Keep Calm & Read On!

Hello, kids, parents, our community!

I’m not gonna lie, it’s kinda weird out there right now but I truly believe we’re going to be OK. Things will get back to normal. They always do. #History. I don’t know when, but they will. Practicing positivity is important and good for you! That, and washing your hands! In the meantime, HCPSS and our education partners have some cool and FREE resources for you!

Don’t forget we’re all in this together — even if we’re physically apart right now. I will try and update this post as I stay at home and help my community and to take care of my family. Starting with scrubbing all floors and not letting anyone inside with shoes on. It’s a slipper & sock zone only! I so heart fuzzy socks!

FREE Grab-N-Go Meals in the parking lot of Laurel Woods Elementary and 8 other locations throughout the county.

HCPSS Continuity of Learning

From a recent email to all HCPSS educators from our amazing Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano:

“I’ve had the opportunity to check in at a few of our meal distribution sites, where I have been proud to observe our Food Services staff members hard at work ensuring children continue to have access to nutritious meals while schools are closed. Today on our second day of distribution, 5,304 meals were served at our nine sites. I am grateful that HCPSS is able to provide this service and I’m even more pleased that we have been able to expand our typical meal offerings to include three meals each day. I encourage all families to take advantage of this service.” ….also from Dr. M 

“On Friday, all students went home with a document that detailed ideas for engaging students in learning activities while schools are closed. These resources are posted online and have been translated into multiple languages. While the activity ideas do not represent the same level of instruction that occurs in our schools, they are intended to help keep our students stay intellectually active while they are at home during this closure.” 

I have to confess, I’m an unabashed fangirl for our Sup! And it’s not to curry favor or kiss butt, I’m retiring in 3 or 4 years! He’s just all that, has his heart in the right place, and he brought back our School Library Media Assistants after they were cut by she who will not be named!

Oh and I gotta warn you, if you’re new to this blog or my Daring Librarian professional blog — I write in a conversational style and I use a lot of exclamation marks. Kinda like Elaine Bennis. Just. Like. That!

Got Books? 

The last day before we left for this unexpected early spring break, I checked out a LOT OF BOOKS! There were no limits on how many books our readers could check out. From one book to 10, I encouraged our students to take as many home as they could hold! I even offered string bags to carry them in. Did I check out enough books? NEVER! lol

But if you didn’t get a chance to come by the Library Media Center and get some books, it’s OK….you have other resources!  Keep reading!

 

ALL HCPSS kids can access great stuff using their school login.
Every HCPSS kid can log into hcpss.me – from there you can get to all kinds of great resources! FREE eBooks from MackinVia and more! The kid has to remember his/her Active Directory or school login & password. Outside our school server they may need to add @inst.hcpss.org to their regular login – see below.

example regular login: dvader9644
home login: dvader9644@inst.hcpss.org

 From Dr. Martirano’s HCPSS Update:

Advanced Placement (AP) Online Review
Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, the College Board will provide free, online, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These courses are optional, mobile-friendly and available on-demand, so they can be accessed at any time. The focus is on reviewing skills and concepts from the first 75% of the AP course, with some supplementary lessons covering the final 25% of the course. Access course schedules on the AP Students website.

Digital Resources for Elementary Students
Elementary Students can log on through hcpss.me to use:

  • Wixie: an online publishing and creativity platform that lets students share what they know through their writing, their voice, and their art.
  • Type to Learn: an online, research-based keyboard curriculum that includes pre-tests, lessons, assessments, and typing games and activities tailored to grades 3-5.

Naviance Resources for Middle and High School Students
Naviance is a comprehensive college, career and life readiness program that allows students to explore career interests, begin their post-secondary exploration and discover careers matched to their interests. Find more details online. Students can log in through hcpss.me, then click Naviance.


DISCLAIMER: I am sharing these resources in good faith that at the time I curated this list the offers, logins, and sites were active. However,  at any time, the companies listed could change their permissions. Access problems? Please contact the companies directly. I’m sorry I can’t troubleshoot for you. Mostly because I’m lazy. For the record: I have not NOT been sponsored or compensated (not even a cool T-shirt or swag!) for any inclusion on this list.


Don’t have eBooks, a Kindle device, or other Digital Reader

Hello YouTube!

