Monday, December 23, 2013

Have a good one!

Have a safe and healthy holiday break with friends and family. We'll see you in...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Skitch by Evernote

Skitch allows you to annotate on photos or images and save them to Evernote for future access. The premise behind Stitch is to draw attention, say it with fewer words and move projects forward. You use the annotation and markups (shapes and arrows) to quickly draw attention to what's important in the photo. Skitch can be used on your computer or mobile device. The video below shows Skitch in action. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Splashtop allows you to display your computer screen (PC or Mac) onto any mobile device and use it as a slate. Splashtop is a paid app for your mobile device, and also must be downloaded on to your computer.

From the comfort of your mobile device, you can:
  • View and edit files remotely (no transferring or syncing)
  • Use your favorite Windows and Mac apps and programs
  • Give presentations with full audio and video that engage your audience
  • Play graphic-intensive games from your iPad or other devices
  • Watch HD movies/TV shows/Flash videos up to 30 frames p/sec with low latency
  • Stream your music collection from another computer
Reasons to use it: 
  1. Easy-to-use interface
  2. Optimized for new hardware (Think: Retina display)
  3. Supercharged network performance (3G/4G)  
  4. Enhanced security
  5. Support for multiple devices  
Over 15 million users are using Splashtop. It's worth a try!

Monday, December 16, 2013


From Free Technology for Teachers
Have you ever wanted to use an article from the Internet in your classroom, but spent lots of time trying to remove the ads and pictures? Not anymore!  CleanPrint® can be added to your browser to help you! Download this tool and use it to clean up the articles for you!  According to their site, “CleanPrint® is an economically and ecologically friendly print tool that saves you paper and ink while making your output look great. Before printing or saving content you can add a note, eliminate images, increase or decrease font size, and eliminate text to save ink and paper.” If you have not tried this before, you must!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Share My Lesson, Share Your Lesson

400,000 members
From the Website: “Share My Lesson is a place where educators can come together to create and share their very best teaching resources. Developed by teachers for teachers, this free platform gives access to high-quality teaching resources and provides an online community where teachers can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other.

Share My Lesson has a significant resource bank for Common Core State Standards, covering all aspects of the standards, from advice and guides to help with dedicated resources that support the standards.

Share My Lesson was developed by the American Federation of Teachers and TES Connect, the largest network of teachers in the world.

Here are 10 reasons to join:
  1. Get free access to over 270,000 high-quality teaching resources.
  2. Resources are rated and reviewed by other educators.
  3. You can search by subject, topic, grade, type and format.
  4. The site includes a dedicated Common Core State Standards information center.
  5. Find additional resources from our content partners.
  6. Gather advice and inspiration from your colleagues.
  7. Share your favorite resources with fellow educators.
  8. Be part of the fastest growing network of teachers in America.
  9. Access to the site and resources will always be free.
  10. Register today and be entered to win!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Automatically Cite Internet Resources... What!?!

Citelighter allows you to easily save, organize, and automatically cite Internet resources.

How it Works:
Once you register, you download the Citelighter toolbar. It can be added to multiple browsers like
Chrome, Firefox and Safari. At the time this article was written, it was not available yet on Internet Explorer. You then create a new project and enter the title of your paper. Next you begin your research by going to trusted sites on the Web. When you find a fact or quote that you want to include in your paper, you highlight it using your mouse and press the capture button. This will automatically be stored in your Citelighter cloud for later reference. When you capture information from a Webpage, Citelighter will grab most of the bibliographic information. Click the "See Citation" button to verify or change the information.  You can also add offline sources (books, journals, etc.) manually.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Smore, please!

Sample Newsletter via Smore
With Smore you can create beautiful flyers and newsletters. According to their website, it's "as easy as a marker and a piece of paper. Smore makes you look like a pro every time. Even if you have zero design experience." There are tons of elegant, customizable templates to choose from with foolproof design. Sounds good to me! Best of all, it’s free!

These flyers can be printed via Smore's handy print tool, so you can hang them on your bulletin board or have stellar handouts. Flyers can be instantly sent to your mailing list. You can also see who's read the email and who hasn't. Smore flyers work seamlessly on phones and tablets. Smore also has tools that make promoting your content easy and effective. You can share on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

QR Codes Add Depth to Book Fair

QR codes enhance Book Fair experience.
Several books at this year's fair had QR codes that student and teacher's could scan to find out more about those particular titles including, free podcasts, author interviews, book talks, which feature students providing peer reviews about the book.

