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®

 

 

History Day Help & More @The Savage Branch Library

MHMS & Howard County Schools are excited to share that our A+ Partnership with the Howard County Library is still going strong, bringing quality online resources and more to our kids every day.   Here’s what you have to do.

“HCPSS students have a 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.”

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

Maximize Your History Day Research (ages 11-17) RG

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM
Branch: Savage

*Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410-313-0760.

Do you need help with your History Day project? Meet with an HCLS Research Specialist for a one hour session and get assistance with either developing a History Day topic, finding appropriate primary and secondary resources, or reviewing your finished project.

Available at these branches. Call to schedule.
Glenwood 410.313.5577
Miller 410.313.1950
Savage 410.313.0760
East Columbia 410.313.7700
Elkridge 410.313.5077
Central 410.313.7800

More History Day Help from HCL!

Additional Research Tools for Students

Archives of Maryland Online
Chronicling America
Digital Public Library of America
EDSITEment! Student Resources
Howard County Historical Society
Maryland Historical Society
National Archives’ Online Research Tools

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!)