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JW Leary Junior High Library - Recent Activity  (RSS Feed)
Shannon Smith: Libraries Improve Reading Test ScoresPosted: Monday, May 8
Students connect with information through technology and other sources in the LRC.á Media specialistsácan also áimprove test scores on standardized tests.á According to Ann M. Martin of District Administration Journal "Libraries with print-rich resources and up-to-date technology can also close the gap between privileged and at-risk students. In this time of accountability and assessment, studies show that a well-stocked library staffed by a licensed library media specialist results in increases of 10 to 20 percent on standardized tests. Since 1965, more than 60 studies have affirmed the link between school library media specialists and student achievement."

Click on this link for the entire articleá http://www.districtadministration.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=1726

Shannon Smith: The Variety of ReadingPosted: Monday, May 1
Go into a book store or the library and you will find all kinds of books on all kinds of topics. This is one reason that reading is a universal pastime. Everyone can find something to read that interests them.
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When you choose a book to read, it is helpful to identify the type of book that it is. Genre is a fancy word for “type”. Literary genres include:
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Myths
  • Poems
  • Fantasies
  • Biographies/ autobiographies
  • Science fiction
  • Drama
We may use different reading skills and strategies to understand different kinds of passages and texts. For example, I know that fantasies are not true so I would not be looking for facts in a fantasy book.
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We can look for similarities and differences within and among works from various genre and cultures. We may find similarities and differences in terms of settings, character types, events, points of view, and natural phenomena. These things may be defining characteristics of a particular genre. Defining characteristics are the most important things that make that genre unique. (i.e., all fiction is make believe)
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For the genre fairy tales, some defining characteristics might be that there is generally and undefined time and place. The characters are “flat” and some kind of magic helps a character have a transformation. Click on the link for defining characteristics of some more genres.
Choose four types of literary texts (you cannot use fantasy or science fiction) from the list and write down their defining characteristics. What are the essential elements of this kind of writing that other texts don’t have?
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Which is your favorite genre and why? What do you enjoy reading the most? What do you enjoy writing the most?
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Shannon Smith: On a Quest for InformationPosted: Friday, April 28
When you are gathering information about a topic, there are many places you can look. You may choose to start with an online search engine like the Library of Congress to find websites and electronic files, including audio and visual files. You may also want to go to the library to find books, articles, primary source documents, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and atlases.

When you are finding online sources, it is crucialáthat you make sure the website is reliable. There is a lot of misinformation online and you need to make sureáthat you are using credible sources. Look for the endings .edu and .gov which meanáeducational institutions and the United Stateságovernment respectively. This information should be reliable.á

It is a good idea to use both online and traditional sources. This way you get the most variety and the most information. Not everything you find in the library is online! You may be surprised at the variety of sources a librarian can help you find. Additionally, you can use print resources to verify the information you find online to make sure that it is accurate.
Let’s say that you are researching the Egyptian pyramids. You want to find out who made them, when they were built, and why they were a part of the culture. What are three sources that you would find helpful and why? What kinds of information might you find from each source? Where would you start your search for sources? Why?
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