Wednesday, December 23, 2009


...adieu, adios, arrivederci, auf wiedersehen, au revoir, bye-bye, cheerio, goodbye, good day, so long... just for a little while. As most of you know by now, I am taking a hiatus from Mepham High School to have a baby. Here are some tips to keep you in line while I am gone.

Top 5 Things NOT to do While Ms. Stack is on Maternity Leave:

5. Steal copyright-protected works (i.e., music and images)
4. Forget to pay your library fines (I keep all the $$$ I collect for baby furniture. JK.)
3. Bother Ms. Hirsch or Ms. Zitay - this is their break from all the work they do for me (like making my Halloween costume)
2. Sneak food or drinks into the library
1. Call me at home to ask me about Photo Story or Movie Maker!

Top 5 Things NOT to Say to the New Librarian:
5. Well Ms. Stack does it this way.
4. Books? People don’t use the library for books.
3. Ms. Stack lets us use copyrighted material.
2. We always eat lunch in here.
1. Wow! You are so much better at this than Ms. Stack.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Making Holiday Wishes Come True!

The fourth annual Craft Fair will take place on Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, December 23 from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. We have all new crafts this year! Participants can learn to design their own headbands and bracelets. We will once again have crocheting lessons. You can make wonderful gifts just in time for the holidays. The money that we raise always goes to a worthy cause. This year the funds collected will be given to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Art Museum Image Gallery

This new database from H.W. Wilson, houses a collection of art images and related multimedia (rights-cleared for educational use) gathered from the collections of distinguished museums around the world. This is a password-protected database that our school subscribes to, so please stop by the library to get the username and password.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just in Time for Holiday Shopping!

Our fourth annual Scholastic Book Fair will take place in the school library from Monday, November 30 - Wednesday, December 2 from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Our “ONE for BOOKS” donations will raise money to purchase books for children’s charities, including Toys for Tots, Kids in Distressed Situations Inc., and National Center for Family Literacy. Books enrich our student’s lives – and we all reap the benefits.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Study Guides and Strategies

Since 1996, the Study Guides and Strategies Website has been researched, authored, maintained and supported by Joe Landsberger as an international, learner-centric, educational public service. Permission is granted to freely copy, adapt, and distribute individual Study Guides in print format in non-commercial educational settings that benefit learners. Please be aware that the Guides welcome, and are under, continuous review and revision.

Some of the topics include:
  • Time Management
  • Problem solving/Decision-making
  • Learning
  • Learning with others
  • Online learning/ communicating
  • Thinking
  • Studying
  • Classroom participation
  • Reading
  • Research
  • Project management
  • Preparing for Tests
  • Taking Tests
  • Writing Basics
  • Writing Types
  • Vocabulary/spelling
  • Math
  • Science and Technology

Monday, November 2, 2009


Do you have the power of a flash drive? A flash drive is a data storage device that can hold all your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoints, Publisher documents, images, music, videos and more. You no longer need to send documents back and forth through email. A flash drive is about the size of your thumb and fits easily into backpacks and pockets!

Flash drives are now on sale in the school library for $10 each! The money raised helps support the activities of the National English Honor Society. These 2GB maroon and silver flash drives are designed with a very attractive Mepham H.S. Pirates logo and keychain. Get yours while supplies last!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Read Beyond Reality @ your library®

Today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have. That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read. Teen Read Week is Oct. 18-24, with a theme of Read Beyond Reality @ your library, encouraging teens to read something out of this world, just for the fun of it.

Parents of teens are encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Week at home. Mrs. Stack offers these ideas:
  • Visit the public or school library with your teen to attend a program or to check out books.
  • Set aside time each night for the family to read.
  • Give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift or reward.
  • Share your favorite book with your teen.
  • Surf the web with your teen to learn about new books or authors. A good place to start is YALSA's Booklist's page.
  • Join a book discussion group at your public library.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Author Returns to His Roots

Yesterday after school, Lee Krinsky, a '97 Mepham graduate and first-time author returned to his old stomping ground. The National English Honor
Society (NEHS) hosted an author visit in the school library with a book discussion, Q&A, book raffle, and book signing. This event was our best-attended author visit so far with over 130students in attendance. Five students were randomly-selected to receive a paperback copy of Krinsky's novel.

