Go Ahead, Scam Me Kids!

WARNING: Rant Below.

So, my last post was about an easy interactive reading promotion idea using Post-It Notes I got from my fabulous friend (and one time mentee) Tiffany Whitehead. Didn’t read it yet? Just landed here? That’s OK, I invite you to go back and read it before going much further… it’s OK, I’ll wait.  And for full transparency, I thought that it only fair that my kiddos, my students, know how I feel about this — so I’m posting this here as well as on my professional blog.
(watches Ancient Aliens loves that memetastic Giorgio A. Tsoukalos but can’t stand the annoying voice of that David Childress)

This post was inspired by an anonymous blog comment on my professional blog. I’ll post it below. Oh wait! Eep…sorry

You also probably should skim this Reading Promotion post on my professional blog, too! It’s cool, I’ll go check Twitter while you do and Tweet back to my favorite band of all time XTC & Andy Partridge.

‘Cause that’s where the anonymous or unknown comment was left. My below rant will make more sense if you get the context. OH! I know, I’ll screenshot it. Wait here for a sec. BRB.

Here’s my reply… I think I went a little overboard. That happens.

Hello Unknown~ You know, it shows how much I’m so excited for a REAL comment (rather than the usual SPAM for classes in Mumbai, Mozambique, or Mobile that I get from spammers and bots) that I’ll answer even an anonymous comment! Because, you know, how do I know it’s “real” because if they cared that much for the answer, why can’t they even leave a name, right?  Some great comments or questions I’ve even emailed to answer in more detail or called on the phone. Ok……enough of that. Sorry if that sounded snarky.

How do I know the kid actually read the book?….Here’s how I know. They returned the book!  If a kid really wanted SCAM me to get whatever kind of faux brass key, stuffed animal, sticker or prize…then have at it.

And when I did the Passport thing with the stamps, there really wasn’t really a prize, just the the satisfaction of having every square stamped. I can’t even remember if I gave it back to the kiddo or displayed it up on the board. But knowing how bad I am about changing my one bulletin board in the library, I’m pretty sure I just gave it to the kid with a big high five and a whooping “Great job sweetie, well done!”

Because, what’s really the reason we’re doing this? To get the kid in the door. OR to get the kid to read more. OR to encourage the kid to read a different or varied type or genre of book. Basically, just to get the kid to read.

At least they’re visiting the library. Because, really…isn’t that what we want? Occasionally, I’ll flip open the book an pick out a character’s name or event in the book and ask a random question, but really — I don’t care. (OK, I’m kind of fibbing here, I think I’ve done that like once or twice in my 20+ years)

But yeah, go ahead and SCAM me kids!  Come and get my prizes, just come to the library & check out a book. It’s all good. For every prize I’m scammed out of, I’m sure there are dozens of kiddos avidly reading the books. Because that was me. I was that kid. I was the kid that came to get a book every morning and every afternoon. I was the kid that had the reading during class and hiding the book inside the desk trick down pat. I was RARELY caught. Ok, I was caught a couple times but I always did it. (Kids, don’t do this in class! lol)

Then, I transferred to Phillis E. Williams Elementary School, a 1970’s OPEN CLASSROOM style school and for a kid like me, I thrived. I hurried up, hustled to every classroom in the pod and did all my work as fast and as well as I could, so I could get that free time to curl up in the School Library or classroom corner and just READ.

This is when I switched to public schools and got identified as a TAG  or GT kid, one of the BEST things was that I didn’t have to do as much boring stoopid stuff that I already knew how to do, by rote,  and was able to “test out” and then craft my own learning plan. That’s why I’m such a big fan of PBL and UDL as a Teacher Librarian. OK, enough about me – sounds kind of braggy. GAH. Sorry.

WOW…this turned out to be sort of a long rant. I hope it comes across ok, because I guess I’m sort of passionate about this topic.

When it comes to reading promotion, I want to do fun things to encourage kids to read that doesn’t cost a lot of money, doesn’t take a lot of time to manage or organize. (Yeah, I’m kind of lazy that way) I like a reading promotion that has that special something — that fun kind spark of engagement that will encourage the kiddos to give it a whirl.

What do you do to promote reading? What features do you find that makes a great and easy to do reading promotion?  And what’s your name, hon? 😉  Either way, hope that helped!

Cheers!
~Gwyneth

About this picture. And I don’t usually share personal info …this is awkward for me. Stop reading if you want.

