Sadly, the HCL Savage Branch is cosing this Summer! But dont’ worry, it’s not for good but for an AWESOME Renovation!! More about that later…
Now a very heartfelt message from Taylor Swift!
From our friend, the HCL Teen Specialist, Sarah Cooke:
The Savage branch’s official last day will be Saturday, July 6.
We are shooting for a re-opening in the fall of 2014, which would be great in terms of the school year, but we’ll all have to wait and see…
I will of course keep you all updated with an official re-opening date! Have a great rest of the school year!
Howard County Library System
So yeah, like Taylor Swift said above…..don’t be “That Guy” and have overdue library books — please bring back your books and read AWESOME ones this summer!I know I’m gonna read the Divergent series again, and Showboat, and finish listening to the Harry Potter series (5th time) audio books read by Jim Dale. ….ok, and a few shlocky beach books but hey! Summer reading is the BEST!
If you need a library this summer, why not check out the Elkridge, Columbia Branch, or the super cool NEWLY Renovated Miller Branch?
10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Columbia, MD 21044
Phone: (410) 313-7800
TTY: (410) 313-7883 Details
This is a story about Sister Libraries, Twitter, Google+ Hangout, and connecting kids! It all started with a Tweet by my dear friend & Tweep Tiffany Whitehead aka The Mighty Little Librarian and her awesome BFF EL teacher Alaina Laperouse both of Central Middle School in Baton Rouge Louisiana! She had been inspired by a Tweet she had seen about sister classrooms started between @heisereads and @brianwyzlic- you know, like sister cities?She said she wanted a sister library & I was like I’m willing!! After a few Tweets back and forth a bit to establish time zones (because I’m an idiot when it comes to time zones!) we finally got our kiddos to meet and chat using Google+ Hangout! I’ve connected with classrooms before using Google Hangout before & blogged about it – but this was different, this was establishing a steady school partnership!
Our first chat happened in Kristin Cullison’s classroom with her 6th grade research seminar class (and my media helpers!). Tiff’s kids didn’t know where we were from so they asked my kids questions to discover our location – after a few clues (including steamed crabs and the Chesapeake Bay!) her kiddos correctly guessed Maryland! I shared that one of our favourite books was Weird Maryland and her kids said that they loved the book Weird Louisiana! It was a super fun moment of a shared love of urban legends where the kids each held up the respective books to show each other live & It was a magic moment! To celebrate this, the next day I sent them the Maryland book! LOVE Amazon Prime! (See pic below from Tiff) My kids were so impressed with the lovely behaviour & charming Louisiana accents of the CMS kiddos & were urging to connect again!
Our latest chat happened in our respective school libraries with the kiddos trading prepared book talks! Great for summer reading!
To extend this relationship for next year I’m thinking of having our kiddos both join United Classrooms where they can chat back & forth and have moderated discussions. Maybe share those urban legend stories and collaboratively create an urban legend wiki or group on Edmodo, or perhaps start a semi-virtual book club! A cool idea I haven’t tried yet is we could create a chat room for the event with Today’s Meet and using a second laptop or computer joining in the Hangout – sharing screen, you can have a moderated chat going on at the same time!
Google Hangout TIPS:
• Practice beforehand!
• Make sure your plugins & browsers are updated & use Chrome!
• Sign in early
• Consider recording via YouTube it to embed or view later
• I added clip-on TV Studio lights nearby to improve the camera shot
• Have kids talking sit close to the laptop for better sound quality
• Practice with your kiddos speaking slowly & loudly – consider recording with a flip camera & previewing their performance
Teachers & Librarians: If you’re interested in trying this out there is a Google+ Community for connecting Google classroom Hangouts! You can also check out the website Google Education OnAirto join in scheduled LIVE Google Hangouts, connect with other interested educators or get tech help to get started! The Twitter hashtag #eduonairconnects educators with other classrooms creating conversations & relationships.
Tiff was moderating our conversation with her official Harry Potter wand! We are both ardent Harry Potter fans, so I have to share this amazing video below of Tiff – the Mighty Little Librarian getting her own wand! It’s magical if you’re an HP fan! My eyes got a little leaky about halfway through! [snif!]
“You’ve moved to the upscale neighborhood of Mt. Olympus, rubbing elbows with the big shots, the wealthy, the divine – otherwise known as the Greek Gods. To fit in you better know who your neighbors are! This playlist will help you find out all about their habits, attitudes, and yes…their powers!”