You can listen to loads of books read aloud on YouTube! Search for audiobooks & your favorite author, title, or subject. Here’s a great example from one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman.

The 6 Best Audio Books You Can Listen to For Free on YouTube 

Here’s my Curated YouTube Playlist of 30+ FULL Audiobooks (I will be adding to this, would love suggestions!) of FREE Audiobooks – You know Harry Potter had to be #1!

ALL HCPSS Kids can get to these FREE digital eBooks & audiobooks from MackinVia.

Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home

by our friends at Common Sense Media – Including LIVE Virtual Storytimes!  Provide some structure and schedule to your family’s day (updated regularly).

SMUSD Library at Home from my Californian friends 
From Katie Boone: Here’s a free access and resource from our partners Capstone and PeppbleGo  “You have been set up with free remote access to PebbleGo and Capstone Interactive eBooks. This access is valid through June 30, 2020 (The majority of you already subscribed to PebbleGo can of course continue to use your school’s login credentials). We hope these resources are helpful to your school and your students during this sensitive time.” 

Student Access Instructions

  • PebbleGo:
    • Visit www.pebblego.com and click “Sign In”
    • Username: engaged
    • Password: learning

Additionally, the following resources may be helpful for community communication and usage:

Super Resources from Scholastic! 

Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.

“Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin! -The Editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines.”

From PBS Learning Works:PreK-12 Resources for Emergency Closings

“As teachers, students, and families deal with school closures, PBS LearningMedia producers and educators have come together to curate a special collection of resources organized by grade and subject area. Find videos, lesson plans, and activities that support learning at home. Create a free account to save and organize content.”

From our partners in learning Follett School Solutions (PreK-12)

“Follett has created a resource page outlining the array of eLearning solutions, including Collections by Destiny, Follett Destiny Discover, WebPath Express, and more. Video tutorials, forums and instructions for accessing these solutions also are available.

To help schools with eLearning during the closures, Follett announced March 11 it is waiving the cost for current Destiny customers through June 30 for its Classroom Ready Collections (CRC), which are standards-aligned, educator-curated Open Educational Resources (OER) that include lesson plans, activities, videos and worksheets. More than 2,300 free CRC licenses have been activated in less than a week.”

UPDATE:

“To help make eLearning easier, we are providing free access to eBooks from Lightbox™ and AV2 World Languages through June 30, 2020. You can register for access here.

Lightbox™ offers over 1000 PreK-12 titles in science, social studies, language arts, math and more. AV2 World Languages features high-interest titles in 10 different languages with full audio support.

Parents and students will find these resources interactive, easy to use and a great way for students to independently explore a new topic. We hope that you, your students and their families find this helpful during this challenging time.

Visit Follett Community for more details on this offer and other free eLearning resources available through Follett Destiny Discover®

 

 

PTA Book Fair in Media

“Did you know? Reading just 20 minutes a day exposes your child to about 1.8 million words per year. Reading helps students develop a stronger vocabulary, and in addition, students who read for pleasure average higher grades in English, mathematics, science, and history!” Scholastic Promo Material

Of course checking out books from our Library supports this in every way! But having a personal Library at home is also a wonderful thing! It brings to mind, snow days, holidays, & curling up with a good book! (See my personal reminiscence below)

 

Mark your calendar to join us for a celebration of reading and raising funds to help our school!  The PTA Book Fair hours are as follows:

  • Friday, 11/16: 11:00 am – 1:30 pm (lunch)
  • Monday & Tuesday, 11/19-11/20:   9:30am-11:30am (lunch) and 1pm-8pm (conferences)

Check out our Book Fair Videos!

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Mr. C & his daughter Miss S.

 

 

All Book Fair parent volunteers will receive a free Murray Hill Middle School long sleeve t-shirt!  Many volunteer time slots are open during conference times.  Please consider signing up below for slots before, between, and/or after your parent teacher conferences.   

Follow this link to sign up!

Volunteer Sign-Up Genius

Buy Online & Help Murray Hill!

View & Download the MHMS PTA Bookfair PDF Flier!

Bookfair Highlights Video


 “I’ve been inspired by the amazing Jennifer LaGarde who has written such brilliant post about the important people and pivotal moments in your past that made you a lifelong reader.  Jennifer’s post is evocative, thought-provoking, and inspiring! It was so good I wrote a flippin novel of a comment that will make up much of this posting!

