Hello Book Lovahs, How You Doing? You’re Lookin Good!
Are you ready to make a love connection and to hang out
… with a good book?
Recently in The Murray Hill Daring School Library Media Center students were challenged to start a new reading relationship with a great book!
We played a little Marvin Gaye instrumental songs and had the kiddos go around table to table on a 2 min Love Time Bomb
from the free classroom timer collection? Too fun! Animated & sure gets their attention! Not in the Mood?
To the kiddos: “Don’t want to check out a book today? Not in the mood? It’s OK if you’re already in a committed relationship – I don’t want you to cheat on the book you’re already reading! You also don’t have to check out a book today if you’re not ready to start a new book relationship! I’m not about to force you – I just want you to see what’s out there! It’s all good!” LOL
We even had a few daring students who opted for a BLIND DATE!
They couldn’t look at their covers, they could only read the short blurb on the post-it note…. giving a hint to the fascinating story hidden within. We dared them to give those books a whirl!
If you’re a Teacher or Teacher-Librarian and want to learn more about how to do this activity with your kiddos, visit my blog
Space Shuttle From SSEP the Discovery, STS-133, Roll Out to Launch Pad, November 21, 2010
Of eighteen middle schools in Howard County only three were chosen to take up the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) challenge. Only one student’s proposal from Howard County Public Schools (selected by a national review board) was chosen to have the experiment conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station.
Our 8th grader, Kevin He, was that student!Proving yet again, that MHMS kids are out of this world! Read the full announcement below from our Principal Mr. Joshua Wasilewski! Stay tuned for more exciting details about this amazing accomplishment and pictures, too! Woo hoo!!
Have you noticed our local HCL Library branch is closed? Don’t panic! We have an express solution!
From the HCL website:
The Savage Branch is closed through September 2014 for a long awaited renovation. A temporary Savage Branch Express is open in the shopping center located at the intersection of Route 1 and Gorman Road right in front of the Weiss grocery store. The express branch offers a small selection of popular titles, selected HiTech classes, and a limited schedule of children’s classes.
Customers may also pick up reserves and return items at this location.
What does this mean?
You can call ahead, request book titles, and they will order them for you and have them waiting for you to be picked up (like a carry out pizza!) for no extra charge!
Just use the HCL Catalog Search for your desired items, make a list, and call up to request to have them sent to the Savage Express!
HCLS Savage Branch Express (a temporary location during renovation)
8851 Gorman Road, Ste. 102
Laurel, MD 20723
Monday – Thursday 10am -9pm
Friday – Saturday 10am -6pm
There are also computers there available for student & parent use! And printers, too!
When it re-opens in July 2014 (projected date), the renovated Savage Branch will include an open floor plan, enhanced lighting, additional exterior windows, and two outdoor classrooms – for an additional 9,000 sq. ft., a 50 percent overall increase. Details.
HiTech Offerings –FREE Fun & Learning for our students!
For more information contact:
Howard County Library System
Savage Branch/East Columbia Branch
Our program will be promoting the very best of young adult literature with activities designed to help students enjoy stories even more.
We will be doing our very best to get (or keep) every kid “hooked on reading” by recommending specific reading materials to each individual.
We will be adding 400 or more of the latest and most exciting new titles for our young readers, including quality non-fiction to help meet Common Core requirements. We will also be adding more to our impressive Digital Playaway book collection.
At each grade level, students will learn research and computer skills including use of tools like Edmodo, Google Apps for Education, Career Puppy, Noodletools, QR Codes, and much more.
We will be working with classroom teachers to help infuse technology and research skills into all areas of the curriculum.
Library lessons will stress good Digital Citizenship, helping your kid make safe and ethical decisions when using the Internet.
We are planning lots of special events including virtual author visits, curated Art installations, and virtual connections with schools from around the country & maybe the world!
We are looking for students to join our MHTV studio contributing to our daily live news show created FOR kids BY kids!
If you would like to volunteer to help in the library, please let me know. We would love to have you!
Ms. Bell and I are very excited about the coming school year and are committed to making the library your child’s favorite place at MHMS!
Sadly, the HCL Savage Branch is closing this Summer! But don’t worry, it’s not for good but for an AWESOME Renovation!! More about that later…
Now a very heartfelt message from Taylor Swift about overdue books!
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!
from our A+Partners at the Howard County Library:
Summer Reading Begins Saturday, June 1!
Read and win prizes when you join an HCLS summer reading club:
• Wee Dig: infants to age 3
• Dig into Reading: ages 4 – 10
• Groundbreaking Reads: grades 6+
• Great Reads for Vacay and Stacay: high school students and adults
Summer Reading Kickoff
Sign up for summer reading and participate in a day of fun including children’s stories, face painting, crafts, and activities for children, teens, and adults. Don’t miss the Reptile Wonders exhibit and Pee Wee Pirates Show!
HCLS MILLER BRANCH (410.313.1950)
Sat, June 1
10 am – 2 pm
Great Reads for Vacay & Staycay
Kick off the adult summer reading club as HCLS instructors discuss their top picks for summer reading. Win books and door prizes at this event; enter a drawing for fabulous grand prizes. Refreshments.
HCLS CENTRAL BRANCH (410.313.7800)
Tue, June 4
7 – 9 pm
Summer Reading Lock-in for Teens
Celebrate the start of Summer Reading with an evening of games and activities. Sign up for Summer Reading and collect book bucks for participating.
HCLS MILLER BRANCH (410.313.1950)
Fri, June 7
7 – 9:30 pm
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!