February 6

We Need YOU!

Big thanks to our current volunteers, Mrs. Smith-Bacon and Mrs. Bailey (with student Library Media helper daughter Abby!) for their help this year and being so generous and amazing!

We’d love to have you join us in all the fun!  Look at these cute faces!

Contact Ms. Jones Gwyneth_Jones @at hcpss.org if you’re interested and for more information!

WE Really Appreciate ALL of our Family Volunteer!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

January 24

Warning: Do NOT Read This Blog Post!

Hello dear readers, this is Gwyneth Jones – your one and only ridiculously humble Daring Librarian here with dire 

LATE BREAKING NEWS!

As Sophia (the delightfully cheerful girl above) reported on MHTV News we must share something distasteful with you.  

Why? Because I recently awoke feeling a dreadful malaise and a lingering doleful fear about something I just uncovered. When I say “uncover” imagine turning over a mossy rock expecting cute wriggly earth worms and rolly polly pill bugs only to find a suspect piece of butterscotch candy wrapped in a soggy cellophane wrapper…well, read below for our news story.

Oh, and don’t be angry with me OR with the smiley Sophia…we HAD to give this news to give you pause!

Here’s the Script:

We here at #MHTVNews usually like to share uplifting and heartwarming stories about young people who joyfully create amazing things and are rewarded for their Scientific, Literary, Artistic, and or Academic Achievements.

Today not so much.

We’re here to give a warning that there is a pernicious, which means here deadly, and terrifying new series now available for streaming on this thing called The Netflix.

It’s called:

The Series of Unfortunate Events

by Lemony Snicket.

(And as a wry aside, may I add that this is surely a silly name for a terribly sinister author! I met him once in 2004, at the Howard County Public Library – He signed a book for me and though I was introduced to him by one of my favourite students as the Evil Daring Librarian Ms. Jones – he said I was only Allegedly Evil! As if!  [snit] /a)

Please don’t watch this next video if you are sensitive by nature.

You can look away now.

Of course, we have all the books in this horrid series in the Murray Hill Daring School Library Media Center, we consider that fair warning so that you may read them, if you are so inclined, to be properly prepared. They are terrible books of horrible events and only appreciated by those who are slightly tetched in the heid (Scottish variety) or bloodthirsty.

Again, you’ve been warned.

Oh and Count Olaf? We’re keeping a weather eye on you, you can be sure of that! No more sneaking around and hiding in my Library Office.

 

BONUS Delightful GAME:

Find Count Olaf Hiding in my Office!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

October 5

Fall STEM Opportunities at HiTech

Here are the splendid FALL FREE Offerings at our local STE(A)M HiTech Center at the Savage Branch Library!

Here are the related links since the graphics above aren’t clickable!

Registration & More Information

Got Questions? Ask our friendly neighborhood Teen Librarian:

Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor
Howard County Library System — Savage Branch
410-313-0760 main
410-313-0752 office

Hey Kiddos! Try the FREE Escape from Detention Game App!

Read about it!

GET IT!

 

March 17

Spring Break STEM Classes: HiTech @Savage

Hello spring peepers!
I just got some great news from from Ms. Cooke – our Teens’ Instructor, Howard County Library System at the Savage Branch

FREE  HiTech STEM classes offered over spring break! Wait, Did I mention it was FREE?

Register online or by calling 410-313-0760.

View the PDF or see the graphic at top.
HiTech Spring Break FREE Classes
For more information contact:
Ms. Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor
410-313-0760 main
410-313-0752 office

From our Friends at the Maryland Science Center:

By popular demand, and to coincide with Baltimore’s gigantic outdoor light celebration Light City, Laser Rock shows return to the dome of the planetarium. Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and all the classic rock favorites provide the soundtrack for a spectacular laser light show and special effects in 360 degree surround sound.

Laser Beatles will play daily at 1:30pm and is included with admission. Evening laser shows will run Sunday-Thursday at 6:45pm and 7:45pm, and
Friday & Saturday at 6:45pm, 7:45pm, and 8:45pm.

Pricing for evening shows is $8.00, add a second show for only $4.00.

Show schedule changes daily. 

Click here for a list of laser shows and featured tracks.

September 22

Banned Book Week 2015

Celebrating the Freedom to Read!

MHMS Celebrates National Banned Book Week with a display highlighting some of the books that have been banned throughout the years in American school and public libraries.

From the American Library Association:

Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2015 celebration will be held September 27-October 3.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.”

To celebrate banned book week here at MHMS we created a book display covering up some of the most banned books with strategic tear outs. We also created a couple QR Code resources for kiddos to learn more about Banned Books!


We here at the MHMS Daring School Library believe in the freedom to read without censorship!

Middle school is a WONDERFUL but quirky time for kids with wide ranges of maturity and reading levels. (and that’s why I teach middle school – because, LOVE IT!) But, I must admit, there are a few books that we have that I consider maybe to be more 7th or 8th grade in subject matter than right 6th graders. That’s when I sometimes exercise my judgement as a certified school librarian to say to a 6th grader – this may be too mature for you, wait till next year. But I wouldn’t EVER want to take that book off the shelf and not let a kid “grow into it” nor do I approve of forcing a kid to read a book. It’s all about the Freedom of Choice! Read more about Banned Book Week!

[she now tries to get the 1980’s Devo song out of her head]

Download the FREE QR Code PDF Signs:

Banned_Books_WARNING PDF

QR Code links to the ALA Top 100 Banned Book from 2000-2009

7_Reasons_Banned_Books PDF

QR Code links to the Huffington Post article 7 Reasons Your Favorite Books Were Banned

How to Make a QR Code in 3 Easy Steps!

