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

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ALL The Pics!

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:

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!

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!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A True Servant Leader

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.”

@JamesHPerry 

Powerful words.

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.”

Albert Einstein

“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.”

Sophocles

“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.”

Denis Waitley

from 7 Timeless Thoughts on Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Let’s be inspired by the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr not just on his birthday – but every day – throughout the year!

 

(Originally posted on the MHMS Media Blog: Martin Luther King, Jr: A True Servant Leader  Jan 18, 2010)