Got Charge?

 

Spend $130 Bucks and Literally Give Kids the Power!

 

We’ve discovered that the mix of the digital divide, possible turbulent home lives, and general teenage forgetfulness can result in a loss of power. So, for vaious reasons it seems that some of my students who DO have devices (yes, there are still a lot who do NOT) show up to school with a low or no charge.  Yes, they sometimes admit that they fall asleep with their phone next to them and not plugged in. Shocker.

A device that they LOVE to use for social connections and fun in the hallways and during free time. Oh yeah, and sometimes in class for learning, too! Without that device they feel a serious gap in their daily lives.

We Fill That Gap!

We want the kids to feel like the Library Media Center – Learning Commons and Makerspace Station – is a safe place to land and the place to go when they need things. Like finishing and priting out homework, relaxing and making something at our Makerspace Station, practicing mindfulness with our Coloring Zen area, or borrowing a charger to power up their devices. This is our third try with this concept, the first two were failures – if you interested you can read about this journey going back four years on my professional blog. So far, this is going GREAT! 

Backstory: A few years ago, I was inspired by the charging lockers I saw during a visit to the Hillwood High School Library in Nashville with the ISTE Board of Directors and I wanted to support our BYOD pilot program and our kiddos by giving them a place to recharge their devices in school.

 
And of course that place was going to be our school Library Media Center — shameless how we will do just about ANYthing to get kiddos to visit our Library!
 
Because I think we’ve now hit on a really easy, relatively low cost, & popular way to give my kids the power they crave and need. 
 
 Approximate cost for 8 chargers & 10 cords = $130 bucks
Piece of mind not worrying that kiddos will have their devices stolen or locked out on your watch? 
Priceless!
Procedure:
Kids (and staff) can request a charging device, first come, first serve anytime before 2pm. I also bought 2 flat chargers for staff to borrow. Kids come first. Always. 
We keep the chargers tucked away on a shelf behind the Circulation Desk.
Kids must first show that their phone has less than 30% charge to get one. (We found at first some kids just wanted it for the cool factor – which was cool, but not cool for the kids who really NEEDED them!)  
We don’t lend them out for the charging of fancy headphones – these are for devices that could possibly be used in the classroom.
Kids can borrow the charger alone or with a multi-device cord. They must initial to agree to pay for the loss or damage of the device & cord (Yeah, we know this isn’t really enforceable) 
We ask that kids agree not to let the device out of their sight – if they’re asked to share it – we trust them to keep track of it.
We also ask that kids bring back the device at the end of the day. Do they always remember? Nope! That’s why we collect their last period class teacher (I, or my amazing Media assistant Kathi Bell, calls classrooms at the end of the day to get them back – or we track them down the first period of the next day.
Yeah, We’re Popular! 
Some days we’re cleaned out of chargers within the first 5 minutes of school. I’m making a sign for our front door that says “Yes, We Have Awesome Chargers to Borrow!”  or “Sorry, All Chargers Have Been Borrowed” with Bitmoji cartoons. 
This is a complimentary service. We also reserve the right to not lend out a charger on an early dismissal day, after 1:30pm,  or to a kiddo who has proven to be unreliable with the charger in the past. But that hasn’t happened yet. Frankly, I doubt it ever will.  Don’t tell my students, for all my fierceness [snaps Z formation] I’m kind of a soft touch. But I gotta keep that leverage because we want to keep these chargers nice for everyone. So far though, the kids have been super fantastic and very enthusiastic about this new FREE perk we’re providing to them! 

GOAL #1 MHMS provides  a safe and nurturing school environment that respects our diversity and commonality.

Why do we do this?

You never know what kinds of things kids are struggling with at home. What if a kid doesn’t have a computer at home and just a mobile device and needs to do homework? This is important! We can help fill the gaps that the world & circumstance gives to these kiddos.

My kids tell me you can get these chargers at Five Below. I haven’t tried them yet. If we lose a lot over the year, I might give them a whirl. The multi device cords are CHEAP! Meaning, inexpensive to pick up (via Amazon) but they can sometimes stop working and can break. So far, so good, though and this has been a LOT less of a headache than those fancy expensive charging lockers.  
 
This great idea was inspired by the amazing Teacher Librarian at Wilde Lake Middle School – Sarah Russo!
I should have started with that! [smacks forehead] but I wanted to give how we run this first.
 