Tragically, like one of the main characters in Krinsky's novel, The Longest Fall, one of the runners from the Wellington C. Mepham High School cross country team died in Krinsky’s junior year. The NEHS presented Krinsky with a check for $100 towards the Troy Depass Scholarship Fund. Each year this fund awards $500 each to a male and female student from Wellington C. Mepham High School. In order to raise additional funds for this scholarship, Krinsky is selling t-shirts with the "Atlantic" logo (the team from the book). To purchase a t-shirt, please see Ms. Stack in school library.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Longest Fall

In Lee Krinsky’s The Longest Fall, the sudden death of an inspiring teammate from a high school cross country team quickly shows the boys the harsher side of life. The book is based in part on the author’s very real high school experiences as a member of the W.C. Mepham cross country team with legendary coach Paul Limmer. Krinsky will be here at Mepham High School to speak about his book and writing on Tuesday, October 20th at 2:15 p.m. in the school library. All are welcome to attend!

Past author visits at Mepham High School have included Robin Palmer, author of Cindy Ella and Geek Charming, Jen Calonita who wrote the very popular series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life, and Patrick Jones who has written many teen novels including, Things Change, which is on our ninth grade summer reading list.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Glogster is in beta (testing) form. It is a FREE online tool for users to create flash posters. You can mix graphics, photos, videos, music and text. Mr. Stein and I created a glog for our Website. You can see and hear how we used it to improve our site and add some sizzle.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Case You Missed It...

...this is the Library Orientation Video.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebrating the Freedom to Read ala Dr. Seuss!

Banned Books Week is September 26−October 3, 2009. This is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome Back!

Greetings Class of 2013. Welcome back students, parents, facutly and staff! We have a great year in store. New additions to the school library include an Epson scanner (bringing the total to 2) and a new SMART Board projector. This year a '97 Mepham alumnus will be back to discuss his first published novel, the Scholastic Book Fair and Holiday Craft Fair return to Room 300, and new projects and research have already begun to take place. We encourage everyone to stop by and check out all the resources available to you.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Have a Great Summer!

Have a great break and remember to do your summer reading!

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Incoming 9th Graders

Incoming 9th graders check out your summer reading music video and podcast. When you're finished watching, tell me what book you will read this summer.

Incoming 10th Graders

Incoming 10th graders check out your summer reading music video and podcast. When you're finished watching, tell me what book you will read this summer.

Incoming 11th Graders

Incoming 11th graders check out your summer reading music video and podcast. When you're finished watching, tell me what book you will read this summer.

Incoming 12th Graders

Incoming 12th graders check out your summer reading music video and podcast. When you're finished watching, tell me what book you will read this summer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cool Down with a Good Book!

We are pleased to present the 2009 Summer Reading Lists. Each student is required to select a book from the appropriate grade-level list below. If you are having trouble choosing a book, ask a parent, teacher, librarian or the English department chair for help. The Mepham High School Website has pamphlets and our next post will have podcasts with short summaries to help make your selection easier. The titles below are linked to for more information.

Incoming 9th Grade Summer Reading List:
Driver's Ed by Caroline B. Cooney
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
Things Change by Patrick Jones
Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Incoming 10th Grade Summer Reading List:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Incoming 11th Grade Summer Reading List:
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Loves Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Black Girl / White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

The Kite Runner* by Khaled Hosseini
*Only required for E3 AP English students at Mepham High School

Incoming 12th Grade Summer Reading List:
For One More Day by Mitch Albom
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Freakonomics*by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The Grapes of Wrath* by John Steinbeck
*Only required for E4 AP English students at Mepham High School

How to Create a Screencast

What is Jing? View this video then view this video (click on the link that says, "Watch a video to see how") for a much better explanation.

If you want to look at other ways to use screencasts in your class, take a look at this one and this one that I created last summer.

If you have any questions, just ask Stu... or email me. Good luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Did Internet Kill the Radio Star?

They said television killed the radio. Now they are saying that the Internet has killed television. It is true that you can watch TV now on your computer, just look at hulu. It's great when your DVR cuts off the last two minutes of your favorite program. You can also listen to radio, not your traditional radio, but a new kind of radio. Pandora Internet Radio allows you to type in the name of your
favorite artist, song, or composer and Pandora will create an online
radio station featuring that particular music and others songs like it. Users can create 100 different unique online stations for their listening pleasure, but they do need to create an account first. Try it out and report back your thoughts, comments, and suggestions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Still Do Books

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
by E. Lockhart
© 2008
Frankie Landau-Banks attempts to take over a secret, all-male society at her exclusive prep school, and her antics with the group soon draw some unlikely attention and have unexpected consequences that could change her life forever.

The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
© 2008
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's an Airliner?