Earlier this year, Scholastic Book Fairs went digital with a new FREE app designed to help students, parents and teachers find the right book in a “snap.” They have a uniquely created “SCAN A COVER” option, where you can simply point and scan the cover. This connects the user with digital experiences (media) to physical products (books). The Book Fairs app reveals valuable information about each book, including reading levels, age range, videos, summary and similar titles.
The Scholastic Book Fairs app is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch at The app is also available for free download on select Android devices. For more information about the app, go to  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Turning Dollars and Coins Into Books and Smiles!

Get ready to celebrate the love of reading with our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair! This year, one of our goals is to ensure as many children as possible receive books and have access to books. One of the ways we can do that is through the All for Books program. With your help, all of the money collected goes to purchasing more books for children in the Child Life Program (CLP) at Winthrop-University Hospital. Mr. Patten and Ms. Dennis' classes have been visiting these children in the hospital as part of their Participation in Government Service Learning Project. These students will hand deliver the books we buy directly to the patients.

Not only does your donation help our cause, but Scholastic Book Fairs will match monetary donations raised with a donation of up to one million books to two non-profit organizations dedicated to helping children, families, and teachers acquire books and educational resources - Kids In Need Foundation and Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.

Please take a moment to donate $1 or loose change in the bins in the school library. THANK YOU!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reading Oasis: A Cool Place to Discover Hot Books!

Our eighth annual Scholastic Book Fair is here! Can you believe the school library has been hosting this fair for 8 years!?!

We invite you to visit our Scholastic Book Fair and experience a celebration of reading that provides families the opportunity to get involved in a universal mission: encouraging kids to read every day so they can lead better lives.

Our Book Fair is part of a reading event that brings to school a wonderful selection of fun, engaging, and affordable books our students want to read. Giving students access to good books and the opportunity to choose books will motivate them to read more. And like most acquired skills, the more students practice reading, the better they’ll get. Reading is vital to every student’s success, and it’s the door opener to 21st century skills!

From Monday, December 2nd - Wednesday, December 4th from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. you can shop our book fair up in the school library or at all hours on our online fair by clicking here. On Tuesday, December 3rd from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., the book fair will feature a special Family Night in conjunction with the Parent/Teacher Conferences. Parents, students, teachers, families, and the school community are invited to attend.

All for Books, our annual fundraiser, in conjunction with the book fair will provide funds this year to buy books for children in the Child Life Program (CLP) at Winthrop-University Hospital. All purchases benefit our school too. Proceeds from the Fair will be used to buy books for the school library, and to support activities of the school’s chapter of the National English Honor Society (NEHS), such as our annual author visit.

Books enrich our student’s lives – and we all reap the benefits. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Padlet (formally Wallwisher)

Image linked from here
They give you a blank wall (think of it as a canvas) for FREE and then you put anything you want on it. Richard Byrne who writes the blog, Free Technology for Teachers, has a great article/video on how to create a Padlet Wall for Your Classroom. It seems very easy to use, just drag and drop the different components. Padlet has fun, flexible layouts, with many designs and backgrounds.

Everything auto saves and who doesn’t LOVE a program that auto saves? Padlet has instant collaboration, meaning that you can see everyone's activity on the wall instantly without reloading the page. And who doesn’t LOVE a program that refreshes a page automatically?

Padlet lets you to paste a link to a YouTube video, drag a word document from your computer, and take a picture from your iPad camera. You can also embed the wall on your blog or website. 

Padlet is educator-friendly. It allows you keep your wall private between students and classes. The creator of the wall decides who has permission to change what is written on the wall and who has access to see the wall. It is designed to be viewed on your phone or tablet as well as your computer, laptop or TV. 

Some competing brands include: PrimaryWall, "a web-based sticky note tool designed for schools that allows pupils and teachers to work together in real-time" and lino, "a free sticky and canvas service that requires nothing but a web browser."  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mysteries of Vernacular

Website: Mysteries of Vernacular
I was recently introduced to a unique Website called, Mysteries of Vernacular. It is one of the most visual stunning videos I have ever seen. Created by Myriapod Productions, this site "contains 26 etymological installments, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each episode takes more than 80 hours (!) to create between the research, construction of the book and the animation." Click on the books on the bookshelf to see the next installment or click on the links below.