Her well written words caused me to smile and fondly recall those individuals, pivot points, and circumstances that made me into a reader. And it wasn’t a book report, diorama, or a standardized text passage that did it. Shocker.

During the blizzard of 1979 we were stuck home for a week and I ran out of books. (Gasp!) The picture above shows me curled up sitting on the heating vent in the living room (note the ORANGE shag carpet!) with Grandma’s afghan reading The Laird of Tariff Hall, a well-worn and taped-together Gothic paperback.

After that, I guess I was whining about nothing to read so my Mom gave me her Gone With the Wind paperback – that shut me up! I don’t know if it was totally appropriate for a 14 year old to read that – but it kept me quiet for many many days!

I also had a collection of Nancy Drew books, boy I loved those! Being a daughter of an English Teacher and Reading Specialist meant that at a very early age, I had books around the house and my own little library in my room. The Scholastic Book Fair coming to our school an help some of our kids build their own personal libraries!

Read the rest:

Reading: A Passionate Love Affair

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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Dr. King: A True Servant Leader

I was touched by this timeless Huffington Post article from Mr. James Perry, once mayoral candidate and the the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center:

“Among the most important lessons I’ve learned from Dr. King is the example of servant leadership. A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community.

It is easy to spot servant leaders. In a room where others are jockeying for attention, they are the ones listening to someone others might consider unimportant. When faced with a problem, they look for solutions that benefit everyone. When something goes wrong, they take the blame. When things go well, they share the credit. They tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. They know that they don’t have all the answers, so they seek advice from others. They work hard and inspire others to do the same.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation.

Our communities and our country need servant leadership more than ever. Deepening economic woes threaten the American dream for far too many working
people. Racial divisions are embarrassingly persistent in too many aspects of our economic and social lives. Political despair is battering the uniquely American optimism that has made us a great nation.

There are precious few servant leaders in our current political environment. Many elected officials are more interested in personal power, individual legacy, and financial gain than in the sacrifice and commitment that servant leadership requires.”

@JamesHPerry

Powerful words.

As educators, we have the honor to teach the next generation of servant leaders. It is our job, duty, and privilege to instill in them the passion to effect change and the empathy to think outside themselves. To inspire them to think not of the “me” but of  the”we.”

I passionately believe that we also must be a model for these values and these practices for our students. So that the kids can see that we, as teachers, administrators, and all staff,  follow these values and give of ourselves for the betterment of others and the world. 

To take responsibility for our own actions and mistakes.  We’re human. We stumble, we fail, we make mistakes and we fall on our face. Show the kids that we pick ourselves up, acknowledge our fails, apologize, and move on. How can we ask them to be accountable and take responsibility if we don’t do that, too? I knew a teacher once (now, thankfully retired) who said he would NEVER apologize to a kid or a class even if he was wrong because he would lose “power.” I heartily disagree! I think we are seen as more powerful when we say, “Wow, I was wrong about that, I’m so sorry!” Or try the classic “You were right and was wrong”  [you can also add a pretend heart attack] to a kid or a class. But do we always remember or take that high road. Nope.

It’s OK To Make Mistakes! I do it all the time!

Case in point. This morning, I was a blockhead and messed up part of our daily #MHTVNews program by forgetting to queue up and show an inspiring video (embedded above) that our Principal Mr. Wilson shared with us last Sunday for today’s Friday show. After the show, when he asked me about why it wasn’t shown, I drew a blank for a few seconds then I totally threw Mr. Dunbar under the bus (’cause it was his show today & he forgot, too!) I was mortified! Is it just old age? GAH! How did I, or we, forget that!? (See? how humans try to make excuses and push the blame around?)

But Mr. Wilson, was SO kind and understanding, and said we could show it on Tuesday. Whew! Sorry Mr. Wilson! Sorry Mr. Dunbar! It’s on me! It was my fault! See? Even when we know it’s the right thing to do, or forget, taking responsibility for a gaffe is difficult. Especially with a boss (or a parent!) It’s a lifelong struggle to be a good person and do the right thing! But it’s SO worth it! Let’s share that with our kiddos and admit our occasional (or, in my case, daily) foibles and move on, lesson learned. Again.

 

Model Charity and Good Works

Our students should also see us as being charitable with our community, helping others, giving of time, effort, or funds to support those that need it. Not in a flashy or “look at me” kind of way, but just to help get things done because it’s the right and good thing to do.

