Howard County Library
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Middle School Category
  • Mango Languages

    mango languages database logoDo you want to learn Pirate? How about more standard languages such as Spanish, French and German? Practice languages like Vietnamese or Tagalog? Or even Irish or Hawaiian?

    Howard County Library System recently added Mango for Libraries to our growing collection of specialized online research tools. Mango offers forty-five multi-lesson classes for native English speakers in a variety of foreign languages, as well as sixteen customized multi-lesson classes for native speakers of other languages who are learning English.

    In addition, Little Pim, a companion collection of videos and resource cards, introduces preschool students to vocabulary in ten languages.  Little Pim teaches 60 words and phrases per session for a total of 180 kid-friendly words. Little Pim’s 15 languages include Spanish, French, Hebrew, and ESL English.

    Both resources require Javascript and Adobe Flash Player, and can be accessed from our list of Research Tools by selecting the Language subject area. Mango Languages can be accessed at any of HCLS’s six branches, or from school or home with your library card number. Add Mango Languages to your collection of language learning tools!

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  • Word Up Poetry Contest 2012

    word up logo - teen poetry contestOf Aging

    It is a Sunday night, raining, and I am eating oatmeal
    There is a language to be learned, a list to dominate

    And I can’t hear what’s being said upstairs, but I can
    Make out my mother’s butterscotch laughter, my
    Father’s heavy lidded footsteps, the sound of the
    Ice-maker and the rain. These singular things that

    Make a childhood. Yet there is a butterfly effect to
    This life. A waltz that you can’t see, but you feel the
    Big band strike up the music in your blood. Why
    Are people always leaving? Spun round and round

    In overlapping rotations. If only in this world
    That is mostly linoleum and revolving doors
    Things could be as familiar as my childhood staircase.
    As familiar as rainy Sunday nights and oatmeal

    Mallory Smith. Grade 9, Howard High School
    First Place, 8th / 9th Grade Group, 2011 Word Up Contest

    The 2012 Word Up! poetry contest is now open!  All Howard County students in grades 6 through 12 are eligible to enter. Cash prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place in three age groups.  Winners are invited to read their poems at a special event on Wednesday April 25 at 7pm at the Miller Branch.

    Poems may be submitted electronically at hclibrary.org/wordup. You can download the Word Up! Educator Resource Brochure or request a session of Writer’s Camp for your students. The deadline to submit up to three entries is March 14, & we look forward to receiving poems by your students.

    Word Up! is sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library.

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  • Chill Out With a Book: Teen Winter Reading

    teen winter reading logo

    From December 1st 2011 to February 29th 2012 we’re offering Middle and High School students the chance to chill out with a book as part of Teen Winter Reading. Howard County Library System’s Teen Instructors have selected 46 titles for the 2011-12 Winter Reading List and prepared a three-question quiz about each selected title. The list includes materials for ages 11-17 from collections throughout the library, so there’s something available for everyone.

    Between December 1st, 2011 and February 29, 2012, teen readers are invited to select and read (or listen to) a book from the list, and answer the three-question quiz about that book. Teen readers who read three books and answer three quizzes will be entered into a prize draw to win a book bundle. Prizes will be drawn in March, after Teen Winter Reading concludes. Your students  can read as many books off the list as they want to, and enter the draw each time they read three new books and complete three new quizzes.

    There are printed copies of the book list in your closest branch. You can also view the list and questions at hclibrary.org/winterreading/. Please share this information with your students and encourage them to take part!

     

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  • Book Clubs

    image of girl reading a book while sitting on a globeDo you have students who already have a sincere love of reading? Or maybe some in whom you’d like to instill a greater appreciation of books and their many delights? Howard County Library System hosts many monthly book clubs to encourage students to read for fun.

    CENTRAL BRANCH:

    Book – N – Chat meets on one Tuesday evening each month, for ages 6 – 8, and discusses a picture book and presents other activities.

    Classics Club Jr gets together on the last Wednesday of the month, for ages 7 – 9, to take a look at some classic children’s novels.

    Classics Club has a similar focus for students ages 9 & up.

    Pageturners, for ages 8 – 11, examines a theme each quarter. For this fall, they’ve been reading about rats. The November 15 meeting is about Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynn Jonell.

    ELKRIDGE BRANCH

    Elks Starters offers a monthly celebration of reading with a fun, fast-paced discussion of stories for young readers (ages 7 – 8), designed to inspire reading. In November, the group is reading Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements.

    Elks Comics Club is the right place for those ages 9 – 11 who love comics, graphic novels, and comic inspired books. It also has activities to inspire students to create their own comic books. In November, the club is looking at How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegart.

    Tween Book Club, for ages 10 – 13, is a place for those “in between” other groups to get together, discuss great book, and participate in fun activities. In November, this club is discussing No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman.

    For more details about these and other opportunities to foster good reading skills, visit hclibrary.org and look up the individual session in the classes and events calendar, pick up a copy of source, or visit one of the branches listed above. All specific titles listed are available for borrowing.

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  • Greg Heffley visits Burleigh Manor Middle School!