MHMS isn’t the only school library to celebrate #BannedBookWeek! Check out these Timehop pics from her friend Ms. Sherry Gick, a Teacher Librarian & Tech Specialist at Rossville Consolidated Schools in Indiana!

Also check out the cool display from Maine! Mr. jonathan r. werner

June 4

Makerspace@MHMS

The hot new Makerspace Movement is NOT new to Murray Hill Middle School. We opened the school with the idea that we would have creation labs in the Media Center, GT room, and the TV studio. We started with video production, iMovie, Specular LogoMotion, Hyperstudio, and animation with Hollyood High kids. Here’s an example of an EARLY (2003) video production called Bookfellas, featuring some Guy Ritchie-esque film direction techniques. These kids are now all grown up and we’ve kept evolving, too!

We have, however, expanded upon our Makerspace offerngs.  We’ve now added a Lego Creation Station, a Duct Tape Craft Cubby, and a Makey Makey Coding Corner. Kids can come in during lunch or when they’ve finished their work to explore and create in the Library Media Center. All this for about $350.oo. Teachers & Librarians – I invite you to see my professional blog next week for more info on how to get this setup in your library or classroom!

Next year, any donations of novelty duct tape rolls to the Media Center would be greatly appreciated!

Here’s an example of a cool stop action animation video by our Advanced Digital Media Team for the Environmental Fair. Created by MHMS 8th graders: Drew H, Prerana K, Joonseo P, & Gloria O.  This was created under the direction of GT Teacher, Mr. Mark Dunbar.

Meet Alexa!

We also have a new information tool in the library! (OK, I bought this with my own money and brought it into school) It’s the Amazon Echo! Have you heard of it? Since I’m not going to have an assistant full time next year, (don’t get me started!) I thought this could be a cool way to answer basic questions. Kids are delighted to discover Alexa, living in the Amazon Echo. Not only is it a fun way for kiddos to learn how to ask the right questions, to speak clearly, it also introduces them to the Internet of Things.

Yeah, sometimes we dance in the Library! That’s how we roll!

Get your charge on!

We also have a new Courtesy Mobile Device Charging Station in the MHMS Daring School Library Media Center! Moving closer to BYOD means that kiddos often come to the media center at lunch to charge up. Nothing too fancy, two super fast charging UNITEK 10 USB port hubs and a 4-in-1 USB Charging Cord.  This is just a start!

 

 

April 28

Empty Bowls Project

The Empty Bowls Project is a service learning opportunity for 8th grade students at MHMS. Students have created hand-made ceramic bowls in Art class and prepared food in FACS class as part of this project. On May 15th, we will hold our Empty Bowls Event that will include a meal, jacobalihazehraTXartwork and entertainment. For the price of a ticket, attendees will receive a 3-course meal and get a hand-made bowl to take home as a reminder of the empty bowls in our community.

Proceeds will benefit: Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center in Columbia

MHMS students/families must fill out the Empty_Bowls_Ticket_Order_Form completely and return it with money to your student’s homeroom teacher.  Community members interested in tickets for the event just need to print the order form, write name(s), quantity of tickets and send or drop off the order form with money at the MHMS office on or before May 8th. 

Students interested in volunteering to work at the Empty Bowls Event must complete an application with Mrs. Abrams or Mrs. Ludlow.

esosaimanialexTXOur awesome organizers are:

Rachel Ludlow – Art Teacher  Rachel_Ludlow@hcpss.org
and
Nicole Abrams – FACS Teacher Nicole_Abrams@hcpss.org

(I’m just the geeky webby PR person at the school) ~@GwynethJonesThe Daring Librarian

banner-1005x80
ALL The Pics!

March 23

Callin’ All Ballerz!

Join us! GCES Staff vs. MHMS Staff – for an Epic Basketball Game!

On Friday, April 4th at 7pm we will be having a staff vs. staff basketball game against our neighbors Gorman Crossing.

Tickets must be purchased in advance – no ticket sales at the door!

For more information contact our coach: Ms. Sara Tagliaferri  or Sara_Tagliaferri@hcpss.org

Doors open at 6:30

UPDATE:
Packed House!

Team Photo:

May 20

Google+ Hangouts: Cool Conversations and BookTalks Without Borders

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 and – 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

You can see ALL the pictures I took of this growing relationship on my Flickr slideshow below or skip directly to our gallery!

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 OnAir to join in scheduled LIVE Google Hangouts, connect with other interested educators or get tech help to get started!  The Twitter hashtag #eduonair  connects 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!]


Resources:

32 Tips for Using Google Hangout in the Classroom

EducationOnAir – Google Sites

Google Hangouts as Edtech: Connecting, Sharing and – Edutopia

Credits:

Mustache pic by Tiffany Whitehead

Gwyneth & Alaina pic by Alaina Laperouse

 

Médecins Sans Frontières

My title for this post was inspired by one of my most favoured charitable organizations Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières  – Please consider donating to this worthy cause!

April 15

Big Rich Mount Olympus

The Task:

“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!)

Horrible Histories: a Video Engagement Hook!

Let’s also combine the fun of the BBC Horrible Histories & Rotten Romans to inspire the kiddos and start them to see the gods & goddesses with individual personalities!

 

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

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!
 
Mt. Olympus Problems – Brainstorm!

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!
YAY!

Resources:

I added Big Rich Mt.
Olympus: Legendary Drama! to My Myths page:

How to Create Links

How to make a website using //weebly/

Mrs. Cullison’s Mythology Weebly pages examples

BONUS! 

We were mentioned! NCSS Smart Brief:
How to conduct a research project with limited computer time   Super thanks for that kind shout out from our NCSS & Social Studies friends!