Have 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:
- 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
Howard 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
Are 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
Do you currently place holds on materials for you and your students through hclibrary.org?
You may have noticed a new feature of placing your requests online with an advance activation date. For educators who know the wisdom of planning, this new feature is life-changing. Some examples of how to use this Polaris Power-Tip include:
- You are an elementary school teacher and want to plan your read-alouds. You can now find and request your favorite books for the entire year! Requesting a copy of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything now so you can read it at Halloween is entirely possible. If you want it at the end of October, I recommend requesting it to activate in mid-September if you are using your A+ card, so you have it in plenty of time for a spooky read-aloud. Remember: Your A+ Educator Card checks out items for six weeks, so you have some wiggle room!
- You are a middle or high school teacher who prepares a unit every February on careers, and you want to make sure you have a good variety of print and nonfiction video resources for your students. You can locate items at any time with a subject search, request them, then set your activation date for mid-January. If for some reason, your schedule changes (snow days?), you can always use your account to adjust the activation dates. The only caveat is that once the items have been shipped, the activation date is no longer adjustable. You can always request them again.
- If you have trouble finding time to read for personal education or enjoyment during the school year. Maybe you’ve been wanting to read The Help, but you know you probably won’t have time until winter break. You can set the activation for early-December. Even though in August almost 300 people are on hold for it, you will continue to move up the queue until you reach the top spot, where you stay until you activate the request. You will easily have your book in time for vacation.
I hope this feature helps you as much as it helped me! I use this feature extensively for planning my book clubs, personal reading, and for upcoming HCLS classes. Stay tuned for another great Polaris Power-Tip for Teachers soon. In the meantime check out some other exciting features of the new HCLS catalog!
Howard County Library System, Elkridge Branch
Like science? Join the club! The Science Club is a new class dedicated to all things science. Join us at the Miller Branch this spring as we practice our engineering skills by building spaghetti bridges, investigate the chemical make-up of a Peep, and discover the shocking truth about electricity. Registration required for each class.
Bridges – Wednesday March 23, 7-8 pm
Peeps! – Wednesday April 27, 7-8 pm
Electricity – Wednesday May 25, 7-8pm
Courtney Gardinier – Howard County Library Miller Branch
The Howard County Library Chess Tournament provides an opportunity for students to meet and compete with other students who share their enthusiasm for this classic board game. All participants will receive fabulous prizes.
Courtney Gardinier – Howard County Library Miller Branch
Financial education is crucial for all age groups. During Financial Literacy Month, encourage your students to attend these money-minded classes.
In Who Wants to be a Millionaire, teens explore the myths and realities about becoming a millionaire, then learn strategies for setting and achieving financial goals. Register to attend the Thursday, April 7 class at Howard County Library Savage Branch or the Monday, April 11 class at Howard County Library Central Branch. Both sessions begin at 7:00 pm.
Teens can choose to Take the Spending Challenge. This interactive game leads students through 16 weeks of purchases and payments in a single hour. Students begin with a regular “paycheck” and a fictional credit card, then make choices about how much to save, how much to spend, and whether to pay by cash or credit. Register to attend the Wednesday, April 6 class at Howard County Library East Columbia Branch or the Thursday, April 14 class at Howard County Library Elkridge Branch. Both sessions begin at 7:00 pm. (To request a session of Take the Spending Challenge in your very own classroom, complete the online Curriculum Enhancements request.)
Those teens who are dreaming of the day they’ll be driving, will be interested in Your First Set of Wheels. Students will learn about hidden costs like maintenance and insurance, then create a savings plan. Register to attend the Tuesday, April 5 class at Howard County Library Glenwood Branch or the Wednesday, April 13 class at Howard County Library Miller Branch. Both sessions begin at 7:00 pm.
Katie George – Administration Office
March 14 = 3.14 – Pi Day!
Mathematics is an essential study for every student…however math can also be a fun and interesting part of education! Congress brought this to light in 2009 by recognizing March 14 as National Pi Day.Everyone’s favorite irrational number has since been celebrated across the globe, and only recently calculated to 5-trillion digits.
Your students are invited to celebrate Pi Day at Elkridge Branch on Monday at 7 pm with a Pi Party! We’ll be hosting a variety of contests including prizes for the students that can recite the most number of Pi digits from memory. We’ll also have lots of hands on activities & games to demonstrate just how fun geometry can be!
Register online or with branch.
Sarah Russo, Elkridge Branch
What do your students want to be when they grow up? Computer animator? Pastry chef? Architect?
Students and parents are invited to join us for the CTE Expo and learn how to take the first steps toward these goals. Faculty and students from Howard County Public School System’s Career Technology Education Academies will present information about the program and demonstrate the skills they have learned. All sessions begin at 7 pm.
Human Resource Services, Consumer Services, Hospitality, and Tourism demonstrate their skills at Howard County Library East Columbia Branch on Monday, January 10.
Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology, Information Technology display the latest data on Wednesday, January 12 at Howard County Library Elkridge Branch.
Arts, Media, and Communication, Career Research and Development strut their stuff on Wednesday, January 19 at Howard County Library Glenwood Branch.
Get on board with Construction and Development, Transportation Technologies on Wednesday, January 26 at Howard County Library Savage Branch.
Health and Biosciences present live at Howard County Library Miller Branch on Thursday, January 27.
Business, Management, and Finance will crunch the numbers on Monday, January 31 at Howard County Library Central Branch.
Katie George – Howard County Library Administration
So what, exactly, is an Assignment Alert?
Is it broadcast on the police band radio? (nope)
Is it a submarine command? (A-OOGAH! A-OOGAH!) (that’s just silly)
It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with homework, could it? well …
YES! It has everything to do with homework! And our ability to ensure your students have everything they need to complete it successfully!
When you assign a research project, book report, or any work that you suspect may land your students in the Library, you’re invited to visit our web site and complete an Assignment Alert. This online form is sent directly to the Research Specialist assigned to your school.
In response, we may put related materials on display, call in additional resources from other branches, or prepare to offer instruction in the use of our electronic resources. We may contact you to confirm the assignment details or offer to visit your class to provide additional research instruction to your students.We may even be able to assist that one student who arrives at the Library remembering he had to research an African nation…but not which one or the questions he was supposed to answer.
Every little bit helps – we love to help! Visit hclibrary.org –> Students and Teachers –> Teachers to assist us, so we can assist your students.
Katie George – Administration Offices
This Week’s Hi-Lights: Research E-Books
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Math Category