Howard County Library
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - English Category
  • 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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  • 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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  • Fairy Tales Come to Life – for families

    three little pigs and one bad wolf stick puppetsFor teachers, students, and families: You think fairy tales are boring? Not after the APL Drama Club gets their hands on them. Join the fun at East Columbia Branch on Saturday, October 22, at 3 pm. The APL players present their mash-up of classic tales, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Three Little Pigs, Star Wars. Star Wars? Sure, why not – nothing is quite what it seems.

    Irva Gabin – East Columbia Branch

     

     

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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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  • Polaris Power-Tip for Teachers: Set It and Forget It!

    image of card catalog drawerDo 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!

    Sarah Russo
    Howard County Library System, Elkridge Branch

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  • E-Books for kids!

    stack of books with mouse attachedSpring is here , and with it come some exciting new resources at the Howard County Library System! We have four new resources available for you to use with your students.  Check out  hclibrary.org/ebooksforkids

    The new resources include:

    TumbleBookLibrary has more than 200 children’s  books. Favorites like “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch, as well as fairy tales come to life in an educational and interactive way. Other titles include: “Diary of a Worm,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10,”  and “Tops and Bottoms. More accomplished readers can read read-along chapter books, featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page turning. Spanish and French titles are also available!

    BookFLIX , an online program for children, pairs 95  classic video storybooks with nonfiction e-books. BookFLIX builds a love of reading while reinforcing early reading skills.
    TrueFlix™ leverages 47 award-winning True Books content to help students hone reading skills, build knowledge of subject-area content, and cultivate 21st century skills.

    The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) operates like a bookmobile for the global age. The ICDL collection includes more than 4,000 books in 55 languages.

    Take a look around our digital collection. This is just the beginning!

    Shirley O’Neill, Administration Office

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  • Word Up! Winners Circle

    word up logo - teen poetry contestCongratulations to this year’s Word Up! winning poets. They competed in three categories, Grades 6 – 7, Grades 8 – 9, and Grades 10 – 12.  First, Second, Third and honorable mentions were awarded in each category.  Poems will be posted to the web site after the awards ceremony. To hear these young word smiths reading their poems, join us:

    Word Up! Winners Circle

    Thursday, April 28

    7 – 9 pm

    East Columbia Branch (50+ Center)

    Guest poet: Linda Joy Burke of Poetry Out Loud

    Sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library

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  • Word Up! Deadline is Almost Here

    word up logo - teen poetry contestOnly one week left for your students to submit their original poetry to the Word Up! Poetry Contest.

    Students in grades 6 – 12 can enter up to three original poems (no more than 60 lines each) in Howard County Library’s Word Up! Poetry Contest. A Word Up! Educators Resource brochure with writing exercises and other resources is available for teachers online.

    Poems are judged by a committee on their originality and language use, among other criteria. Deadline for entries is March 16. All winners will be invited to read their poems on April 28 and will receive cash awards, sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library.

    All winning poems are posted on the Library’s web site. Students may qualify for only one prize in each category.

    Category 1: Grades 6 & 7

    Category 2: Grades 8 & 9

    Category 3: Grades 10 – 12

    Get those poems in by March 16!

    Katie George – Administration Office

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  • Assignment Alert!

    stack of papers

    Assignment Alert!

    Mrs. McManus, an English teacher at Centennial HS, has just submitted an Assignment Alert to the Howard County Library using the Secondary Schools Assignment Alert Form.  Submitting an Assignment Alert form allows Howard County Library to gather materials and prepare for your student’s questions.

    What was Mrs. McManus’ Assignment Alert? Her students are to research a real-life tragic hero. A real-life tragic hero is defined as anyone from history, or living today, in any occupation, who achieved significant success, only to ruin what he/she achieved because of a serious character flaw or lapse in judgment.  Some examples of a tragic hero are: Anne Boleyn, Richard Nixon, Kurt Cobain and Bernie Madoff.

    Can you think of other real-life tragic heroes?

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  • No Rhyming Necessary

    image of the words found poems spelled out in different fonts

    Roses are red, Violets are blue…

    Poetry doesn’t have to be hard, and it can be fun too! Join us at the Miller Branch on Thursday February 17th to learn how to create simple and unique poetry by using old magazines, books and even unwanted Valentine’s Day cards. All poems created at this event will be eligible for submission in the Word Up! poetry contest. Register online or call 410-313-1950.

    Courtney Gardinier -Miller Branch

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