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!
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!
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!
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!
We are so lucky to have a marvelous local public library close to our Middle School! The Howard County Public Library Savage Branchhas 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)
9525 Durness Lane
Laurel, MD 20723
Mon. – Thurs.
10 am – 9 pm
Fri. – Sat.
10 am – 6 pm
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
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
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
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
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.
Dec 26 Frozen
Jan 23 The Lego Movie
Feb 27 Despicable Me 2
Interested? For more information contact:
Howard County Library System — Savage Branch
410-313-0760 main/410-313-0752 office
(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)
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
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.
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.
(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
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?
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
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
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!!
Have you noticed our local HCL Library branch is closed? Don’t panic! We have an express solution!
From the HCL website:
The Savage Branch is closed through September 2014 for a long awaited renovation. A temporary Savage Branch Express is open in the shopping center located at the intersection of Route 1 and Gorman Road right in front of the Weiss grocery store. The express branch offers a small selection of popular titles, selected HiTech classes, and a limited schedule of children’s classes.
Customers may also pick up reserves and return items at this location.
What does this mean?
You can call ahead, request book titles, and they will order them for you and have them waiting for you to be picked up (like a carry out pizza!) for no extra charge!
Just use the HCL Catalog Search for your desired items, make a list, and call up to request to have them sent to the Savage Express!
HCLS Savage Branch Express (a temporary location during renovation)
8851 Gorman Road, Ste. 102
Laurel, MD 20723
Monday – Thursday 10am -9pm
Friday – Saturday 10am -6pm
There are also computers there available for student & parent use! And printers, too!
When it re-opens in July 2014 (projected date), the renovated Savage Branch will include an open floor plan, enhanced lighting, additional exterior windows, and two outdoor classrooms – for an additional 9,000 sq. ft., a 50 percent overall increase. Details.
HiTech Offerings –FREE Fun & Learning for our students!
For more information contact:
Howard County Library System
Savage Branch/East Columbia Branch