Teaming with our amazing 7th grade English teachers Mrs. Cullison & Mrs. Krieger, we’ve re-worked our usual Greek Mythology research unit and added a Reality TV hook for engagement. (Confession: we all have a shared guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives franchise) Since we didn’t want to do “Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus” for fear that our guy students would be turned off by that, we thought Big Rich would do the trick! PS. This lesson also would work for our good friends in the Social Studies Department! (Hellooo NCSS!)
Challenge: Limited Technology, Time, & Maximize Engagement
A simple shared library book cart loaded with World Book Encyclopedias, pulled mythology books, a MentorMob playlist (embedded below), a Wikipspaces page, and a few MacBooks can = meaningful mythology research!
A MentorMob playlist helps students focus their research without being distracted (hopefully!) by unrelated links. The playlist includes curated and vetted web pages that are specific to the task at hand and guide them through the steps completing the research phase of the project. A MentorMob Playlist is also perfect if you want to FLIP the Classroom & have students go through the steps at home! (But ever mindful of our digital divide – always provide classroom time for those students who might have no access to the Interwebs at home)
Students will be choosing their god or goddess through a random drawing (they will have 30 seconds to switch & trade) then they will research their divine being!
Check out our: Big Rich Mt. Olympus: A Legendary Playlist
Before they start the project and after they’ve had time to do some research their god or goddess – have a Mt. Olympus Problems - Brainstorming session with our kiddos about what they could be! (see & feel free to use my included graphics for inspiration)
The Big Rich Mt. Olympus Product
We will be giving students a variety of projects to choose from including a Fakebook Page, a Wanted Sign, a PSA, and a Weebly web page.
A Fakebook page is a project that combines social media engagement with creativity but can be low tech in execution. Whether the kids choose the PPT template by Nick Provenzano – The Nerdy Teacher or the updated one Facebook Template from Lindsay Cesari’s blog, No Shhing Here (downloadable on my Wikispaces page), the Google Docs Preso version by Meghen Ehrich (Go to FILE > Make a Copy for yourself!) or the online version, or my adapted & transformed downloadable “old skool” pencil & paper version. Whichever mode you decide, each encourages students to think of the gods & goddesses as real people with, personalities, character traits, flaws, habits, attitudes, and abilities and combines them with the engagement of social media.
Make is Social!
Let kids randomly or in small groups “be” their divine being & write on other peoples walls AS their god or goddess. (Make sure they initial content for attribution & ownership) Have them trade “papers” or walls to make blog comments, join groups, draw pictures, etc. Do a gallery walk at the culminating class to “grade” with post it notes or score pads giving out points for those whose additions were the most creative, fun, amusing, & accurate. Talk about which god or goddess would you rather be friends with, (or enemies!) and why!
Wikispaces Research Page
Also feel free to check out my Mythology Research Wikispaces page! Copy the whole
page if you like including the graphics (remove captions) -
Take, Use, Share – just please make sure to give attribution.
When technology is limited, how do you transform high tech
options into low tech products?
As always, your comments are invited, appreciated, & celebrated!
Yes, we did it. Inspired by Tim Gwynn’s TV studio kids doing the Internet MEME
dance sensation The Harlem Shake, Winecoff Style (embedded at the
end!) you know we had to make our own! What is a MEME, you may ask? A Meme – which rhymes with Team!, is an Internet sensation that has gone viral. Like Gangnam Style, the Dancing Baby, or Rick Rolling someone. The graphic below gives a quick overview and you can see the whole infographic here. So, why has this one Meme sprouted like a gajillion versions in the
last two weeks? I think because it’s fun
& easy to film and most importantly easy to edit!
Bascially, it’s shot in 2 scenes, the first one being a person masked or helmeted dancing with people around assiduously ignoring them for the first 15 seconds of the song, then when the song says “Harlem Shake” you cut to everyone going wild dancing usually with costumes & props for a total of 30-40 seconds.
Now, schools, universities, companies, & groups across the country are filming versions. In fact last week there were an average of 4,000 versions featuring the words “Harlem Shake” being uploaded on YouTube per day! Want to trace the MEME history? As always, I would point you to the Know Your Meme Internet Database.
While some students are being suspended for posting lewd or unsanctioned versions shot dancing mob-style on cafeteria tables, and where parents are also complaining that school is not the place to film a dance craze, this has definitely cashed in well for the original artist music producer Baauer who is getting a monetized slice with every click on YouTube and was fighting for the top 2 spots in iTunes last week. I confess, I spent $1.29 to buy the song for my iMovie editing fun!
It was reported that Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ made the artist over $870,000 from YouTube alone, media watchers are speculating now how much this craze will generate for artist Baauer.