A - Assassin
B - Bewilder
C - Clue
D - Dynamite
E - Earwig
F - Fizzle
G - Gorgeous
H - Hearse
I - Inaugurate
J - Jade
K - Keister
L - Lady - coming soon!
M - Miniature
N - Noise
O - Odd - coming soon!
P - Pants
Q - Quarantine
R - Robot
S - Sarcophagus
T - Tuxedo
U - Ukulele
V - Venom
W - Window
X - X-ray
Y - Yankee - coming soon!
Z - Zero

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spotlight On: is a database that we subscribe to courtesy of the Nassau BOCES School Library System. Teachers can bring books and authors to life with online multimedia resources, including author interviews, lesson plans, book guides, vocabulary lists, book trailers, videos and audio.

"If you read fiction and nonfiction books in any discipline or setting,'s database of instructional materials will enliven your K–12 reading and library activities. helps with your Common Core instructional shifts by:
  • Identifying exceptional and relevant books for your classroom,
  • Providing ready-to-use instructional materials for each text,
  • Exposing students to a range of text types, formats, and cultural perspectives,
  • Analyzing books with qualitative and quantitative text complexity measures.
This resource is worth a look by all our ELA faculty. It is password-protected, so come see Ms. Stack in the library for log in information.

Friday, November 8, 2013


I have been a faithful Jing (from TechSmith) user for all of my screencasts for the last 7 years. However, our new Website does not support .swf files and neither does YouTube. So, I have been on a hunt for a comparable solution. I came across Screencast-O-Matic, a FREE online screen recorder. This works on Windows or Mac computers with no install! The FREE version includes:

  • a maximum of fifteen minutes of recording time per video
  • Record screen and webcam (I'm very excited to try this feature!)
  • Publish to YouTube HD
  • Publish to MP4, AVI, FLV movie
Coming soon: Be on the lookout for new screencast postings on this blog!

Monday, November 4, 2013

lingro: The coolest dictionary known to hombre!

Sample Lingro page of
The tag line is true! Lingro turns any Website into an interactive dictionary where users can click on a word to view the definition and hear the pronunciation. Supported by 12 languages, Lingro is also a useful tool for translating text.

Lingro is super easy to use.
Step 1: Enter a website address (copy and paste the URL) into Lingro's web browser to make all words on that page clickable.

Step 2: Click on words you don't know.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Alternative to Apple TV?

“Have you ever wanted to see your iPhone or iPad on a larger screen? Play games, watch movies, demo apps or present to your computer from your iPhone or iPad?” During a recent training, the instructor wanted to mirror her iPad to the SMART Board and while the room we were in had wifi, we did not have Apple TV. She had an excellent alternative – Reflector. A relatively cheap app at just $12.99, Reflector “wirelessly receives and displays any device(s) that connect and mirror to it. Under the hood, Reflector works much like an Apple TV, so there's nothing to setup.” AirPlay mirroring is built in to the device, so there is nothing extra that you need to buy. A list of compatible devices can be found here. I've seen it in use and it works seamlessly in our classroom environment.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Infographics to Display Knowledge

I'm looking for the creator of this infographic to give proper citation.
If you know who created it, please reply in the comment section below. 
I just got back from the 2013 Long Island Technology Summit. This year’s theme, “Digital Citizenship,” focused on creating a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity; and that develops a personal responsibility for life-long learning. I came back with a few great resources for integrating EdTech tools across disciplines for 21st century literacy. The first one was Piktochart, which is a FREE website for creating infographics (these are super popular right now!). We love them because they are an easy way to consume information for the visual learner. They are also a fun way for students to show what they know. Infographics can be created in three simple phases:
Step 1: Research - Find the information that you want to use, then organize it.
Step 2: Design - Choose a theme of create one from scratch.
Step 3: Pizzazz, Sizzle, Pretty - Lastly select colors, fonts, etc. to make your infographic unique. Have fun and show off what you know! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Website

New Library Website
The library Website recently had a makeover. Don't worry, your beloved resources have made safe passage onto our new Site. The layout has changed, so instead of finding links on the left-hand side, they now appear in the top toolbar. Make sure to click on the last one titled "more" for video tutorials, public library information, student, parent, and teacher resources. This site was created using Weebly, which was named one of TIME's 50 Best Websites in 2007. Stay tuned for a new district and school Website as well powered by

Friday, October 11, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Find it!

