Library Lessons

Lesson Topics

Want to make your students' research projects more effective?   Help is just an email away!   It's my goal to help make your students more effective users of libraries and information.  I also provide district-wide support for Accelerated Reader and have added some AR topics you might be interested in as well.  Contact me to schedule instruction for your class on any of the following topics.   I'll come to you with instructional materials ready and will tailor the experience to your class' needs.   I look forward to working with you!



Home Connect

Did you know students and parents can access AR information online and from home?  Home Connect is a simple, visual overview of student AR progress.  Students are shown how to access Home Connect and what useful information Home Connect provide.  This can be done as a brief in-class demo (approx 15-20 minutes) or in a lab where students can then try out Home Connect on their own (approx 30-45 minutes).  

For staff:  A demonstration can also be provided to teachers at a staff meeting which includes a Home Connect demo as well as instructions for printing ready-made handouts from Renaissance Place for parents. 

For parents:  Have a parent group or event where you'd like to share Home Connect information?  I can arrange to provide a brief Home Connect demonstration and discuss how parents can support AR from home (approx 15-20 minutes).


Using the Library Catalog to locate books within the students' ZPD

Students are shown how to enter the search parameters for AR and their personal ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development aka AR reading range).  Can be done in class (approx 10-15 minutes) or, with student computer access, can be expanded to include instruction on how to save books to a List in the catalog to aide in the location of books when they visit the Library.


Tips for becoming better readers with AR

It's not just about the points!  While it's easy to design incentive programs based on points, for optimal reading growth, careful attention to selecting books within students' ZPD and reading for comprehension are the keys.  Can be done at an early-in-the year library visit before students select books or simply paired with one of the lessons above.  Students should know their ZPD range in advance (I can discuss with you in advance to assist and share ideas with how to keep kids in the know about their ZPD).



Library Catalog (Destiny) Lesson - Level I

Students are introduced to the concepts of Library arrangement, Call Numbers, and how to search the Library Catalog (Destiny).   A hands-on practice allows students to demonstrate mastery of these skills.  Can be stand-alone or timed with a research project that would require book sources. Ideally, this lesson would be conducted in the library and take approximately one hour.  (Can be modified for time/location constraints.)


Library Catalog (Destiny) Lesson - Level 2 (Grades 5-6)

Prerequisite:  Basic Library Catalog use/mastery

Are your students using the Library Catalog regularly and want to take their catalog use a step further?  Topics can include creating Lists within Destiny, locating series titles, Power Searching, or an introduction to Destiny Quest - an Amazon-like version of our catalog that students will use in junior high that makes finding good books even more fun! 


Grolier Online Encyclopedias

CUSD subscribes to four encyclopedias through Grolier Online for home/school use for our students.  Grolier Online is an EXCELLENT, reliable resource for most research projects.  Content here is specially selected for elementary students and is NOT available through Google!  This lesson provides login information for students to take home and includes a demonstration of how to effectively use Grolier Online.  Students are then provided time and assistance in using Grolier to locate encyclopedia articles on their research topic. Ideally, this lesson would take approximately 45 minutes and is most effective when done in a computer lab and when timed with an assigned research project.  It can also be done as a brief in-class introduction without the hands-on practice.


Bibliographies/Works Cited/Appropriate Use of Sources

CommonCore is coming with its heavy-emphasis on appropriate use of information sources.  Using information from a source requires crediting that source.   With pre-planning for a strategy that works for your class, I can provide preparation of materials and instructional assistance for how students should handle sources.  Here are a few examples:

K-2  Use of "Acknowledgements" - A simple method of saying "Thanks" to whoever assisted with their work.  Often, this is simply thanking to the people who helped but the source might also be a book or website.  It is a great way to establish the practice that credit should be given to outside sources and that the information should be included with their work. 

3-6  At these grade levels, students are conducting formal research.  It's imperative that requirements are in place for ANY research assignment about how source information should be handled.  This may be  full  MLA citations, modified MLA citations, or just the completion of source note sheets (provided).  I can tailor handouts and instruction to the needs of you and your students.


Selected Resources

Tired of students' random Google-ing and want to make sure they have good, reliable resources for their research project?   Let me know your research topic, and I can review, select, and prepare a collection of resources for the topic your students are researching.   A special webpage will be prepared to host these for your students and will be linked from your school's Library page.  Once created, these resources can be revised year to year as necessary.   I can also provide a brief introduction to your class on the use of the resources and stay and assist them in their research and use of these resources.

Website Evaluation
An important part of meaningful research is determining which web resources are reliable and useful.  Instruction is available to help students begin to understand how to determine who is responsible for a website, what their purpose is, and whether it is suitable for their information needs.  This can be tailored for the needs of grades 5-6.
Advanced Google-ing
Students will be instructed on tips to get the most out of their Google searches.  Topics include searching different types of media (print, news, images, and videos), selecting appropriate key words, using and using advanced search options such as searching by date, reading level, cached results, and by using special characters such as ", +, and - to fine-tune searches.


Please contact me as early as possible to schedule instruction.  Since most lessons are tailored to meet specific class/project needs and involve access to specific technologies, ample time for us to communicate and plan appropriately is important.    I look forward to working with you!