Are you a Teacher Librarian, or educator and want to hear what problems we encountered with our previous attempts at charging stations and charging lockers?
If so,
So, if you’re a school – here’s my suggestion: Save 90% of your money and try the cheapo errr inexpensive portable chargers first.  
Because, NO ONE wants to be responsible for a kids only device but it’s AWESOME to be responsible to give POWER to a kid and their beloved device!
Your turn! 
What am I missing here? Any other suggestions? Successes? Do you like that we help out the kiddos? What other things could we add to our School Library to make it a more appealing place (Other than a Keurig -that would be boss!)  Please hit me up in the comments and share your thoughts! Thank you for reading!

Our ever evolving BYOD Policy.

Buying information. If you want to get one of these for yourself or for your kiddo, check Amazon! So far, they’ve been great & I did have 2 die on my (after being used by kids…a LOT) but the company is sending me 2 replacements! I couldn’t ask for better customer service than that!
 Again, if you’re in education and would like more information:
Check out my professional blog.  Thank you for reading! 

 

FREE eBooks for Winter Break Reading!

This is a really nice FREE offer from our friend Katie

at Capstone!

When I first heard this, I thought it was too good to be true! I thanked her vaguely on Twitter then I thought – could I possibly share it with everyone?  So, I called her to double check that I could share it with you, the world, and his wife – and she said YES!

Students (and your kids!) can choose FREE eBooks from a library of over 3,200 to download & read over the break****

From Mythology, Scary Stories, Fiction, to Graphic Novels – there’s more than enough interesting titles to choose. You can even access interactive books to read to your little siblings or to your pets! (They always deserve it!)

Middle school kiddos can filter by grade level.

Below there’s even a letter to for parents (in English & Spanish) or students AND Bonus: a printable bookmark with login & password.

*****(Download FAST offer ends Jan 15th)

Visit our Library Media Center to load up on books for the Winter Break! Take home as many as you want! (as long as you don’t have any overdue books, cause – you know – I ain’t THAT crazy!) We have many readers in our school (you know who you are!) who can read a book a day — ok, sometimes even more! We want to make sure you’ve got great stuff to enjoy!

Don’t forget to visit our lovely local Savage Branch Library, too!

Tis the Reading Season!  

 

Download Interactive Bookmarks

Capstone Interactive eBook Bookmarks- winter break-18ejij3

Letter for parents

CI Home Letter-1lbxo5j

Letter for parents in Spanish!

CI Home Letter Spanish-1dvr000

Why not Tweet a Thank you to Katie & Capstone for this generous gift to all our reading families!? That would be Awesome! Please say you heard it from @GwynethJones the Daring Librarian! Maybe if we show our gratitude enough, we’ll get even more FREE trials! W00t! Who doesn’t like FREE?

Viking it and Liking It!

Ms. Taylor created this really fun and informative presentation about Viking Mythology. All 7th grade Social Studies classes came into the Library Media Center to enjoy this history rich Prezi-tation.

Here is Ms. Taylor’s Prezi with all kinds of great background information!

For this event, I pitched in and created a Viking Rune Alphabet Bookmark, as an extension and a take-away for the kiddos.  You can download the PDF here!    Viking Rune Bookmark.PDF   It’s Creative Commons, Non Commercial, Share Alike!

What a cool in-house event by one of our most creative and inspiring young teachers! Thanks Ms. Taylor! 

PS. Like the look? Ms. Taylor is wearing a hand-sewn Viking Apron dress, glass beads, and a Celtic Belt  & Dragon woven bracelet from Crafty Celts – as seen on the History Channel’s hit TV Show the Vikings! Want to play Viking? Then you might want to join the SCA! I was in the SCA for years and years and had to find a good home for all my feast gear, Amber, Crafty Celt jewelry, and a six foot hand-forged copper spear. Ms. Taylor was the perfect person to “pay it forward” and gift it to!

When I joined SCA, several kind people, friends from my Barony,  gifted jewelry to me, helped me sew my first garb, and basically showed me the ropes! (That’s the SCA for you!) Ms. Taylor doesn’t need any tutoring to be a killer Viking, but what Viking could turn down free plunder & spoils? Oh and we decided to not bring the 6 foot spear out for the middle schoolers! Because. Lawsuit! LOL Kidding!

Cheers! ~Gwyneth Jones – The Daring Librarian

Research Made Easy: Our A+ Partnership ROCKS!