We now have single logins for our school to access our databases (online resources)! It's called find it! from Nassau BOCES School Librray System. This will enable easier access for all our students and faculty. You can use multiple databases and only have to log in ONCE! Here is the link. What's the username and password you ask? Come to the library to find out.  

Here is a list of all the databases Mepham High School will subscribe to for the 2013-2014 school year:

Academic OneFile – NOVELny – Peer-reviewed, full-text journals and reference sources.

Amazing Animals of the World – NOVELny – Interactive information on over 1,200 animals.

America the Beautiful –   NOVELny – Our Presidents, cities, and natural wonders of the United States.

American Government – Connects contemporary issues with the foundations of government and compares the political and economic systems of the U.S. with those of other countries. 

American History – From the earliest explorers of the Americas to today's headlines, American History investigates the people, events, and themes of our nation's evolution.

Biography In Context – Over 600,000+ biographical entries — on more than 528,000 individuals.

Bitstrips For Schools – Comics! Empowers any student to create amazing comics, and provides an exciting new way to teach your curriculum. Teachers please see Ms. Stack to create a class account.

Bloom's Literary Reference Online – Source for literary criticism from Harold Bloom with essays and criticism on thousands of great writers and their works.

Britannica Image Quest – More than 1 million royalty free images.

Business Insights: Essentials – NOVELny –   Research and compare companies and industries.

Daily Life Through History – A resource that provides content from a vast number of reference works, monographs, and primary documents for topics such as food, celebrations, clothes, work, religion, language, etc.
Gale Virtual Reference Library – Non-fiction eBooks.
General OneFile –  NOVELny –  Periodical and news information on a diverse set of topics.

Global Issues in Context – Offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events.  Analyzes social, political, military, economic, environmental, health, and cultural issues.
Grolier Encyclopedia Americana –  NOVELny –  Comprehensive encyclopedia coverage.

Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia –  NOVELny –  Quick access to reference articles and media resources.

Grolier The New Book of Knowledge – NOVELny –   Fun and easy-to-use leveled text.

Grolier The New Book of Popular Science – NOVELny –   Covers science, technology, and medicine.

Health Reference Center Academic – NOVELny –   Up-to-date information on a range of health care topics.

Historical NY Times – Every issue from 1851-2001 is reproduced in cover-to-cover full-page image.  
InfoTrac Newsstand – NOVELny –   Full-text newspapers.

Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society – Get an in-depth understanding of how society is shaped with authoritative historical context, expert perspectives, and carefully selected primary and secondary sources.

La Nueva Enciclopedia CUMBRE – NOVELny –   Spanish-language encyclopedia.

Lands and Peoples – NOVELny –   Extensive articles, almanacs, Web links, and graphics and charts.

National Newspaper Index – NOVELny –   Provides indexing (1977-present) of America's top five newspapers.

New York State Newspapers – NOVELny –   Full-text newspapers from around New York State.

Literary Reference Center Plus – Includes full text plot summaries, synopses and work overviews, articles/essays of literary criticism, biographies, interviews,  journals, poems, short stories, classic texts, etc.

Noodle Tools – Create online citations.  You must register and create an account.              

Opposing Viewpoints In Context – Source for information on social issues, including viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.

Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas – An authoritative, yet fun, research source for all areas of U.S./World Pop Culture.

ProQuest – Newsstand – NOVELny –   Access to 85 full-text newspapers from around the world.

Proquest Central K12 – The largest journal collection delivering millions of articles from more than 4,600 full-text scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Includes ProQuest AP Science.

Proquest Learning: Literature – Offers a comprehensive literary resource for original, full-text works, 3,000 author biographies, and contemporary criticisms in one integrated source covering 600 years of literature.

Science In Context – From earth science and life science, to space, technology, mathematics and science history and biography, this curriculum-oriented online experience is designed to boost achievement for students.

Soundzabound Music Library – Downloadable royalty free audio files including: Volumes 1-7, Animal, Background, Century Beats, Media Music Madness, People, Production, Sports and Scary sounds.
Student Resources In Context – Provides full-text periodicals, newspapers, curriculum based reference content, primary source documents, radio/television transcripts, maps, essays, critical analysis, biographies, timelines, etc.

