Learning with School House Rock!

If you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the ‘70s or ‘80s it is quite likely you can recite the words to the Preamble to the United States Constitution by singing it. In fact, you probably learned a lot of cool things from the ABC short films Schoolhouse Rock! These animated ditties covered math, history, science and grammar in ways that made learning fun. The award winning program came straight out of the advertising world of Madison Avenue. When advertising executive David McCall discovered his son could not remember the multiplication tables, but knew all of the lyrics to the latest rock songs, his advertising mind took over and the wildly popular program was born. (Sadly, in 1999 McCall and his wife tragically lost their lives while on a mission in Albania aiding Kosovar refugees.) The AADL has a nice collection of Schoolhouse Rock DVDs that can be used both in the home and the classroom. Many of the DVDs have bonus features that include sing-along songs, interactive pop quizzes to help reinforce key concepts and downloadable educator’s guides with web links. Wherever you choose to enjoy the series, prepare to have fun learning with the catchy tunes that taught millions of children that Knowledge is Power!

The Hidden Life of Wolves

From The Three Little Pigs to Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf has often been portrayed in European culture as a monster that is crafty and vicious, being viewed as either dangerous predators or rivals for food. However, other perceptions of the wolf include viewing the animal as a spirit animal, attributing human inner qualities to the creature or seeing the wolf as a source of scientific data. These concepts are challenged in The Hidden Life of Wolves, a fascinating book written by wildlife filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher who argue that the wolf is not "the wolf of nightmares," "the spirit wolf," or "the managed wolf." Instead they favor the idea of "the social wolf."

The Dutchers chronicle the story of the Sawtooth Pack and the wolves’ reintroduction to their natural habitat in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. The Dutchers lived in a tent alongside the pack for years witnessing the social behaviors of the wolf pack and drawing conclusions based on little before seen wolf actions. Throughout the Dutchers’ experience with the Sawtooth wolf pack, they were able to shed light on illusive habits of wolf packs in general, revealing the social lives of wolves. They observe the joy of the pack when pups are born as well as the mourning that occurs when the pack loses a member. Witnessing such events allows the Dutchers to conclude that wolves are more than the mythical creatures that are read about in fairy tales but instead are highly social creatures.

Not only is the information within the book detailed, but the photographs are beautiful and captivating. The Dutchers make a compelling case for the preservation of the wolf packs and their habitats. I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the social behaviors of animals and environmental issues.

Free Online Learning Resources from Everyoneon.org!

Go to EveryoneOn.org to learn, learn, learn! The site offers resources for students, educators, and parents. The student resources serve grades K-12 with beginning, intermediate and advanced skills using Power My Learning where students can learn and practice Math, Language, Social Studies and Science skills, Microsoft Office, Graphic Design programs such as Wordle and Inkscape, Computer Programming such as Scratch and Kodu Game Lab, and Life Skills such as finding a career, going to college, managing finances, and goal setting.

Check out more online learning resources at aadl.org/handouts.

GED Test Preparation Class

Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education is offering a free GED test preparation class before some big changes in the GED test. Registration and orientation will be held on July 1 from 10:15 am to 12 pm at the Malletts Creek branch library. Class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 4 pm starting July 3rd. AATA bus tokens are provided for students who need transportation.

The new GED test takes effect January 2014. This means current GED students must pass all of their tests by December 2013. After that, everyone will need to start over again with the new series of tests. The new test will be online only. Adults wanting to earn their GEDs should enroll now, because passing the test demands a substantial time commitment. Starting class this semester gives students time to review materials they already know, and to learn new skills for the test. The Adult Ed program assesses students, provides many opportunities to take classes, offers practice tests and gives students one-on-one attention. For more information call (734) 997-1250.

An Introduction To Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" With Music Expert Richard LeSueur

Sunday June 9, 2013: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Richard LeSueur, opera lover extraordinaire, will provide a delightful introduction to Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro". He will discuss the plot, the relationship of the characters and provide recordings for listening examples.

This event is held in conjunction with Arbor Opera Theater's production of "The Marriage Of Figaro" at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, June 13-16.

Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics: Scientists Fair 2013

Saturday May 25, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Here's your chance to learn how scientists provide explanations about the world and universe! The Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics present their second annual Scientists Fair at AADL.

Scientists from the University of Michigan and other local institutions will explain the scientific concepts of the Big Bang theory, particle physics, climate change, nuclear power, and exploring Mars.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

TinkerHub Webcast - Backyard Brains

Attachment Size
tinker6.mp4 110.02 MB

TinkerHub Webcast: Backyard Brains
TinkerHub is a webcast collaboration between Ann Arbor District Library and All Hands Active, Ann Arbor’s Makerspace. Recorded in Downtown Ann Arbor, TinkerHub webcasts connect learning, technology, and the Ann Arbor community.

In this episode of TinkerHub, Josh and Terence talk to Tim Marzullo about his company Backyard Brains. Co-founded here in Ann Arbor, Backyard Brains helps make tangible how electricity helps control the body, all using inventions that can then be carried around in their pockets! Tune in as Josh watches the messages that he sends to make his muscles twitch.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Library resources mentioned:

Past AADL-All Hands Active Events

Bats of the World

Tuesday, April 2 | 7 - 8 pm | Downtown | Grade 6 - Adult

Discover the truth about bats and how they live at this multi-media presentation by the Cranbrook Institute's Organization for Bat Conservation.

Learn how bats use sound wave (echolocation) to navigate in the dark; the bat's role in the food web; and about conservation and ecosystems from Michigan and around the world. Meet bats from North and South America and Africa - some with a 3-foot wingspan!

Check out these video clips of the Organization for Bat Conservation on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Conan, and more. Also, learn more about bats with these books from the AADL.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Tunes 'n' Tales By Tricia

Monday, April 1 | 10 - 11 am | Malletts Creek | Preschool - Grade 3

Tricia Kjolhede is an amazing entertainer with years of classroom experience and knowledge of child development. She doesn't perform FOR kids; she performs WITH kids! Tricia brings music and movement, allowing for differing learning styles, many opportunities for self expression, and a chance for all to develop self confidence. She uses songs that make playtime learning time too.

Explore the fun of musical expression with Tricia at Tunes 'n' Tales!

America's Music Film & Discussion: The Blues And Gospel Music

Wednesday March 20, 2013: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

UM Professor Mark Clague leads this Blues and Gospel Music screening and discussion session focusing on segments from the films "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Episode 1: Feel Like Going Home" and "Say Amen, Somebody."

"Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" is a lyrical journey into the landscape and origins of the blues. "Say Amen, Somebody” features three epochal figures who pioneered the Golden Age of Gospel Music: Willie Mae Ford Smith, Thomas A. Dorsey and Sallie Martin.

America's Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

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