How did ours come about? We’ve got a big MSA (our Maryland standardized test) Pep rally tomorrow and two of my favourite 7th grade English teachers Mrs. Cullision (on right) and Mrs. Krieger (on left) emailed me with the idea (I said, Yes, please!) and of course included our super cool principal, Dr. D, last week. In his wisdom, Dr. D was firm that he didn’t want us to use kids during instructional time (ie: why are students dancing & not learning when our standardized testing starts next week? or possible lewd middle school moves #nuffsaid) So we did it with all teachers voluntarily showing up in our library AFTER school! Of course I filmed it and before we did it I showed the Winecoff Elem version as inspiration and kept it showing via the LCD projector to create a Meme inside a Meme! W00t!
You’re looking at the proud smiling faces of two middle school Game App designers. Howard County Middle School student Tekye (and family friend to MHMS) and MHMS 8th grader Lasya, participated in an exciting program called HiTech – wherein they helped to create a super cool APP Game called Escape from Detention. And by the way, it’s NOT EASY! It somehow reminds me of Frogger
Get a peek at the game with this YouTube video!
Here’s a few screenshots I grabbed off my iPad to give you an idea what it looks like!
From an email from Tekye’s proud mom, Catina (and former MHMS English teacher!)
“The new game offers a variety of break out scenarios at escalating levels of complexity. Download the (free) game and try your hand at “springing” the student from captivity while avoiding myriad pitfalls.
I am so very proud of the work completed by the teenagers and the HiTech team that I had to share with you.”
According to an HCL press release: “More than 1,200 students between the ages of 11 and 18 [all of whom are students, public, private, or home-schooled, living in Howard County] have participated in HiTech classes since its inception … creating music, 3D images, videos [and] e-books.”
Escape from Detention is a collaboration with students participating with the Howard County Library’s HiTech, the library’s new STEM digital media lab, who helped with the game’s design and development. Players maneuver detention-serving digital students around time-based obstacles (desks and other students) inside of classrooms.
Download Escape! From Detention for Android or iOS.
The game itself was produced in Corona, said Alex Hachey, Mindgrub’s creative lead, at the Baltimore Mobile Meetup in December. Producing the game in Corona makes it cross-platform, so it’ll work on iOS, Android, the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Hachey also said the game development was paid for, as it’s a “client services game.”
Over a six-week period, Mindgrub employees served as instructors teaching students at the HiTech lab principles on game design, theory and logic, as well as teaching classes on producing sound effects, characters and game layout. It was the students who came up with concept for Escape! From Detention.”
Again, I played it….and it’s NOT EASY — but I really want to make it to the library!
As an educator I was touched by this timeless Huffington Post article from Mr. James Perry, once mayoral candidate and the the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center:
“Among the most important lessons I’ve learned from Dr. King is the example of servant leadership. A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community.
It is easy to spot servant leaders. In a room where others are jockeying for attention, they are the ones listening to someone others might consider unimportant. When faced with a problem, they look for solutions that benefit everyone. When something goes wrong, they take the blame. When things go well, they share the credit. They tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. They know that they don’t have all the answers, so they seek advice from others. They work hard and inspire others to do the same.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation.
Our communities and our country need servant leadership more than ever. Deepening economic woes threaten the American dream for far too many working
people. Racial divisions are embarrassingly persistent in too many aspects of our economic and social lives. Political despair is battering the uniquely American optimism that has made us a great nation.
There are precious few servant leaders in our current political environment. Many elected officials are more interested in personal power, individual legacy, and financial gain than in the sacrifice and commitment that servant leadership requires.”
As educators, we have the honor to teach the next generation of servant leaders. It is our job, duty, and privilege to instill in them the passion to effect change and the empathy to think outside themselves. To inspire them to think not of “me” but of “we.” We also must model these values and these practices for our students.
All educators, indeed, all school staff, must work together to model and teach teens that taking responsibility for our lives gives us total power in creating the kind of life we want for ourselves. Taking personal responsibility and thinking of the community. Over the years I’ve seen our students rally to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Haiti relief, and yearly for the underprivileged in our community. I am proud of our kiddos, we’ve done well…but we can always do better!
Which brings me back full circle as to why I posted the words from page 333 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret on our library wall this year:
“It is our choice…that show what we truly are, far more than our
abilities” ~ Albus Dumbledore
More inspiring words on responsibility:
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.”
“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.”
“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.”
Recycle Man travels from his home planet of Trashitron to convince MHMS students that they need to recycle. His methods may be harsh but his message is one of hope!
