Summer Reading

The Summer Reading List is Here!
(as seen on our MHMS Daring School Edublog)
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! Recommended Summer Reading Lists Middle School - #1 Most Awesome Teens201720162015 Kindergarten – Grade 1 - Baby Squirts201720162015 Grade 2 – 3 - Little Kiddos201720162015 Grade 4 – 5 - Minions201720162015 High School - Cool Kids201720162015 Great Books for Grown-Ups!2016 Black Eyed Susan Nominees20172016
I Mustache You To Consider This Challenge!
I #mustache you to enjoy these #shelfie pics! @hcpss_mhms #CelebrateHCPSS A post shared by Gwyneth J…

Brass Cogs and Virtual Steam

Brass Cogs and Virtual Steam: A Steampunk Cycle of Inspiration
I love my Acorn Media streaming account! Why? Because it brings me the BEST British documentaries. I'm kinda obsessed with them. I watch...a LOT. Mostly about the ancient world, but one of my recent favorites is Calculating Ada a BBC 4 documentary presented by fellow ginger, the imminently engaging Maths Professor Ms. Hannah Fry @FryRsquared who, according to her Twitter profile is, "All math and no trousers." In the documentary she briefly interviews the graphic novel artist @sydneypadua  which led me to her webpage! Now I'm going to buy her hardback book  titled "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer" for the Coastal Cottage. I imagine it inspiring a budding Mathematician or Scientist or Steampunk. Hopefully of the girl persuasion but I'm an equal opportunity book pusher. Here's a delicious sample. Nom nom.

Which then leads …

Spot it! Gamification For The Win

Don't want to put a lot of money into a Makerspace for your Library or Classroom? Why not build a gaming tote?
My splendid @hcpss_mhms 8th grade kids playing #Hipster #SpotIt in the Daring School Library Media Center! So much fun! #gamification A post shared by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on May 11, 2017 at 1:21pm PDT

Spot It!
In the picture at the very top you can see the games I got for my Daring School Library Media Center and the kiddos love it! This set would cost about $80 bucks without the tote.  The whole list is below, but featured is Spot It, hipster in my avatar hand at left, and Basic English for my ESOL (English as a Second Language) kiddos.  

But you can also adapt the rules, and say that the kids can grab both cards, and THEN say the matching pictures or point to them. OR you can go over each of the pictures before the game and agree on what the pictures are called. Some of my kiddos didn't know what a few of the things are - great teachable moment on voc…

PicMonkey: Still My Graphic Go-To

I've been sharing my love for this one stop shop of graphic design
goodness for five years now, you'd think they would put me on the payroll or at least fly me to New York, pick me up in a limo, and set me up in the Four Seasons - you know - a just for a casual office visit! 
But, nahhh I just got some stickers & T-shirts to give away at conferences.  But hey, that's OK...because I love them anyway! (**see my sponsorship & street cred pledge to you at the bottom) 

The PicMonkey App - For iPhone & Android.

Get Graphic!
PicMonkey is a free website & app that does wonders with your digital photos in an easy peasy click it and save it kinda way. PicMonkey is free but yes, I enjoy the Royale upgrade - and now it's better than ever!
The graphic at the very top was done on the web version of the site and this one was done just on my phone. In this post I'm going to give a few highlights about each version of PicMonkey.  Of course, the computer version has many…

Speed Dating for Book Lovahs!

Hello Book Lovahs!
I want to share with you a favorite book selection activity that the kids dig, is 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!  

All the resources, printables, graphics, and videos are FREE for you to take, use, & share because they're made using the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  

Set Up & Book Your  Date
To get ready, I take a book cart around first the fiction area, grabbing armfuls of favorite, popular, and good looking books, grouping some by genre like my Teen, realistic novels, and Bluford High series.  

Then …