Friday, December 07, 2007

NEW Books in the Media Center!

hey kids! stop by the library media/technology center today and check out the cool new books that *YOU* (mhms kids & teachers) suggested! all the books that you requested earlier this year are here and ready to check out *NOW!* if you don't see the book YOU wanted, let us know and we'll get it for you ASAP or add it onto next year's order.

REMEMBER: YOU are our customer! we want to have the books YOU want to read!
~ms. jones

btw, this is what $3000. buys....
Good quality hardback books are expensive!...but last LONGER!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Book Pass: The Power of Choice Activity

dear readers, it's been a while since i've blogged! the holidays get closer and we get so busy! and so much is going on in IN the Media Center i don't always have time to ABOUT it... but yeah, that's the same lame excuse all bloggers have, isn't it?
ANYWAY....i wanted to share pics and info about an exciting reading activity that i heard about at the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) conference i attended last month... i came back from the conference energized and just SO excited to try new things! and here's one of them! Book Pass: The Power of Choice! was a special activity to promote pleasure reading in the Media Center. basically, i set up the Media Center as if it was an in-house Book Fair...taking a loads and loads of some of my newest, coolest, and most popular books and i loaded them on tables....purposefully messy even HAPHAZARDLY!

wanted to make them look jumbled so the kids would have to dig through them!
the object of the activity was for kids to "shop" for books they haven't read yet and compile a list of books to read for the rest of the school year. this list will be kept on file for them alphabetized in a notebook in the Media Center and when they come next to get a book and say "i don't know what to read!" we'll refer them to their list! they were instructed to judge a book by it's the blurb and discern the genre. then internally rate the book 1-10 and if it rated a 6+ to put it on their list with a short comment. the whole activity went very well!
and kids were very excited to just have an opportunity to look for books that appealed to THEM for their pleasure reading.

fiction books, non-fiction books, graphic novels, comic books, drawing books, and more....students could go from table to to their friends, show friends books they had read and really liked and even write post-it reviews on the backs of the books for other students and classes! so far, it's gone like gang busters...and some of the featured books i just can't keep in! kids are checking off books they've read and coming back for more...and really...isn't that what we're all about? giving kids books to read and helping them become LIFELONG readers!

Teachers & Media Specialists: For more information about the Book Pass: The Power of Choice! activity visit our Wiki for the annotated lesson plan, activity sheet, a reading list, PowerPoint and more!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Did You Know? The Future of Technology Today

parents, teachers & teens....did you know?

this flash video (click BELOW) is an awesome compilation of facts about the current and future tech situation in the world and how it effects our children.

i am proud to say that HCPSS is doing a LOT to prepare our students for the 21st century...they've spent millions of dollars in the last few years updating the computers in our schools, adding 2 mobile laptop labs, and streamlining the networking in all the schools...also, our students have access to a variety of online databases and research resources at school and at home. (passwords avail in the Media Center ) and access to United Streaming in the schools.

coming soon (things that i know the county is working on)
• 1 to 1 laptops for students to use at home and in school...
• a safe, school-based email system for students to use in and out of school
so...check it out....get excited, start the conversation about the future....'s worth the watch on TeacherTube

an excellent presentation from the excellent Fischbowl blog.
oh and did you know?.....

this fact ties in with our last blog post....scroll down to view....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Give 1 Get 1: Closing the Digital Divide

Americans Get a Laptop, Give One Free to Kids in Developing Countries (reposted from: ABS NEWS GMA)


Ms. Jones Notes: This was our top story on MHTV yesterday...and after discussion with our TV show kids today, we wanted to post it for everyone! Please see the Original Article for more discussion, links, and information. Your comments and thoughts are very important to us! What do YOU think? Thanks! ~gwyneth jones

It's been dubbed "the Green Machine," and since it was first conceived five years ago, the low-cost laptop has been ridiculed as a gadget and a toy. But American computer makers aren't laughing anymore.

For two weeks in November, the so-called $100 laptop is coming to America, and supporters say the nonprofit organization that makes it  called One Laptop Per Child  could become one of the largest laptop players in the United States in the next few years.

Some U.S. students have already reaped the benefits of the program. First- and second-graders at King Open School in Cambridge, Mass., are using the computers for a year as part of a pilot program.

"It's so light, and I can pick it up," one little boy said.

"You can use it for your homework," a little girl added.

According to One Laptop Per Child executive Walter Bender, who runs focus groups on the laptop with American children, some kids say it's cooler than a Thinkpad.

