Monday, December 08, 2008

Out of the Dust: The Great Depression Research

Miss Cullison's and Mrs. Jett's 6th grade English classes came in to do Big 6 research on the great depression...enjoy our wiki page we made to go with it and these cool videos we found on TeacherTube.

A slideshow on The Dust Bowl from Long Beach Middle School, United States

The Great Depression Rap: Highlands High School Mr. Polcha's class

Monday, November 17, 2008

Digital Storytelling with Dale Jarvis!

last year we were so fortunate to team with a Canadian published author Mr. Dale Jarvis who worked with us and our 6th grade English team to bring our kids digital storytelling through the unit Many Voices, Many Stories, & Many Lands! & this year we want to do it again!...but i wanted to share with you a NEW story by Mr. Jarvis..and one done in such a neat way it makes me itch to try this with our kids! please to enjoy!
The Isle of Skye - a Ghost Story: A traditional tale of a ghostly ship from Holyrood, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, told by storyteller Dale Jarvis, and adapted from his book.

more on storytelling later this spring when we might just participate in the World Storytelling Day...if testing doesn't get in the way!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Buying New Books & Stuff

i know, i know....i haven't blogged lately... we've been busy with our annual book and equipment order! every year when we buy new books we put out a notice to all of our teachers....asking "what do you want?" we also...and this is the most important!! ask the kids "what do you want?" our suggestion bus on the circulation desk gets full of student requests...also, when any kid asks for a book and we don't have it... i immediatley check to see if any *other* HCPSS middle school has it and if they do...we add that to the list! in case you're wondering, we place the following list as priority for purchasing:
  1. kids requests (they are our #1 customers!)
  2. teacher requests (we want them to have what they want & need for instruction)
  3. best of the year lists (a good place to start!)
  4. award winning books (always good to have those award winners!)
  5. GT book club books (always a great list of books!)
  6. great reviews in School Library Journal (the latest and the best reviewed!)
Mrs. Black pours over all these and i add in my 2 cents then we look at the needs of our collection, filling in what we have weeded or where we see areas that need to be built up and we place our order! YAY!!!! then when the order comes in we see what we got! it's like a holiday in the Media Center!! we usually keep all the NEW books on a cart for students to get to them right away....i also invite the teachers over to see that what they asked for we have now! and anything we wanted that we didn't get goes into the file for next year! we love technology....we do!!!
but man..oh man...we still LOVE love love and so <3 our books!!!

we've also been busy buying for our school super cool new LCD projectors, document cameras, and other AV items that are an important part to our multi-media technology infused classroom. we wish we could get everything for every classroom!...if only we had the $$ for that, but we do the best that we can!
~Ms. Jones & Ms. Black

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MHTV Class of 2000 STAR Talks TV & More!!

i am so blessed to work with such great kids! year in and year out i get to know them and sometimes they come back to visit and even email! i recently got an email from a former MHMS student and MHTV crew member who updated me on her life. WOW!
LeKesha Lewis was one of those kids who was VERY involved and pitched in to learn and help wherever she could! i have some great memories of her...what a great kid!
here are some excerpts from her and my emails back and forth and pics of her all grown up~!

"Hi Mrs Jones!!!

How is everything? I wish I still lived in the area so I could come and visit.
I can't say I expect you to remember me, but I was one of your kids from the Murray Hill's class of 2000. I got a little nostalgic and Googled MHMS and wondered if you had any more pictures from MHTV 99-2000. I'd love to be able to see if I can remember anyone

Thanks so much!

LeKesha Lewis

and my reply was:
"AWww you're gorgeous!!
i'm so happy to hear from you and see what an outstanding, smart, accomplished and AWEsome person you stayed! (cause you always WERE!) and got even better growing up! i'm SO proud of you!! congrats baby!
(and yes MHMS kids, when you turn 18 & graduate HS you can call me gwyneth, too! LOL)
and hers:
"Well, I'm an event planner in DC and I will be graduating from UVA next summer (Architecture major, minor in Japanese language). You can imagine how gas prices have been murdering me between Charlottesville, VA and DC. I will also be getting married May 22nd 2010 to this absolutely amazing guy. He's a teacher and mixed martial arts instructor. We'll be opening an MMA school in the DC area in a few years.
The black and white picture is of me and my best friend Chelsea. The second one is me in an awesome leather mask at a Renaissance festival last year, and the third picture is of Dave and I at a John Mayer concert at Merriweather in July.

thanks so much for the link and i'll be in touch with wedding invitations as soon as I start sending them."

i then asked her...since we're doing MHTV apps this week to write a little something about her experiences on the show and how it helped her in her school career and life! and if i could post these, show her super cute pic and quote her.... here's her answer!

