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!

 

Super Graphic Novels & Bean Bags


We try and listen to our kiddos, staff, & parents as much as possible to make this the best darn school library EVAH!  So, when Lord Sid (one of our AWESOME teachers) asked if we had a very popular graphic novel called Superman Red Son by Mark Millar, and we didn’t and NO ONE DID in the whole county – we were on a mission!

Of course, I had to take to my amazing PLN (Personal Learning Network) on the Twitters asking:

What I got back was amazing! So many suggestions & votes of YES!  from even those who don’t follow me!

We have the book now and we also got his popular Wolverine one, too!  W00t!

Another thing I wanted to have for our kiddos, Bean Bag Chairs! We have this little nook that some of my favourite readers like to curl up in with a book on the floor but a bean bag chair makes it perfect. Check out Pooh’s Reading Corner below. (Pooh costume not supplied – It’s a BYOPC nook!)

Sure, the library has been closed a LOT for testing this year – it’s a nationwide challenge, but when our kiddos get here – we’ve got the books & the comfy chairs to welcome them! Drop on by!

Big Joe Bean Bag Chairs in Spicy Lime available on Amazon.com for $39.99!

 

The MHMS Instagrammy’s!

History Day in the Library w/ the Absolutely Awesome Alexandra! #HistoryDay @hcpss_mhms Ps. That’s a record player!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

I was inspired recently by another librarian (Ms. Diana Rendina) to create an Instagram account for our Library Media Center and our school! So that when cool things were going on I could share them with our kiddos,  parents,  our community, & the world!

Brently playing with the puzzle ball that totally confounds me in the library media center #Patient A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Kids love to tag themselves in the photos! Whether it’s History day, a Science experiment, a Daring Library Media Lesson, or the school play – they can see pics of themselves actively involved!

#ThrowbackThursday at @hcpss_mhms looking quite fly.

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Like Vine, these social media tools forge a creative bridge with our students.  This lesson #StoryIn140 was mentioned in a previous post – here are more pics!

The pancake obsessed table writing #StoryIn140 A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Showcase special talents or special events! Here’s Palwasha showing off her upcycled folded magazine page bowl!

Gorgeous student artwork = upcycled awesome! @hcpss_mhms #ArtMatters!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Here are 3 little fairies from Peter Pan! Oh Lillian! Has your older sister Natalie seen this, yet?

Janice, Lilian, & Anna as the cutest fairies in Neverland! At @hcpss_mhms #PeterPan production! A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Our Lost Boys are Rocking it! Featuring our own MHTV Daniel D as the Fox!

Lost Boys dancing! Feat. Daniel as the fox! @hcpss_mhms #PeterPan

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

More Peter Pan! Watch out Capt. Hook!

@hcpss_mhms #PeterPan Awesome Cast! A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

And the amazing Lauren sharing inspiring words from Oprah Winfrey for Black History Month!

The amazing Lauren sharing inspiring words from Oprah Winfrey for Black History Month! @hcpss_mhms @hcpss #hoco

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Follow us on Instagram & enjoy the

AWESOME that is our kiddos and staff!

J’Pia looking quite Fleek for @hcpss_mhms #WackyTacky day! A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Our Lovely Savage Library

We are so lucky to have a marvelous local public library close to our Middle School! The Howard County Public Library Savage Branch has been a fixture in our community for decades…but it needed a facelift, it needed expanding, it needed a HITech makeover. And it got it!

From the website: “The renovated and greatly expanded HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center further positions HCLS as a 21st century educational institution, delivering 21st century public education for all. A launching point for the STEM career pipeline, the contemporary branch centers on science and technology, tripling classroom space for the delivery of the enhanced HCLS STEM curriculum for children and teens.”

One of my best ressources and friends there at the Savage Branch is Teens’ Instructor and Specialist, Ms. Sarah Cooke!

She has such amazing programs for our teens – and now with this new renovation those teens have a super cool new hangout in the library! The Teen Hangout & Cafe! (Ok, I just named it that!)

Teens can meet here for the STEM Lab & HiTech classes!

Here’s Sarah Cooke showing off the cool USB bracelets that kiddos made recently!

Wonderful bright spaces to read, work, and contemplate. Like a slick airport – with books! Many different areas to plug in laptops or tablets – a multitude of desktop computers ready for you! Comfy furniture, abundant books & materials, friendly librarians,  and a slick futuristic design make this a significant contribution to the heart of our community!

The Savage Branch is managed by the marvelous:


Diane Li  (Photo credit: Howard County Public Library)

Branch Location
9525 Durness Lane
Laurel, MD 20723
(410) 313-0760

Branch Hours

Mon. – Thurs. 10 am – 9 pm
Fri. – Sat. 10 am – 6 pm
Sun. 1 pm – 5 pm

 

Here are the latest Winter offerings for our students at the Savage Branch!

HCLS Savage Branch Winter Classes!

