Exploring Research Together

Fifth graders in Mrs. Dabrowka and Mrs. Kitchin’s classes visited the Teel Campus Library in February as part of their study of the Arctic and Antarctica. With Mrs. Coutts leading the charge, students went on a team treasure hunt to find information in books and library databases. Back in their classrooms, they assembled display boxes that used recycled material (tissue boxes) to present their findings. Each box is adorned with a creative likeness of the explorer along with details of the adventurer’s life and time, complete with bibliographies!

Parents, students and teachers are welcome to come check out the finished products on display in the Teel Library. It was a great day of sharing and learning for the library team and our fantastic fifth graders!

March Madness, Library Style

It’s that time of year again … time for School Library Journal’s annual Battle of the Kids Books! March Madness, library style!

Stop by the library during March to track the progress of this tournament-to-end-all-tournaments! We say this every year, but the books selected for the 2016 competition are really outstanding! There’s a little bit of something for every reading taste. Don’t rely solely on our opinions though, grab a book (or five) and judge for yourself.


Art + Research = Awesome

The library is looking artfully colorful these days thanks to Ms. Leonard’s 8th Grade art class. What began with research ended up with some impressive original artwork.  Research and art? Yes!

Artists borrow ideas from each other all the time! To explore the process of art appropriation, eighth grade artists spent a day in the library researching artists and gathering ideas for their own work. — Ms. Leonard

In this lesson on art appropriation, students learned how to research and take inspiration from an artist, mimicking their chosen artist’s style, color palette, composition and/or subject matter, but without copying an actual piece of art. The resulting pieces reflect the influence, but also maintain a sense of each student’s individual style.

Stop by the library and take a look! You might find some inspiration of your own!

Research Tip: Website Credibility

Successful researchers know easy tricks to evaluate websites at first glance. Follow the acronym ADAPT to evaluate any page you think might be useful.

A: How accurate is the information? Can you verify it elsewhere? Is the site free of typographical or spelling errors?

D: Depth matters. Does the site offer a sufficient depth of information or just pieces that can be misleading?

A: Who authored this site? Can you contact them for more information if needed? Can you verify the site owner’s authority on the topic?

P: What is the purpose of the site? Is this a blog or a fact based page? Check the domain extension (.edu and .gov will likely be legitimate). Be skeptical of sites with big or varied fonts, multiple bright colors, or excessive punctuation.

T: Time is important. How new is the information? If there are no dates listed, look for other clues. Don’t mistake the date the page was created for the date that the information was obtained.


Still not sure? Check out this helpful website credibility guide from EasyBib!

Graphic Novel Thursday – on Friday

underground abductor

This week’s graphic novel is The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale, part of the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales graphic novel series. Reading this graphic novel reminded me of why I enjoy narrative nonfiction so much; you learn a ton about history without it being painful or boring. The Underground Abductor tells the story of Harriet Tubman, who of course I already knew something about.  But I learned so much more of her story, particularly her family life and childhood, from reading this book.  For example, I didn’t know that she grew up on the Eastern shore of Maryland, and that much of her family remained there until she rescued them later in her life. If you are interested at all in the Underground Railroad, or if you are looking for a stranger than fiction true story, give this one a try.  It’s good for grades 6 and up.


Research Tip: Don’t Cite Wikipedia

image of Wikipeida logo with question markIt’s okay to use Wikipedia to find general information on a topic, but don’t stop there. Using Wikipedia as an official source for a research paper is a bad idea because not all of the information you can find there is verified and reliable.  A lot of it is, but not all.

If you find a good Wikipedia page, be smart and check the works cited at the bottom of the page. Follow those links and using your web evaluation skills, find more credible sources and use those for your research.

source: http://www.gearfire.net/4-ways-wikipedia-needing-cite/

Cover Art Controversy

Parents in New York are upset about Jason Reynolds’ 2014 young adult novel, When I Was the Greatest.  They say things like, “it’s inappropriate” and “I don’t want my kids to learn about guns.” The New York Department of Education recently added it to their recommended reading list.

This book isn’t about guns. It’s about three friends facing the challenges of growing up in the city; family, friendships, all of it. Guns are present in the book, but the overall message is one of non-violence. The cover art is meant to be a statement to bring up questions and spark conversations about our world. Conversations we all need to have. That makes this controversy a good thing.  Read more in this article from PIX11.

Come check it out, read it and tell us what you think!