"I LOVED MHTV. When I got to Long Reach I was on their TV crew as well. In 12th grade I became Director of LRTV, composed the Senior Video (much like the experience I had doing the 8th grade slide show!) and I was the greeting speaker at our graduation. I was in the Visual Communications practicum at LRHS as well and MHTV definitely helped me as far as developing that all-important sense of teamwork and basic understandings of visual artforms and technology. That, of course, led me into my major in Architecture, so in a way all the magic started in MHTV!
THe TV studio became something of a haven for me. It was a creative outlet and often got me out of class. ;) There was always something new to learn. It was especially rewarding to be able to go to bed at night, then get up in the morning and have an idea for a new segment or way to run the show, and have the support system there that is willing to develop your ideas. Everyone had an important role in creating a successful and unique show everyday. Anchoring helped build my confidendce in public speaking (and I do a LOT of that), and camera work and research prepared me for team-leading and directing. Its definitely a uique experience that not a lot of people especially at that age, can say that they have.

I definitely miss it!

You can totally use my picture. I think it would be an honor to help get kids interested in one of the principle programs that made me so happy as a kid and played a role in defining what I do with my career."
So see? being part of the MHTV crew helps in SO many ways that you will later see...and if nothign else it may get you out of class....wait! Mr. D! i'm just kidding about that part!!!
and let me say it again....i'm so proud of you LeKesha!

~Miss Jones

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Welcome Back to School! & Twilight and Harry Potter!

News@School Live!
YAY!'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 is advertising for applications for the new crew NEXT week in all the lunches...check out the stage steps for your app & make sure to get yours! 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! check it out!

NEW Books in the Media Center!
we always try and have the latest hot book or series for you our dear customer! and we have the 4th of the Twilight Series ...Breaking Dawn...!!
Twilight fans.....Ok, you's killin me! i haven't read it yet because as SOON as i got it from Amazon ....all 4 copies! i turned them back around and had Mrs. Black quicky send them to get processed so YOU could check them out! it was Soooo tempting!! i think i may have to just break down and buy my own copy...but you know how i like using the library but the HCL waiting list for Breaking Dawn is still at 10+. so if you haven't read it yet...we've got them!~'s a pic from the movie! i'm sorry...i'm a Jacob fan....readers...COMMENT Bella a Mary Sue?
don't know what that means? here....a Non-Twilight fan friend of mine wrote in their blog recently
"And to all the Twilight fans, educate yourselves on Mary Sues. Bella is a Mary Sue, Edward is a Gary Sue. It's Mary Sue land I tell you! [link] Read Wiki's article. And understand the concept."

sounds harsh, right? i hate to say it but i see some truth in it and Mrs. Singleton and the book club and i will be talking about Marysues and fanfiction this year! we may even blog or wiki about it
...but Twilight series?
it's still a good read!!!...
the movie coming out around Thanksgiving sounds good, too!

And have you heard? Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been delayed!
"Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that it has moved back the release date of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to Summer 2009. The sixth installment of the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise will now open day-and-date domestically and in the major international markets on July 17, 2009. The announcement was made by Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. In making the announcement, Mr. Horn stated, “Our reasons for shifting ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment."

My theory is that it has something to do with that Warner has no big tentpole movie next summer after Justice League fell apart. Oh and the Stephenie Meyers blog says it's NOT Twilight's fault!

***August 15, 2008***

Movie News Flash!

So, many of you have heard that the release of the sixth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has been moved from this Thanksgiving to next summer. First and foremost, please know that this schedule change has absolutely nothing to do with Twilight, me, or Summit Films (so enough with the imdb death wishes, okay?). This is Warner Bros. decision, and it was not motivated by anything Twilight-related.

Now for the good news! Though we're all sad to have to wait for Harry Potter, this open spot at the theater creates a cool opportunity. The good people at Summit were thrilled to let me know that now Twilight fans are going to get their movie three weeks earlier than scheduled. That's right—Twilight will be released in theaters November 21st! Let the merry-making commence!


Whatever, i want both! Twilight and the Harry Potter movie!! and the sooner the better!~
~Ms. Jones
Ok..... comments peeps! you know we like comments!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Experience a "Metamorphosis!" Summer Reading@HCL

Mr. John Jewitt visits from the Howard County Public Library to share the details of the summer reading game: Experience a "Metamorphosis!" to our 6th graders.

He also did some booktalks from the middle school list that i talked about in my last post! Featured in the booktalk but not on the list:

Phineas Gage : a gruesome but true story about brain science by John Fleischman.

From the HCL Summer Reading Website:
"Welcome to Metamorphosis.
Our goal is to keep you reading this summer. Your goal is to earn book bucks!

For each hour you spend reading, book review you write, or library event you attend, you will earn five book bucks. When you have earned 50 book bucks, come in for a prize. When your account total reaches 100 book bucks, come back in for another prize. And when you have earned 200 book bucks you will receive one more prize plus your username and password for the finishers' auction. Keep earning additional bucks - the more bucks your earn, the better your chances in the finshers' auction.

You can read anything!
You may read books, magazines, graphic novels, newspapers, and websites. You may also listen to audio books. Check out a list of books developed by Howard County Library's teen specialists in conjunction with the Howard County Public School System. You may earn book bucks for up to six hours of reading each day.

To get started, register at the information desk at any Howard County Library branch. We'll give you all of the materials you need to get started: a reading log, a review card, your first five book bucks, and a starter prize!