Over the years I’ve seen our students rally to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Haiti relief, and yearly for crisis intervention in our community by supporting Grassroots of Howard County. I am SO proud of our kiddos, we’ve done well…but we can always do better!

This is why I posted the words from page 333 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret on our library wall:
“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”
~ Albus Dumbledore

Let’s be inspired by the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr not just on his birthday – but every day – throughout the year!


More inspiring words on responsibility:

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.” ~ Albert Einstein

“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.” ~ Sophocles

“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” ~ Denis Waitley

from 7 Timeless Thoughts on Taking Responsibility for Your Life

 

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Welcome Back to School!

Welcome Back Kiddos, Parents, & Families!

Happy 20th Anniversary Murray Hill!

That means, the 8th grade kiddos I taught when we opened Murray Hill back in 1997 would now be in their 30’s! Whaaaat? That’s Crazy! But seriously, I am SO honored to have been a part of this community since the beginning. I never thought I was one of those teachers who would stay in the same school for like, forever!

But here I am, still happy, loving our quirky middle school kiddos and the vibrant and rich diversity of our neighborhood! I also like that I live near our community and only have to drive 7 minutes to get here!

This year is going to be both fantastic and challenging! Ms. Bell, our amazing Media Assistant, is still not with us full time. But, we’re grateful for any time we’re given to support our awesome Library and Literacy program here at MHMS. A big thanks to our wonderful new Principal Mr. Wilson for valuing our program and letting Ms. Bell work with our kiddos in the mornings whenever she can in between her other duties as a paraeducator.

We’re both a “cup half full” kinda people! And our mantra for this  and every year is borrowed from the esteemed fashion educator & Project Runway mentor, Tim Gunn – WE like to  “Make it work!

Please follow us on Instagram and on Vine!

I will try and share all the amazing things that happen every day here at MHMS.

Like the fun we have during recess in the Library Media Center! Here are some of my wacky 8th graders from last year who are now Freshmen in High School!

We also LOVE Instagram Shelfies!

Shrutina & her #Shelfie for #springbreak reading! @hcpss_mhms kids LOVE to read #CelebrateHCPSS

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Dom & his #Shelfie a Mike Lupica book! @hcpss_mhms #tlchat #celebratehcpss w/ mustache bookmark!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

 

Creations and highlights from our Makerspace Area!

Josiah & his. Awesome #Lego creation at the @hcpss_mhms

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

and our Coloring Corner!

Nyah G in 8th grade showing off her #ColorMyFro artistry! @hcpss_mhms #STEAM #MAKERED #makerspace #art

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Updated Coloring Corner Guidelines- let’s see if my six graders notice! LOL #MAKERED #makerspace

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Speaking of making and working I’m excited to set up again our ever evolving Makerspace Station at MHMS in our Daring School Library Media Center for the third year! We’re going to be adding more stations, robotics, technology and opportunities to create, make, craft, design, code, and construct in our school!

One of the BEST Things Ever? When former students come back to visit!

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Awesome high school peeps come back to visit make every librarian and very happy!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Former @hcpss_mhms student Carlos comes back to visit he’s off to NYU next year! w00t!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Especially when they’re teachers now, themselves!

Happiness is: Having a former student come back as a graduate & a sub in your school! ❤️ @shawada22

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

But wait! There’s More!

The following are student, parent, and community resources I want to bring to your attention.

hcpss-connect-banner16This page will also feature our new HCPSS Parent Portal – HCPSS Connect

Research_Databases3.jpg

Don’t forget our Research Databases Wikpage helps with homework & school projects!

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#X Before You Drive

HashtagX#ItCanWait

From our MHTV correspondent  8th grader the awesome Stephanie J.

“AWESOMENESS TV and many of your favorite celebrities, including James Maslow, Demi Lovato and R5, have joined the movement to stop texting and driving and you should, too! Check out this video featuring some of your favorite YouTubers.

Weekly Chris looked pretty good in that video, am I right ladies? (Steph’s words, not mine!)  So how can you join the movement? Go to itcanwait.com and take the pledge. Spread the word and make this known!  #itcanwait

Thanks Steph!

Visit the site to take the pledge, get more information, and MAKE Your Own MEME! Click below to see ours!