Years ago, when I was on the ISTE Board of Directors,* I was honored to tour a few of the Nashville Metro schools & observe their amazing partnership with the Limitless Library system. It was the coolest! With one login kids could access all the public library databases, get one on one help,  AND request books online – and the library system trucks delivered those book right to their school! WOW!

And now, something similar has come to Howard County! W00t! (Not the delivering books part, a girl can dream, right?)

But FREE Access to millions of items, live homework & History Day help, and amazing database, primary source, and research resources!

“HCPSS students now have a new way to access Howard County Library eContent in the classroom, at home, or anywhere they need to do homework or research. The Howard County Library System (HCLS) and the Howard County Public School System have launched the A+ Student Card to deliver the library system’s extensive catalog of electronic resources directly to students.

All HCPSS students (Pre-K–12) will receive their new A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year. Students gain immediate access to all HCLS eContent by using the A+ Student Card account number to login via the HCPSS.me portal.

The new A+ Student Card account also provides students with full customer privileges at all HCLS branches. While previously issued HCLS cards may still be used at library branches, the A+ Student Card account enables students to use just one number for all their homework and research needs.” HCPSSHoward County Library System Launch A+ Student Card

But sorry, Parents & Teachers, this service is just for the kiddos

When you log into Clever, you have access to more Epic resources including Newslea For FREE, Wikipedia, Common Sense Education, and MackinVia

With MacinVia, our kiddos can access “3 Million Print Titles- 1 Million Digital Titles- and now features a growing catalog of nearly 3 million print titles from 18,000+ publishers and a burgeoning digital collection of more than 1 million eBooks, educational databases, audiobooks and videos.”

Check out these slideshows for more details!

Thanks Howard County Public School Library Media and Howard County Library! These great resources will be transformative!

MHMS Bitmoji Show

HCPSS Trooper Show

More info!

A+: Students & Teachers – Howard County Library System

A+ Partners in Education – Howard County Library System

*(shameless humble brag!)

The Art of the #Shelfie


“Can I Take a Shelfie of You?

Is something I ask quite a bit at the MHMS Daring School Library. The easiest way to share on Instagram is taking the humble shelfie. Like a selfie, but with a book? Asking teens and patrons to hold up the book they just checked out or are returning are called shelfies.

OK….it’s kinda a stretch…but as I mentioned in an article I wrote last year for the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association a branch of the ALA) blog last year, it’s just one positive quick, fun, and easy way to promote reading, literacy, books, and community using social media. Kids like to see what other kids are reading.

6th grader Olivia w/ an awesome #Bookface

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Six grader John with a classic big smile #Shelfie #Bone #graphicnovels

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Missy M. Showing off her Mary Jane shipping novel #shelfie #GreatReader

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I #mustache you to enjoy these #shelfie pics! @hcpss_mhms #CelebrateHCPSS

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I always ask if they want to take a shelfie, and I never give any guilt trips if they’re too shy or would prefer not to. But most of my teens love to show off their latest book, and even tag themselves in the picture! Holding up a mustache bookmark is just a bonus. I mustache you to believe me in this!

Mr Raj #Shelfie & his @MikeLupica book! #TravelTeam 💕our readers!

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Cammy & Precious giving me a great #SHelfie

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#CaughtReading

Beanbag reading at the @hcpss_mhms Daring school library media center!

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8th grdr Dom finishing his latest sports fiction book! #caughtreading

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Happy NEW School Year!

Welcome Back Kiddos, Parents, & Families!

 




Happy 20th Anniversary Murray Hill! For real this time! 

That means, the 8th grade kiddos I taught when we opened Murray Hill back in 1997 would now be in their 30’s! Whaaaat? That’s Crazy! But seriously, I am SO honored to have been a part of this community since the beginning. I never thought I was one of those teachers who would stay in the same school for like, forever!

But here I am, still happy, loving our quirky middle school kiddos and the vibrant and rich diversity of our amazing neighborhood! I also like that I live near our community and only have to drive 7 minutes to get here!

This year is going to be fantastic and challenging! Ms. Bell, our amazing Media Assistant is BACK full time!  Thanks to our new interim Superintendent, Michael J. Martirano  for bringing back our much needed (and loved!) library paraeducators. WE really appreciate having our Library & Literacy program fully staffed – because we serve about 800 people! 730+ kiddos & 80+ teachers and staff!

That’s a lot of people and we love it!

Please follow us on Instagram!

I will try and share all the amazing things that happen every day here at MHMS – the cool kiddos, the fun times, the Science, the ELA, the Social Studies, MHTV, ART, Drama, well – as much as I can ! 

