Visual Thesaurus

The Visual Thesaurus is a nice online tool. It provides “maps” of connected words, and also has audible pronunciations. You can only try it free for a very limited time. After that it costs $2.95/month or $19.95/year. Here’s a screen shot of a trial search I did:

Screen Shot from The Visual Thesaurus

You can click on any of the words shown to move to a new map of verbal relationships or, as is shown here, rest your cursor on one of the line markers to see a more complete explanation of a term including how it would be used in context.

By the way, anytime you want to get a closer look at an image like the one above, just click on it, and you’ll be able to see if full screen.

Museum Box

I ran across an interesting web site today. It’s named Museum Box. Here is a screen shot of a well-done museum box:

Screen shot of a sample project from Museum Box
In order to use Museum Box, you’ll need to register your school, and register yourself as the administrator for your school’s site. There will be a delay of a few days, during which time your school may receive a phone call to verify your identity. But once that is done you can build your own museum boxes and have students build them for projects.

Your museum box sections can include text, images, sounds, videos–pretty much anything you can imagine. There is a resource section for teachers. They also provide an extensive gallery of images that you can use, and (of course) you can upload files from your own computer.

I haven’t built any boxes yet. I’m still waiting for my identity to be verified. But I am looking forward to experimenting with the site.

Be sure to share your opinions about the site, links to any museum boxes you create, and ideas for how the site might be used.

Welcome to Out of the Classroom & Into the Library!

Welcome!

I’m Deb Waugh, and I hope that together we can advance our knowledge of ways that librarians can help classroom teachers along with ways that teachers can make the best use of the library resources at hand.

Let’s get right to it. Here, in no particular order, are three of the services I feel that every librarian should offer their teachers.

  1. Assistance with generating topics for research projects.
  2. Guidance to professional resources that can be used for graduate study.
  3. Time for teachers to bring students to the library for research.

You’ll notice right away that this is a very minimal and random list. There’s a reason for that.

If you are a classroom teacher I want to leave you a large opening to share your ideas of what services you expect or wish you would receive from your librarian.

Likewise, if you are a librarian I want to leave you an opening to tell us how you support the classroom teachers in your school.

I hope you’ll reply to this post with your ideas!