Teaching Books – A portal to online resources for children's and young adult books and their authors. U: Your email address; P: NBSLS

Turnitin – Online plagiarism prevention.  New users, register and create an account.  Returning users, log on with your e-mail address and password. See your teacher.

US History In Context – Complete overview of U.S. history that covers the most-studied events, issues and current information, it combines documents from Primary Source Microfilm’s™ digital archives. 

World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society – Helps students and researchers develop a deeper, critical appreciation of both America’s history and total human involvement and costs of war.

World Geography: Understanding a Changing World – Develops students' global literacy, focusing on the geographic, political, social, economic, and cultural forces that influence our world.

World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras – Covers human history, from prehistoric times to the beginnings of the Renaissance, from the dawn of prehistory through the great ancient empires to the Renaissance.

World History In Context – Offers students and researchers unparalleled access to a broad collection of scholarly analysis and award-winning full-text periodicals, reference works and primary documents.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pinterest for Educators

EduClipper was created by Adam Bellow, a former teacher and son of a high-school librarian (Mepham's own Amy Bellow!) who now works as a K–12 technology consultant. EduClipper is a free online tool, launched this spring designed to be the best place to explore, share and contribute educational content for teaching and learning, according to their Website.
If you are familiar with online curation tools like Pinterest, you'll see a similiar interface with EduClipper.

According to a recent article in School Library Journal, " EduClipper is tailor-made for K–12. EduClipper launched to the public in May and is now used in more than 450 classrooms."

Users can comment on sources in a description area provided within eduClipper.

School Library Journal, states that "while you can discover other eduClips and reClip them (this is similar to retweeting on Twitter or repinning on Pinterest), the site also offers collaborative clipboards where groups can add items to a shared space." This feature would be great for collaborative teachers, departments and subject area teachers.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mepham High School Library: MHS Library Orientation 2013

In case you missed it, here is our latest library orientation video... click here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New App Alert! Follett Enlight™

This is the new Digital Reader App, Follett Enlight, it replaces the existing Follett Digital Reader. You can find it in the app store; the new app is for downloading titles for offline use. For an overview on Follett Enlight, watch the video below.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week

Find out if your favorite book has been banned or challenged! According to the American Library Association (ALA), "a challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported... The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information."

Below is a list of the top ten challenged books for 2012:
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Remind101 works on your mobile device.
Remind101 is a safe, FREE way for teachers to text message students and keep in touch with parents. According to their Website, "Remind101 was built, in conjunction with educators, to solve communication obstacles between teachers, students and parents. Across all grade levels and institution types, Remind101 is a safe and simple communication solution to help teachers extend their classrooms."

Since I do not have any rosters or regularly scheduled classes - we have a flexible schedule in the library - I decided to use Remind101 as a club advisor. I created two "classes" using Remind101, one for computer club and one for the National English Honor Society.  It was fast and easy. It took less than two minutes to sign up after I downloaded the Remind101 app. Remind101 can be used from the Website, iPhone app or  Android app. I plan to use it for schedule changes, meeting and event reminders.

It's also easy for students and parents to subscribe. They never need to visit the Remind101 Website or create an account. They just send a text message or email to my Remind101 telephone number and send the access code, then I add them as users when they respond. After this initial text students and parents cannot reply to messages sent. Teachers cannot send individual messages to one student or parent. "Safety is a primary feature, teachers never see students/parents phone numbers, nor will students/parents see theirs."

 For more information on Remind101, check on this video below.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013


At the end of last year, the library added a cart with 30 Chromebooks! Teachers sign out these resources for their classes.  We have already had classes in to use the Chromebooks for Internet searches and creating documents in Google Drive.

Everyone with an email address powered by Google at BMCHSD has access to Google Drive. Google Drive allows you to access your files anytime, anywhere on any computer, tablet, smartphone, as long as there is an Internet connection.

There are many advantages to using Google Drive including always working on one version of a document, no email attachments back and forth, and no flash drive/external hard drive needed. You can upload documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that are already created in other programs, such as Microsoft or create new ones. There are no compatibility issues when you use Google Drive. It is a universal format. One of my favorite features is "revision history." This allows you to revert back to a previous version of the document. You can add comments to shared documents or go in and edit a document directly if given permission by the author. You also have the option to download Google Drive documents to MS Word, spreadsheets to MS Excel, and presentations to MS Powerpoint. The biggest benefit to using Google Drive over more traditional forms of word processing has definitely got to be AUTO SAVE! You'll never lose a Google Drive document because you forgot to save it before closing the application.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Welcome Back!

