C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

March 1, 2010

March 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: General — Jenn @ 10:52 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

March 2010

What Can We Do?

I was trying to track down a series of graded readers in the Library Catalog recently– they are books that I know we have on the shelves, books popular with our English language learners and new readers.  What I found in my search was just how challenging it can be to find what you’re looking for.

The books, all part of the Oxford Bookworms collection, are categorized in our catalog into many different, smaller series.  For example, The Age of Innocence is part of the Oxford Bookworms Library, Stage 5, Classics series while Chemical Secret can be found in the Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 3, Thriller & Adventure Series.  Which category each book falls into depends on the information supplied the publisher– some books only have a stage, but no genre.

These series assignments could be used by students to find books at a certain level or to learn titles of books that are similar to ones they have already read.  But are they used?  Subject headings like “Readers for New Literates” are likely not useful to students looking for books they think of as “graded readers”– even I have to take a moment to remember the exact wording of that awkward phrase supplied by the Library of Congress.

While subject headings and series titles are provided to us by outside entities, the librarians who catalog our Readers for New Literates and High Interest Low Vocabulary books, have the ability to add other descriptors to the book’s electronic record.

What can we do to make the materials that students want and need easier to find?  What are your students looking for and what are the terms that you use in class to describe these materials?  Do you have suggestions for other ways we can make library resources more accessible to your students?  Send your thoughts my way– we’re always looking for ways to help your students.

Graded Reader Series in the Library

Resource of the Month

www2.scholastic.com

Scholastic Online

Anyone who read as a child or reads to children is familiar with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books.  Like any successful 21st Century company, Scholastic has a strong web-presence that is more than simply a showcase for their print products.I’d like to highlight two areas of Scholastic.com:  Student Activities and Teaching Resources.  The Student Activities portion of the site hosts interactive features designed for school children from Pre-K through 12th grade.  Despite the marketing toward youth, however, there is much in this content for the ESL, ABE or GED student.  Topics in all grade groups include Language, Math, Science and Social Studies, with a wide variety of  games, interactive activities, video and audio content.  For example a Pre-K social studies entry called “Community Helpers:  See What they Do”  is image-based with clicking activity.  Grade 9-12 social studies includes the great-looking Research Starters:  tips, topics and resources for research projects on topics ranging from the Olympics and World War II to Extreme Weather and Dinosaurs.

Additional student activities include Scholastic News (currently featuring the crisis in Haiti); Computer Lab Favorites; Write and Publish, a series of online writing “workshops”; and Reading Response, a book review writing and reading page.

The Teaching Resources content is equally chock-full of transferable projects, ideas, lesson plans, and more.  As in the Student area, Teaching resources are organized by grade-level with content in Reading, Language, Social Studies, Science and Math.  A unit plan, like Literacy for Life provides pertinent information about the subjects covered, the appropriate grade levels and how long the unit will take to cover in its entirety.  Along with links to purchase Scholastic materials, the site provides links for “Reproducibles”, free PDF handouts and worksheets.  All unit content can be printed out or emailed for easy access.

Naturally, some content on Scholastic.com requires purchase or subscription, but there are enough idea-generators and free interactive tools to make exploring this site worthwhile and interesting.  Check it out now and tell me what you think!

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