Monday, February 6, 2017

MHS Reading Revolution

2017 Reading Challenge (Reading Revolution)
#giantsread  #mhsreadingrevolution

Make a GIANT Resolution to Read… Join us for the MHS Reading Revolution.  


We are sponsoring a Reading for Fun initiative with activities to promote reading.  Students who participate will be entered into a drawing for gift cards and a grand prize at the end of the year. With every activity you participate in, you will have more chances to win a prize.

All you have to do is READ and share out what you are reading.

There are many ways to join:
  • You can stop by the library to sign up.  
  • Like our Facebook Page - MHS Media Giants
  • Follow us on Twitter or Instagram @giantslibrary
  • Join our “Groupme” App here or (see posters throughout the building and scan the qr code)

Our First Activity is a  “What are you reading now?” campaign.   Post a selfie of you with the book you are reading to any of our social media platforms with the hashtag #giantsreading.  This automatically enters you into the first drawing.  Seeing what others are reading may give you ideas about the next book you’ll want to try.

“But I don’t have time to read!”  You probably have more time than you realize.  Try limiting the time you spend on your phone playing a game or watching NetFlix.  You’ll be surprised at all the free time you have!

Watch for announcements as to other fun activities we will be doing.  

Monday, January 23, 2017


Here is a direct link to VOTE for "We Are Giants Library," a Hamilton Parody.  Please vote once a day through Friday to help us win money which will purchase innovative products such as 3-D printers to enhance learning.  See story below for more info on the making of this video.  So proud of these students!  


Monday, December 19, 2016

"We are Giants Library" Hamilton Parody

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? From Broadway’s Hamilton.


The above video is only the recording of the SOUNDTRACK.  The final video with pictures to accompany the song will be released when voting is open in January. #Waitforit! 

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, a number of MHS students, alumni, and staff collaborated to create a mini-masterpiece in the hopes of winning a contest that could mean a huge leap in technology for our library media center. A work of art as well as ‘heart,’ it is the story of the transformation of our MHS Library Media Center and its shift to 21st Century Digital Learning told in song. The incredible genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda inspired the Hamilton parody (see collaborators below) that we hope will capture the judges’ attention. 

The video will be entered as part of our Follett Challenge entry, a national competition from our book company that awards from $8000 to $60,000 to winning schools. The written application allows 3100 words asking for statistics and data. What the questions seem to leave out is the place to adequately tell the story of the immeasurable, of the heart of who we are - which involves personal connections with students and staff. It is those connections that allowed for the creation of a most unusual project - the Follett Challenge Video. 

I'd like to take this space to give credit and thanks to all those who contributed, each in a unique way. 

First, to Liz Kelsay, one of my minions with whom I share a love of musical theater, who last year, urged me repeatedly to listen to Hamilton.  Thank you for your persistence! It has opened up a new world of history and believe it or not, hip hop:) When I approached her about writing a parody, she was the first to offer help. 

A few of the students performing are library ‘minions;' some students are just very talented and were recruited because of that:)  A few are from our marketing class and just happen to be CSA Community School of the Arts products from the time they were little. Many of them grew up under the direction of Mark Fauser  who, ironically, is in a position with our school system as the Marketing Sales and Creative Development Director, a position that allows him to give his time and expertise to young adults he once directed as young children. Mark is always willing to give time he often doesn't have to consult and encourage. It is Mark who worked with the marketing class teaching them the basics of iMovie, which continues to be invaluable. 

Thanks also to our very supportive principal, Keith Burke, who good-naturedly participates in just about anything he is asked to do, embarrassing or not;) 

Indirectly, MHS alumni, and now YouTube personality, Caleb Marshall (The Fitness Marshall) is involved, as we are using the new video equipment he recommended. Thanks also to another integral part of the Fitness Marshall team, Haley Jordan, who came in to give us our first tips in using the equipment. Teacher Mike Robertson took extra time watching ‘how-to’ videos on the use of the new camera making sure it was ready to go. A HUGE thank you to JAG teacher, Jean Wright, who gave me the gift of time and helped me focus on the writing portion, and  to our MCS Communications Director, Patricia Gibson, who came to cheer us on and also, as part of the application, wrote a beautiful description of our program from the administration's perspective. 

The HOURS of work that went into the making of this video are measurable, but the HEART that went into it is not. During the pressure of finals week, working around tests and papers, students willingly did take after take to get it just right. 

MHS Alumni (and daughter,) Regan Reese, helped me (on more than one wintry night) in the writing process, as did MHS students, Liz Kelsay and Sophie Orrell. Regan took her lunch hour to come in and record the soprano part. Elizabeth Weurtley and Regan spent critical time working on the harmonies (thank you!)  After MANY takes to record the track that will be used for the final video, alumni (and son) Riley Reese (also a CSA alum) spent 5 hours ‘mixing’ the MP3. 

EVERYONE is a key player in this project, but I want to give a special thanks to student Jonathan Walts, who took it upon himself to start creating the video with the karaoke track, before we had recorded our 'real' parts. When the bell rang for Christmas Break, Jonathan volunteered to take it home and finish it. It is that kind of passion and initiative that makes my job more than just a job. 