We just received two SMART™ Airliners™ in our school! What’s this new technology all about? The Airliner wireless slate interacts with your SMART Board from 52 feet away. The tethered pen and wireless mouse allows teachers and students to control software applications, write notes, and highlight information in digital ink, then display it on the SMART Board. So why bother to use the Airliner? Teachers can teach from anywhere in the room. Never turn your back on the class again. Students Can interact with the SMART Board from their seats. This is ideal to embrace students in the learning process who are physically unable to reach the SMART Board.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poem in Your Pocket

We will once again be celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 30th at Mepham High School. The idea is simple: carry a poem in your pocket. You can write your own poem or borrow one from your favorite poet—just make sure to have it in your pocket. In case you forget, our National English Honor Society students will be at the doors of Mepham High School on April 30th passing out poems. Our English teachers will be raffling off books of poetry to those students who are caught with poems in their pockets. What will your poem be?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Going Green

Your library is greener than ever before. Just how green? You will notice that we now have a very large green recycle bin for all your paper products. It is located next to the desktop computers and magazines. You won't be able to miss it - it's huge! We are also collecting water bottles and cans at the front door for recycling next to the regular garbage can. Please help us, help the earth. Let us know if you have any other ideas to improve the efficiency of our library.

April 22nd is Earth Day.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Clickers in the Classroom

SMART's Senteo™ Interactive Response System has stormed our classrooms and both students and teachers are loving it—just ask Ms. McClenahan and Mr. Walsh. With the click of a button on these Senteo remotes, students can instantly tell teachers how much they know. Teachers can then use this insight to adapt their lessons based on students’ responses.

Teachers can:
  • develop interactive questions
  • gauge student knowledge with planned tests or informal questions
  • organize assessment results and track student performance
  • prepare simple or detailed assessment reports

Stop by the library to sign out a class set of 32 clickers, a receiver and assessment software that can be installed on your school or personal computer.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break

Enjoy the break!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Press Play @ Our Library!

Press Play at Your Library March 8 – 14! Think the library is all about books? Think again. Libraries are chock-full of tech toys like CDs, DVDs and video games, and they're a great place to get connected to gaming, music, the Web and more. Stop by the Mepham High School Library or visit our Website during Teen Tech Week to press play today.

Local teens will be tuning in at the library as Mepham High School celebrates the second annual Teen Tech Week. They join thousands of other libraries and schools across the country who are celebrating this year’s theme, "Press Play @ Your Library®.” Teen Tech Week is a national initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries' non-print resources for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Much Do We Love Robin Palmer?

Robin Palmer, author of Cindy Ella and Geek Charming, joined us on Tuesday, February 10th at 2:15 p.m. in the school library to discuss her two young adult novels. We had an in-depth book discussion, Q&A, book signing, and photo op. Sixty of our students received a copy of her first novel Cindy Ella. See what Robin Palmer had to say about her visit on her blog, Keep Your Glass Slipper... I'd Rather Wear Flip Flops. She graciously mentioned our own, Chrissy Hirsch and her super, fantastic illustration of the cover of Cindy Ella. Watch part of the visit below.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Robin Palmer Hits the Halls of Mepham!

Robin Palmer, author of Cindy Ella and Geek Charming, will join us on Tuesday, February 10th at 2:15 p.m. in the Mepham High School library to discuss her two young adult novels. We will have a book discussion, Q&A, book signing, and photo op. The first 60 students to sign up with Ms. Stack will receive a copy of her first paperback novel Cindy Ella. Past author visits at Mepham High School have included Jen Calonita who wrote the very popular series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life, and Patrick Jones who has written many teen novels including, Things Change, which is on our ninth grade summer reading list. To learn more about Robin Palmer check out her Website and blog. Check back after her visit for a recap!

About Cindy Ella:
Prom fever has infected LA—especially Cindy’s two annoying stepsisters, and her overly Botoxed stepmother. Cindy seems to be the only one immune to it all. But her anti-prom letter in the school newspaper does more to turn Cindy into Queen of the Freaks than close the gap between the popular kids and the rest of the students. Everyone thinks she’s committed social suicide, except for her two best friends, the yoga goddess India and John Hughes–worshipping Malcolm, and shockingly, the most popular senior at Castle Heights High and Cindy’s crush, Adam Silver. Suddenly Cindy starts to think that maybe her social life could have a happily ever after. But there’s still the rest of the school to deal with. With a little bit of help from an unexpected source and a fabulous pair of heels, Cindy realizes that she still has a chance at a happily ever after.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Big Winners!

The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association (ALA). This year’s winner is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

About the book:
Haunted by the past, Taylor Markham reluctantly leads the students of the Jellicoe School in their secret territory wars against the Townies and the Cadets. Marchetta’s lyrical writing evokes the Australian landscape in a suspenseful tale of raw emotion, romance, humor and tragedy. Melina Marchetta lives in Sydney, Australia, and is the award-winning author of two previous novels. A former high school teacher, she is recognized for the authenticity of her teen characters’ voices. “This roller coaster ride of a novel grabs you from the first sentence and doesn’t let go. You may not be sure where the ride will take you, but every detail—from the complexities of the dual narrative to the pangs of first love—is pitch perfect,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Mary Arnold.