Back by popular demand, created by the MHMS GT video production crew in concert with the Green Team it’s RECYCLE MAN! Starring lots of our kiddos & Mr. Christopher Yetter as RECYCLE MAN executive produced by Elizabeth Singleton! (Special Thanks to NibbleTheKitty for requesting this upload!)
I want to share this amazing video that one of our outstanding, talented, amazing, adorable – ok, I’m a bit of a fan grrl for Denise Adams our new MHMS Guidance Counselor. (Ms. Shuman’s pretty cool, too!) She did this video all by herself! W00t! (With a little help from her kids!;-) Starring our awesome Murray Hill Middle School kiddos. She used a stop action sports setting on her camera to get the step-effect of the photos. We have an ongoing anti-bullying PBIS campaign in our school and this video supports it wonderfully – and it gets me a little choked up…”I’m all farklempt!”
Here’s the video link on the SchoolTubes and the embedded vid below in case the YouTubes are blocked in your district or the embed doesn’t work for you!
Another GREAT video for PBIS is this inspiring one from Nashville, TN!
“This video was written, directed, produced, and edited by Mr. Rob Dennis from John Early Magnet Charter School in Nashville, Tennessee. Imma Be features several students from the John Early Student Body, and promotes a very positive message for meeting expectations and dreaming big!”
Fun side story: I was so impressed with this video that I wanted to track down the creators & tell em so!So I Googled (of course!) and found the Teacher Librarian at the school where this was shot to let her know that we used it and how awesome we thought it was -it was a shot in the dark! This was my letter:
Somehow my assistant principal stumbled across the video that was made at your school called Imma Beand we’re using it for a PBIS lesson! I just wanted to compliment you as several of the scenes took place inyour lovely library & the video ROCKED!
Here’s the Wikispace page I created for this lesson centered around your awesome vid!
I hear Rob Dennis is no longer at the school but I just wanted to say
~Gwyneth Jones – MHMS
And a few days later I got this back!
“Good afternoon! Thank you so much for your compliments on the video. We actually made it a few years ago. I helped out with the lyrics and some of the scenes. It was fun and the students really got into it. I love your lesson, and I’ll have to visit your wiki again as I see a lot of useful information there!
Library Media Specialist
John Early Museum Magnet Middle School
AND then……I got in my gmail account THIS email from Rob Dennis! W00t!
Hello Ms. Jones!
So I googled the Imma be video and can’t believe it’s being used by a school all the way in Maryland! That is so cool!(Not to mention you look like the coolest librarian in the entire world!) [[heh heh, aww shucks!]]
I am honored that the video I made to help keep our kids doing the right thing is having such a big impact.
Isn’t that the coolest? That’s how our PLN grows, right? AND it says something about shameless sharing, open collaboration, professional generosity of spirit. Letting people know you’re using their stuff, giving them props (full attribution!), complimenting them on their hard work, paying it forward…well, it’s a good thing
From the Howard County Library: Write! Now is Howard County Library System’s poetry contest for middle and high school students, open to Howard County students in grades 6 through 12. For information about the contest and ideas about where to begin, download our Write! Now brochure for Teachers and Students. You can also review our resource list.
Students in grades 6-12, who live or attend school in Howard County, are invited to submit original poetry December 3 through March 8. Winners will read their poems at the Write! Now Celebration on April 24, 2013. Details and entry forms at hclibrary.org/writenow. Sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library. Entry rules
Write! Now begins December 3, 2012. The submission form will be available on this page at that time.
Submissions close on March 8, 2013
The contest is open to students who live or attend school in Howard County in these categories:
Grades 6-7 (Division 1)
Grades 8-9 (Division 2)
Grades 10-12 (Division 3)
Poems must be original, unpublished works. Plagiarized submissions will be disqualified.
Submit up to three poems.
Poems must be 60 lines or less in length.
Complete only the information requested on the entry form. Do not add your name or school information to the body of the poem. Poems are judged anonymously.
Students may qualify for only one prize in each age group.
A committee of judges will rate the entries. The judges will look for these elements in each poem:
The poem has a title
The poem offers original ideas and words
The poem makes readers think
The poem contains language that is creative and poetic
Winners will be contacted in April. Winners in each category will receive an invitation to read their winning poems at a special event on Wednesday, April 24 at the Miller Branch in Ellicott City. In addition, winning poems will be featured on the web site. Congratulations to our 2012 winners.
Additional questions can be answered at any Howard County Library System branch, or by sending us an e-mail. We look forward to receiving and reading your entries.
Visit hclibrary.org for a complete listing of classes and events.
Write! Now is sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library.
Top graphic from the Howard County Library
Other graphics: TheDaringLibrarian.com photos from – found Urban Art in alley way Adelaide, Australia.