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Summer Reading 2019

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The Summer Reading List is Here!
Where does the time fly? I can't believe it's that time of year again! Time to share our Summer

Reading List with you! It's my 27th year in HCPSS and 22nd year here at Murray Hill Middle School! W00t! A lot of things have changed but some thing stay the same. Like still LOVING to read. Every day. Especially, in the Summer time! There's nothing better to sit outside, on the beach, under an umbrella, or in a screened in porch and just read. For hours and hours! Where do you like to read? Any verified official Murray Hill kid who answers that in the comments will get a surprise next year! Sorry, Svetlana in Vladivostok, you are not eligible to win, but I still appreciate you reading this blog!

We Invite you to view & download the Middle School Summer Reading List Jpeg Page 1 and Page 2 or 2019SR_MSfinal- PDF 

Thanks to our our A+ partner Librarians at the Howard County Library and two of our local HCPSS Middle School Teacher-Libraria…

The TAO of Ron Swanson: How Ron Swanson Inspires Educators

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The TAO of Ron Swanson  or How Ron Swanson Inspires Educators
"We need to talk"
"That has never been true"

"I find these kinds of superficial social interactions awkward and uncomfortable. Please stop telling me about your personal life. Now."



“There’s only one thing I hate more than lying: skim milk. Which is water that’s lying about being milk.”

[forcibly being shown pictures of someone else's kids] "Are these the expensive pets that talk you made to carry on your super ego? Adorable."

"Just because I look at you and nod as you talk does not mean that I agree with you or like you. It means I'm humoring you so that you will hopefully say your piece and then go away and leave me in peace. But really, keep talking"

“The less I know about other people’s affairs, the happier I am. I’m not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still neve…

Makerspace for Little or Nothing

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Makerspace for Little or Nothing
You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to start a Makerspace area. You don't have to have a designated room or rip out bookcases. You can even have a Makerspace on a cart! When we have testing in our Library, I put all our Makerspace stuff on an AV cart and roll it into our server room.  This post evolved from a previous post called Makerspace Starter Kit Updatedwhere I had some of these idea, but I felt that it deserved it's own expanded post.

You can take baby steps into the Maker Movement.  I've been saying that for 7 years or so....long before I blogged about it, I tried it out. Yeah, sometimes I try things on the sly to see if they are blogworthy for you! Now....having said that.....

WARNING: Controversial Opinion Ahead.  I'm not 100% sold, even after 7 years of talking about the Maker Movement, that it's something that's here to stay and not just a fad. Even though I've (without knowing it!) been using asp…

Go Ahead, Scam Me Kids!

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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, maybe you should go back and read it before going much further... it's OK, I'll wait. 
(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. I'll post it below. Oh wait! Eep...sorry

You also probably should skim this Reading Promotion post, 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.

Reading is the Key!

'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 …

Readers Recommend

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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.

I don't put this display out at the beginning of the school year. I've found that it's good to bring it out mid-year or connected to a reading promotion lesson activity like Speed Dating with Books to generate interest. Shockingly, it seems that my middle schoolers respond to "new" things, so I bring this out in the lull between Winter and Spring break. But this can work at any time in a school library or ELA classroom.

It's kinda like a low-tech YELP review for books!
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 k…