Parents & Grownups: So what’s all this AwesomenessTV about? Check it out

 

 

Top 10 Things to Think About Before You Post

We have some great education partners and friends at the website Flocabulary and we love what they’ve been creating lately with super engaging rap songs & videos tied in with the CCSS! (Common Core State Standards) We’ve been using their Week in Rap news feature in our school since they landed on the hip hop education or #HipHopEd scene in 2008! Murray Hill even earned a video shout out last year! W00t! (We were SO proud!)

So, when I heard that they were teaming up with the awesome Common Sense Media people, to put out a music video about Digital Citizenship, – I was SO there!

Common Sense Media has added some handy extras!  You can view the Video Discussion Guide and Download the Lyrics PosterTop 10 List Poster, and Fill in Your Own Top 10 Poster.

I’ve been on Twitter now (professionally – not personally)  for 6 years, and I have an AMAZING & generous personal learning network of followers – so being careful, upbeat, positive and mindful of what I Tweet is important to me, too! I don’t use Facebook – we just never got along. We have been loving us some Vine Video in our school, since we experimented and createdvideo book trailers last year (see our previous post) – so it’s not about what kind of social media you use but HOW you use it! I think you’ll like the video – let me know in the comments!



We all want our kiddos to make good choices online! We’ve already shared this video on our daily MHTV Live! News show – we just wanted to share it with you!

Cheers!

~Gwyneth Jones – Your Daring Librarian!

UPDATE:

And for Teachers & Librarians…here’s this thought!

And a blog post for you on this topic.

Flocabulary: Hip-Hop Learning That is Out of this World!

6 Ways to Avoid Those Social Media Landmines

Callin’ All Ballerz!

Join us! GCES Staff vs. MHMS Staff – for an Epic Basketball Game!

On Friday, April 4th at 7pm we will be having a staff vs. staff basketball game against our neighbors Gorman Crossing.

Tickets must be purchased in advance – no ticket sales at the door!

For more information contact our coach: Ms. Sara Tagliaferri  or Sara_Tagliaferri@hcpss.org

Doors open at 6:30

UPDATE:
Packed House!

Team Photo:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A True Servant Leader

As an educator I was touched by this timeless Huffington Post article from Mr. James Perry, once mayoral candidate and the the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center:

“Among the most important lessons I’ve learned from Dr. King is the example of servant leadership. A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community.

It is easy to spot servant leaders. In a room where others are jockeying for attention, they are the ones listening to someone others might consider unimportant. When faced with a problem, they look for solutions that benefit everyone. When something goes wrong, they take the blame. When things go well, they share the credit. They tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. They know that they don’t have all the answers, so they seek advice from others. They work hard and inspire others to do the same.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation.

Our communities and our country need servant leadership more than ever. Deepening economic woes threaten the American dream for far too many working
people. Racial divisions are embarrassingly persistent in too many aspects of our economic and social lives. Political despair is battering the uniquely American optimism that has made us a great nation.

There are precious few servant leaders in our current political environment. Many elected officials are more interested in personal power, individual legacy, and financial gain than in the sacrifice and commitment that servant leadership requires.”

@JamesHPerry 

Powerful words.

As educators, we have the honor to teach the next generation of servant leaders. It is our job, duty, and privilege to instill in them the passion to effect change and the empathy to think outside themselves.  To inspire them to think not of “me” but of “we.”  We also must model these values and these practices for our students.

All educators, indeed, all school staff, must work together to model and teach teens that taking responsibility for our lives gives us total power in creating the kind of life we want for ourselves. Taking personal responsibility and thinking of the community. Over the years I’ve seen our students rally to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Haiti relief,  and yearly for the underprivileged in our community. I am proud of our kiddos, we’ve done well…but we can always do better!

Which brings me back full circle as to why I posted the words from page 333 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret on our library wall this year:

“It is our choice…that show what we truly are, far more than our
abilities” ~ Albus Dumbledore

More inspiring words on responsibility:

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.”

Albert Einstein

“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.”

Sophocles

“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.”

Denis Waitley

from 7 Timeless Thoughts on Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Let’s be inspired by the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr not just on his birthday – but every day – throughout the year!

 

(Originally posted on the MHMS Media Blog: Martin Luther King, Jr: A True Servant Leader  Jan 18, 2010)