    Gordon Korman poses with cut out of Greg from Wimpy Kid

    Gordon Korman poses with Greg

    Greg Heffley visited Burleigh Manor Middle School for quite a while!

    After making an appearance on their morning news show, their fantastic media specialist Barb Randolph kept Greg busy entertaining a guest, author Gordon Korman who was visiting the school!

    Are your students Wimpy Kid fans?

    You can request a visit from our cardboard Greg (sorry, we do not have a cardboard Mr. Korman) by contacting your A+ Liason.

    We’re hosting Wimpy Mania events this fall at two branches. Your students might enjoy Wimpy Kid trivia and games at Glenwood Branch on October 21, and at Central Branch on November 5.

    His latest adventure Cabin Fever comes out on November 15, but you can reserve a copy today!

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  • A First-Rate Second Opinion

    live homework help - free online help from real tutors logoHave you already assigned the first of many research papers or essays to your students?  Would you now like to point them in the direction of FREE writing review and suggestions? If so, take a moment to encourage them to use Howard County Library System’s online homework assistance.

    This service features, among other useful aspects, a writing lab where students can actually upload versions of their original papers to receive a “second opinion” from the experts.  These experts check the students’ submissions for grammar and content, then reply to the students with suggestions and tips to consider while drafting the final versions of their assignments!

    In addition to writing assistance, Online Homework Assistance experts also offer your students confidential access to additional assistance/tutoring in the following areas:

    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Foreign Languages
    • Test Preparation

    Remember, this service is FREE!  Encourage your students to take advantage of this and other services offered by the Howard County Library System via hclibrary.org/students.

    Brian Hart – Howard County Library System, Savage Branch

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  • Maximize Your National History Day Research

    national history day logoAre your students planning on participating in National History Day this year? Would they like a judge’s inside view? Teachers, parents and students are invited to Howard County Library System’s Maximize Your History Day Research event on October 4 at 7 pm at the Elkridge Branch.  Click here to register. You’ll get live demonstrations of our online historical research tools, tips from former NHD judges, as well as advice from history and reference experts from across the system.

    This year’s theme is “Revolution, Reaction and Reform” (and requires relevant research)- we can help!

    If your students cannot attend Tuesday night’s event, consider booking the A+ Curriculum Enhancement: History Day Project Preparation Class, or contact your A+ Liaison for more information.

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  • E-Books for Secondary Students

    cartoon image of student sitting at computerHoward County Library System subscribes to a number of e-book collections that contain great information for secondary students. You can access these collections using a Howard County Library System card. The full text of the included books can be read on the screen, and can often be printed or e-mailed to an address you select. In addition, citation tools built in to these collections provide accurate citation information in your preferred format.

    We subscribe to multiple research e-book collections to provide your students with access to the widest range of available resources. Take a look at these collections by visiting our electronic resources page and scrolling down to the list of research e-books. Here are some highlights:

    • ABC-Clio: This e-book collection contains the full text of titles in science, history, and social science, as well as a small collection of guides to understanding particular titles in literature. If you’re looking for information about social issues, historical events, or scientific discoveries, look in this collection.
    • Ebsco e-books contains a wide range of non-fiction titles in multiple subject areas, including 164 works of literary criticism, many of which are Cliffs Notes.
    • Gale Virtual Reference also contains a wide range of non-fiction titles, with a particular concentration in science, medicine, and literary criticism. Your students could look in this collection for a book about an author they are researching. Look here for multi-volume encyclopedias in history, social science, science, and medicine.
    • InfoBase e-books presents a smaller collection, containing 116 works of literary criticism in the “Blooms Notes” series about particular authors and titles, as well as 22 titles in the “Careers in Focus” series. Also search here for titles in U.S. history, science, and the arts.
    • The Oxford Digital Reference Shelf provides access to the electronic editions of 21 multi-volume reference works from Oxford University Press. Look here for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, for example, or the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 and 1896-Present.

    A wealth of information is contained in this collection of e-books. As you make your students aware of available resources, show them these collections, or invite a research specialist from Howard County Library System to present these resources to your class.

    John Jewitt – Administration Office

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  • Celtic Jewelry Workshop

    celtic jewelry

    Although their intricate designs have adorned  jewelry, monuments, and manuscripts for centuries, Celtic knots have rarely been woven into, well, actual knots!

    But now your students can make beautiful jewelry out of a variety of Celtic knots in this three-session workshop. Artistic students will gain new skills to practice at home, as well as keepsakes to treasure and share.  Each class introduces a new knot, but instructions and patient staff members are always available for beginners. The first session starts at East Columbia on Saturday, September 24 at 3 pm. Register online or by calling 410.313.7701.

    Rachel Reznick–East Columbia Branch

     

     

     

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  • Chess Club

    image of chess pieces on chess boardAre your students interested in honing their ability to think strategically? Do they like playing games? If so, they may enjoy the Miller Branch’s Chess Club. The Chess Club provides an opportunity for students to meet and compete with others who share their enthusiasm for this classic game in an informal setting. All skill levels are welcome, but players must have a basic understanding of the rules of the game.  Tuesday, September 27 from 7 – 8 pm.  No registration required.  Ages 9-17.

    Courtney Gardinier – Howard County Library System, Miller Branch

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