Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Today I was shelving books when suddenly to my wondering eyes did appear...No not Santa!  The Homewood City Schools Foundation!  The 2016 Grateful Dads raised money and the HMS Library is one of the recepients of their generosity.

I cannot express how grateful I am for the support of the Homewood community.  Not only did the Foundation give the library a surprise gift but the HMS PTO gave a generous grant as well.

The students of HMS benefit from this wonderful present.  Thank you so much Homewood.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Making Merry!

After a successful Maker Space activity, I got the crafting bug.  So I decided to decorate the library's very own Christmas tree.  With the help of Pinterest and a little trial and error, I came up with some cute ornaments with a little library flair.

Stop by if you'd like to create an ornament!

Bird ornaments!  My favorite!

tree ornament

The entire tree

Monday, November 14, 2016

It's Maker Monday!

Today is Maker Monday in the HMS Library.  We will be doing some awesome craft projects as well as playing some games like Blokus or Chess.  Our projects  may be low tech but that doesn't mean low value.  Kids will learn how to read directions, think critically and problem solve.   HMS Library is "making" it happen.  Pics to come later!

Update:  We had a great time "making" for Maker Monday.  It might not have been technology but following directions and figuring out how to make something is hard work.  The students did a great job of thinking of better ways to do things and I was amazed at how innovative our students can be.  

It's Maker Monday!

Today is Maker Monday in the HMS Library.  We will be doing some awesome craft projects as well as playing some games like Blokus or Chess.  Our projects  may be low tech but that doesn't mean low value.  Kids will learn how to read directions, think critically and problem solve.   HMS Library is "making" it happen.  Pics to come later!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What Should I Read Next?

Sometimes after I read a really "good" book, I hit a slump because I feel like I will never find a book as wonderful as the last one.  So I have compiled a list of read alikes so that you can find your next great book.

Harry Potter Read-Alikes
The Familiars series by Epstein
Bartimaeus series by Stroud
The Green Atlas series by Stephens
Children of the Lamp series by Kerr
Magyk series by Sage
Pendragon series by McHale

Divergent Read-Alikes
Red Queen series by Aveyard
The Glass Arrow by Simmons
Testing series by Charbonneau
Legend series by Lu
Gone series by Grant
Unwind series by Shusterman
Uglies series by Westerfield
5th Wave series by Yancey

These are just a sampling of some read-alikes you might enjoy.  Stop by the library for more suggestions.

Remember--Life is too short to read a book you don't like unless it is an assigned class novel. (I'm afraid I can't help you with that one.)

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Think Before You Post!

Over the past three weeks, both teachers and students have learned the importance of thinking before posting online.  We have also focused on privacy and keeping some things private including passwords and other information.  Hopefully HMS students now understand the importance of thinking and using good judgement before posting online.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Digital Citizenship Month

Digital Citizenship will be emphasized this month in all Homewood City Schools.  Today HMS students will receive a pamphlet from the FTC.  They should bring this home and hopefully have a great discussion with their parents regarding digital citizenship. 



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Author Ben Hatke Will Visit HMS

HMS really enjoyed the author visit.  It was awe inspiring!

6th and 7th grade students had the opportunity to meet author/illustrator Ben Hatke on Thursday, September 29th.  He has written the beloved Zita series but also has a new book entitled Mighty Jack.  

Check out Ben's blog here!

Friday, August 12, 2016

New Year! New Books!

When I got back to school this year, guess what was waiting for me?  Several stacks of new books were just waiting to be shelved so that they could jump into the hands of eager students. 

 I love the start of school.  There is nothing better than brand new notebooks, binders, and pencils.  I also love shopping for new clothes and fun accessories.  But I also love to come back to school to find new books on the shelves. 

What are you waiting for?  Drop by and pick up a new title today.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Don't Give in to the Summer Slide!

Water Slides

Only 8 days til summer...  Not that I'm counting but, yes even teachers look forward to summer.  I love the summer because I have more time for my favorite hobby--READING!  But for some of you, summer is all about the summer SLIDE.

Don't get on that slide and lose all the ground you've gained this year in reading.  Use your summer to read books.  Yes, you will have a summer reading assignment that will be announced soon but don't forget to read for fun!

To help keep you from sliding away this summer, Overdrive e-books is adding some free e-books to our already great catalog. And check out Sync Audiobooks  for two free audiobook downloads per week for the entire summer.  And don't forget about Overdrive.  It has instant access to all of your favorite titles.

No sliding allowed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wanna Win? Submit your Poem to the Homewood Library's Poetry Contest for Teens

Who doesn't love to showcase their poetry and win a killer prize?  Submit your best poem to the poetry contest and you may just be a winner!  Good Luck!

Go to  http://www.homewoodpubliclibrary.org/teen-poetry-contest/ for more information.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Testing Doesn't Have to Be Stressful!

