October 2019

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



Monday thru Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Closed 11/12 for Veterans Day

  Stop by for a visit:
7000 W. Doe Avenue,
Suite A
Visalia, CA 93291

 Give us a call:
(559) 651-3031

 Or send us an email:


Check Out the Newest Robots in the
ERS Library's Circulating Collection...

The coding skills kids learn while playing with Dash & Dot will help them as they prepare for middle and high school while also helping to develop their critical thinking skills today. Dash & Dot are perfect for use in a classroom, letting kids work solo or come together for group coding projects. Teachers love them as much as the kids do. Dash & Dot come with interactive challenges and 4 free downloadable apps for endless hours of coding exploration.

dash-robotMEET DASH

Dash is an explorer who zips around the room, getting into mischief along the way. Using sensors, Dash can detect objects in front and behind, hear where you are, and see where Dot is. This robot has quite the personality and becomes more capable as you program and play.

Dot is a puppet master who instigates the adventures that Dash goes on. When you toss, shake, or pick Dot up, Dot sends a signal telling Dash what to do. Dot can also tell stories using lights, sounds, and eye expressions.

To reserve Dash & Dot for use in your classroom: 
Log in to the ERS Portal, then search "Dash and Dot Robot Wonder Pack" in our Follett Destiny Online Catalog. Using the "Reserve for specific date" option, select 
one of your site's assigned delivery days and a pickup date before clicking Save.


General Technology Training 
with Steve Woods & Doug Cairns,

Instructional Technology Specialists

         Tech Tools: Google Classroom  (Tech Tools Voucher Class)       10/21                   1:00pm - 4:00pm
         Everyone Can Create: Drawing         10/24                   5:00pm - 8:00pm
         Intermediate/Advanced Microsoft Excel         10/30                   5:00pm - 8:00pm

Technology Integration for the Classroom

w/ Katherine Goyette, Educational Technology & Integrated Studies Consultant

Beyond an Hour of Code: Computer Science for All Grade Levels/Content Areas              11/12 8:30am - 3:30pm


TeachingBooks on Your Phone or Tablet

Did you know that TeachingBooks is now just one click away on your phone, tablet, or computer?


Easily put an icon on your iOS or Android screen that will immediately launch the TeachingBooks website. See our web page with detailed setup directions.

scan_magAnd just for fun, take a book and scan the barcode by clicking the barcode symbol at the top of the screen (you might need to hit the Search/magnifying glass image first). Then you can have the author and other resources with you when literally holding the book in your hands!

 Hosting Family Literacy Night, Back to School, Open House, 

or Orientation at your site? 

Consider inviting the ERS Library staff to share and demonstrate the premium digital resources available to both students and parents via the ERS Portal. Our California Common Core aligned digital resources, including streaming video and eBooks, are accessible to parents, students and teachers 24/7/365! 

Contact us today to schedule an ERS Library booth/table at your next parent or community event.




Every night when he was a boy, José M. Hernández would look out the window and stare at the stars. They were different colors: blue, yellow and white. Some were larger and brighter than others, and some twinkled as if they were alive. Later, when he saw man land on the moon on TV, he knew he wanted to be an astronaut.

But José struggled in school because his family moved constantly, and he didn’t speak English. His parents were migrant workers from Mexico; they followed the crops up and down the state of California. José was in second grade when his teacher convinced his parents to stop migrating and stay in the United States. She also encouraged his love of astronomy, books and learning.

José became an electrical engineer, got married and had a family, and though he was very happy, he never stopped thinking about his dream. So, he applied to NASA to become an astronaut. His application was rejected eleven times, but he kept applying. He was finally selected for astronaut school and achieved his dream when he flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station!



Interest Level: K - 3rd



A laugh-out-loud tale packed with science, adventure, and a whole lot of fun! AstroWolf, LaserShark, SmartHawk, and StinkBug are animals that have been hybridized to find other planets for humans to live on once we've ruined Earth. So off they rocket to the Plant Planet! Will that planet support human life? Or do Plant Planet's inhabitants have a more sinister plan?

