Sunday, April 13, 2014

Titlewave Take-away: Curriculum Tags

Learned a ton at this year's Follett Workshops, held at the Marymount International School in Rome.

Here's take-away #2 (see #1 here)

2)  Use Curriculum Tags to search for books

The problem
Teachers ask for books according to curriculum-area topics or pedagogical need. They may be asking for books in your library or for books to buy for their classroom. In either case, it can be tricky to find what they are hoping for.

The solution: Use "curriculum Tags" in Titlewave.

Your Follett rep can set up a teachers' account that links to your library's Titlewave account. Show teachers how to create lists, and the lists can be shared with you. Once shared, the list will match with what you already have (using Titlewise analysis). If you want to buy some, you can add them easily to your own list. 

Regardless of who buys what, you've given yourself and your teachers a powerful way to FIND the resources they need using the educational terms they use.

To search using tags: Go to Titlewave > Log in > Choose "Curriculum" on the left sidebar > Scroll and click the "Explore Tags" button.

Tags are bundled as below:
(tags such as Action & Adventure, Drama, Parody)
Literacy, Foundational, Comprehension Skills 
(Idioms, Flashback, Consonant & Vowel Blends)
Subject and Themes 
(Canada, Careers, Censorship, Care/Kindness)
Teaching Support 
(Bilingualism, Supports Gifted, Supports Struggling Reader)
Text Features and Resources 
(Includes Maps, Reproducibles, Includes Text-Based Questions)
Text Structure 
(Cause & Effect, Problem/Solution)
Text Type 
(Narrative, Persuasive, Argumentative)

Another bonus of "Curriculum Tags": 
Books purchased through Titlewave keep their tags as part of their MARC record, so when you import the records of these books into your system, the tags will be searchable in your catalog automatically.

Let's look at a favorite tag: "Teacher Resources Available to Download"

There are tons of results for this, so here's how to build a Tag Search String:

Choose the initial tag > choose "Tag Explorer" > choose another Tag

Your results will narrow with each tag you choose:

2,500 titles...need to narrow. Choose "Tag Explorer"...
Added a tag "Juvenile Fiction" and we're down to 944...
Choose Tag Explorer to narrow again

Added "Fantasy Fiction" so now I have 14 results for J Fiction, Fantasy,
with downloadable resources.

Ok, that's fun and all, but check this out: 
Now that I have a list of fantasy titles with downloadable resources, guess what I can do? Yup - I can see which books are already in my catalog (using Titlewise analysis) and GRAB these resources from Titlewave and add them to my records using the "Digital Resources" tab in the Easy Editor or MARC.

The digital resources might be discussion guides, or worksheets, or video clips, or any kind of material that supports the text.

Whoop! Who doesn't love to see a link when browsing for books? 

How will YOU use Curriculum Tags?

Destiny Take-away: Customize your top ten

Just spent a fab long weekend in Rome learning about the latest features and behind-the-scenes tricks of Follett's Destiny catalog. 

Here's the first of several take-aways I'll be posting. 

1) Customize your Top Ten list in Destiny Quest

The Problem: 
The Top Ten list in Destiny shows things like power cords, or the same titles over and over, or odd titles that don't seem to reflect your users.

The solution: 
Customize what shows on your Top Ten list.

Go to Back Office > Site Configuration > Top Ten titles.

Choose a call number range (BIO - BIO or a Dewey range or F - F) and then add a label. This will limit the titles counted in the Top Ten and give the list a heading!

You can also limit by patron type to show only student checkouts and by material type to show only books, or DVDs, or whatever you want. This would be a fun way to highlight parts of your collection that need a boost. 

Top Ten periodicals? Top Ten faculty checkouts? How do YOU imagine using this feature? Would love to hear your ideas.

Friday, March 28, 2014

EasyBib Add-On, a fast-paced mini-lesson

We followed up last week's "Quote, Summarize, or Paraphrase" lesson with a quick look at citations. Grade 7 is the year to introduce in-text citations, so we make it as easy as possible!

Using google's new "Add-on" feature at the top of all docs, we add the EasyBib citation-maker directly into our documents. In the sidebar, we type our book's ISBN number and then paste in a URL for a website*. EasyBib finds the resource, formats it according to MLA, APA, o r Chicago, and then inserts it into the document.

* We used Sweet Search's "biography" page for a website.

You should have heard the "oohs" and "aahs" when
the "Works Cited" section was added: formatted (yes, reverse indented!) and alphabetized...with one click!

Now we're ready to do our in-text citations. 

In MLA, we take the first item in the entry which might be the author's last name, but could also be the title of an article. 

We pop that into some parenthesis at the end of our quotation and paraphrase from last week, and BAM! Works Cited page and in-text citations are done!

The key with this lesson is breathless, fast-paced, excitement...ham it up...they'll look at you like you're crazy but it helps!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Summarize, Paraphrase, Quote?

As part of their biography project, grade 7 Humanities teachers invited me to talk with students about different ways to gather information from nonfiction books.

Grade 7 Guiding Question: What choices do we have for extracting information from a text?

Inspired by this anchor chart, I talked students through some visual note-taking to help them distinguish among three ways to record information from their text. 

As we talked about each one, I modeled my own "extractions" or recordings from my nonfiction text (First Step 2 Forever: My Story, by Justin Bieber - yes, this did get a laugh). Then students practiced each type with their own book.

Here's how we visualized the differences:

Quotation: recorded text is shown the same color as the original because the words are exactly the same. We only need to add quotation marks and a citation.

Paraphrase: recorded information is blue and is about the same length as the original text. The object is to reword the text, not just change the order of the words, so the recorded information is ALL blue. We also may need to add a citation to a paraphrase if the idea is new or questionable.

Summary: recorded information is one red sentence since it's a shortened version of the text. It's so condensed that no citation is needed.

Notes for ways to extract information

At the end of the lesson, it was important to reinforce the idea that students have a choice about how to record information they've learned.

If the words are so juicy, perfect, and couldn't be said better ourselves, which method should we choose?

If the words are a bit complicated, or we could easily write them in our own way, which should we choose?

If the words make up a long section with a key point but include many unnecessary details, which should we choose?

This was about a 20 minute lesson. I'll follow up next week to see how they are doing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Board!

Our wonderful assistant, Ms Aggie, has completed an amazing bulletin board to bring us into springtime.

Here's the inspiration pin (which, sadly, leads to a spammy link) and our result below.

Come down to The Pit and pick a bunch of books!

"Pick a Bunch of Books"