Thursday, December 11, 2014

Public Service Announcements

This week the Pre-AP 8th grade English classes are in the library to film PSA's on iPads.  The students just finished reading the novels Monster by Walter Dean Myers and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.  They have been discussing and considering the role society plays in both of these novels and their culminating project is to film a PSA on a "societal monster" of their choosing. Here are a few pictures of their creative process.

Monday, December 1, 2014

While You Were Sleeping...

While students were sleeping in on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, their teachers were getting a much needed "pick me up" in the form of an awesome two days of professional development.  We heard a wonderful speaker who inspired me to remember why I became a teacher in the first place.  She renewed my energy and made me excited to come back to school. We also got to hear a very special speaker on Monday.  His name is Noah Galloway and he lost both his arm and leg in a roadside bombing in Iraq.  He encouraged us to make physical fitness a priority in our lives.  He lives by the motto "No Excuses".  After hearing him speak, I realized I need to step up my fitness.  I learned some great things and came back to school energized and ready to take on the world!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Veteran Speaks to 6th Graders about WWI

The Smith/Alling team had a guest speaker today.  Major General (Ret.) Conrad Ponder of the United  States Army and also grandfather of  Liza Jane Ponder came to speak to the students about WWI.  The students were able to participate in the discussion because they are currently studying WWI. Major General Ponder brought some interesting items to show the students.  The Smith/Alling team asked some great questions and learned some additional facts about WWI.

Friday, October 31, 2014


measuring circumference
Mrs. Alling decided to use the character pumpkins to teach a little math.  What a fun way to learn about circumference, estimating, ratios and lots of other measurements.  Again, this is learning at its best!  I might have been a better math student if I knew math could be this much fun!



Weighing the pumpkin

Happy Halloween HMS!

I hope you have a happy and safe halloween tonight!  Today the library is decorated with some fabulous pumpkin creations by Mrs. Smith's classes (Smith/Alling Team, 6th grade).  But don't think these are just fun decorations.  Mrs. Smith challenged the students to write an in depth character analysis from the book they are currently reading.  Then the students created that character in pumpkin form.  Take a look at these pics.  They are amazing.  The kids learned all about analyzing a character and had a great time doing it.  This is what learning is all about!

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

Sir Ernest Shackleton from Endurance, Roan from Jedi Academy,Nikki from Dork Diaries and Michael from Heat

Roy from Hoot, Dumbledore from Harry Potter, Nina from The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days and Kenny from The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Awdolyn from Familiars series

Henry from 100 Cupboards

Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Digital Citizenship 2014

Check out this awesome video created by Ms. Shields' second period class at Homewood High School.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

iREP online

Digital Citizenship is an emphasis for Homewood City Schools. In fact, this concept is so important that the HCS Librarians have teamed up to create iREP online which stands for I Respect, Educate and Protect myself, others, the community and the world. We have created posters that will hang in classrooms as well as bookmarks that will be given out to Homewood families. Here in Homewood, Digital Citizenship is important and we want it to be important to you too. So be looking and listening for more information on this important subject. We want everyone to iREP online.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Posting the Right Way

Here at HMS, we are emphasizing Digital Citizenship in a big way. Digital Citizenship just means using technology responsibly.  But the word "responsible" may have a different meaning for you as a teenager than it does for me as an adult.  So to illustrate responsible behavior online, watch this great video from Common Sense Media.
Hopefully this video introduces you to the concept of "Digital Citizenship."  We will be talking more about this throughout the schoolyear.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Check It Out--Yourself!

This year our library has a new self-checkout station.  Yes, just like at Walmart you will now be able to check out your own books.  It is really quite easy and fun.  This will enable me to continue teaching and working with students while you still get all of the great on demand service you deserve.  It is an exciting development in our library.  So come on and check it out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Welcome Back!

I am so excited to start another school year with you!  The 2014-2015 school year is going to rock!  Just think of all the new books there are to read and all of the great new apps and technology there is to discover.  Make sure you notice our new touchscreen monitor in the library.  No--it isn't for student use but your teachers will have even more ways to use technology while they are in the library classroom.  And make sure you remember we have Overdrive.  Not sure what that is?  Overdrive is an online book service where you can check out digital books and audiobooks for FREE!

Don't miss out on all of the great things happening in the HMS Library!  I can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hello Summer! But not a goodbye to reading!

