Books That Celebrate Diversity

A few of my MHMS colleagues are taking a Cultural Proficiency course. Having taken that course a couple years ago and as a passionate ally of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement, I was eager to help them with their final project!  We decided it would cool to create a curated list of books on a bookmark that celebrate diversity. Feel free to Take, Copy, Use, & Share – it’s all Creative Commons! We made sure that the books listed were all books we had in our Middle School Library Collection and were ones that were sourced from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks website. Use ours, or make your own! See below for downloads. 

You can download the Diversity-Bookmarks-PDF

OR you can make a copy of the GoogleDoc!

Coloring Pages for Women’s History Month

I just want to share a few coloring pages I curated online & made into PDF’s & JPEGS for our kiddos! I love adding new coloring pages to our Makerspace, especially during special months and with themes. There are a LOT of FREE coloring pages out there for a school Makerspace, you just know how to find them, adapt them, & follow the copyright licensing!

I uploaded the curated coloring sheets as Jpegs on Flickr embedded below and to download as Printable PDF’s on Slideshare.

 Enchantress of Numbers! 
Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine

(Download Flickr in ALL Sizes
 

ALL the Coloring!


Coloring Pages

Writing Quality Comments

For Kiddos, Teen Guests, & Everyone!

When writing quality comments on a blog, there’s a couple things to keep in mind:

1.  Give a greeting – Say Hello! How You Doin? Hi or Hey!

2.  Give a compliment about the post: eg, “I enjoyed reading your post.”

3.  Add factual information if you can e.g. if someone has written a post about the MHTV studio, you might add a comment like, “We really like to use The Week in Rap website (or BBC America, The Washington Post, Library of Congress, History Channel, Channel One, etc.) for our TV shows” Sharing what you care about if generous and starts a conversation.

4.  Make a connection e.g. if you are reading a post about a school library, special event, or technology tip, you might write, “We also have a TV studio in our school and we are weather nerds, too!”  PLEASE NOTE: Constructive criticism is OK, as long as it’s phrased politely. Comments that are hating or rude will not be published. If we have a typoe though,  (heh heh typoe! get it?) please let us know. We don’t want to look doofusy with spelling & grammar. Nope, that’s not cool!

5.  Ask a question e.g. “What is your favourite book or iPad app?”

6.  PROOFREAD!

7. Sign off using your First name only.

You can also add:  Your grade and your school

Have fun!

 

 

 

This page was totally stolen and adapted from the amazing Christchurch New Zealand classroom blog 8C Happenings

by Bridget Compton-Moen @BridgetLCM

Black History Month

For Black History Month my DEN class did some coloring featuring the Sports Legend Jesse Owen, we assembled a curated display of books, and we decorated the Media Center Doors. Check it out!

 

Did I happen to mention that among my many talents, decorating doors sadly guilty by absentia?! Yeah. But I keep trying!

Thanks to the Teacher Resource Center of Howard County Public schools I was able to make these posters! I know some schools (mostly ELEM) have these, but we don’t and it was super going over to Old Cedar Lane to create these for our kiddos!

 

Got Charge?

 

Spend $130 Bucks and Literally Give Kids the Power!

 

We’ve discovered that the mix of the digital divide, possible turbulent home lives, and general teenage forgetfulness can result in a loss of power. So, for vaious reasons it seems that some of my students who DO have devices (yes, there are still a lot who do NOT) show up to school with a low or no charge.  Yes, they sometimes admit that they fall asleep with their phone next to them and not plugged in. Shocker.

A device that they LOVE to use for social connections and fun in the hallways and during free time. Oh yeah, and sometimes in class for learning, too! Without that device they feel a serious gap in their daily lives.

We Fill That Gap!

We want the kids to feel like the Library Media Center – Learning Commons and Makerspace Station – is a safe place to land and the place to go when they need things. Like finishing and priting out homework, relaxing and making something at our Makerspace Station, practicing mindfulness with our Coloring Zen area, or borrowing a charger to power up their devices. This is our third try with this concept, the first two were failures – if you interested you can read about this journey going back four years on my professional blog. So far, this is going GREAT! 

Backstory: A few years ago, I was inspired by the charging lockers I saw during a visit to the Hillwood High School Library in Nashville with the ISTE Board of Directors and I wanted to support our BYOD pilot program and our kiddos by giving them a place to recharge their devices in school.

