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Looking for some shortcuts or hidden features within MeL and its resources?  Then you have come to the right place!

Have a great MeL K-12 Tip or Trick that you would like to share? Please email your suggestion along with your name, title, and school district your work for to: CSchneider.MeL@gmail.com

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Britannica School

  • Resource Packs:

    • Packs can be shared with other colleagues or even an entire class.  Go into “My Content” and click on the pack you want to share, then click on either “email” or “share”.  “Share” will give you a weblink that is static; you can make changes to the pack and users will see all of the changes!

    • Create a resource pack per unit.

    • Resource packs can easily be converted to a Lesson Plan.  Once in the resource pack in “My Content”, choose “Convert to Lesson Plan”.

  • Read Aloud - Listen Feature

    • Every article in Britannica can be read aloud to students (in English)!

    • Click on the “play” button in each article section at the Elementary levelRead Aloud - Screenprint

    • Click on the speaker icon at the Middle School or High School levels.speaker icon

  • Leveled Reading

    • In articles, students can easily switch between reading levels.  Every article has a purple 1, 2 and 3 at the top.  1 = elementary; 2 = middle school; 3 = high school.
      Leveled Reading

  • Translation feature

    • Articles can be translated into 50 different languages via Google Translate.  Click on the earth icon in the tools area of the article.
      earth icon

  • Dictionary feature

    • Users can double-click on any word in any article to have the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition appear.  (iPad users - touch and hold the word until the definition appears.)

  • Visually Impaired

    • Users can enlarge or shrink the text size of a Britannica article just by clicking on the + or - in the tools area of the article.
      plus or minus icons

  • Quick Click Dictionary

    • Britannica has many great vocabulary support and reading comprehension tools, including the Quick Click dictionary!  Simply double click on any word that is unfamiliar, and a yellow box with the definition and pronunciation will pop up for you!  If you are on a tablet, simply hold your finger on any word to get the definition.

  • Save Multimedia  

    • Users can save any of the images or videos that they find on Britannica School.

    • To save an image, simply right click on the photo you want to save and then save it to the correct folder.  Tablet users can simply hold their finger on the image, and the image will save to their camera roll.  

    • To save a video, simply click on the video download icon within each video to save the video as an mp4 file.

  • Primary Source Documents  

    • You can find Primary Source documents on the Middle and High School search results pages (tab on the left hand side), as well as the home pages of the Middle School and High School levels.  

    • These texts can bring a new level of content and context to subjects being studied in the classroom.

  • At A Glance Articles

    • “At A Glance” articles are comprehensive collections of links to supporting articles about commonly searched for topics like U.S. Presidents, African American History, World War II, mathematics, and many more.  

    • Simply search “at a glance” at either the Elementary home page or the Middle School home page!

  • Tabbed Search Results

    • Across the top of each search results page, you’ll find three tabs – Level 1 is Elementary, Level 2 is Middle School, and Level 3 is High School.  

    • You can click on any of these tabs to see what resources are available for you search topic in the other two levels of Britannica School.  

  • Search Articles by Curriculum Standards

    • Simply click on the “Educators” link at the top of any page in Britannica School.  Pick your state, grade level, and subject area and you will be presented with a list of all of your state’s standards and links to supporting Britannica articles.

  • Getting Back to the Home Page

    • When you are anywhere within one of the three levels of Britannica  and you want to get back to the home page of that level, click on the word (Elementary, Middle, or High) located in the top banner to the left of the search bar.

    • When you are anywhere within any level of Britannica and you want to search in a different level, click on the Britannica School logo in the top banner to the left of the search bar.

Gale Resources

  • Sharing Articles and Topic Pages - teachers can share articles and/or topic pages with their students easily with Google Classroom or Microsoft 365.  If you are using another LMS, use the “Bookmark” feature so you get a geo-authenticated link.

  • Dictionary Feature - in most Gale products, students can easily access the Merriam-Webster dictionary - just click on “More” next to the search bar.

  • Save vs. Download

    • In Gale databases, the “Save” feature will only save the document during the session and NOT to your computer!  Be sure to use the “Download” feature to save your research for use at a later time.
  • Educator Resources

    • When in Kids InfoBits or Research and Context, click on the “More” button located to the right of the search bar.  You will find access to Educator Resources.