A long long time ago in a far away place, OK…it was the late 70’s in the DC Metro area….You can tell it was the 70’s from the orange shag rug carpeting and my shag haircut. Anyway, that year there was a big blizzard that kept us out of school for days and days. I finished reading ALL my Library Books and it was COLD! So, I planted myself on top of the heating grate in our Living Room …..and read my falling apart Gothic Novel called The Laird of Tariff Hall. Mom, I guess, thought it was funny so she took this picture. Notice the Redskins Tube Socks I stole from my brother! Hee hee. Please take note of the crochet afghan that my Gramma made me. I still have the book. Wish I had the afghan.

 

The director knew me because I was a kid extra in one of the plays he
directed at my Bowie High School where my Mom was an English Teacher. Why pay for after school childcare
when you have a hammy but biddable kid who is more than happy to be an extra in
every school play? By the time I got to high school I had been in like
10 plays already. Says a lot about my early Gleek years.

Unthinkable Scragg comes to mind. I may not have even had a name, just a grubby little extra. It was a blast.

Anyway, Kyle lives in Annapolis now. Yeah, I just stalked him real quick on Google. Probably a good thing I’m not on Facebook.

The next year I went to High School and discovered the band XTC and today, on Twitter, as I was writing this blog post, my musical hero of 39 years MADE MY DAY. See?

——->OMGosh, SQUEE! It’s like the BEST THING EVER!!!!!

OK, enough rambling and reminiscing on and on. Don’t know why I felt like sharing that. I think I’m pretty good about not nattering on about myself in my blog posts. Or at least I hope so! Or at least not during the main content area. Eep!  How tiresome! Night friends!

Please leve a Comment if you like and include your name if you’d like me to connect with you!

Please do not SPAM or try to SCAM me. That wouldn’t be cool.

Readers Recommend

Come on in and recommend! OR….

It’s kinda like a low-tech YELP review for books!

Hey MHMS Kids, Check this Out!

This is a cool reading promotion that’s all about you!  Come on into the Library Media Center and find a book you’ve read and liked. Even better, find a book you LOVED! Like you could even maybe read it again kind of love. Go to the display pictured….

How To:  Grab a sticky note and write on the clipboard your book recommendation. You can sign your first name & your grade or just something like “an 8th grader”….I just want to make sure that the other kids reading YOUR note know that it was written by a fellow teen. Leave that book on the shelf, if there’s not enough room, just prop it up or find me or Ms. Bell to help you and feel the warm happy feeling you helped another kid read find a great book! 

Don’t know what to write? Here are some suggestions:

I loved this book because…

This is a great read if you liked _______________(list a similar book)

This book was really:  Funny, Scary, Romantic, Adventurous, Mysterious, Thrilling, Intense….basically insert any adjective that fits here!

 

Peel off the post it and stick it on the cover and as my Dad would say….
Viola!

 

Thank you for your recommendation!

~Ms. Jones – Your Daring Librarian

Hey Teachers & fellow Librarians, Here’s the  Easy How To:

Hi there!  If you landed here & are a Teacher, or Librarian, or a Teacher Librarian or Media Specialist or a grown up — let me invite you to scoot over to my professional blog for the low down deets on this Reading promotion!

This is reading promotion idea that’s inexpensive, low-tech, includes student voice, and I totally nabbed it from the amazing Librarian Tiff five years ago and I still love it! It’s kind of what you can call an oldie but a goodie. This can work at any time in a School Library or ELA Classroom.

I was inspired by Librarian tiff because she also does this in her School Library and created this amazing graphic below, made it Creative Commons, and gave it out to the world! I love beautiful signage that I don’t have to make myself! Because I’m kinda (occasionally) lazy.

(Grab the sign in several sizes from Tiff’s Flickr gallery)

I bought some colorful mini clipboards from Amazon & lined sticky notes. I already had the mini galvanized buckets of golf pencils – stole those from my PAC computer bank. This way kids don’t write ON THE books. Don’t judge me for being a little OCD and not wanting the pencil impressions on the front of a Library book!

Student Voice:

The kiddo can write anything. “I loved this book because…” and sign it their fist name or just “an 8th grader” etc. My kids love seeing what other kids have read. Same idea, but in a low tech way, as my #BookDropLifeInstagram posts.

This way kids can recommend books to other kids and be heard.  Simple. Easy. Effective.  I think it’s really important to allow kids to feel like they have a voice in the Library Media Center and in our school. Participatory Librarianship.

Save the Stickies!

At the end of the year, when I put this display away, I always take the sticky note off the front of the book and paste it inside the front cover. So the next kid can open the cover, read the book blurb, AND the student recommendation.

I was inspired to create a NEW Speed Dating notation sheet for kiddos. Feel free to make a copy & use it!

Another reading promotion idea that I like to bring out around this time
of year is my VIP Key Readers. You can read more about that here….

