editable month banner_March2020

                                                                 edited by Sara Torabi, Instructional Consultant Support/Library Media Technician

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ERS Library at Doe Ave will be closed until further notice.

The ERS Library staff is available to assist you virtually, Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm, in locating digital resources from our collection to support distance learning with your students.
Please email your request to: 

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– Online & Distance Learning – 
Access to Digital Resources via ERS Library

As we enter an unprecedented time for online learning with our students due to the current health situation, the ERS Library staff wants to remind you of the reputable and reliable digital resources available via the ERS Kids Portal and ERS Teen Portal to support your students while learning at home. Many of the digital resources have thousands of grab and go lesson plans, educational games, activities, and assessments that are aligned to CA Common Core State Standards. These resources also interface with Google Classroom for ease of access by students while learning at home. Please continue to share your site's student portal login credentials with your students and their families.

Digital resources include eBooks from Tumble Book Library and Teen Book Cloud, age-appropriate streaming videos from Discovery Education, educational games for math, ELA, and science via Education City, and a Social Emotional gaming environment from Peekaville. In addition, vetted and curated articles are available from a variety of sources including Britannica and World Book Online Encyclopedias, ProQuest, Opposing Viewpoints and ABC CLIO.

Log in to the ERS Portal at to view the CA Common Core Standards aligned digital resources available to your students for online/distance learning. 

If you have questions about the student login for your site's ERS Kids Portal or ERS Teen Portal, please contact our staff at or call (559) 651-3031. 

SEL Strategies for K-12 Classrooms 
Looking for new strategiesempathy toy and tools to expand the social emotional learning (SEL) in your classroom? Consider using The Empathy Toy by Twenty One Toys. According to Twenty One Toys, “We are born with the capacity for empathy, but unlocking its full potential requires practice. Effectively engaging with different perspectives requires emotional and cognitive competencies—and our K-12 approved games provide techniques for exercising both.” The ERS Library has three sets available in our circulating collection. The Empathy Toy is a blindfolded puzzle game that can only be solved when players learn to understand each other and communicate. Designed in collaboration with K-12 educators, The Empathy Toy games have been designed to reveal the intimate relationship between empathy, creativity, and learning in the 21st century. The games are opportunities for students of all ages to apply and refine empathy in the following four domains:

Teamwork & Collaboration-Students are routinely asked to work in teams, yet collaboration is rarely taught as a skill. Practicing empathy helps students test and refine a number of techniques to navigate the challenges and rewards of working with others.

Creative Dialogue-Empathy allows us to adjust the way we communicate so that we can be understood on someone else’s terms. In addition to diversifying our communication style, empathy-driven dialogue allows us to identify gaps and assumptions in our own understanding.

Autonomous Learning-Students are in control of their own learning—but helping them recognize this agency is difficult. Empathy can be harnessed to help students better understand how their actions affect themselves and others, and provide them with the language needed to effectively self-advocate.

Making Connections-Each class requires creativity, collaboration, and autonomous learning—all of which rely on empath. Since empathy carries equal importance across the curriculum, it can be used as a unifying thread that invites cross-disciplinary understanding.

The Empathy Toy can be used with students of all ages including Kinder through High School. To request The Empathy Toy for your classroom simply log in to the ERS Portal, click Follett Destiny and use the Find bar to do a title search for "Empathy Toy". From the item's record, click Hold It, select "For a specific date", choose delivery/return dates match your site's assigned delivery day and click Save.

21 toys Easy reference videos...
Getting Started using The Empathy Toy at School   |   The Story Behind The Empathy Toy 



At the edge of the forest lives a little mouse. He’s the grumpiest and grouchiest mouse for miles around—until he meets a little lost badger, who desperately needs his help to find his mommy.

As the two set out, they meet Squirrel, Owl, and Bear, who also join in the search. But when a hungry fox appears, the friends need some help of their own! Can Mommy Badger save the day?

A heartwarming tale about the happiness that comes from making friends and the value of helping others.  

Interest Level: K - 3rd



Did anyone ever get anywhere by being quiet? To change anything, you must make some noise! This book is a graphic collection of the lives of 25 extraordinary women through the eyes of 25 extraordinary comic artists.

In chapters titled Grow, Tinker, Play, Create, Rally, and Explore, you'll meet Eugenie Clark, who swam with sharks, Raye Montague, who revolutionized the design process for ships, Hedy Lamarr, a beautiful actress and brilliant inventor, Julia Child, a chef who wasn't afraid to make mistakes, Kate Warne, the first female detective, who saved the life of President-Elect Abraham Lincoln, and many more.

Interest Level: 3rd - 6th



Ever since her troubled mother abandoned her, Trix McCabe has preferred to stay on the move.

But when she lands with her long-lost relatives, she finds out that the McCabe women have talents like her own that defy explanation.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally have found somewhere she belongs. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

 Interest Level: YA

HIgh School

To see even more new items in the ERS Library collection, visit our rotating carousel on the ERS Portal!

                                                                                                            by Nathan Wills, Library Media Technician

Discovery Education  

Discovery Education is consistently striving to improve their database, both in content and in design. If you’ve visited the site lately, you may have noticed some changes. Here’s a brief rundown of just a few:

When you click to search by subject from the DE menu (which looks like a cube made of nine squares, in the upper right hand corner), you now have the option to view content that is trending on Discovery Education as a whole, as well as in Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Health (including up-to-date videos on covid-19, the current coronavirus), Careers/Workplace Skills, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages.

When you click on a video, the look is a bit different: they’ve streamlined each video’s page by creating tabs just beneath the video which can be selected for additional content. Video segments used to be displayed to lower right side of the video, and are now contained in their own tab. Transcripts, teacher guides and quizzes get their own tabs as well, and the new layout is easier to navigate and unclutters each page.

Check out Discovery Education’s new look today by logging in through the ERS Portal!


During the month of March, we commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. 

Beginning in 1987, the United States has formally recognized March as National Women’s History Month.  The 2020 Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”  The theme honors "the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others." The ERS Library collection and online resources can support you in teaching to this theme and about the many amazing women in our history.

Links to content on Discovery Education:

      Grades K - 2             Grades 3 - 5             Grades 6 - 8             Grades 9 - 12      
 A few of the books available via the ERS Library's Follett Destiny online catalog:

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                                              by Doug Cairns, Instructional Technology Specialist   

Gamification in the Classroom

Have you ever heard of Gamification or Game Based Learning?  It is the idea that repetition, failure and accomplishment of goals allow the player to build skills to move through successive levels. Video games have harnessed this for many years. Players start on level one and learn the skills needed to move forward to level 2 and so on until mastery of the task at hand.

Game-based learning takes this same concept and applies it to teaching a curriculum. Students work toward a goal, choosing actions and experiencing the consequences of those actions. They actively learn and practice the right way to do things. The result is active learning instead of passive learning.

As a student learns through game-based learning, they gain much more ownership of the material, which improves retention. The combination of different approaches and goal-based learning addresses all of the learning styles at the same time. No matter what a student’s primary, secondary, or tertiary learning style, a game can address them. Games can even combine multiple subjects into a single game, creating a versatile learning tool.

Learning games also provide students a safe environment for failure. It can be hard for students, especially adolescents, to fail in a public setting like a classroom. Games give them a chance to try out new things. If they fail in the environment of the game, then they can simply try again and learn from their mistakes. Instead of education based on rote memorization, students learn through experimentation and trial and error.



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