"Their daddy's Thinkpad can't be used outdoors in bright sunlight. It can't be dropped. It can't be charged with a solar panel, or a crank on a bicycle," said Bender. "Kids love it."

Give 1 Get 1 for Two Weeks Only

But the coolest thing about the computer may be something the kids in America don't see. Every time an American orders a laptop, during a two-week period from Nov. 12 to Nov. 26, a kid in a developing country will get one for free  it's called the Give 1, Get 1 program.

The total cost to the consumer: $400 for both laptops  a portion of which is tax deductible.

"You sign up, and, basically, donate a laptop to a child in another country," Nicholas Negroponte told ABC News. Negroponte, co-founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, created the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child in 2005.

Digital Dream

The Give 1 Get 1 program, announced today on "Good Morning America," is the culmination of a dream for Negroponte. Since 2005, when he first came up with the idea, he has criss-crossed the globe, trying to convince government leaders to buy the low-cost laptops for their countries' children.

Many countries, like Brazil, Uruguay, Libya, Rwanda, and Thailand, have embraced the program, but poorer countries haven't been able to buy enough laptops to make it economically feasible to manufacture them.

With the Give 1 Get 1 program, Negroponte is counting on the generosity of Americans to help kick-start the program. By buying their own kids a cool new laptop, parents in the United States can help kids in a developing country, thousands of miles away, get a laptop, too.

Not a Luxury

Negroponte's goal is to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are so affordable, that every child in the world will have access to one. His vision is for kids to take the computers home  particularly, if their home is a thatched hut  and share their newfound knowledge with their entire families.

Each laptop is programmed in the country's language with 1,000 books and other educational software. Pilot programs in countries ranging from Nigeria to Brazil to Uruguay have been successful, according to One Laptop Per Child executives.

Yet, critics argue that the laptop is a luxury, and not an essential need when dealing with the extreme poverty found in many Third World countries.

"If you think of it as a laptop, then it is a luxury," Negroponte said. "But, if you think of it as education, it's not a luxury."

$100 Laptop for $200

From the beginning, Negroponte envisioned selling the laptop for $100  but he's not there yet. Right now, the manufacturing cost runs closer to $200; hence, the $400 cost for two laptops in the Get 1 Give 1 program.

The price is expected to drop as more computers are manufactured, with an ultimate goal of producing 100 million laptops a year. Current projections are that they will reach the $100 per laptop goal by the end of 2009.

Kid-Proof and Desert-Proof

The laptop is designed to be kid-proof, withstanding things like milk spills and drops of up to 5 feet. It's been frozen in refrigerators and heated in ovens at 140 degrees in high humidity.

But it's not just a toy. The laptop was built to last for five years in extreme conditions  from the African desert to the heat of a Mumbai summer.

According to Negroponte, there were three crucial elements in designing the laptop.

First, the computer display had to be bright enough to be easily read in bright sunlight.

Second, it had to be very low power, so users could wind it up. The reason was simple: 50 percent of the kids in the world don't have electricity. With this laptop, kids can recharge the battery with hand cranks or solar power.

Third, it had to be fun  with video, cameras, a music synthesizer, and games that kids will want to play with.

By giving kids their own laptops, Negroponte believes they will get excited about school and learning. "Our goal is to leverage the children, themselves," he said.

For more information on One Laptop Per Child, go to

Monday, August 27, 2007

Get the Power...MPower!

"If you live, work or attend school in Maryland, you may apply for an MPOWER Card. This new card gives Maryland residents access to all public library resources through a single card.

The MPOWER Card gives you access to everything you want at a time and place that’s most convenient for you. No matter where you live, work or play in Maryland, you can now access the resources of all 174 public libraries through the use of the MPOWER Card. Sign up for an MPOWER Card at any branch library or online and use it to check out materials from any public library in Maryland."

Miss Jones has HCL library card applications available in the Media Center. Stop by, pick one up, fill it out, get some signatures and return it to HER and she will help get you hooked up with an M-Power card! Don't leave home without it!

Welcome Back to School!

YAY! it's a new year and i'm so excited to see all the new kids coming to MHMS...welcome 6th graders AND welcome to any transferring 7th and 8th graders!

MHTV will be advertising for applications for the new crew soon.. a big part of the interview process of hiring new MHTV crew is did the student listen and follow directions as given on the MHTV show? did the student follow directions, fill out the application fully, get a parent and teacher signature, and turn it in on time? these are all things we examine before we choose which kids to audition. last year we had almost 100 kids working with's a vital part of the murray hill middle school community. how do we do the TV show every day and how is it a best practice of technology integration? check out our News@School Live! webpage!