Tomorrow HMS students will begin ASPIRE testing.  With testing can come feelings of anxiety, stress and nervousness.  But remember tests are a part of every student's life and will continue throughout your educational career and even beyond.  So instead of dreading tests, learn to adapt and become the best test taker you can be.

Here are a few tips from pbskids.org to help make your testing day the best it can be!

Testing Tips

Monday, April 4, 2016

School Libraries Matter!

This month is School Library Month and I can't think of a better way to kick it off than with a generous HMS PTO grant!  I was shocked and honored when the PTO surprised me with a huge check!  Yes, the actual check is large but the amount is pretty huge too!  I cannot express how grateful I am to have a PTO who understands and appreciates how life changing a school library can be.  Please be sure to tell PTO members and officers how excited you are about this grant.

The theme of this year's School Library Month is School Libraries Transform Learning 
Watch the public service announcement below to learn more!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Has Sprung!

The library has been super busy this week!  Mrs. Alling's and Mrs. Bates' science classes have been learning about the Apollo 11 space mission using the book Team Moon:  How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh.  The Apollo 11 had lots of people working to make it successful.  HMS students learned about all of the challenges in the space mission.

Next week is Spring Break, so make sure you stop by and pick up some reading for the break.  The library just got a shipment of new titles so be sure to ask about those.

Have a safe and happy Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Today is International Women's Day and March is Women's History Month

If you follow Twitter then you will see that #InternationalWomenDay is trending today.  This day is a part of Women's History Month and is a great opportunity to showcase books about remarkable women as well as books written by women.  The library has a display dedicated to women who have impacted history in some way.

But don't forget about your favorite female characters from books.  One of my favorite books of all time is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane is a smart and strongwilled woman whom I admire because she always makes the moral choice even when it will cost her personally.  Or what about Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson? Elisa is supposed to be the chosen one but most people see her as lazy and fat.  But Elisa doesn't let people define her and she goes on to fufill her destiny.

 There are tons of books in our library filled with memorable female characters.  Stop by today and pick up a novel with a character who will inspire you.

Look at this blog post written by Karina Glaser for Book Riot.  There are tons of memorable characters and I am sure you will find the right book for you!

Book Riot-Strong Female Characters

Monday, February 22, 2016

Is Pluto a Planet?

Starting this week, I will be teaching 6th grade science classes all about Pluto.  Students will be able to define a planet and a dwarf planet.  They will also be able to explain why Pluto is no longer considered a planet.

We are learning all of this information with the help of some really interesting websites.  The students are looking at Is Pluto a Planet? a website lesson created by Science Links.  Included in the lesson is a slideshow as well as a fascinating video featuring Professor Mike Brown.

The culminating activity is from Smithsonian Education and puts our solar system in perspective using Google Maps.  Try it out HERE  Finally, the students are looking at NASA's New Horizons space mission to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Today is Digital Learning Day!

This week is digital learning week and today is designated as Alabama's Digital Learning Day.  So why not bridge that digital divide and check out an e-book from our Overdrive library?  We have tons of great e-books and audio books just waiting for you to check them out.

Why not take today to try something new!  Learn a new digital skill.  Play with that app you've been wanting to try.  Use your social media for something other than being "social."  Read an article on twitter.  Follow National Geographic on Instagram.  Or watch a Ted Talk on a cool topic.

There are so many awesome digital literacies to explore today.  Don't forget to be a good digitial citizen but go out there and try something new.  You might make an impact on the world!




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Darkness into Life Holocaust Exhibit in the HMS Library

 Thanks to the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and Mrs. Darby Baird, the library has an extensive mobile exhibit on loan.  This exhibit features Holocaust survivors from here in Alabama  and their personal stories.  Our 6th graders study the Holocaust as part of their Social Studies curriculum but all of our HMS students, parents and the Homewood community are invited to stop by and see this powerful reminder of a terrible time in our history. We must keep this painful reminder in the forefront so that history does not repeat itself.

The exhibit will be in the library through February 19th.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Black History Month

February is designated as Black History Month or African American History Month. This month celebrates the achievements of African Americans in the United States.  I didn't know very much about the origins of this month so I decided to do a little research.  I found out some very interesting facts.  Check out these two sources so you can learn about this special month too!

Library of Congress

 History Channel

Make sure you stop by the library to look at all of the books on display for this celebration of African Americans.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

BRRR... It is cold here in Homewood and our first day back after our holiday break.  I hope each and every one of you had a fabulous time during the holidays!  If you are like me, you might have a touch of the winter blues.  After all, it is cold outside and you have to get up early to come to school.  But if you are feeling a little sad, come on in the library and check out a book.  I promise reading will make you feel better!

Or why not check out our Overdrive E-book titles.  I just added some new books and audiobooks so there is sure to be something anyone can enjoy.

Just click the links to the right and you can browse Destiny or login to our Overdrive E-Book Collection.  And remember, I am here to help you get started with Overdrive or to recommend your next favorite book!  So come on in out of the cold!

Check out these cool pics of Snowflakes