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Getting Ready for the First Day! June 2, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in Homework Help, Library.
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Today is my first day at my new job, and I am super excited! It is sort of like the first day of a new school year. I’m going to meet all my new coworkers, figure out lots of information I need about my job and their expectations, and jump right into work. The only difference is that I am the only new student starting right now.

Just like starting the first day of school, I did a little clothes shopping in preparation. Back when I was in grade school I always went shopping with my mom to get all the clothes I would need for the school year. She and I didn’t always agree, and I’ve never been the most fashionably dressed. But somehow in elementary school it was enough to do a big shopping trip before school began, and get through the school year with maybe only the purchase of a few sweaters for Christmas. For my new position at the library I don’t exactly need a new wardrobe, but it is the beginning of the summer so my wardrobe needs some nice staples for the warmer weather. I bought two pairs of khakis and a new black skirt, a few short sleeved tops, and a new pair of brown shoes.

Beyond worrying about looking nice for the first day, I’ve been getting ready in other ways. I got a new notebook, a stack of books for a program next week, piles of stickers and prizes, and files of information on schools in the area. It is kind of silly in a way, because I don’t really have all the information I need to start making plans, but I’ve been so excited to start that I run ahead of myself.

Since I really want to get all the staff excited about the HHC and my work in general, I am concerned about making a good impression with my coworkers. I really should have taken more time to try to familiarize myself with the staff I will be working with–all of their pictures and job titles are on the intranet, but I was too busy at work to take the time, plus it is a little stalkerish. My hope is that they will be as excited to have me as I am to join them–or at least excited about having a HHC!

More Homework Stuff May 30, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in Homework Help, Library, Recommendations.
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I am still in the midst of preparing for my new job–which I start Monday–and working on my reference project. So I have more fun reference sources for my core collection–these are internet links that I think will provide good sources for directing students when working on their homework. It is always hard to know without actually trying them out on kids, but here are a few that I’ve found:
Websites


Math
Math Forums @ Drexel:


Biography
Presidents of the United States


Language Arts
Factmonster Language Arts


Multimedia Grammar Glossary


Science
Especies Fact Sheets


Windows to the Universe


All Science Fair Projects


Social Science
The World Factbook


Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

Math Reference May 29, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in books, Homework Help, Library.
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One of the scariest parts of my new job is going to be providing homework help in math, since it has never been a strong subject for me. But in my quest to become as prepared as possible, and in my class assignment of creating a core-reference collection for the center, I have been examining a variety of math related reference materials. Since I don’t have a passion for math, I didn’t expect to be terribly excited about these reference materials, but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of math reference materials out there.

In particular, I found the book A Mathematics Handbook very colorful and informative on all kinds of math problems and concepts. It is aimed for middle school students, but could help younger children and even older ones.

Core Reference Collection May 28, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in books, Homework Help, Library.
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I’m currently taking a four week class called “Reference Services for Youth” and our main project is to create a core reference collection of about 30-34 works both print, electronic, and hopefully audio visual. Personally, I am not sure of what the professor means by “reference” as she sometimes seems to refer to all non-fiction books and other times to refer to a distinct sub-set of non-fiction. Regardless, I am finding this particular assignment to be very helpful, and am creating a core reference collection for the homework help center.

Since the homework help center is a distinct area within a larger branch, it doesn’t need a full complement of reference materials. Students can bring reference materials into the center from other parts of the library, and certainly if there was a project that all the students were working on that needed a specific set of books, we could move them temporarily into the center. This said, there are some basic print reference materials that we could keep in the center for use of the students.

In deciding which materials to include, I’m trying to select works that can be used by the broadest range of students in the largest amount of projects. Since the library system has a lot of amazing databases, I will work on marketing those as well.

Here is the tentative list:
Print
Dictionaries
Random House Webster’s unabridged dictionary 2005 423 R1948r2, 2005
Macmillan dictionary for children 2007 423 M16, 2007
The American heritage student thesaurus 2007 423.1 H477s, 2007
The Facts on File dictionary of mathematics 2005 510.3 F142f4
Larousse French-English, English-French dictionary 2007 443.21 L332, 2007
Bilingual visual dictionary – French 2005 443.21 B595
Collins Spanish dictionary 2006 463.21 C7123c3
Writing Aids
Grammar essentials 2006 428.2 G7451g3
Ready, set, write! :a student writer’s handbook for school and home 808.02 R287
Encyclopedias
The World Book Encyclopedia 2008 031 W92, 2008 Almanacs
The World almanac and book of facts 2008 031.02 W927
The world almanac for kids” 2008 031.02 W9273
Atlases
“School atlas–DK” 2007 912 S421s, 2007 Historical Works
Opposing viewpoints in American history 2007 973 OPP

This is just a start–I’m still thinking that I’d like a general science reference work, but I’m undecided on what would be general enough for the largest variety of students and assignments and not take up too much shelf space. In case you are wondering about the two French dictionaries, we have two French immersion schools in our service area, both k-8, so it seemed reasonable.