Reading is the Key! – The Daring Librarian

 

Your Turn!

What easy & inexpensive ways do you promote reading in your School Library or Classroom? Please share in the comments, Twitter, or Instagram ways you reach out to kiddos to get them to read?

Thanks for Visiting!

Cheers dears!

Twitter: @GwynethJones – IG: The Daring Librarian.
Future Ready Teacher Librarian & Tech Leader. Mover, Shaker,
Blogger, International Ed Tech Keynote Speaker, Blogger, &
Google Certified. Author of the award winning Daring Librarian
blog. ISTE Board of Directors PK-12 Representative 2010-2014 –
Creator of Content. Meme & Trope Archivist. Coastal Cottage
owner. Geek. Ridiculously Humble.

 

Resources:

Speed Dating to Find Your {Book} Match

inspired by Jennifer Ward
 

 

Summer Reading List 2018

The Summer Reading List is Here!

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! Time to share our Summer Reading List with you!

View & Download the  Middle School Summer Reading List Jpeg or PDF (please forgive their use of Comic Sans, they know not what they do!)

Thanks to our our A+ partner Librarians at the Howard County Library and two of our local HCPSS Middle School Teacher-Librarians we have created this Super Fun Reading List for all the kiddos in our district! (or the world!)

 

Visit our Howard County local Savage Branch Library & Hi Tech STEM Education Center this summer and FLIP over summer reading or flip over some amazing tech learning opportunities!

Murray Hill kids – If you read any of these books this summer, we would LOVE to hear what you thought in the comments! Follow us on Instagram to see pics of kids being AWESOME every day in our library and throughout the school!

 


Recommended Summer Reading Lists for the Whole Family!

Kindergarten – Grade 1

Grade 2 – 3

Grade 4 – 5

Middle School

High School

Black Eyed Susan Nominees

Libraries Rock!

Summer Reading Kickoff

Saturday, June 2

Participate in activities, crafts, and games. Enjoy the music of live bands: School of Rock House Band and Charm City Junction. Activities include Kindness Rocks, crafts for children; and Rock Band for teens.

HCLS MILLER BRANCH
Saturday, June 2
10 am – 2 pm
The fun continues all summer, when you enroll in Summer Reading: Libraries Rock! Sign up for a free account at hclibrary.beanstack.org, or pick up a booklet at any branch. Then log the books you read and mark off activities as you complete them for chances to win prizes.

Reading is the Key!

Do you ever get stuck clicking around Amazon buying random stuff you may not really need but suddenly desire? Do you have a mountain of Amazon boxes in your kitchen waiting for each recycle day? Yeah, me neither! [cough]  But sometimes I stumble across something that sparks my creativity and I’m like – SO COOL!….Now what can I do with it? 

This was the case with a set of 100 antique style keys I found that came with raffia cords & brown card stock tags that I thought would be a cool component of a reading promotion campaign!

Reading is the Key to a Rich & Interesting Life! 

If you’re an English or Reading Teacher or a School Librarian please head on over to my professional blog, The Daring Librarian, for buying information, more how-to’s, and FREE Downloadables!

Generating a list of the top 100 readers in my school and letting each kid pick out their preferred special key, I’m presenting it to them one by one including the key on a soft twine for wearing around the neck and a specially stamped commemorative card! 

I’m also taking pictures and posting them on Instagram & Twitter of each of our Key Readers!

 
 

Miss Caroline leads the pack having read over 100 books this year!  And still going through them about a book every other day!

I’m also posting pics of the kids with their keys on Instagram and Twitter.

Here’s my friend Mr. Ben who is one of my “frequent fliers” and avid readers. Ben is in the Top 5 having read over 70 books!

I’m so proud of our ravenous readers here at Murray Hill Middle School! This is what brings us the most joy – having kids come in every day (sometimes twice a day!) gobbling up new books and enjoying them!

 

 


Be kind to each other. Push the positive. Change the world. 
Pay it forward. Keep Praying for good.

Thanks, friends! ~Gwyneth

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?

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

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

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

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

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

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

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

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

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!

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Cammy & Precious giving me a great #SHelfie

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

#CaughtReading

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

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

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

A post shared by @GwynethJones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

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Summer Reading on the Hill

The Summer Reading List is Here!

View & Download the  Middle School Summer Reading List

Thanks to our our A+ partner Librarians at the Howard County Library and two of our local HCPSS Middle School Teacher-Librarians we have created this Super Fun Reading List for all the kiddos in our district! (or the world!)

Visit our Howard County local Savage Branch Library & Hi Tech STEM Education Center this summer and FLIP over summer reading or flip over some amazing tech learning opportunities! ((Pssst!
The 8th Grade Slide Show is at the bottom of this post!))