Finally, one more special thanks - to our Follett Representative, Sharon Welk, who has put her heart into guiding me through this project, through countless emails and phone calls. 

What makes our library media center extraordinary is that it's become a center for collaboration and skills that go beyond a typical assignment. It is a place where individuals or groups collaborate to make first-class projects, often for a grade, but in this case, for a chance to help our school earn money that will allow for incredible gains in technology, things such as 3-D Printers, Robotics, and Go-Pro Cameras. 

The Follett Challenge is a contest that includes a video and a lengthy application of 3100 words. The Criteria includes collaboration, critical thinking, creation, and creativity. The making of this video alone includes the BEST of that. Even if we don’t win this competition, we are winners who will remember this project, and the time we spent creating a unique little piece of history for Marion High School.     They are telling a part of OUR story.  

                                             And they did it beautifully. #grateful 

I might have given up if not for the help of Sophie Orrell, Regan Reese, and Liz Kelsay, my contributing editors:)

Performers: Jalen Springer, Amonte King, Regan Reese, Liz Kelsay, Elizabeth Wuertley, Sophie Orrell, Shakila Wingo, Macie McCarthy, DeShaun Coleman, Casey Reaves, Jonathan Walts, Kaleb Evans

Special Thanks to my children, Regan and Riley Reese, who each put hours into making this extra-special.   I couldn't be more proud of you. 

Icing on the cake for me is the reflection that 11 years ago, the same three adorable little boys in the lower right corner, who were in the same CSA Christmas show as I was, would grow up to be KEY Players in this endeavor. Thank you Casey, Jonathan, and Kaleb - my triple threats, as Fauser likes to say. 

Elizabeth Wuertley, fellow perfectionist, who helped with harmonies right down to the wire. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May We Always Remember 9-11

 For a number of years, I took 8th graders and their parents on a trip to NYC sponsored by an incredible teacher and his wife, Ray & Peg Casey - who took hundreds of students from all over Indiana through the years.  Those trips remain some of my favorite memories.  The day the towers fell, we were collecting money for the 2001 trip.  It happened to be the first day Justice Middle School had Cable TV in all the classrooms; we watched in dismay, disbelief, and horror.

It would be two years before we took what would be my last trip there...below is the link to a FB album of a very solemn visit to Ground Zero.Visit to Ground Zero, 2003

As the anniversary approaches for September 11, here is a 9-11 Symbaloo of resources with many tiles that have multi-media and lesson plans.

Monday, April 18, 2016


I am thrilled to announce we now have 43 Audio Books on our Follett Shelf!

These books are free for MHS students and staff to download, so you can read without using up your data!  It is as simple as going to the eShelf, filtering by choosing audiobooks, and clicking on the one you want to check out. 

Students, download our App (Instructions for Downloading our Brytewave App), use your Novell Login and password, and you're ready to go!

Here at MCS, Karima Moubarik, our MCS School Psychologist, was thrilled to learn about our audiobook collection, which is new this year, purchased from a grant won by our MHS Academic Brain Game Team.

English is Karima’s 4th Language (yes, 4th!); she speaks French, Arabic, and Moroccan and credits audiobooks as being a major help in her acquisition of our language, in addition to her high school and college instruction in English.  

In addition to testing, Karima works with students from pre-school through high school who have various disabilities, including cognitive and emotional, while also consulting with parents and teachers. Karima works with ESL students and hopes audiobooks will help them with pronunciation and expansion of their vocabulary.  The more they read, the more accurate grammar they acquire, she says. For ESL students who are immigrants, the phonetic instruction for English was not taught, so listening helps them with the correct pronunciations.  

Karima  recommends audio books for all her students, especially for students who have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Students who struggle with attention have a hard time completing tasks, academic or even household tasks, like cleaning a room.  Audiobooks can help them focus if they listen while doing those activities.  She also recommends this for students with specific reading disabilities.

For the general population, this is a way to find time to read.   Karima listens to audiobooks even while cleaning!  There are benefits of audiobooks for ALL READERS.  If you’re skeptical about trying one, you might be interested in the 9 Benefits of Audiobooks by Denise Drespling, a light-hearted and fun look that might encourage you to try one.
Remember you can download the books so you do NOT have to be connected to the Internet to listen.  In June, Karima will go to Morocco to visit family and is thrilled she won’t have to depend on the Internet.

If you’ve never tried one, now is the time!  Also, these books, as well as over 500 eBooks are available 24/7 and can be read through the summer.  Easy access is just waiting for you.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Black History Month

As we near a 3-day weekend, remember we have over 500 books on our EBOOKS shelf. Check out the Brytewave App (directions) to read on any device, Apple or Android. 

Also, among the resources on this blog is our MHS Symbaloo  "webmix," which includes two links to Black History Webmixes compiled by other teachers.  There are many wonderful links from videos to lesson plans. See below.  To get to the MHS Symbaloo just click on the Symbaloo tab.