February 7

Speed Dating with Books!


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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?

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Get Engaged!

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
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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!

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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

Speed Dating with Books! | The Daring Librarian

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!
March 4

The MHMS Harlem Shake (& Why It’s So Popular!)


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 can find our video on my YouTube Channel, our MurrayHill YouTube Channel, and our SchoolTube Channel.

Is
YouTube blocked in your school? Here’s our SchoolTube Version


Read more:

How Your Harlem Shake Videos Make
Money

Meet Baauer, the Man Behind the Harlem
Shake
– The Daily Beast

Harlem Shake: Baauer cashes in

Harlem Shake‘ gets kids suspended

Teens suspended over suggestive ‘Harlem
Shake
‘ video

Harlem
Shake on mid-flight airplane leads to FAA investigation

Harlem Shake – Winecoff Style! Winecoff Elementary School, North Carolina

January 10

From the Planet of Trashitron it’s Recycle Man!

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!)

Also available on the YouTubes! On our MurrayHillPD Channel!

 

 

December 14

Imma B Gotcha Back: Anti-Bullying & PBIS Videos

Gotcha Back!
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!

Imma B
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!”

We at MHMS created an activity and lesson plan on our Wikipage   based on this video!

Imma Be from Michael Kennedy on Vimeo.

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:

Hello!
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 in  your lovely library & the video ROCKED!

Here’s the Wikispace page I created for this lesson centered around your awesome vid!
http://murrayhill.wikispaces.com/PBIS

I hear Rob Dennis is no longer at the school but I just wanted to say
Thank you!!!

~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!

Thanks again!!!

Amanda Tucker

Library Media Specialist

John Early Museum Magnet Middle School 

Rob Dennis's profile photoAND 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.
You Rock!

Thanks,
Mr. Dennis

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

 

November 16

Super Marvel-ous Comics

I spent such a fun week working with Mrs. Michaelson’s amazing students to create Super Marvel-ous Comics!

We used the Marvel create a comic generator and though it had some quirky side-effects – our saved .PDF’s didn’t look the same as what we had on our screen! Some of our backgrounds disappeared and some had extra speech bubbles that I swear weren’t there when we saved them! Maybe we should have just taken screen shots??


We had time after the comic creating & we watched & danced to the latest craze UMD Gangnam Style!

FEAR THE TURTLE!

Super Marvel-ous Comic Book Lesson

Our Common Core State Standards Alignment: Standard 3 & 6 for Reading Literature –

Standard 3 for Reading Literature:

Grade 6:
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward resolution.

Grade 7:
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).

Grade 8:
Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character or provoke a decision.

Standard 6 for Reading Literature:

Grade 6:
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Grade 7:
Analyze how an author develops and contrast the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

Grade 8:
Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader create such effects as suspense or humor.

 


October 24

Mean Girls at the Library!

From our A+ partner the Howard County Library:

“Sugar and spice and everything nice…not always!

Middle school students and their parents are invited to explore the complex world of girls at Horizon Family Communication Night:  Mean Girls.  Expert Deborah West leads discussion and exercises that offer the keys to understanding Queen Bees, Gamma Girls, and surviving the intricate female social hierarchy.

“Mean Girls,” a communication workshop for 11-14 year-old girls and their parents, will be held. Social worker Deborah West will discuss with the girls and their parents how to navigate the social spectrum and learn how to create a positive outcome when confronted with negative teen behavior. She offers the keys to understanding “Queen Bees” and “Gamma Girls,” and surviving the female social hierarchy. Registration required.

For more information contact:
Sarah Moore, Teen Specialist  – Howard County Library System — Savage Branch
410-880-5980

Co-sponsored by the Women’s Giving Circle and he Horizon Councils.

September 24

Choose Civility HiTech Teen Day!

This Wednesday! 

From the HCL Website:

Create (or Edit) an iBook
Register today to collaborate with your friends to create a Choose Civility iBook! A community-wide initiative, Choose Civility aims to enhance respect, empathy, consideration, and tolerance.

All you need to do is write a brief summary, poem or letter (no longer than 1 page) on one of the following topics:

• importance of being respectful,
• a kind or thoughtful message for those going through a tough time, or
• how to make the world a better place.

Please make sure your document is on a thumb drive. You may also bring original pictures and photos that best depict your written document or create it during the iBook session.

HiTech is funded by a Federal STEM grant from IMLS and the MacArthur Foundation.

PS. Brekkie & Lunch included! Nom, nom!

Register HERE!

for more information contact our good friend:

Sarah Moore
Teen Specialist
Howard County Library System
Savage Branch
410-880-5980

May 24

Summer Reading: WEIRD!

It’s almost summer reading time again!    And for this year, we’ve got a fun idea for you to show off your summer travels & reading destinations! Or just wacky & creative reading position! Think of it as —READING XTREME! Our “Weirdest Reading Destination” contest & challenge invites you to take a picture of you reading in an strange, odd, fun, exotic, silly, preposterous, or even WEIRD place or position!

Are you reading on the sand “Downy Ochen, hon?”(for non-Baltimoreans that’s on our Chesapeake Bay Eastern Shore of Ocean City MD, & Fenwick, Bethany, Dewey, & or Reohoboth beach DE!) Are you reading in a camping tent? On the top of the Empire State building or Eiffel Tower? Are you reading on a trampoline? While skateboarding? (watch out!)  Are you reading on a bench outside MHMS with the yellow Angry Bird plushy friend? Oh no, that’s Alex!  Or are you reading upside down while eating an apple?! Oops! Nope, that’s Maya!  YAY! You don’t need to travel far to be creative because you can read ANYWhere!

Send your picture to Ms. Jones’s summer email at gwynethanne@gmail (dot) com giving your name, grade, location, & book title! Coolest pics will win an iTunes gift card, be featured on THIS BLOG,  & a get bundle full of  Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) paperback books! (Only valid for registered MHMS students incoming 6th, and rising 7th & 8th graders)

Summer Reading Lists Are Below!

You can download our summer reading list PDF’s from our MHMS Learning Wiki! Or Click on the PDF’s below

2012 Summer Reading Lists

Summer Reading for Middle School Peeps
 Final MS 2012 Summer Reading.pdf

Summer Reading List for Short Fries (Grades 4-5)
 Final 4-5 2012 Summer Reading.PDF

Summer Reading List for Parents & Teachers
 Final Adult 2012 Summer Reading.PDF

Download FREE Bookmarks!

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 Summer_Reading_Bookmarks12.doc

Visit our A+Partners & Good Friends at the Howard County Library for their Summer Reading Game!

June Jamboree Pics!

Credits:

So, I got the idea of the title of this blog from the movie: Ghostbusters II– a Classic!
Peter Venkman: “Next week on “World of the Psychic”. Hairless cats… weird”.

“Weirdest Reading Destination”  idea inspired (and totally pilfrered!) from the London Public Library! Who kindly put the picture at left on Flickr Creative Commons!

Thank you!

Follow them on Twitter @londonlibrary!!!!