I read the article “Free Scholarly Resources Online” fromAASL and although the resources were for older students, in the Comments section, some fabulous librarian listed a bunch of free K-6 websites. I discovered Digital History which I’d never seen and LiveBinders which I’d forgotten about. This year I started at a new school and the expectations are a bit different. I used to do actual research projects in the library, but now I either supply the resources or try to do a quick presentation. I created a Bud Not Buddy LiveBinder on the Great Depression and added two of the new databases. LiveBinders allows me to offer articles differentiated by level or interest. Bam! In one fell swoop, I integrated three Cool Tools: new databases, curation tool, new user friendly element on library home page. This is why I keep doing Cool Tools!
I like the Digital History database because it has so many access points for students: music, people, and multimedia. I particularly like the inclusion of photographs to reference as primary sources. I used to spend hours pouring over the LOC digital collections and then creating a Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation. Digital History does that for me. I added a link to my LiveBinder on my library webpage.
Thank goodness one of the activities was to add widgets because I realized I had no widgets on my library page. I added Worldbook, BrainPOP and Novel widgets. Rather than trying to direct my 1st graders to the top left block, the third one down, I can now tell them to click on the blue and green rectangle. Much easier and it helps them learn their shapes as well. Here’s the link to my homepage so you can see the widgets.