Welcome back students, staff and faculty - a special welcome to our new students, the Class of 2017! We have a lot of fun stuff in store for you this year at your library! Check out our new bulletin board. Fill out a text message box with the name of the last book you read and pin it to our board. We will post a photo of the finished product in a few weeks.
Bulletin Board idea from several photos on Pinterest.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Reading is HOT, HOT, HOT!

We are pleased to present the W.C. Mepham Summer Reading Program 2013. 
Summer should be filled with joyful times, and we hope that reading will be an important part of your summer plans. Below is a required reading list from which you can select a book.  Students who are having difficulty choosing a book should ask their teachers, a librarian, or the English Department Chair for help.

Please note, each Regents and Honors level student entering grades 9-12 is required to read one of the books on the list.  All students will be assessed on their summer reading in September.  
Students entering English 2 Honors, Senior Experience, and Advanced Placement English courses have different requirements. They will read the books that are designated for their courses.  AP and Senior Experience students will also be given a writing assignment to complete over the summer. Enjoy the summer with a good book!

Incoming Ninth Grade (E1) - select one
Incoming Tenth Grade Honors (E2H) - required reading 

Incoming Tenth Grade (E2) - select one 
The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel  is not to be confused with Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog, which is a special adaptation for younger people.

Incoming Eleventh Grade Advanced Placement (11AP) - read both 
Incoming Eleventh Grade (E3) - select one 

Friday, May 24, 2013

The end of the year is almost here!

As you start to clean out your lockers remember... all books and calculators need to be returned to the library. Not sure if you returned that book? You can come into the library and ask a librarian or click here to log into Destiny to see your library account.

Locker clean-out will take place on the following dates:

3rd Floor – Friday, May 24th
2nd Floor – Tuesday, May 28th
1st Floor – Thursday, May 30th

All students will have the entire school day to empty the contents of their lockers. Any books, clothing or other miscellaneous items remaining in the locker, after the scheduled clean-out time, will be disposed of by the custodial staff. It is EXTREMELY important that you collect all of your text books as you will be responsible to hand them in to your respective teachers at the end of the school year. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN A BOOK FINE(S)! All current Juniors (soon to be Seniors) – if you have an outstanding book fine(s), you will not be permitted to obtain a parking sticker for next year. Please make every effort to clean out your lockers during the scheduled date and time indicated. Thank you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creative Writing in the Courtyard

Creative Writing in the Courtyard took place on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  Students from Creative Writing discussed Ekphrasis and Inspirational Poetry. Participants had the opportunity to craft original pieces while enjoying the beauty of the courtyard on bamboo mats.  Jen Calonita stopped by and led a group of students in a writing activity. She also signed copies of Belles for students who were interested in getting started on a little summer reading.  Many students had questions for her and sought her advice on writing and getting work published.  It was yet another successful ELITE event!  Thanks to Ms. Maresca and Ms. Correa for arranging this program, Ms. Netto for supporting our teachers and Mr. Harrington for his continued support of our discipline.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The New Portfolio

Recently, I sat on an interview committee and out of ten interviewees one of them had an online portfolio instead of a hard copy portfolio. Is this the way of the future? Indeed, I think it is. She had this digital portfolio on an iPad which she passed around to the committee. It contained everything that you would put into a binder, including lesson plans, photos, student work, etc.  Have you heard of LiveBinders? It’s the online replacement to those bulky binders.

“Physical 3-ring binders used to be the easiest way to organize all your educational resources. But now so much of what you want to organize is online. LiveBinders not only replaces the old 3-ring binder, but also opens up new opportunities for collaborating, organizing, and sharing that were never possible before.

Student Use: ePortfolios
Help students showcase their work while sharing it with parents and potential schools. Give them the opportunity to reflect on everything they have learned and how they have grown.
  • Update in real-time
  • Collaborate with multiple people
  • Deliver instantly
  • Keep binders private or make them public"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Ghost on the Wind

The Ghost on the Wind was originally written in 2005 by Alfred H. Lockamy for the East Carolina Pirates, which are the intercollegiate sports teams representing East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. According to the ECU website, "This poem, composed by Alfred H. Lockamy, is read as as a welcome message prior to the start of ECU home sporting events." The poem was read by Ms. Geller's Leadership Class in honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day, which is a sponsored ELITE event.

