News Flash

Library - Highlights

Posted on: April 20, 2020

Let the Abilene Public Library Help with Homeschooling

Girl at School

With the uncertainty over whether schools will reopen before the end of the semester, parents and teachers are working hard to make sure their K-12 children have the resources they need to keep up to grade level. Your Abilene Public Library can help! We have a wealth of online resources in all subject areas and grade levels that can provide you and your students with interesting learning experiences. All are available on our website, www.abilenetx.gov/apl by clicking on the E-Resources link and going to the database page for ‘Homework Help’. . . and here are a few more of them.

Teachers and parents teaching will want to take a look at Explora Educator’s Edition. This database has instructional materials for teachers including lesson plans for various subject areas, curriculum standards for states, STEM instruction, STEAM instruction, student tools, and more. For instance, under the Lesson Plans section, click on geometry, then limit it to Full Text. This will bring Stack of Books with Youthup a number of articles incorporating geometry into interesting experiments, like using sand, string and sticks to study ellipses. In this database, there are also lesson plans for other subjects and student resources such as scavenger hunts to help them use the other Explora facets available in age appropriate ranges.

Explora Primary Schools lets you or your students search for materials in grade school subject areas, or browse categories including animals, biographies, geography, language arts, math, and more. Explora Secondary Schools allows middle and high school students to access a portal with appropriate content on a number of areas including business and government, current issues, history, science and math, and more, with the ability to perform searches. Explora Public Libraries is designed for all ages. In it, you can access a wealth of information through self-guided searches, or browsing through topics including arts & literature, health, science and math, culture events, and more.

Developing critical thinking skills is a vital part of schooling, at all levels. Social Media being what it is, and the fact that users across all platforms and of all ages tend to friend, follow, or fan people whose views agree with their own, it can be extremely educational for a student to take into consideration opinions other than their own. Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints and Issues & Controversies are two excellent databases for this development. Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints allows you to explore both sides of an issue in this online resource that covers today’s hottest social issues, from capital punishment to immigration, to marijuana.  Get the pros and cons on any topic to aid in critical-thinking skills. Issues & Controversies gives a comprehensive look into critical issues we face today including politics, business, government, crime, law, energy, education, health, family, science, foreign policy, race, rights, society, and culture.

Three resources that have articles from magazines, newspapers, and even some primary source documents are Primary Search, Middle School Search Plus, and MAS Complete. Primary Search, as you might think, contains full-text for dozens of the most popular children’s magazines to help elementary school students learn about a variety of topics including endangered species, space exploration, famous musicians, and more. Middle School Search Plus has full-text for more than 140 popular middle school magazines with reading level indicators. It also includes a dictionary and videos. MAS Complete contains hundreds of popular high school magazines and reference books covering subjects such as art, history, sports, and music, and includes thousands of biographies and primary source documents.

Finally, we’d like to know what you need from your library during this time. Please remember that you can reach us Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 676-6025 or pretty much anytime at infodesk@abilenetx.gov. We would love to have your comments and ideas, because as we all know #weareinthistogether.

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager, Main Library

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