BOOK REVIEW BLOG
Ages 11-17
Read any interesting books lately?  Or any terrible ones?  Join us in creating and maintaining a teen book review blog where you can share those you loved, those you hated, and why with other readers, as well as learn the basics of making your own blog.
Dec 1        Mon        6:30-7:30

HANDS ONLY CPR & AED
Ages 11-17, registration required for each class.
You could save a life! Learn about cardiac arrest, how to recognize it’s happening, and the three simple steps of Hands-only CPR for victims over 8 years old. Receive a basic overview of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Sat Jan 17   3-4pm

BE A BOOK ARTIST
Ages 11-17
Ever wondered why young adult books rarely have pictures? You can change that! Create illustrations for your favorite book, then share with group for friendly book/art discussion and possible library display.
Mondays; 6:30 – 8 pm        Dec 22, Jan 26, Feb 23

VALENTINE LOVE BUGS
Ages 11-17
Who knew insects could be so cute?  Using colorful crafting clay you can create adorable little “love bugs” to give as Valentine gifts to show how much you care…and how creative you are!
Feb 10        Tues     6:30-7:30

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD
Ages 11-17
Join the Teen Advisory Board at your branch to recommend books, music, and movies; develop and plan events for teens; and work with HCLS instructors on projects you create. Service learning hours available.
Thursdays; 4-5 pm   Dec 18, Jan 15, Feb 19

LET IT SNOW!
Ages 9-13; 1.5 hours; drop-in.
Celebrate the season with a cup of hot cocoa and snow inspired crafts. Drop in and learn how to make giant snowflakes, pompom snowmen and other crafts that will make you feel warm even when it’s cold outside.
Saturday Dec 13    3-4:30 pm

RECYCLED RACE CARS
Ages 9-13; 1 hour; registration required.
On your marks, get set, GO!  Let’s zoom into the the year 2015 by creating cool race cars out of recycled materials and rubber bands, and then exploring the laws of motion by racing them in the library.
Saturday Jan 10    3-4pm

DUCT TAPE VALENTINE ROSES
Ages 9-13; 1 hour; registration required.
Join us in our latest duct tape adventure — making roses out of colorful duct tape and pencils for that special someone to show how much you care…and how crafty you are!
Saturday Feb 7        3-4pm

FOURTH FRIDAY FAMILY FRIENDLY FLICKS
All ages, drop-in.
Enjoy a popular G or PG rated movie on the big screen with your family and friends.
3:30-5:30pm
Dec 26        Frozen
Jan 23        The Lego Movie
Feb 27        Despicable Me 2

Interested? For more information contact:

Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor

Howard County Library System — Savage Branch

410-313-0760 main/
410-313-0752 office

HiTech STEM Symposium

MHMS Digs STEM!

(To hear audio click the top left corner & unmute the Vine X)

Sign up for a FREE HiTech Symposium for students, parents, and educators

(This blog post generated from an invitation)

photos of students with quadrotor, music, weather balloon, computers

Join us for a dynamic HiTech Symposium, featuring STEM industry thought leaders and hands-on classes.

Panel discussions feature representatives from Mindgrub Technologies, Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Howard County Public School System, and LifeJourney. Topics include:
  • STEM: Past, Present, and Future
  • Gamification
  • STEM Resume Building and LifeJourney
Learn how your middle and high school students can participate in this STEM education initiative that teaches cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math via project-based classes that include computer programming, 3D animation, nanotechnology, music/video production, e-books, game apps, cybersecurity, green energy, and robotics.
Date:
Monday, November 3rd from 2 – 5 pm
Location:
Details and Registration:
Call 410.313.7750
Sponsors:
HiTech is funded in part through a federal grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and IMLS.
Sponsors include Friends of Howard County Library, Frank and Yolanda Bruno, and M&T Bank.
BONUS!
image of Cyborg Glitch game
 
Download the latest HiTech game!
Visit hclibrary.org/hitech to download Cyborg Glitch, the newest interactive mobile game created by HiTech students.

Available FREE for iPads, iPhones, and Android systems.

Photo Credit: HCL

Author Palooza Comes to HoCo!


Author Palooza Howard County’s

First Ever FREE Book Festival

is coming is to you on

October 18th from 2:00 – 4:00pm

at Oakland Mills High School! 

Tommy Greenwald (credit Darren Cox)This is a wonderful opportunity to support our  love of reading.

A portion of the afternoon will include a kid-driven Question and Answer Session with the authors!

Students are invited to submit questions. Their questions can be about one of the books the author has written or about how to get started as a writer. Ask your ELA teacher how to submit your questions!

All student questions received by  will be entered into a drawing for a Barnes and Noble $25.00 gift card. The student must be present at the event in order to ask the author his/her question.

Let’s Rock the House!

  • Free Admission
  • Author Panel: 2:00pm- 3:00pm
  • Reader’s Theater: 2:00-3:00pm
  • Book Sales 3:00-4:00pm
  • Book Signings 3:00-4:00pm
  • Meet Young Authors 3:00-4:00pm
  • Refreshments will be sold
  • Live Music!

Visit the AuthorPalozza website and  follow @AuthorPalooza on Twitter for more!

Brought to you by:

Howard County Public Schools logo

A Book and A Hug

Maryland Council of Teachers of English Language Arts

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!

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!

Speed_Dating_Heart_Head.jpg

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

Further Proof MHMS Students are Out of this World!

SSEP_KevinHe.jpg

Space Shuttle From SSEP the Discovery, STS-133, Roll Out to Launch Pad, November 21, 2010

Space Shuttle From SSEP the Discovery, STS-133, Roll Out to Launch Pad, November 21, 2010

Of eighteen middle schools in Howard County only three were chosen to take up the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) challenge. Only one student’s proposal from Howard County Public Schools (selected by a national review board) was chosen to have the experiment conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station.

Our 8th grader, Kevin He, was that student! Proving yet again, that MHMS kids are out of this world! Read the full announcement below from our Principal Mr. Joshua Wasilewski!  Stay tuned for more exciting details about this amazing accomplishment and pictures, too! Woo hoo!!

Click the here for additional details.