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SIRS Knowledge Source Newsletter: Updates, Lesson Plans, and Activities for SIRS Users.

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  SIRS Newsletter Differentiated Instruction
SIRS Knowledge Source

Your SIRS Knowledge Source subscription provides integrated tools to support students with varied learning needs. The article translation tool and read aloud capabilities—including text-to-speech and downloadable MP3 files—aid in comprehension and increases readability.
  • Language Translator—Students learning to speak English or learning a foreign language can translate articles to 11 languages.

  • Read Aloud—Lower-level readers and ELL students can listen and follow along with text-to-speech with highlighting or downloadable MP3 files.
Application Idea:
Improve English proficiency through both audio and visual support!

Language Translator + Text-to-Speech Read Aloud =
Integrated Support for Students Learning English

1. Using the translation tool, convert an article to student's native language

2. Print article after it has been translated

3. With printed article in hand, students follow along in their native language on paper as they listen in English through our read aloud functionality

Spotlight on Black History Month (below) commemorates African-American history, heritage, culture, and more

  Current Events | Natural Disasters
SIRS Issues Researcher

Help students make sense of Haiti's devastating earthquake through the Natural Disasters feature in SIRS Issues Researcher. (CultureGrams can also help; see right.)

News, disaster relief and recovery, economic impact, and background information completes our comprehensive coverage. Unlike mechanically compiled sources, SIRS Issues Researcher has a dedicated editorial team monitoring the issues surrounding these events, selecting only the most relevant and current content.

Access Natural Disasters from the SIRS Issues Researcher home page.

  SIRS Integration Idea | Protect Your Heart
Leading Issues: Drugs, Health & Wellness

February is American Heart Month. What are the major risk factors that contribute to heart disease that may be under our control?
  • Tobacco smoke—Smokers' risk of developing coronary heart disease is 2-4 times that of nonsmokers. Exposure to other people's smoke also increases the risk of heart disease for nonsmokers.

  • High blood cholesterol—As blood cholesterol rises, so does risk of coronary heart disease. A person's cholesterol level is affected by age, sex, heredity, level of exercise, and diet.

  • High blood pressure—High blood pressure increases the heart's workload, causing the heart to thicken and become stiffer. It also increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure.

  • Physical inactivity—An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity helps prevent heart and blood vessel disease.

  • Obesity and overweight—People who have excess body fat (especially if a lot of it is at the waist) are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke. It makes the heart work harder and can cause other diseases such as diabetes to develop or worsen.

  • Diabetes mellitus—Diabetes seriously increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. About three-quarters of people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

  • Lack of preventive health care—About 20% of all Americans lack preventive health care insurance. Without frequent checkups and monitoring by doctors, these people are more likely to not understand and control the risk factors leading to heart disease and consequently have a higher death rate from heart attacks and strokes than people who have preventive care insurance.
SIRS Leading Issues provides a variety of topics that relate to causal factors for heart disease. These issues will help students develop the awareness of some of the risk factors that they can control to prevent heart disease.

Assign students to research either a Pro or Con position on one of the issues listed below in the pathfinders. Students should address the essential question for the issue in a SIRS model written report or presentation.

Students should cite at least three resources in addressing the essential question for each issue. The pathfinders below are all accessed by logging into SIRS, selecting SIRS Issues Researcher, then clicking Visual Browse.

  1. Drugs, Health, and Wellness > Food and Nutrition > Obesity
  2. Drugs, Health, and Wellness > Food and Nutrition > Vegetarianism
  3. Drugs, Health, and Wellness > Smoking > Tobacco Regulation
  4. Drugs, Health, and Wellness > Health Care > Health Care Reform
ProQuest also provides another 21st Century skills model for students to demonstrate what they have learned through their research: a mini-debate format that develops critical thinking and essential communications skills that can be completed in three class periods.

  Enroll & Save | Vendor of Choice Program
At ProQuest, we know that many of our customers are facing budget cuts (ProQuest CEO message). With each passing month, it's becoming more difficult to afford all of the online research resources you would like to provide to your students.

In response, we've put a program in place to help you during these hard times. ProQuest's new Vendor of Choice program has already helped schools just like yours save thousands of dollars. Find out more and enroll today.

Library Lovers Month
Download our free poster

Haiti: CultureGrams in Focus 
Download the 2010 Haiti Country Report from CultureGrams, available for open access for a limited time. CultureGrams is here to researchers learn more about Haiti.

What is it like to live in this country? What unique challenges lie ahead as its populace recovers from the recent series of earthquakes?

View our full 2010 Haiti country report (PDF open access) then watch a short slideshow of "Haiti Before the Quake."

Spotlights & Challenge Quests
A commemoration of the historical, cultural, and contemporary roles of African Americans, Black History Month aspires to educate the nation on topics significant to the African-American experience.

SIRS Discover and SIRS Knowledge Source profile renowned African Americans of both past and present and reflect on African-American history and culture in this month's Spotlight of the Month.

The Boy Scouts was founded by American businessman William Boyce on February 8, 1910, and celebrates its centennial in 2010.

SIRS asks: How did Boy Scouts contribute to the war effort during World War I?

Top 3 Websites  
Each month, our SIRS team scours the Internet for top-quality websites for classrooms and libraries. Dive into this month's selections: Historical Earthquakes, King Center, Love & Romance.

SIRS "The Human Element"
See our SIRS editors in animated action!

See how ProQuest's SIRS editors help students make the grade with our online research tools in this animated Pixar-style video

SIRS Training Video &
Podcast Archives

Grants for Educators @ Grant Wrangler

K-12 Grants for Educators

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See ProQuest  

February 24-27, Toronto, ON  
OLA Super Conference 2010  

March 23-27, Portland, OR  
PLA 2010 National Conference  

April 12-14, Arlington, VA  
Computers in Libraries  

April 14-17, San Antonio, TX  
TLA Annual Conference 2010  


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