The Zen of Coloring

 

There’s a NEW! feature in our Library Media Center Makerspace area!

It’s Coloring!

I have to admit when I first heard about how coloring books for adults and teens are all the rage, I was a bit skeptical. Then I saw the beautiful new coloring books with loopy, fabulous, mesmerizing line drawings and I was sold! I also just like the smell of a new box of Crayons!

I then did some research on the Zen of Coloring and found out that teens find coloring very relaxing, meditative, and stress relieving – perfect for middle school! I also think in this world of multi-tasking, coloring keeps our hands busy and let’s our mind wander free- it’s also related to another hot topic mindfulness.  I know that when I’m in a group setting without technology, say a staff-meeting, a conference, or a lecture, I find myself doodling and making line drawings.

So, I got permission from our principal Mr. Wasileswski and bought a variety of coloring books, a huge box of Crayons, and a passel of colored pencils. I tried to get a good mix of coloring books – for boys, girls, grownups, and also appealing to the rich multi-cultural tapestry and different interests that make up our student body.

Star Wars, Minecraft, Dragons, Ocean, Hispanic & Celtic heritage, Indian Mehndi henna designs, Afro and Luv My Curly Hair designs… a cornucopia of creative coloring books! See?

After a few weeks, I did find that we had to have some guidelines for the coloring corner – I don’t like to call them rules! (Teachers & School Librarians: You may want to read the more “How To”  blog post here on my professional blog)

Some of the guidelines are: claiming a page, sharing a page, giving us permission to Instagram or blog about the artwork & most important – not tearing out the pages. Because there are designs on the other side of the page and that would just wasteful and not fair.

Download the High Rez or poster version of this for your class or Makerspace. Click to see all sizes! All Creative Commons, Take, Use, Share!

Coloring Bookmarks!

Want some FREE Coloring Sheets to Download? We’ve got you covered!

From the website:

Download Many Sizes Here:

As seen above – used with permission from Dawn Nicole

Get More! FREE Printable Bookmarks

Winter Bookmarks Coloring Page | by Dawn Nicole Designs

Don’t believe coloring can be good for you?

Here’s some of the cool research I found!

“There are plenty of studies on the effectiveness of art therapy in reducing stress, and coloring seems to offer some similar benefits, as William Brennan wrote in this magazine when he noted the coloring books’ particular popularity in France. And doodling is a way for people to organize their thoughts, and focus. Coloring offers that relief and mindfulness without the paralysis that a blank page can cause.”  – Julie Beck of The Atlantic

Coloring has also been used to “gently ease veterans suffering from PTSD into art therapy. (5)”  One study on college students found that “coloring pre-drawn patterns significantly reduced signs of stress and depression. (6)”  Coloring before bedtime can even help you sleep!” (7)

“One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century” reports the Huffington Post.

2D Mandala Flickr CC Computer by RunnerFrog

“Mandalas are concentric circle drawings that originated in India and mean “sacred circles” in Sanskrit. (10)  Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, and Christian cathedrals all incorporate mandalas into their architecture.” – By of BeBrainfit

Mandalas and similar circular or spiral designs are thousands of years old. Look around and notice how abundantly the circular pattern of the mandala appears in our environment. You can see this geometric shape in all aspects of life. The sun in the sky, the nucleus of the cells in the body, and the unique design of a snowflake.

Kids are loving the coloring! Boys, girls, and grown-ups!

Now it’s YOUR turn! 

What do you think about coloring for teens and adults? Please share your thoughts in the comments!


Resources:

Zen and Anti stress | Coloring Pages for Adults

Anti-Stress Coloring Books for Adults: The Latest Way to Relax

Mindfulness and the Popularity of Adult Coloring Books

How Colouring Books Are Helping Adults Beat Stress

Summer Reading & Celebrations!


Hot off the Presses!
Get your Summer Reading List!

by scanning the QR Code below

or Click HERE!  You can also visit our Wikispaces Page!

WARNING: This post contains an abundance of exclamations marks. No characters were hurt writing this post, however, the ! key is giving me the side eye!

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Be a Super Hero (cape optional) and Join the Summer Reading Program at your friendly neighborhood Howard County Library, Savage Branch!

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You can read anything!

“You may read books, magazines, graphic novels, newspapers, and web sites. You may also listen to audio books. For ideas and suggestions, check out the links below for a list of books for Middle School and High School students developed by Howard County Library System teen specialists in conjunction with the Howard County Public School System.

To get started, register at the research desk at any Howard County Library System branch. We’ll give you all of the materials you need to get started: a reading log, instructions, and even your first raffle ticket just for signing up.  You may then earn raffle tickets for reading and completing other fun, library related activities”

Grades 6+ REGISTER Online!
You can also pick up a Summer Reading List flier in the MHMS front office!
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As always, if you would like to request a book for purchase
for the MHMS Media Center for next year, fill out this Google form!

Field Day 2015!

8th Grade Slideshow Movie!