So? What did you think of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

miss jones here.....this is a snippet from my reading journal about reading the HP&theDH ..the LAST HP Book this summer:
"well, i'm 500+ pages into the book...i intentionally didn't start reading it till i got to the beach yesterday but now that i'm here at the beach and reading full time...on the balcony looking out over my beloved atlantic ocean

i'm not *racing* through it....i'm savouring it
it's the last one...i still can't get over that i'm a little annoyed right now with where the book is going (too much camping!) and the mistakes i see my characters making...the connections they don't get... but i suppose that's the same when reading any kind of mystery book...."don't do that!" i want to scream..."don't go in there!..look behind you!" and all that stuff....
anyway.....back to the balcony
update: monday, 5:31pm
just finished, took me about 24 hours to read with a little sleep and dinner in there.....yeah, i cried..what a wus! but it was great....yeah, human people make mistakes because they are umm essentially human! great book! lessons to be learned about bravery, loyalty, and love and yes, i'm going to re-read it starting now"
so....did YOU read it?? what did you think? were you happy with the outcome? what about the epilogue? your comments and thoughts are very much wanted! Oh! and btw, i bought 4 copies of the book AND the Book on CD for the media center!!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Harry-est Town in America: Laurel, MD=43!

43. Laurel, Maryland

Last Week's Rank: 41's Harry-est Town in America promotion features which towns in America, on a per capita basis, are pre-ordering the most copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from

Miss Jones says: this is amazing! ~ Laurel, MD is 43 out of the country! in the top 100! that so ROCKS! i have pre-ordered my copy from Amazon...for the last 4 books...all arrived on the day promised from a hard working UPS gentleman....then i read it pretty much non-stop till the end......WONDERFUL! and don't worry...MHMS Media will have the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by the time y'all come in for Media orientation!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Books for the Beast!
YA Lit Conference for TEENS!

Check it Out!
Enoch Pratt Free Library: Books for the Beast conference this October.

9am-4pm, Saturday October 7th, 2007
Roland Park Country School, 5204 Roland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21210

Participants attend 2 genre discussion sessions (morning & afternoon) & choose 2 of the
6 available themes when they register. This year's themes are Fantasy / Sci-Fi,
Historical, Multicultural, Non-Fiction, Real Life, Suspense / Horror. There are 5 books
to read for each session, & the Library can get them for students.

In addition to the 2 sessions, there are also 2 presentations (author & illustrator).
This year's author is Gail Giles (Shattering Glass), & this year's illustrator is Marc
Siegel who will talk about graphic novels.

There are 50 free places for Middle & High School students, register EARLY now and then have fun in October!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

N2 BKS: Summer Reading@HCL

John Jewitt, Teen Specialist from the Howard County Libary came and presented the exciting and NEW summer reading program to our kids today it's called: N2 BKS!
From the website: "Get in on the action!

Teens can win prizes! For each hour you spend reading, book review you write, N2BKS coupon you complete, or library program you attend, you will earn five book bucks. Collect rewards for 50, 100, and 200 book bucks earned throughout the summer. Earning 200 book bucks makes you eligible to compete in a finisher's auction!
Sign up at our Savage branch library's information desk, and receive your first five book bucks as a starter prize!"

Wanna copy of the HCL summer teen booktalk list? Visit my homepage to download the PDF and happy reading!

Listen to the Mr. Jewitt's podcast by clicking below:

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Summer Reading Incentives:
7th Grade Poster Display ROCKS!

The talented kids of Mrs. Lewis' 7th grade Reading class created some really outstanding 3-D posters about favorite books to read this summer! This display is outside the Media Center and is definately worth a closer look! If you can't come are some pics! Way to go kids! And Way to go Mrs. Lewis!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Karen Luddy Speaks to MHMS & Podcast

Author Karen Luddy visits our Media Center and speaks to a lucky group of 75 kids about her book Spelldown and about having your own writing...and in life.

She read exerpts from the book, related amusing anecdotes from her childhood growing up down south, and signed copies of her book that publisher Simon & Schuster and rep. Mr. Charles Young kindly donated to our kids and to the Media Center.

Our Murray Hill students listened raptly and contributed to a lively discussion of "voice" in literature and in their lives and about the writing process.
It was a lovely visit from a talented, funny, and kind author who spent an afternoon getting to know our kids!
Thanks to everyone who made this special Media Event possible!

Please listen below to her podcast greeting and message:

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To see all the pictures from the event, please see our Digital Photo Gallery on

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Author Karon Luddy to Visit MHMS Media!