 
And of course that place was going to be our school Library Media Center — shameless how we will do just about ANYthing to get kiddos to visit our Library!
 
Because I think we’ve now hit on a really easy, relatively low cost, & popular way to give my kids the power they crave and need. 
 
 Approximate cost for 8 chargers & 10 cords = $130 bucks
Piece of mind not worrying that kiddos will have their devices stolen or locked out on your watch? 
Priceless!
Procedure:
Kids (and staff) can request a charging device, first come, first serve anytime before 2pm. I also bought 2 flat chargers for staff to borrow. Kids come first. Always. 
We keep the chargers tucked away on a shelf behind the Circulation Desk.
Kids must first show that their phone has less than 30% charge to get one. (We found at first some kids just wanted it for the cool factor – which was cool, but not cool for the kids who really NEEDED them!)  
We don’t lend them out for the charging of fancy headphones – these are for devices that could possibly be used in the classroom.
Kids can borrow the charger alone or with a multi-device cord. They must initial to agree to pay for the loss or damage of the device & cord (Yeah, we know this isn’t really enforceable) 
We ask that kids agree not to let the device out of their sight – if they’re asked to share it – we trust them to keep track of it.
We also ask that kids bring back the device at the end of the day. Do they always remember? Nope! That’s why we collect their last period class teacher (I, or my amazing Media assistant Kathi Bell, calls classrooms at the end of the day to get them back – or we track them down the first period of the next day.
Yeah, We’re Popular! 
Some days we’re cleaned out of chargers within the first 5 minutes of school. I’m making a sign for our front door that says “Yes, We Have Awesome Chargers to Borrow!”  or “Sorry, All Chargers Have Been Borrowed” with Bitmoji cartoons. 
This is a complimentary service. We also reserve the right to not lend out a charger on an early dismissal day, after 1:30pm,  or to a kiddo who has proven to be unreliable with the charger in the past. But that hasn’t happened yet. Frankly, I doubt it ever will.  Don’t tell my students, for all my fierceness [snaps Z formation] I’m kind of a soft touch. But I gotta keep that leverage because we want to keep these chargers nice for everyone. So far though, the kids have been super fantastic and very enthusiastic about this new FREE perk we’re providing to them! 

GOAL #1 MHMS provides  a safe and nurturing school environment that respects our diversity and commonality.

Why do we do this?

You never know what kinds of things kids are struggling with at home. What if a kid doesn’t have a computer at home and just a mobile device and needs to do homework? This is important! We can help fill the gaps that the world & circumstance gives to these kiddos.

My kids tell me you can get these chargers at Five Below. I haven’t tried them yet. If we lose a lot over the year, I might give them a whirl. The multi device cords are CHEAP! Meaning, inexpensive to pick up (via Amazon) but they can sometimes stop working and can break. So far, so good, though and this has been a LOT less of a headache than those fancy expensive charging lockers.  
 
This great idea was inspired by the amazing Teacher Librarian at Wilde Lake Middle School – Sarah Russo!
I should have started with that! [smacks forehead] but I wanted to give how we run this first.
 
Are you a Teacher Librarian, or educator and want to hear what problems we encountered with our previous attempts at charging stations and charging lockers?
If so,
So, if you’re a school – here’s my suggestion: Save 90% of your money and try the cheapo errr inexpensive portable chargers first.  
Because, NO ONE wants to be responsible for a kids only device but it’s AWESOME to be responsible to give POWER to a kid and their beloved device!
Your turn! 
What am I missing here? Any other suggestions? Successes? Do you like that we help out the kiddos? What other things could we add to our School Library to make it a more appealing place (Other than a Keurig -that would be boss!)  Please hit me up in the comments and share your thoughts! Thank you for reading!

Our ever evolving BYOD Policy.

Buying information. If you want to get one of these for yourself or for your kiddo, check Amazon! So far, they’ve been great & I did have 2 die on my (after being used by kids…a LOT) but the company is sending me 2 replacements! I couldn’t ask for better customer service than that!
 Again, if you’re in education and would like more information:
Check out my professional blog.  Thank you for reading! 

 

FREE eBooks for Winter Break Reading!

This is a really nice FREE offer from our friend Katie

at Capstone!

When I first heard this, I thought it was too good to be true! I thanked her vaguely on Twitter then I thought – could I possibly share it with everyone?  So, I called her to double check that I could share it with you, the world, and his wife – and she said YES!

