Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Rand McNally Globe

Today I received for the first time the free Rand McNally eNewsletter - A monthly newsletter with tips on integrating geography and social studies across the curriculum. Each newsletter includes a FREE map!

I know, we all get way too much email, but this has so many "geo" related activities for all grade levels that I had to pass it along. This month focuses on geography and language arts and includes a list of famous authors born in May. It seemed to include a lot of things a teacher librarian could use. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Google Book Search

I had an interesting experience this week. I was trying to catalog a book published by one of our retired teachers. It was published by a small local publisher (do we still call them vanity presses?), and it was lacking information that we usually include in the catalog record. It didn't include the publication or copyright date or the place of publication. I know, we can deal with that in the record, but I decided to do some research, as it did have the publisher's name, an ISBN, and a URL for the publisher.

I'll try to get the point here. The publisher's website had no mailing address, so I Googled them and got the address, and I found one date in the author's dedication. Finally, I decided to look it up in Google Books. Well, that was interesting because it turns out that Google Books had "mashed up" our teacher's book with another book published by the same publisher many years ago. The ISBN for our teacher's book was there along with the one for the other book. On the Google Book page, you can send in questions or suggestions for entries. I did this and they answered that they will check into it and thanked me for the information.

Social cataloging! What fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tip of the week from History Tech

Here's a great collection of links from the History Tech blog. From Glenn, writer of the blog: "This week’s tip is basically just a list of places online that can help you integrate literature with your social studies instruction. I’ve tried to include stuff for different grade levels."

LookyBook is here (talked about before on this blog), along with StoryLine Online where you can listen to books read aloud by members of the Screen Actors Guild, and lots of others.

I was especially excited to find American Passages: A Literary Survey. This site created by Annenberg Media provides professional development and classroom materials to enhance the study of American Literature in its cultural context. From the site: "American Passages: A Literary Survey provides professional development and classroom materials to enhance the study of American Literature in its cultural context. It is organized into 16 units, each exploring canonical and re-discovered texts, and presenting the material through an Instructor Guide, a 30-minute documentary video series, literary texts and an integrated Study Guide." Along with our students, we can find resources and and tools to use to create our own analytical narratives.

Wow, this link to American Literature is going out on email tomorrow, especially to my English and Social Studies teachers.

Flickr: The Commons & the Library of Congress

I didn't see this before, but Flickr and the Library of Congress have teamed up to provide access to more of the photos and artifacts available at the Library of Congress. From The Commons site:

"Back in June of 2007, we began our first collaboration with a civic institution to facilitate giving people a voice in describing the content of a publicly-held photography collection, The Library of Congress. The pilot project we created together launched on January 16, 2008.

The key goals of The Commons are to firstly give you a taste of the hidden treasures in the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer.

You're invited to help describe the photographs you discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments."

I'm on a mission now to get access to Flickr back at school! Watch this space.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Have you seen Lookybook?

Found on SLJ's ExtraHelping - Preview a picture book before you buy it at Lookybook. Lookybook.com bills itself as "the world's longest bookshelf" and a "test track" for picture books—all for free. Before buying or committing to a picture book, parents, teachers, and librarians can view the work in its entirety using the site's whimsical "page-turning" tool. It's a lot of fun too!