AstroNuts Mission One is a can't-put-it-down page-turner for reluctant readers and fans ready to blast past Wimpy Kid. It’s an outer space adventure that allows young readers to learn about our planet and environment while laughing and having fun.



 Interest Level: 3rd - 6th

Junior High



A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the pastries she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that can cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one in the same.

Told in interconnected short stories—Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

 Interest Level: YA

Young Adult

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

                                                          by Nathan Wills, Library Media Technician

Education City

Education City, our TK-6 ERS Portal resource, is divided up into core subject areas (Language Arts, Math, Science, Computing, Learn English & Matematicas), and within those subject areas are various types of content. Let’s take a look at each!

  • Activities provide engaging, targeted practice to reinforce concepts. Students can work independently in the default mode, and scores are recorded in real time. In whiteboard mode, teachers can use Activities for modeled or guided practice to control the pace and offer reinforcement as needed to their class or group.
  • Topic Tools are open-ended, teacher-led tools designed to be used on an interactive whiteboard. They incorporate virtual manipulatives and provide an ideal tool for topic exploration and reinforcement.
  • Learn Screens are animated video tutorials or mini-lessons that provide an in-depth look at specific topics. They can be used by students independently or by teachers to introduce a new objective or concept.
  • PlayLive is a fun, competitive environment where students can challenge each other in real-time math and spelling games to help hone their skills.
  • ThinkIts are open-ended questions designed to encourage higher-order thinking skills and discussion. They can be used as morning warm-up activities, extension activities for fast finishers, or exit tickets to assess understanding.

You will also find Teacher Notes, Lesson Ideas, and Activity Sheets, as well as this handy Quick Start Guide. Log in to the ERS Portal and click on Education City to get started!



October is Italian American Heritage Month.  It is celebrated to honor the achievements, contributions and successes of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. It was first celebrated in 1989. The ERS Library has books available for check out and you can also find online resources by logging into our portal to learn more about Italian Americans.

Available in the ERS Library circulating collection:


Available via Discovery Education on the
ERS Portal:

    K - 2         3 - 5         6 - 8         9 - 12    


The 2019-2020 CheckThisOut!  
sign-up form is now available.

Click the CTO! banner above to learn more about our innovative subscription service and how effortless it can be to have quality standards-aligned ERS Library resources, that support your lessons & engage your students, delivered to your school site every month.



                                              by Doug Cairns, Instructional Technology Specialist   

Learning with Scratch 


What do young people learn as they create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art with Scratch?

For one thing, they learn mathematical and computational ideas that are built into the Scratch experience. As students create programs in Scratch, they learn core computational concepts such as iteration and conditionals. They also gain an understanding of important mathematical concepts such as coordinates, variables, and random numbers.

Significantly, students learn these concepts in a meaningful and motivating context. When students learn about variables in traditional algebra classes, they usually feel little personal connection to the concept. But when they learn about variables in the context of Scratch, they can use variables immediately in very meaningful ways: to control the speed of an animation, or to keep track of the score in a game they are creating.

As students work on Scratch projects, they also learn about the process of design. Typically, a student will start with an idea, create a working prototype, experiment with it, debug it when things go wrong, get feedback from others, then revise and redesign it. It’s a continuous spiral: get an idea, create a project, which leads to new ideas, which lead to new projects, and on and on.

This project-design process combines many of the 21st century learning skills that will be critical to success in the future: thinking creatively, communicating clearly, analyzing systematically, collaborating effectively, designing interactively, learning continuously.


Creating projects in Scratch also helps students develop a deeper level of fluency with digital technology. What do we mean by fluency? To be considered fluent in English, Spanish, or other language, you must learn not only how to read but also to write – that is, how to express yourself with the language. Similarly, to be fluent with digital technology, you must learn not only how to interact with the computer but also to create with it.

Of course, most students will not grow up to become professional programmers, just as most will not become professional writers. But learning to program offers benefits for everyone: it enables students to express themselves more fully and creatively, helps them develop as logical thinkers, and helps them understand the workings of the new technologies that they encounter everywhere in their everyday lives.”

Credit MIT Scratch -



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