Research Made Easy: Our A+ Partnership ROCKS!

Years ago, when I was on the ISTE Board of Directors,* I was honored to tour a few of the Nashville Metro schools & observe their amazing partnership with the Limitless Library system. It was the coolest! With one login kids could access all the public library databases, get one on one help,  AND request books online – and the library system trucks delivered those book right to their school! WOW!

And now, something similar has come to Howard County! W00t! (Not the delivering books part, a girl can dream, right?)

But FREE Access to millions of items, live homework & History Day help, and amazing database, primary source, and research resources!

“HCPSS students now have a new way to access Howard County Library eContent in the classroom, at home, or anywhere they need to do homework or research. The Howard County Library System (HCLS) and the Howard County Public School System have launched the A+ Student Card to deliver the library system’s extensive catalog of electronic resources directly to students.

All HCPSS students (Pre-K–12) will receive their new A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year. Students gain immediate access to all HCLS eContent by using the A+ Student Card account number to login via the HCPSS.me portal.

The new A+ Student Card account also provides students with full customer privileges at all HCLS branches. While previously issued HCLS cards may still be used at library branches, the A+ Student Card account enables students to use just one number for all their homework and research needs.” HCPSSHoward County Library System Launch A+ Student Card

But sorry, Parents & Teachers, this service is just for the kiddos

When you log into Clever, you have access to more Epic resources including Newslea For FREE, Wikipedia, Common Sense Education, and MackinVia

With MacinVia, our kiddos can access “3 Million Print Titles- 1 Million Digital Titles- and now features a growing catalog of nearly 3 million print titles from 18,000+ publishers and a burgeoning digital collection of more than 1 million eBooks, educational databases, audiobooks and videos.”

Check out these slideshows for more details!

Thanks Howard County Public School Library Media and Howard County Library! These great resources will be transformative!

MHMS Bitmoji Show

HCPSS Trooper Show

More info!

A+: Students & Teachers – Howard County Library System

A+ Partners in Education – Howard County Library System

*(shameless humble brag!)

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!

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!