Recommended Summer Reading Lists

Middle School – #1 Most Awesome Teens

Kindergarten – Grade 1 – Baby Squirts

Grade 2 – 3 –  Little Kiddos

Grade 4 – 5 – Minions

High School – Cool Kids

Great Books for Grown-Ups!

Black Eyed Susan Nominees

I Mustache You To Consider This Challenge!

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

A post shared by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Bonus!

For a FREE Paperback Book of your Choosing when we come back in August:

This summer, take a Shelfie (selfie holding a book) or share a picture of you reading and Instagram it tagging me @thedaringlibrarian or @GwynethJones on Twitter

After School Ends, Look for the

Summer Reading List Display

in the Front Office!

8th Grade Slide Show!

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Speed Dating with Books

Hello Book Lovahs!

I want to share with you a favorite book selection activity that I did with the kiddos here at MHMS dig around Valentines Day, it’s super silly and fun, creates a lot of excitement, and makes the books fly out of the library!
I first blogged about this with you back in 2013, added a genre twist last year, and now I’ve added a video and a few new tweaks!

With my middle school kids this activity is guaranteed to make them grin, giggle, and cringe a little. Give yourself permission to really ham it up. Because prepare yourselves, book lovahs, this is super cheezy!

Sort of like musical chairs, but with books! Encourage kids to try a new genre or type of book. Make suggestions! Let the cooperating ELA to Reading teacher wander around making suggestions or pointing out a “good lookin possibility!”
 
 
After a couple turns I’ll call out that the first 6 kiddos checking out books will get a scratch and sniff bookmark and then they can go, put up their feet, read their new book and hang out in our READING LOVE LOUNGE. (“VIP: Space is limited – hurry kids!”)

If you’re an English, Reading, or School Librarian who would like to do this activity, click on over to TheDaringLibrarian blog for all the resources!

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Summer Reading List!

The Summer Reading List is Here!

View the HCPSS Middle School Summer Reading List

or download the PDF!

middle-school-reading-list-2016

View ALL the Reading Lists on our HCPSS Media Homepage!

Thanks to our our A+ partner Librarians at the Howard County Library and two of our local HCPSS Middle School Teacher-Librarians we have created this Super Fun Reading List for all the kiddos in our district! (or the world!)

Visit our local library the Savage Branch & Hi Tech STEM Education Center this summer and FLIP over summer reading or flip over some amazing tech learning opportunities!

 

Kai & #mustache bookmark #Shelfie from @hcpss_mhms #celebratehcpss

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Bonus!

For a FREE ARC Book when we come back in August:

Take a Shelfie (selfie holding a book) and Instagram it tagging me @thedaringlibrarian

After School Ends, Look for the

Summer Reading List Display

in the Front Office!

Banned Book Week 2015

Celebrating the Freedom to Read!

MHMS Celebrates National Banned Book Week with a display highlighting some of the books that have been banned throughout the years in American school and public libraries.

From the American Library Association:

Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2015 celebration will be held September 27-October 3.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.”

To celebrate banned book week here at MHMS we created a book display covering up some of the most banned books with strategic tear outs. We also created a couple QR Code resources for kiddos to learn more about Banned Books!


We here at the MHMS Daring School Library believe in the freedom to read without censorship!

Middle school is a WONDERFUL but quirky time for kids with wide ranges of maturity and reading levels. (and that’s why I teach middle school – because, LOVE IT!) But, I must admit, there are a few books that we have that I consider maybe to be more 7th or 8th grade in subject matter than right 6th graders. That’s when I sometimes exercise my judgement as a certified school librarian to say to a 6th grader – this may be too mature for you, wait till next year. But I wouldn’t EVER want to take that book off the shelf and not let a kid “grow into it” nor do I approve of forcing a kid to read a book. It’s all about the Freedom of Choice! Read more about Banned Book Week!

[she now tries to get the 1980’s Devo song out of her head]

Download the FREE QR Code PDF Signs:

Banned_Books_WARNING PDF

QR Code links to the ALA Top 100 Banned Book from 2000-2009

7_Reasons_Banned_Books PDF

QR Code links to the Huffington Post article 7 Reasons Your Favorite Books Were Banned

How to Make a QR Code in 3 Easy Steps!

MHMS isn’t the only school library to celebrate #BannedBookWeek! Check out these Timehop pics from her friend Ms. Sherry Gick, a Teacher Librarian & Tech Specialist at Rossville Consolidated Schools in Indiana!

Also check out the cool display from Maine! Mr. jonathan r. werner