Students (and your kids!) can choose FREE eBooks from a library of over 3,200 to download & read over the break****

From Mythology, Scary Stories, Fiction, to Graphic Novels – there’s more than enough interesting titles to choose. You can even access interactive books to read to your little siblings or to your pets! (They always deserve it!)

Middle school kiddos can filter by grade level.

Below there’s even a letter to for parents (in English & Spanish) or students AND Bonus: a printable bookmark with login & password.

*****(Download FAST offer ends Jan 15th)

Visit our Library Media Center to load up on books for the Winter Break! Take home as many as you want! (as long as you don’t have any overdue books, cause – you know – I ain’t THAT crazy!) We have many readers in our school (you know who you are!) who can read a book a day — ok, sometimes even more! We want to make sure you’ve got great stuff to enjoy!

Don’t forget to visit our lovely local Savage Branch Library, too!

Tis the Reading Season!  

 

Download Interactive Bookmarks

Capstone Interactive eBook Bookmarks- winter break-18ejij3

Letter for parents

CI Home Letter-1lbxo5j

Letter for parents in Spanish!

CI Home Letter Spanish-1dvr000

Why not Tweet a Thank you to Katie & Capstone for this generous gift to all our reading families!? That would be Awesome! Please say you heard it from @GwynethJones the Daring Librarian! Maybe if we show our gratitude enough, we’ll get even more FREE trials! W00t! Who doesn’t like FREE?

Viking it and Liking It!

Ms. Taylor created this really fun and informative presentation about Viking Mythology. All 7th grade Social Studies classes came into the Library Media Center to enjoy this history rich Prezi-tation.

Here is Ms. Taylor’s Prezi with all kinds of great background information!

For this event, I pitched in and created a Viking Rune Alphabet Bookmark, as an extension and a take-away for the kiddos.  You can download the PDF here!    Viking Rune Bookmark.PDF   It’s Creative Commons, Non Commercial, Share Alike!

What a cool in-house event by one of our most creative and inspiring young teachers! Thanks Ms. Taylor! 

PS. Like the look? Ms. Taylor is wearing a hand-sewn Viking Apron dress, glass beads, and a Celtic Belt  & Dragon woven bracelet from Crafty Celts – as seen on the History Channel’s hit TV Show the Vikings! Want to play Viking? Then you might want to join the SCA! I was in the SCA for years and years and had to find a good home for all my feast gear, Amber, Crafty Celt jewelry, and a six foot hand-forged copper spear. Ms. Taylor was the perfect person to “pay it forward” and gift it to!

When I joined SCA, several kind people, friends from my Barony,  gifted jewelry to me, helped me sew my first garb, and basically showed me the ropes! (That’s the SCA for you!) Ms. Taylor doesn’t need any tutoring to be a killer Viking, but what Viking could turn down free plunder & spoils? Oh and we decided to not bring the 6 foot spear out for the middle schoolers! Because. Lawsuit! LOL Kidding!

Cheers! ~Gwyneth Jones – The Daring Librarian

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!)

The Art of the #Shelfie


“Can I Take a Shelfie of You?

Is something I ask quite a bit at the MHMS Daring School Library. The easiest way to share on Instagram is taking the humble shelfie. Like a selfie, but with a book? Asking teens and patrons to hold up the book they just checked out or are returning are called shelfies.

OK….it’s kinda a stretch…but as I mentioned in an article I wrote last year for the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association a branch of the ALA) blog last year, it’s just one positive quick, fun, and easy way to promote reading, literacy, books, and community using social media. Kids like to see what other kids are reading.

6th grader Olivia w/ an awesome #Bookface

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Six grader John with a classic big smile #Shelfie #Bone #graphicnovels

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Missy M. Showing off her Mary Jane shipping novel #shelfie #GreatReader

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I #mustache you to enjoy these #shelfie pics! @hcpss_mhms #CelebrateHCPSS

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I always ask if they want to take a shelfie, and I never give any guilt trips if they’re too shy or would prefer not to. But most of my teens love to show off their latest book, and even tag themselves in the picture! Holding up a mustache bookmark is just a bonus. I mustache you to believe me in this!

Mr Raj #Shelfie & his @MikeLupica book! #TravelTeam 💕our readers!

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Cammy & Precious giving me a great #SHelfie

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#CaughtReading

Beanbag reading at the @hcpss_mhms Daring school library media center!

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8th grdr Dom finishing his latest sports fiction book! #caughtreading

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