Yes- summer is finally here!  I cannot believe it.  Every year I anticipate summer and cannot wait for its arrival.  After all, I look forward to sleeping late, laying  out by the pool and just hanging out.  But I also look forward to all of the reading I will get to do! 

Don't allow yourself to get out of the habit of reading just because it is summer.  Put that device down (unless it has an Overdrive app) and pick up a book.  Or if you are a techie, download a book from our Overdrive site or from the public library. (  Summer is a great time to discover a new and exciting book you may have missed out on this year. Or check out a new genre you've never tried before. 

Remember, reading is a life long pursuit!  Don't stop reading just because school is out. 

Enjoy Summer!  READ!



Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Do you have a hobby? Is there something you really enjoy doing or think you would like to try? I think it is really important for everyone to have some sort of hobby. Life is stressful and hobbies are a great way to unwind and take some time for yourself. Lots of our teachers have different hobbies. Did you know that Mrs. Kilpatrick loves to knit? Or that Ms. White loves to workout at the Y? Mrs. Binkley enjoys sewing and quilting and Ms. Stewart plays tennis. Ms. Nowak likes to paint with watercolors and Mr. Cobb is an avid tennis player.

Personally, I have several hobbies. You probably can figure out that my favorite hobby is reading. I absolutely love to read to de-stress and unwind. But did you know I also love to birdwatch in my backyard? I even have a book so I can identify the birds I see. I have also tried knitting, sewing and some other things. No matter what, hobbies are important and if you don't have one then you might want to think about something new you'd like to try. And remember the library has tons of books to help you with your search for the perfect hobby. And don't forget, you tube has all kinds of how to videos if you want to learn a new skill. Also check out Pintrest for great hobby ideas.

Remember summer is coming so now is the perfect time to find something fun to do with your time. Don't be a couch potato all summer. Discover a hobby and discover something new about yourself!

Here's some ideas to get you started:

Hobbies for Guys

Knitting Ideas on Pintrest

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Break is Almost Here!

Spring Break is only two days away!   Are you as excited as I am?  I wonder if you have already been making plans for next week?  I hope your plans include reading.  There are some awesome books out there just waiting to be discovered. And don't forget the movie premiere of Veronica Roth's best selling novel Divergent is on Friday.  But don't dare step into that movie theatre without first reading this book. 

I hope you have a safe and restful Spring Break.  Make sure you take some good books along with you whether you go on vacation or have a "staycation" here in Homewood.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pluto is not a Planet...

For the last two weeks I have been visiting our 6th grade science classes to teach a lesson on why Pluto is no longer classified as a planet.  The students enjoyed a retro Schoolhouse Rock video called Interplanet Janet so that they could see that Pluto was indeed a planet.  We then discussed the problems with Pluto using the book When Is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto by Elaine Scott . We discussed why scientists decided to classify Pluto as a dwarf planet as well as the definition for a planet and a dwarf planet. I showed the students two NASA websites and ended the lesson discussing the New Horizons space mission to Pluto. At the end of the lesson, 6th grade students are able to compare and contrast a planet and a dwarf planet as well as discuss why Pluto is no longer a planet. I absolutely love getting in the classroom and teaching an exciting lesson on such an interesting topic.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

I know this is the beginning of a Christmas favorite but I think these song lyrics demonstrate the weather we've been having lately.  It has been dreary and cold.  And after last week's "Snowmaggedon", I am ready for some sunshine.

  But while the weather isn't wonderful, our library's book displays definitely are!  Stop by and check out our romantic books to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day and that upcoming winter dance.  Or check out our new books with anything from some awesome new fiction to some equally awesome nonfiction titles.  And don't forget our Winter Olympics and Black History Month displays. 

The weather might be frigid but we have plenty of books to warm your heart or send your heart racing!  Happy Reading!

 Black History Month

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lots of Learning in the Library!

Whew! It has been busy since we came back from the holiday break!  I have collaborated with both Mrs. Knudsen and Mrs. Edwards on their chemical element projects.  Their students learned how to cite their sources using both the AVL and EasyBib citation generator.  I also worked with several 6th grade classes teaching them how to cite their sources for their 1920's research project.  Students at HMS are learning how to research effectively and also how to cite their sources.

The new Google Chromebooks have been getting lots of use as well as our new Library Classroom space.  We are so excited to have this awesome space available so that  learning can continue in the HMS media center.