Mrs. Horwat's Corner of the Library : Blog

  • School closed? Here's how to access our amazing digital resources!

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 3/16/2020

    Students have digital access to databases loaded with educational texts, videos, interactive materials, and more!  Students will have a copy of the handout with all of the usernames and passwords and such sent home with them.  Here’s a link if you are looking at this digitally: Digital Library Resources Flyer  Because this has passwords on it, it can only be accessed by someone logged in with their hpschools gmail account. 

    Monday and Tuesday, Week 1.  We can deliver library books along with the other student materials.  Please use Opals (Hpschools>Departments>Library>Click on the picture of the library) to find books in our library, and email with requests.  Mrs. Horwat will send the books along! (No limit at this time).  

    In student email accounts, students can search for “Overdrive” for step-by-step instructions on how to access our e-books and audiobooks, readable/playable on any device!  Use this time to catch up on your reading!  

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  • Ebook and Audiobooks on your devices

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 5/17/2019

    With Overdrive, the ebooks and audiobooks are available to one user at a time, so they're not always available.  If you're waiting on title, don't forget that we have access to some amazing e-books and audiobooks, for free, through our TumbleBooks (elementary) and TumbleBook Cloud subscriptions!  Access this via Search for Success through your school library's OPALS catalog or through SNAP directly.  The cool thing about TumbleBooks are that they can be accessed by an entire classroom at the same time (no need to wait!).  


    What if we have an ebook version of a book, but your student needs to have it read aloud?  The student can use their device or the computer's text-to-speech functions.  This video here is my favorite source for how to get texts read aloud on your phones, and it works well with any e-books, websites, or even text messages, including TumbleBooks and Tumblebook Cloud.  Give it a try! 

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  • April: Poetry Month!

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 4/4/2019

    I love this list of excellent poetry books for elementary school:  From "We Are Teachers"

    And this list for HS and MS is worth considering:  from "We are Teachers": 24 Must-Share Poems from MS & HS

    Warning:  "Deer Hit" made me cry and kind of ruined my day.

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  • Digital Citizenship Picture Books

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 4/1/2019

    Ms. McNamara has a list of great picture books for teaching digital literacy in the classroom by way of shared picture books that she has shared with you already.  The list included:

    Today, I learned about 5 new digital citizenship picture books to share with the kiddos, and here they are:

    • Blackout by John Rocco
      • Will ignite "discussions about balancing screen time and other activities" (School Library Journal
    • Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds
      • Reminds students that while technology can connect us with people all around the world, the people in our real lives are also important
    • Goodnight Selfie by Scott Menchin 
      • Helps children learn about the choices they need to make when developing their online persona--how to shape their digital footprint
    • Webster's Manners by Hannah Whaley
      • School Library Journal says that this book is "an excellent choice to kick off conversations about classroom tech expectations"
    • Troll Stinks by Jeanne Willis 
      • Shows the power of words to hurt, even through a screen.  

     Here is another resource on the topic:

    Which books are you using with your children and students to talk about digital citizenship?  


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  • HP Battle of the Book Brings home TWO House Cups!

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 3/27/2019

    Both the MS and HS Battle of the Books teams battled 7 regional school districts in the annual Regional Battle of the Books Competition held at Hamilton College March 19, 2019.  Congrats, HP! 


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  • What does a school librarian even do?

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 3/25/2019

    This article gives you an idea!  Don't Overlook Your School Librarian.  

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  • Buzz: Sharing/Finding Library Resources!

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 3/15/2019

    For Buzz users:  Here is a quick (less than 2 minutes) demo on how to prompt your students to conduct their own research using our databases right from Buzz (easy access!  No passwords!):  Video Tutorial



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  • Having trouble with your Overdrive app?

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 1/25/2019



    Many people have tried to follow the step-by-step written instrcuctions for accessing audiobooks and e-book on their phones without success, and it's been a matter of one tricky step (the highlighted Step 2).  This brief tutorial (less than 1 minute!) will show you how to avoid the mistake and get your logged into your new Overdrive account in no time.  Need your login credentials?  Search your school emails for "Overdrive" and you will find a few emails from me giving you access to the document that explains how to get started and provides your exact login credentials.  Once you go through the process of getting Overdrive set up on your device, it's easy as can be to use it to read and listen to books from your device for the rest of your time as a teacher or student here at HPCS.  

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  • How and what will you read over winter break?

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 12/18/2018

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  • STEM Kits in the Library: Design, Create, Experiment Be an Engineer!

    Posted by Julie Horwat on 5/29/2018

    Hands-On Activities (for STEM Learning!)

    Students who are interested in something more hands-on than technology and books are now finding what they need in the library, thanks to an amazing Makerspace project.  Mr. Eberley and Mrs. Smith have created STEM kits that students can check out and take home to complete, either on their own or with a partner or small group. All kits have a Science and Engineering theme and provide a challenge to students.  Students are presented with the challenge, the materials, the time (they can take the kits home!), and the structure to ensure that students follow the design process, conduct experiments like scientists and engineers, and learn all the while.  


    Upon arrival to the library, 8 kits were immediately signed out, and there was much enthusiasm as the students opened the contents of the kits, read a book to spark interest in the topic/theme (a literacy component to the kit...swoon!) and began the design process.  Some of the kits are designed to create competitions during the experimentation phases of the designs, and small groups of students have already begun to compete. So far, the new program is a hit!

    How to participate

    Come to the library!  You may browse the challenges available by looking at this pocket chart:

    Then, you provide the card to Mrs. Hiffa or Mrs. Horwat.  She will scan the card and give you the kit. It will be due in 3 weeks, just like the books. You can work on your kits in the library and at home! They are yours to borrow for the entire time.  Come on down and ENJOY!

    P.S.  If you complete 5 or more of the challenges, you can submit the checklist to Mr. Eberley and receive a prize!

    The Options


    • Fish Bowl Catapult
    • Egg Drop
    • Paper Airplanes
    • Longest Spinning Top
    • Slingshot
    • Straw Rocket
    • Army Person Parachute
    • Paper Helicopter
    • Flick Football
    • House of Cards
    • Make your Own Pinball Machine
    • Research a Science Career
    • Research a Scientist
    • Make Your Own Foosball Table
    • Straw Boat Challenge
    • Balloon-Powered Car
    • Launch Flyer Planes
    • Wind Generator
    • Create Your Own Invention
    • Snap Kit or Snap Green Kit (Alternative Energy)

    Egg Drop


    See more images in the gallery on the MS Library webpage!



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