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Showing posts from 2018

Maker Marvelous: Book Page Pumpkins

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Hey dear readers, Gwyneth here!  I haven't had a guest post in 7 or so years, but I thought this was such a great idea I begged my dear fellow HCPSS Teacher Librarian, Danielle Du Puis, (and my former student teacher!) to let me share this super ....actually, ......marvelous Maker Idea! Perfect for the Fall season...from September to December, a Book Page Pumpkin is great to create! Now, for the details.
Book Page Pumpkins
At the beginning of the school year I started my 9th year as a high school media specialist (14th year as a media specialist overall). I did what I do at the start of every year - unpacked my desk, ordered new books, prepped for my first week of lessons, talked with teachers to schedule media orientations, and got ready to greet our new students. However, after unpacking my things from the summer school pack up, I had some difficulty finding supplies that I needed that I knew I had previously purchased.
As I began digging through media closets, I teete…

10 Things to Think About Before You Post

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Over the years we've had a great educational partnership with our NYC friends at Flocabulary. I'm even a proud MC Educator or Flocabulary #HipHopEd Ambassador. See?



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! Not familiar with them? Check, check, check, it out!


Murray Hill even earned a video shout out in 2013! W00t! (We were SO proud!) 10 Things to Think About Before You Post video stands up to the test of time. It's just practical advice and one we like to play on our #MHTVNews at least once a year! 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 download the Lyrics Poster, Top 10 List Poster, and Fill in Your Own Top 10 Poster. (Requires registration but it's FREE & I love …

Create a Safe Space

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This is not something new. Our School Library has always been a safe space for kiddos of all kinds. Our wonderful Middle School community is a rich tapestry of many woven threads, rich colors, diverse backgrounds, orientations, expressions, many abilities and kids from many lands speaking many languages.

Laurel, Maryland is right smack dab between Washington DC and Baltimore - it's like our school has always been a mini United Nations. I love that about us! And our School Library has always enjoyed being a draw and a safe landing spot for kids who are quirky, nerdy, bookish, geeky, techie, queer, gay, trans, wordy, dramatic, creative, alternative, and cool.

That's why I thought it was important and reassuring to have a sign that proclaimed that we are a Safe Space or a Safe Zone right on our front doors and right by our check out desk!

What is a Safe Space? According to the Safe Space Network, “A Safe Space is a place where anyone can relax and be able to fully express, withou…

Back To School with Bitmoji

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I swear to you, yet again, dear reader, that I am NOT a paid spokesperson for Bitmoji! In fact, they haven't even answered, commented, acknowledged, or even liked ANY of my Tweets or Instagrams or blog posts where I've mentioned them. I am just a total fangirl.


A lonely neglected ignored (by them!) fangirl. Wow, that sounded pathetic & needy. Truth hurts.

But here I am again sharing something NEW that Bitmoji has brought out that I think is pretty cool for teachers! W00t!

They've created, just in time for Back to School, NEW Education themed cartoons.

With these new graphics, you can make classroom door signs, positive behavior or badge programs, run off on self-adhesive stickers for easy cute student feedback or add to your SMS Canvas messages & emails home!

You can download the Bitmoji and then add your name using PicMonkey. I've blogged before about how much I LOVE PicMonkey. (Still, not on their payroll - just a fangirl, but at least they like my Tweets…

Makerspace Starter Kit Updated

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Three years ago I shared my Makerspace Starter Kit with youor what I was buying to boost our Makerspace area using four empty Library study carrels that no longer held desktop Macs.  That post has consistently been one of the most viewed posts every week for years and years - with more than 83 THOUSAND views, gee whiz! (Crazy, right?) So, I thought maybe it was time to update it!* 

Since then, I've had some major Makerspace successes and a couple dismal (and expensive) Makerspace failures!  So, here's the latest for ya'll with the good, the bad, and the bloody awful!

Our MHMS Makerspace
How it works: Kids can come in before the 1st period late bell rings, during lunch, or when they've finished their work in class to explore, craft, and create in the Library Media Center. It's not a "class" or an organized offering. It's a free form optional offering of constructivist learning and creativity! It's not as big as some and it hasn't taken over the …