Announcing the 2017 Abe Award nominees

AbeThe Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) recently released the list of 20 books nominated for the 2017 Abraham Lincoln Award. The complete list, available on this LibGuide, includes titles and authors you might already know: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize; October Mourning by Leslea Newman, winner of the 2013 Stonewall
Honor Book Award
; Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman, winner of the 2015 National Book Award. If these books are any indication, it’s going to be a great reading competition! Continue reading


Gale databases offer new functionality

Gale recently made research easier for students. They partnered with Google! Now, users have the ability to send articles directly to Google Drive or to Google Classroom. This partnership is exciting because we subscribe to seven Gale databasesContinue reading

ThingLink: One image, endless possibilities


It’s no secret that the skills required to extract information from text are similar to those skills required to evaluate an image, as outlined in the Image Analysis Common Core Standards Alignment chart. But….what if we could find a way to further engage our students by creating interactive images? Continue reading


Copyright Conundrum

Imagine this teaching scenario… A student is creating a presentation about his grandparents’ home country. He wants to insert ethnic music and video clips in the presentation. The teacher tells him it’s okay as long as he cites his source. Was the teacher right?  Continue reading


2015 AASL Best Apps and Best Websites

Kellie and I are always on the hunt to discover new technology resources for teachers, and we found some great ones at the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) national conference this past week. AASL unveiled the new 2015 list for Best Apps and Best Websites for Teaching and Learning. Continue reading


Free Database Trials: Try-It Illinois 2015

Usually, Kellie and I use the blog forum to share new ideas about technology integration, reading promotions, and research tips. Yet, sometimes information from last year is so good that it is worth re-posting with updated information.

We know that teachers are looking for ways to include more reading activities into their curriculum. What better way to look for articles than to use the state database trial that’s going on now? Continue reading


Teaching through biographies

“Who can dispute the value of a good story? Though students may initially view them as dull, biographies are the stuff that great classroom activities are made of—history, honesty, and heroism.” – Education World

As teachers, we are always looking for ways to connect students to the notable people in our content areas: Sir Isaac Newton, Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Jefferson, etc. But how do we engage students in meaningful ways to discover the real story behind a person? Continue reading