The auction runs through Tuesday, August 12. Curious about book bucks and becoming a better bidder? Attend our workshops (with link to "Be a Better Bidder" events on evance) to learn more about software and strategies to place your best bids in the Metamorphosis Auction."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cool Books for Hot Summer Reads!

YAY!! it's that time of year again! Wow, did that year go fast, too! ...the Media Center is trying to get back all of its books and you're already thinking of going "downy ocean" and reading a book on the beach! (ok, so maybe that's what *i'm* thinking of! LOL) anyway the Media Specialists in collaboration with the public Librarians of the Howard County Library system ....created the:
2008 Recommended Summer Reading List for Middle Schoolers!!!
See you, book in hand, at the beach! (or pool, or park, or deck, or can read ANYwhere!) Woo hoo!!
Download the PDF version of this list on our Wiki here!

Oh! and parents! there's also an adult book list for your reading

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Museum of Underwater Archeology Visits!

MHMS Media was pleased to arrange a visit from the director of the Museum of Underwater Archeology. Mr. Kurt Knoerl visited and worked with 6th grade students for a hands on introduction to the investigation, scientific method, and the fun of submerged archaeology.

This interactive lesson show students how underwater archaeological sites are found, mapped, and plotted.

What kind of equipment is used in scuba diving. How scientists use their senses under black water to discover shipwrecks and artifacts.

Students also learned how to use mylar film and a pencil to write underwater!
For more pictures go to our school's Smugmug Digital Photo Gallery!

Thank you Mr. Knoerl for visiting our school and working with our AWEsome kids

Friday, April 25, 2008

Go On a Walkabout - a Multi-Lingual Virtual Tour of MHMS

Go on a virtual tour! A student written and produced video virtual tour of our school in English, Spanish, Korean, and Urdu using the Flip Video camera.

Virtual Tour in English

Virtual Tour in Spanish

Virtual Tour in Korean

Virtual Tour in Urdu

for supporting information about the grant project visit our MHMS Teacher Tech Wiki

a MICCA funded grant by

Beth Singleton, GT Resource Teacher & Gwyneth Jones, Media/Technology Specialist

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Many Voices, Many Stories, & Many Lands

Storytelling & Folklore Unit for Grade 6 English

a Canadian storyteller & Author "virtually visits" our school....

From his Blog:
"Dale Gilbert Jarvis is the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, a storyteller, author and performer. Dale sits on the Board of Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada, is the founder of the St. John's Storytelling Circle, and serves as president of the St. John's Storytelling Festival, Inc."

After meeting Mr. Jarvis through the Storytelling Guild I belong to in Second Life he agreed to collaborate with us for this unit, sharing folktales and stories from his recently published collection The Golden Leg and Other Ghostly Campfire Tales. The unit started with the usual background information about what things make a folktale, legend, and urban legend. After that introduction, the students came into the Media Center with the results of their story mining homework where they ask their family what stories they heard of as a kid or in the neighborhood where they grew up.

From TeacherTube: Storyteller and noted author Mr. Dale Jarvis adapated and retells folktale from India. In the story, Death creeps into Paradise, and steals away a boy from his sister.

"Gilbert Sapwood" aka Dale Jarvis tells an Irish folktale in the Dakota Playhouse in Second Life.

Storytelling in Action!

Teachers & Media Specialists: for more information about this Unit see our Wiki for all the lesson plans, handouts, storytelling links and more!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Celebrate Pi Day! π

From GT Teacher Beth Singleton and her talented film crew: Learn about Pi from a class of rowdy kids who do not know their Pi from their pie.

Created by the MHMS Advanced Film Production Team.

'Cause c'mon...who doesn't like

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dinosaurs Alive! Maryland Science Center

i was fortunate and honored to represent MHMS & Howard County Schools at a day-long exploration of dinosaurs last saturday, including presentations from two scientists, a paleontologist-guided tour through our Dinosaur Mysteries exhibit, demonstrations of activities for the classroom, and a screening of the IMAX film Dinosaurs Alive 3D at the Maryland Science Center. i greatly enjoyed the speakers Tom Holtz and Alan Turner who provided some enlightening information on dinosaurs, their evolution and variety, along with reports on current research. Tom is from the University of Maryland and Alan from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Tom advised the Maryland Science Center on the content for their dinosaur exhibit, which opened in 2004. He is also the author of the new book "The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaurs Lovers of All Ages" as well as a number of dinosaur books for children.
Alan is featured in the IMAX film Dinosaurs Alive 3D. As part of the production for the film, the science center followed Alan and his colleagues' expeditions in both New Mexico and Mongolia.

the Dinosuars Alive 3-D movie rocked!

i actually jumped a few times as dinosaurs came within inches of my face!!! (or it felt that way! i even did the silly thing where i just HAD to reach out and try and touch a dino!) the lunch that was provided was excellent, too!

the whole experience was WAY cool! you can check out my notes and links HERE on our WIKI for any fellow science enthusiasts, Media Specialists, or Science teachers...

Mr. Jim O'Leary of the Maryland Science Center who organized and coordinated this outstanding event!

To see ALL of the pictures i took at the Maryland Science Center please visit our MHMS Smugmug Digital Photo gallery!