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The 2009 Newbery Medal winner is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by HarperCollins Children's Books.

A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens.

"A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this deliciously creepy tale, which is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising," said Newbery Committee Chair Rose V. TreviƱo.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share Webpages. Student groups, teaches, classes, or teams can create Websites quickly to share documents, videos, calendars, charts, and other information all in one place. Users can upload documents as attachments, search the Website for specific content, and make the site assessable to specific individuals such as a class roster. Since the software is Web-based, users can make changes to their site from any computer with an Internet connection.
Mr. Stein and I used Google Sites to create our very own Long Island Web 2.0 Classroom Website. The graphics are simple, so we spiced it up with Glogster on the homepage. Glogster is a revolutionary way to create a digital poster using flash technology. More information on these types of application will be coming soon. One feature that Google Sites offers that we really like is the built in sitemap, that we find so important to Website navigation. A sitemap is a representation of the architecture of a Website. It is a hierarchical list of Webpages that belong to a site. Google Sites also has templates that allow users to embed videos from YouTube. All you need to create a Google Site is to have a Google account, and it is free to create one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Data Privacy Day

On January 28, the U.S., Canada, and 27 European countries celebrated Data Privacy Day to raise awareness and generate discussion about data privacy practices and rights. One of the primary goals of this day is to promote privacy awareness and education among teens across the U.S. As the volume of data uploaded to the World Wide Web increases exponentially, it is vital to comprehend the risks and benefits associated with online communication. Click here for more information, useful links, and resources.

Monday, January 26, 2009

One of the Coolest Tools on Earth!

Google Earth is a free, downloadable application that combines satellite imagery, maps, 3D terrain and 3D buildings to create a highly realistic virtual globe. Students and teachers can explore geographical content, save their toured places and share places with others.

Teachers and students can create their own virtual tours and share them with others. They can even explore content that is developed by organizations such as NASA. In addition, Google has teamed up with astronomers to bring us Google Sky. Using Google Maps this tool provides a way for teachers and students to explore the universe. Users can find the positions of the planets and constellations on the sky and can even watch the birth of distant galaxies as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Students can use Google Earth to:
  • Create tours of their school or community
  • Study climate change and the effects of global warming
  • Track earthquakes in real-time

Friday, January 23, 2009

Turning a Video Into a Netcast

One cannot step into the W.C. Mepham High School Library these days without seeing a bunch of our students sitting at the banks of computers or laptops recording their narration for a Photo Story project or importing their videos into Movie Maker. So what should our teachers do with these creative, content-driven projects? They could take two days out of their instruction to present these projects in class OR they could do something different, innovative, and very useful! Teachers can post these videos to a blog and have their students watch each others projects for homework and answer thought-provoking questions online. How do they do this? Our teachers use Blogger. What is it? Blogger is a tool that makes it easy to instantly publish blogs to the Internet. Blogs are webpages consisting of frequently updated posts or entries on topics. The newest post appears at the top of the page, followed by recent posts in reverse chronological order. Blogger makes it easy to create rich multi-media posts that include text, links, pictures, and videos. Our students can comment on posts that are teacher-created, but student-directed.

Teachers have already used Blogger in our school to:
  • Post their student's Photo Story and Movie Maker projects.
  • Post resources, lessons, and homework assignments.
  • Keep parents up-to-date on class happenings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Funny Pages

This past fall my colleague Stu Stein and I presented at Emergency Preparedness Day to our District's Special Education Department on alternative assessments and technology. One of the tools that we introduced were online comic or cartoon creators. There are several FREE services available on the World Wide Web. Check them out below and see which one works best for you. Our teachers have used them for homework assignments, formative assessments, portfolio pieces, etc.

Click on cartoon to enlarge
  • Comic Creator: The Comic Creator is an interactive tool that invites students to compose their own comic strips for a variety of contexts.

  • ToonDoo: ToonDoo allows users to set up an account and create your own comic strips, publish them to the Internet, share & discuss.

  • Pixton: Pixton lets you make your own Web comics online.

  • Comiqs: Comiqs is a tolls that lets you create and share your comic stories.

  • Make Beliefs Comix: From author Bill Zimmerman an online educational comic generator for kids of all ages

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009

Today we inaugurate our 44th President of the United States. Like most of our country and the world, Mepham High School will be watching the 56th Presidential Inauguration. I wonder which part of the day our students are looking forward to the most - the Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, the Inaugural Address, or the Inaugural Parade?

When President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath of office, he will state the following:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

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