The Ghost on The Wind

Like a ghost on the wind
He comes from the sea,
And trembles the foe
Like a storm on the lee.

With swashbuckling swagger
And a Jolly Roger laugh,
He flies the black flag
On a whalebone staff.

He has a black-patched eye
And a ring in his ear,
And on his wind-burned face,
A crusty-grizzled beard.

With a bone-cold glare
And a sneer on his lip,
He has a cannon by his side
And a cutlass in his grip.

With a thunderous blast
From his cannon's might,
He shivers the strong
And cripples their fight.

He takes what he's lost
And turns it to gold,
For He's crafty and shrewd
And He's fearless and bold.

He's dashing and daring,
A fierce buccaneer,
For the sight of his plunder
Pales many with fear.

From East Carolina (changed to "From Bellmore, New York")
Victories are told (changed to "The stories they say")
Of the Spirit of the Pirate
And his purple and gold! (changed to "And his garnet and gray!")

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Belle Between Bells

Author, Jen Calonita was the belle between bells when she visited Ms. Maresca's Creative Writing class on Thursday, May 16th during 8th period. Ms. Calonita had our students entranced with tales of her life as an entertainment magazine journalist, for the now defunct Teen People and Mademoiselle, before becoming a full-time young adult author. She spoke about her path to writing novels and how she creates characters and develops the plot to her stories. Our students are starting to write their own short stories and Ms. Calonita has certainly given them a few new tools to add to their repertoire. We raffled off 10 paperback copies of her novel, Belles.  This event was sponsored by the National English Honor Society. Ms. Calonita will be back next week after school on Wednesday, May 22nd for Creative Writing in the Courtyard. Students will discuss Ekphrasis and Inspirational Poetry. Participants will have the opportunity to craft original pieces while enjoying the beauty of the courtyard on a bamboo mat.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creative Writing with Jen Calonita

Photo by Rick Delucia
Author, Jen Calonita will be visiting Ms. Maresca's Creative Writing class on Thursday, May 16th during 8th period. We will be raffling off 10 paperback copies of her novel, Belles.  Her third book in the Belles series, The Grass is Always Greener, was just published on April 16th. Calonita has written over 12 books for young adults, including the very popular Secrets of My Hollywood Life series. We are honored to have her back at Mepham High School. For details about her first visit to Mepham in 2008 click here. This event is sponsored by the National English Honor Society.

About Belles
"Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy, privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous life of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and in, addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, Isabelle finds out a secret about her new family that she can't ignore."

Monday, May 13, 2013


Created with Tagxedo
Same words, different shapes
Do you remember my post on Wordle? If not, click here. Well, Tagxedo is another Website for generating word clouds. According to the site, "Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text." It is super simple to use and there is no need for a username and password. For instance, I typed in the URL to this blog, and this is what Tagxedo generated. You can choose the font, theme, colors, orientation, and layout. You can also constrain the word cloud to selected shapes. The callout in the first photo is the same word cloud as the apple below, but in a different shape. You can save, print and share these word clouds in multiple formats. Ms. Sirof recently shared this tool at an English Department Meeting. She said that one classroom application for Tagxedo is to have students copy and paste his/her essays into Tagxedo to see which words the students use most often. Students can then go to a thesaurus to find synonyms for over used words in his/her writing.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


According to Wikipedia, "A social bookmarking service is a centralized online service which enables users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarks of web documents. Many online bookmark management services have launched since 1996; Delicious, founded in 2003, popularized the terms "social bookmarking." My favorite is still Delicious, but more and more social bookmarking sites are popping up due to the massive shift to store in the cloud and not on individual computers.

