school on Friday