Friday, January 30, 2015

How Important are School Libraries?

Looking to show your administration how necessary school libraries and teacher-librarians are? Here is a terrific interview. Perhaps your administration should taken a listen as well. Tell them it's only 30 minutes out of their day....

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Anatomy of a Pathfinder: Aiding Your Students With Their Research

When I ask students what they think a pathfinder is, they don't know exactly what it is. "Take apart the word", I say, emphasizing path-finder.  "Finding a path?", one student replies. "You're on the right track," I respond. A good library pathfinder is created by the teacher-librarian and provides the list of print and non-print resources necessary for a particular topic. Most of the time, resources that are available in that library are shared in the pathfinder. Not all pathfinders will look alike and have the same print and non-print sources. (See "Pathfinder Samples" on the page.)  Teachers can request that a specific pathfinder be created to go along with the class curriculum, i.e. "Romeo and Juliet". That is a very specific pathfinder, as opposed to "Shakespeare".   The Dewey Decimal number for the topic area should be listed so students know what area of the school or public library to find the book. (Make sure you have good signage.) Below you will find Buffy Hamilton's excellent video tutorial on how she creates a pathfinder.

How to Make a Good Library Pathfinder-  from Amy C. Mann, MLS

Pathfinders: Helping Students Find Paths to Information- article from Information Today, Inc.

Template for Creating Pathfinders

ipl2 Pathfinder Listing- 10 categories

Methuen High School Pathfinders

Monarch Library Pathfinders- K-5

Pathfinder Index- for teens

Pathfinders for K-5 Graders

Ridgefield Park Junior-Senior High School- over 120 pathfinders!

Sand Creek Middle School Pathfinders

Springfield Township Library Pathfinders

Thematic Pathfinders for All Ages

Thomas Jefferson High School Research Guides

Searching Family History: 32 Genealogy Resources

So it all started when a colleague had his students create their own coat of arms, and then they got involved in their family trees for a display outside the library. One thing lead to another, and I decided to post resources for genealogy, the "study of tracing of lines of descent or development." (Google dictionary) It's a fascinating process.

Coats of Arms
All Family Crests- choose a to Z
All Family of Crests- view for free; $$ for other stuff
Make Your Coat of Arms- choose shield, personalize it 15 free printable crests
ProGenealogists- coats of arms, family crests and surname origins.
Search Family Tree
African-American Genealogy "the world’s largest online resource for family history documents and family trees"
Archives-launched in July 2009, cost is $39.95 per year
A Barrel of Genealogy Links-this site is recommended by the History Channel
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet- very extensive listing

Ellis Island- search passenger records search Chicano, Hispanic, Mexican-American genealogy

Family and Genealogy 2.0 Websites- social networking

Genealogy Classes- from

Genealogy Spot- many resources and assistance is here

Genealogy Terms- from

RootsWeb- oldest and largest free resource on the net
The USGenProject- "The USGenWeb Project consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States."

USGenWeb Kidz- How-to-Do Genealogy
Surname History learn about the family history of your surname

Ancestory's Videos- YouTube channel

Ancestor Search-Surname origin and meaning

Behind the Name-etymology and history of surnames List of over 125,000 surnames

Internet Surname Database- 49, 352 last names
Surname Finder- over 1 million surnames listed

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Your February Holidays and Celebrations

Rather than re-post the resources for each holiday, I updated the master listing for September to June.
You can find Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Presidents' Day, Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year here. Look on the right column of this blog under Books for Reluctant Readers.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Understanding the Severity of a Blizzard: 26 Chilly Resources

One year ago, I posted 32 general sites about the weather, including lesson plans, printouts and videos. This morning in my kindergarten classes, we talked about the impending snowstorm, and it was obvious that the kids had no idea what was ahead. Currently a blizzard is on its way towards the northeast part of the country, (I am looking at 2 feet of snow in the next 24 hours...) I wanted to provide adequate resources to explain how this differs from just a snowstorm.

PHOTO AT THE LEFT: Romeo looks out at the snowfall in 2013.
© J.Greller

11 Facts About Blizzards

12 Historic Photos of the World's Most Formidable Snowstorms- from The Week

Blizzard- earth facts and information

Blizzard Lesson- includes printables

Blizzard Sentence Examples- use "blizzard" in a sentence

Blizzard Slams of the Northeast- NY Times slide show

Blizzards: Winter's Perfect Storm- photo essays

Blizzards and Snow Themed Page- from Teacher Planet

Build a Kit- get ready for an emergency

Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book- winter storms is on pages 19, 20

Pictures of Blizzards- from Google image search

Science of a Blizzard- from

Snow and Blizzards-  Q and A from Scholastic

Snow Facts for Kids

Top 10 Big, Bad Blizzards- slide show from TIME

Weather: Adjectives Worksheet for Snow

Winter Storms- from WeatherWizKids

Winter Word Search Puzzle


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