  • Topic Finder

    • In many of the Gale pTopic Finderroducts like Student InfoTrac or Academic OneFile, a fun way to search for and explore a topic is to use the “Topic Finder” feature.  Once a topic is entered in, topics appear in either a wheel or beehive (user’s choice).

    • Appeals to visual learners.

  • Search Alerts AvailableCreate Search Alert

    • Many Gale products (like General OneFile) allow users to Create a Search Alert to ensure they get further current information on a topic of interest. Once you run a search, look to the bottom right under “Content Types” to find the alert creation tool.

  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context  

    • Map Feature - While in Opposing Viewpoints, click on “Map” near the top left.  Here you can access maps/visuals of many top issues.

    • Curriculum Standards - Click on “Curriculum Standards” at the top left to access state standards alignment for Science and Social Studies Middle nd High School classes.

  • Health & Wellness Resource Center

    Gale CENGAGE Learning

    • Access a video guided tour of this great resource right in the resource itself.  Click on Guided Tour located in the top banner toward the right.

LearningExpress Library

  • Quick Access

    • On the landing page of MeL.org, click on “Practice Tests” on the left side of the screen.

  • Guidance

    • While in the School Center, click on “Guidance” to have access to help you navigate the school center and find maps of tutorial alignment to Common Core Standards.

  • Proof of Work

    • Since teachers do not have access to student accounts, have the student take a screenshot of their “My Center” to show their progress or test scores.  They can either email you the screenshot or upload it into whatever LMS you are using.

  • eBooks

    • There are over 200 eBooks available in LEx Library.  Once you download them, they are yours to keep and use in your classroom!

    • To access a list of LearningExpress Library eBooks, on the main page in LearningExpress, click on “Featured Resources”.

  • Searches

    • If you know the name of the resource you are looking for in LearningExpress, type it into the search bar and make sure you choose to search “In All Centers” not just the center your are in.

  • Account

    • Users must create a free account in order to be able to access the material in LearningExpress.

    • Users can choose to create an account without providing an email address.

    • Nothing is done with account info - email addresses are only used to provide you access if you forget your password.

  • Video Guides

    • Click on the Video Guides tab to access quick videos on how to use LearningExpress Library.

Michigan Authors & Illustrators     

NoveList K-8+ 

  • Direct Access to eBooks available in our collection

    • NoveList K-8 Plus now includes a link to downloadable eBooks as well as the MeLCat catalog for select titles.

    • Here is an example of a search result. Check the Mel Cat Catalog

eBooks

  • Professional Development eBooks

Scholastic BookFlix

  • Search Function

    • The search function is found by clicking on Resources (upper right). On the next screen, Search is on the left.

    • Use Search to find Spanish content, grade level, Lexile range, and video running time.

Test Prep and Skills Improvement

  • LearningExpress Library

    • School Center - skills improvement for Math and English grades 4+.

    • College Preparation Center - practice tests for SAT, ACT, AP Exams, TOEFEL, and PSAT.  Also find access to help with College Admissions Essay Writing.

    • Career Center - Practice tests for WorkKeys, occupation certification exams, ASVAB and military tests, and college entrance tests. Explore careers. Workplace Skills improvement.

    • College Center - Skills review for college including math, reading, grammar and writing, and science. Practice tests for college placement, grad school admissions, and CLEP exams.

    • Adult Learning Center - Skills practice in math, reading, writing, speaking, and grammar.  Also practice for U.S. Citizenship exam.

    • High School Equivalency Center - build basic skills, practice tests for GED, HiSET, and TASC.

  • Listening Features

    • In the elementary classroom, find an article in any Gale resource or Britannica School that will help you teach the content you need.  Use the listen feature only (don’t let students see the article) and then ask some follow up questions for comprehension.  This will help prepare for the listening portion of the M-Step.  

World Book For Kids  

  • Science Projects Access   

    • Find science projects in 8 categories (good for elementary and middle school) in World Book For Kids database.World Book Kids Screenshot