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

A post shared by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


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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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!

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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!

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There’s Pokemon Hiding in our Library!

Objective: Capitalizing on the engagement of the PokemonGo App game, students will use digital devices and QR Codes to explore the Library Media Center and discover important sections, features, and resources and reveal hidden and very RARE (& beloved) Pokémon.  Kids got a real big kick out of it!

After Media Orientation, kiddos used their BYOD devices to search out the clues and find these rascally Pokemon by scanning QR Codes!

Searching for the QR Codes that revealed the hiding Pokemon, they also learned about all the important areas of our School Library Media Center!

If you’re a Teacher Librarian or a Classroom Teacher and would like to learn more about this activity, along with lesson plan and printables, visit The Daring Librarian blog!

 

Gotta catch ’em all!

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.
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.

The Way of the Lego

I wanted to highlight another aspect of our new Makerspace area – an area for creation and creativity. For making, coloring, and relaxing with investigative play. The LEGO station has been very popular!

When I started up the area, I didn’t have any rules, I just said to the kids “here’s all this cool stuff, some books for inspiration, play with it, figure it out, and have fun!” …..but after a couple months of a wasted materials (ex: uncompleted duct tape raincoats that ended up in a huge sticky ball) and some messy LEGO behavior, I realized we did indeed need a few guidelines.

Here they are:—–

(View all sizes – feel free to print & use – it’s Creative Commons!) Here’s what it says:

As part of our Lego Creation Station Community, we have a few guidelines that you must agree to: 
Share 
 Be willing to create and build with another student. 
Be neat 
Put ALL STRAY LEGO Pieces away 
before you leave- That’s nice! 
Celebrity Status
You must agree that your creations belong to the Library Media Center and with the understood permission that we may Instagram, Vine, Photograph, Blog, Tweet, & share your creations to the world. They may also be taken apart by another student to make another creation. That’s the way of the LEGO. 
Have Fun! 
If you’re not having fun, being nice, neat, generous, sharing, and cool – we may ask you to leave our Makerspace community. That’s on you.
So be cool – don’t be all uncool! Thank you! 

Simple stuff, really! So the kids would feel ownership & a buy into these guidelines, I crowdsourced with the kiddos during recess to make the list, & then added my own twist to it – with a little help from the Countess LuAnn De LesSeps for the all uncool part!

When Can Kiddos Visit the Makerspace?
Kids can come to the Library before home room, during any class with a pass when they finish their work (standardized testing permitting), and during most all recess times – coverage permitting. (I have 7th grade lunch duty so I rely on volunteers during my shift) This is a time for them to check out books, read, recharge their devices, play games, and work with the Makerspace stations! It’s not quiet. And thats….OK!

There is no “makerspace class” per se, it’s a resource kids can come to when they have time. It’s been used as a reward for some of our kids who need a little educational bribery  err….incentives! (and LEGOS’s & coloring cause cavities!).  Most of our kiddos really respond to it very positively. I even got a kiddo to to finish his MAP test who was ready to give up by saying he could work with the LEGOS afterwards if he did his very best.

Come visit our LEGO Creation Station and Makerspace area the next time you’re in Murray Hill and if you have any old unwanted LEGO pieces laying around, and you feel compelled to donate them, we’d be super grateful!

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!

SRP-teens-WP
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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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!

 

 

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!