Karon Luddy, author of Spelldown to Visit MHMS Media for a special event!
Check out her cool website!
More later....maybe even a podcast!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Summer Reading List is HERE!

Are you ready to sit on the beach, park, pool,grass, bench, lawnchair, or couch and RELAX into that Summer Reading mode??? I sure am! The Howard County Public school system has just released the county's
├╝ber popular Middle School Summer Reading List (created & designed this year by yours truly and Herb Malveaux of the HCL!) and its now ready for you to download and start reading! Go HERE and download the PDF! Happy Reading on the Hill!

Friday, April 20, 2007

¡Hola! Getting to Know: Mehae Roldan - Bilingual Community Liaison

Hola! Por Favor, click below for a podcast greeting from our Bilingual Community Liaison: Mehae Roldan!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Eragon DVD Winner!

We have a winner! Bradley of the 6th grade won the special edition DVD of the movie Eragon. Graciously donated to the MHMS Media Center by the movie studio! Congrats and enjoy Bradely!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spanish Field trip to La Tasca

Today eighth grade Spanish language students enjoyed a tapas lunch at the inner harbor restaurant La Tasca in Baltimore.
Click below to listen to our restaurant review Podcast!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Register to Win a FREE
Special Edition Eragon DVD!

Hey kids! As mentioned on MHTV this morning... visit the Media Center and enter to win a a FREE Special Edition Eragon DVD!
Just fill out a scrap piece of paper (we recycle, we're on the Green Team!) with your:
  • full name
  • your grade
  • and your English teacher & core
Only one entry per kid...if we find duplicates, they both will be thrown out! Winners will be announced soon on MHTV! Good luck!
Oh and while you're in the Media Center, why not check out the Eragon book if you haven't read it! It's AWEsome!!! (and some say better than the movie, you tell me if it is!)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Audio Books To GO! Listen to a Good Book!

the MHMS Media Center has started a new Audio Books to Go project! Students can check out one of the MANY new audio books on CD that we've ordered and if they don't have a CD player of their own, can also check out a backpack containing a new CD player, headphones and batteries. So, come by the MHMS Media Center and get an Audio Book to Go! and listen to a good book! Audio book review podcasts, coming soon!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Recognize & Celebrate Black History Month!

An MHTV News Capsule

Please listen to our Black History Month Podcast!

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"February marks the beginning of Black History Month - an annual celebration that has existed since 1926. But what are the origins of Black History Month?

Much of the credit can go to Harvard Scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who was determined to bring Black History into the mainstream public arena. Woodson devoted his life to making "the world see the Negro as a participant rather than as a lay figure in history."

In 1926 Woodson organized the first annual Negro History Week, which took place during the second week of February. Woodson chose this date to
coinside with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln - two men who had greatly impacted the black population.

Over time, Negro History Week evolved into the Black History Month that we know today - a four-week-long celebration of African American History"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The *NEW* Media Books Are Here!

YAY! Woo Hoo!

hey kids! stop by the library media/technology center today and check out the cool new books that *YOU* (mhms kids & teachers) suggested! all the books that you requested earlier this year are here and ready to check out *NOW!* if you don't see the book YOU wanted, let us know and we'll get it for you ASAP or add it onto next year's order. REMEMBER: YOU are our customer! we want to have the books YOU want to read!
~ms. jones

Friday, January 05, 2007

January is Reading Month@the Hill!

January is Maryland Reading Month and guess what? You are already participating if you are reading this blog! Please support our reading month efforts by letting your kids observe you reading. Whether it is a book, the newspaper, or a magazine…it's very important that they know that you read, too! The following are podcasts of some of our AWEsome students telling about their favorite books. These book reviews have also been pre-recorded on video and will be shown on our MHTV newscast throughout the month. Enjoy and feel free to leave comments about YOUR favorite book! Happy Reading! ~Ms. Jones, Library Media/Technology Specialist

Bailey, a 7th grader, shares about her favorite book, Boy2Girl by Terence Blacker.

Please click below to listen to her podcast! :-)

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Jamal, a 6th grader, shares about his favorite book, Storbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.

Please click below to listen to his podcast! :-)

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Elizabeth, a 6th grader, shares about her favorite book, and Newberry Medal Award winner Bridge to Terebithia by Catherine Patterson.

Soon to be a new Disney major motion picture!
Please click below to listen to her podcast! :-)

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Devonte, a 7th grader, shares about his favorite book Cryptid Huntersby Roland Smith.

Please click below to listen to his podcast! :-)

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a special thanks to Mrs. Deb Burkey and Mrs. Lisa Katzen for helping make this happen and all their hard work! You rock!