A few weeks ago at an English department meeting, Ms. Sirof introduced us to Symbaloo. It's another free social media site now available in the US, that enables users to access your bookmarks anywhere. Symbaloo is a personal Internet desktop. What I love about Symbaloo is the layout. It looks clean and organized.  The first step is to create an account; all you need is an email address. "By opening a free account, you can save your settings and get access to your personal tiles and webmixes anywhere in the world." The instructions on the Symbaloo website are simple to follow: "By clicking on a tile, you can immediately start using a website. You can drag & drop tiles, add tiles or delete them. Some tiles start a small application in the center box. This enables you to directly search in Google, read the latest news or even check your emails. We call these tiles 'widgets'. Would you like to add a tile that links to a website? Just type the name of the subject or the website and click 'search'. You can easily drag the tile to the grid. For each subject you can have a new webmix on Symbaloo. You can easily switch between the webmixes by clicking on the tabs. To add a new webmix you click on the '+'."

I created an account a few days ago and have found real value for students and teachers alike. For example, if you are researching an author/musician/artist for Ms. Sirof's class this week you can create a mix of Websites that provide you with information on your selected individual. Once it is saved, you do not have to go hunting for that great Website you found because it is already there in your mix. This makes Works Cited pages a breeze because everything is stored in one place. Need help? Come into the library and we will get you started. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Poem in Your Pocket

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Mepham's ELITE Program is hosting Poem in Your Pocket Day on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 2:15 p.m. Join in the excitement by carrying a poem in your pocket. You can write your own poem or borrow one from your favorite poet; just make sure to share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. Mepham’s Poem in Your Pocket Day will offer a range of poetry-inspired activities for students to enjoy after school in the library.

Monday, April 22, 2013

From the Buccaneer...Author Visit

by Amanda Jacobs, Junior

Mepham High School was fortunate enough to hold an author visit with author Sarah E. Fine via Skype in the library on Tuesday, February 26th. She read and highlighted her favorite parts of her newest book titled, Sanctum. This author visit was sponsored by the National English Honor Society and was also an "Elite Event." At the end of the visit, eight books were raffled off. Sarah Fine graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hope College and she later got her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Delaware. A couple of years ago, Sarah wrote her first novel, but according to her, it was horrible. Luckily, she had more success with her second book, Sanctum. Sarah plans to write and publish more books in the near future. Sanctum is a novel about 17 year-old Lela's journey to find her best friend, Nadia who killed herself a week ago. Lela comes across several hardships during her journey to find her friend. To learn more information about Sarah E. Fine and her novel, Sanctum, visit If you are looking for an exciting read, pick up Sanctum and start reading today!          

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Elizabeth Norris "Breaks" into Mepham!

Elizabeth Norris
It is our distinct pleasure to invite author Elizabeth Norris to Mepham High School! Norris will be our guest speaker at the National English Honor Society Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2:15 p.m. in the auditorium. In case you cannot attend this event, be on the lookout for an article about her visit in an upcoming issue of The Buccaneer.

Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's snowpocalyptic winters. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Her debut novel, UNRAVELING, was published in April 2012. It’s the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming. The sequel, UNBREAKABLE will be released this month.

UNRAVELING (From Follett)
Janelle Tenne, having been brought back to life by loner Ben Michaels after being hit by a pickup truck two days before the start junior year, finds a countdown clock while searching her dad's FBI files for clues about how Ben revived her and soon realizes she must figure out Ben's secret in order to save the world. Click here for the book trailer on YouTube.  

UNBREAKABLE (From the Publisher) Unbreakable, the sequel to Elizabeth Norris's Unraveling, blends science fiction, mystery, and romance into a thrilling story YA readers won't be able to put down. It's been four months since Janelle Tenner stopped the earth's destruction with the help of Ben, the boy who resurrected her after she died. Ben is gone now—disappeared through a portal to his home world. Even though Ben broke her heart, Janelle refuses to believe it when Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay tells her Ben is suspected of running a human-trafficking ring across several universes. She vows to uncover the true culprit and rescue the people who have been sold into slavery on alternate earths—not to mention find Ben and prove his innocence. In addition to Ben, Barclay, and Janelle, Unbreakable brings back fan favorite characters Elijah and Cecily in this action-packed thriller.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Check In @ Your Library

Teen Tech Week has begun... March 10-16, 2013!

Looking for a way to celebrate Teen Tech Week? Here are 5 great ideas!

1. Mepham High School is now on Twitter. Follow us at @MephamHS. Get all the latest info about what's going on at school.

2. Download an ebook here.

3. Give our mobile app "Destiny" a try. It works for both your phone or tablet.

4. Visit our library's webpage.

5. Set up a podcast for a group or club you belong to.