Like the fun we have during recess in the Library Media Center! Here are some of my fun kiddos!

The MHMS Daring School Library Media Center #Makerspace & Recess Fun! #coloring #legos #shelfie #reading

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We also LOVE Instagram Shelfies!

Cammy & Precious giving me a great #SHelfie

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And #Makerspace Fun!

Speaking of making and working I’m excited to set up again our ever evolving Makerspace Station at MHMS in our Daring School Library Media Center for the fourth year! We’re going to be adding more stations, robotics, technology and opportunities to create, make, craft, design, code, and construct in our school!

Princess A showing off her princess picture! I love it when kids get me there and drawings!

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3 #makerspace builders in our @hcpss_mhms school library! #cool ! #loud

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But wait! There’s More!

The following are student, parent, and community resources I want to bring to your attention.

hcpss-connect-banner16This page will also feature our new HCPSS Parent Portal – HCPSS Connect

Research_Databases3.jpg

Don’t forget our Research Databases Wikpage helps with homework & school projects!

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Summer Reading on the Hill

The Summer Reading List is Here!

View & Download the  Middle School Summer Reading List

Thanks to our our A+ partner Librarians at the Howard County Library and two of our local HCPSS Middle School Teacher-Librarians we have created this Super Fun Reading List for all the kiddos in our district! (or the world!)

Visit our Howard County local Savage Branch Library & Hi Tech STEM Education Center this summer and FLIP over summer reading or flip over some amazing tech learning opportunities! ((Pssst!
The 8th Grade Slide Show is at the bottom of this post!))

Recommended Summer Reading Lists

Middle School – #1 Most Awesome Teens

Kindergarten – Grade 1 – Baby Squirts

Grade 2 – 3 –  Little Kiddos

Grade 4 – 5 – Minions

High School – Cool Kids

Great Books for Grown-Ups!

Black Eyed Susan Nominees

I Mustache You To Consider This Challenge!

I #mustache you to enjoy these #shelfie pics! @hcpss_mhms #CelebrateHCPSS

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Bonus!

For a FREE Paperback Book of your Choosing when we come back in August:

This summer, take a Shelfie (selfie holding a book) or share a picture of you reading and Instagram it tagging me @thedaringlibrarian or @GwynethJones on Twitter

After School Ends, Look for the

Summer Reading List Display

in the Front Office!

8th Grade Slide Show!

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6 Easy Ways to Go Green at School

For twenty years here at MHMS, we’ve tried to be GREEN as possible. We started a recycling program the first year we opened (1997), spray painted Chesapeake Bay Run-Off outside on parking lot drains. In 2000 we partnered with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to conduct a ground-truthing survey of permeable and impermeable surfaces with GPS.

But now, we’re going to make it official!

This year, we’re working on getting GREEN School Certification. We’re working with the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) to fulfill several objectives. The team I’m working with is student-driven sustainability practices. “MAEOE encourages, engages, and empowers the community to understand, responsibly use and promote the natural world.”

Here are 6 Easy Ways to Go GREEN at Your School!

1. Start a Student-Run Recycling Club

Have Science classes do a “trash inventory where kids go get a sample waste basket from different classrooms and different grades and, wearing plastic gloves, divide it between trash and recyclable materials. What’s being thrown away already that could be recycled?  Murray Hill has started a Recycling Program – but we can always do better!
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are 3 ways we could recycle MORE in our school?

2. Participate in International Walk (or Bike!) to School Day

International Walk to School Day (and Bike to School Day) promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages students and parents to think about the effects that cars have on the environment.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
Have you ever ridden your bike to school? OR What’s the longest you’ve ever ridden your bike?

From 2011: Example of a paper maché Alebrije. The Alebrije was created by Pedro Linares Lopez in the 1930’s. Pedro was a cartonero (papier maché crafter) from La Merced a neighborhood in Mexico City.

3. Recycle Newspapers & Magazines to Create Fabulous Art Projects

Another way to support your school’s “going green” effort is to get your ART teacher involved. The art teachers here at MMHS have had a long history of cool student projects using entirely recycled, newspapers, paper, books and materials.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are 3 cool  school ART projects you can think of using recyclable materials?
4. Adopt an Endangered Animal

Take a look at the WWF Adoption program and raise money  in the school to help save an endangered animal. For only $55 you can get an adoption kit that includes a plushy, a species card, adoption certificate, photo, and gift bag. Each grade or classroom can strive to adopt a different animal. You can display your animals in the classroom or in the Library Media Center!

Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are endangered animals that you would like to adopt in your school?

BNewingham040711_iStock32161690_GoGreen_s5. Go Paperless

Consider reducing the amount of paper you use in the school by going paperless!
We’ve been distributing our Murray Messages online via, text, Twitter, email, and our website for at least five years now.
We’ve also been using Google Apps for Education since 2012 and kids can create documents, work on at school or at home, and share with their teacher since 2012.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are ways you could go paperless in your school? Do you like Google Apps or GAfE?

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Dana & Ron

6.  Create a Birdhouse Habitat Around Your School & Playground 

Why not get together either Scouts or an after school group and create a birdhouse habitat around your school or playground.?
Birdhouses “provide nesting space in the birds’ increasingly threatened habitat. An increased bird population is not only pleasant for the eyes and ears, but is also important to our ecosystem. Birds scavenge wastes, pollinate plants, and search for food in the garden. They help our garden habitat by eating greenflies, caterpillars, and snails: a huge benefit for the organic gardener.” Plus, they’re pretty and could be an ongoing SCI-venture for kiddos to monitor.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
Would you be interested in having a birdhouse colony at MHMS? Have you ever made a birhouse? Would you be interested in decorating or painting a birdhouse? What ways to go green did we miss? What else would be good to start at MHMS to help the environment?

Photo by Mrs. Simpson – Artwork by Karla – 7th grade

Resources:

Check out our MHMS Green Team Scoopit PAGE!

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Women’s History Month at MHMS

We celebrated Women’s History Month at MHMS by creating a book display and daily feature news stories on MHTV about famous and significant women in history! Here are the scripts we wrote for this, feel free to use with attribution and a link back.

Here’s our Google Doc: You may copy this, but please make sure to give proper attribution. Thank you!

 

 

Women’s History Month Book Display – Pull List

(not perfect by any means, much like me! LOL)

Non Fiction

Women’s suffrage : a primary source history of the women’s rights movement in America   – 305.42 ADA

Failure is impossible! : the history of American women’s rights (2000) by Kendall, Martha E. Series: Nonfiction – 305.42 KEN

The good, the bad, and the Barbie : a doll’s history and her impact on us – 688.7 STO

Take it to the hoop : 100 years of women’s basketball (2003) 796.323 STE

Winning ways : a photohistory of American women in sports (1996) by Macy, Sue.     2 Available      Add to List     Shelf Location: Call Number     Nonfiction – 796 MAC

Outrageous women of the Middle Ages (1998) by Leon, Vicki – 920 LEO

I am Malala : (2014)  921 YOU

Gold rush women (1997) by Murphy, Claire Rudolf.   Lexile Measure: – 971.9 MUR

Black women of the Old West (1995) by Katz, William Loren. – 978 KAT

 

Reference:

Encyclopedia of women’s history in America. (1996) by Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn        Reference Collection – REF 305.4 CUL

Women of achievement in Maryland history (2002) by Stegman, Carolyn B        Reference Collection – REF 920 STE

 

Fiction:

Audacity (2015) by Crowder, Melanie. – F CRO

Mare’s war by Davis, Tanita S. – F DAV

The clockwork scarab : a Stoker & Holmes novel (2013) F GLE

 

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Speed Dating with Books

Hello Book Lovahs!

I want to share with you a favorite book selection activity that I did with the kiddos here at MHMS dig around Valentines Day, it’s super silly and fun, creates a lot of excitement, and makes the books fly out of the library!
I first blogged about this with you back in 2013, added a genre twist last year, and now I’ve added a video and a few new tweaks!

With my middle school kids this activity is guaranteed to make them grin, giggle, and cringe a little. Give yourself permission to really ham it up. Because prepare yourselves, book lovahs, this is super cheezy!

Sort of like musical chairs, but with books! Encourage kids to try a new genre or type of book. Make suggestions! Let the cooperating ELA to Reading teacher wander around making suggestions or pointing out a “good lookin possibility!”
 
 
After a couple turns I’ll call out that the first 6 kiddos checking out books will get a scratch and sniff bookmark and then they can go, put up their feet, read their new book and hang out in our READING LOVE LOUNGE. (“VIP: Space is limited – hurry kids!”)

If you’re an English, Reading, or School Librarian who would like to do this activity, click on over to TheDaringLibrarian blog for all the resources!

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