8th Grade Slide Show Pictures!

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MHMS Pocket Guide to Cell Phone Use in School

I’ve been teaching long enough to remember when kiddos were NOT allowed to bring a cell phone to school…at all. They were contraband!  Then Columbine and 9/11 happened, and parents wanted and needed to make sure their kiddos were OK.

So Howard County Schools were one of the FIRST school districts in our state to create a policy where kids could keep their cell phones – turned OFF and stored in lockers. These phones would be available in an emergency and could only turned back on as they left the school. That was huge!

Fast forward about 13 years….yes, that policy above lasted thirteen years,  from a cellasaurus to the smart phone.  But then…

an amazing AWESOME thing happened, we evolved! Now, we are one of the only schools in our state to have a new, more liberal, cell phone & communication policy!  About two years ago HCPSS decided to relax our policy and to baby step it towards BYOD. And boy, was I on board with this! Wooo hooo!

Our new policy allows our students to use their cell phones in the mornings, during hallway transitions, and at recess. More details can be found below but we here at MHMS want to come to the kiddos from a standpoint of…


WE TRUST YOU!

We trust you to make good choices. We trust you to follow basic guidelines, good manners, and common sense. We trust you to be an ethical member of our community and to choose civility.

Watch our Zombie Cartoon for Cell Phone Recess Etiquette

Hey Kiddos & Parents! Want more info? Click through these slides!

See our Cell Phone Wikipage for more!

Next, I am hoping, we will allow students to use their Cell Phones as connected tools in their classes (and in the library) for academic reasons! I Can’t wait for that day and my students are ready for it!

I’m so fortunate, that my awesome principal, Mr. Wasilewski, has given me permission to pilot test cell phones used collaboratively in Media center for lessons such as my Media Orientation using the AWESOME Kahoot quiz feature!  With admin permission, we’ve also used mobile devices in the Media Center for digital discoveries & QR Code Scavenger Hunts!

 

Got Poe?

Edgar Allen Poe Lives on at MHMS!

The 7th grade team came together to create a super engaging and interactive Edgar Allen Poe museum last week!



In the words of 7th grade Team Leader, Mrs. Kristin Cullison:

“We created the Poe Museum to showcase our students’ hard work and creativity with their Research Projects about Edgar Allan Poe.  It came to life when Mrs. Smith was listening to Mrs. Cullison explain the project to students and pictured this fun and interactive way to display their projects.  We wanted to create a memorable experience for our students.  We also wanted to help them gain a better understanding of Poe’s life and how it influenced his famous short stories and poems.

Word on the Street:

“Excellent educational experience!”  – Mr. Gibson

“Wonderful collaboration!! Students and staff!!”  – Mrs. Evans

“To all those who participated, YOU ARE AMAZING!!!” – Mrs. Bright

“It was absolutely out-of-this-world, amazing, sensational, stupendous, the greatest! Great job!!!!!!  You all flat out rock!  Thank you so much for making sure we all got to see some of the extra special work you all do!  Hooray for all of you!” -Ms. Adams – School Counselor
Enjoy all the Pictures!

Click for our Smugmug Gallery

Thanks Mrs. Cullison, Mrs. Krieger, Mrs. Smith (aka the Crone), and our own Mr. Tillery as the man himself, Poe!

Vine Video Summer Book Trailers

14297311842_bbf5ea9fc8_o(Warning: This blog post may load slowly because of all the embedded videos. 
To hear the audio, click on the tiny speaker in the top left of each video)
Every year I get excited to share with my kiddos the Summer Reading List and to generate new ways to catch their interest in reading over the break. This year we decided to create video book trailers using the Vine App! 6 second videos that loop with sound. No editing needed just creativity!  See what we did embedded below along with our downloadable Howard County Public School System and Howard County Public Library Middle School Summer Reading List! Summer2014MiddleSchool Reading List PDF  We wanted a fun, easy way to share video book trailers! With so many of our computers being used for testing, and knowing how long editing takes on iMovie, Vine sounded like the perfect solution! With the added benefit of easy stop action filming built into the App means that kids can experiment and be super creative! Everything we create is Creative Commons so feel free to Take, Use, & Share! The Danny and the Dinosaur Treasury: Three Huge Adventures by Syd Hoff

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky NOTE: This is a High School book & available at our local library – get your parent’s permission to read it! Percy Jackson and the Olympians Hardcover Boxed Set (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) by Rick Riordan Riordan is pronounced – RYE-or-Dan  
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac 
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green NOTE: This is a High School book & available at our local library – get your parent’s permission to read it!

Super thanks to Mrs. Vanderveen’s first period ELA class for their creativity, talent, fun, & daring to try something new!

Want to do this lesson with your students & kiddos? Visit our Video Book Trailer Wikispace Page for more directions, tips, a FREE Downloadable Storyboard, & More!

No Featuring: 8th Grade Slideshow Pics!

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:

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!

 

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

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!