Friday, October 31, 2014


Appropriately so, Ms. Stack's Halloween costume is book-related this year. Here she is in the stacks.
Ms. Stack as a Diction-fairy.
* Only one book was hurt in the production of this costume. Inspiration from here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooky Reading

Something for everyone!
What do you consider scary? Zombies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, serial killers? We have something to haunt everyone in our spooky reading section. Take a look for yourself and check out one today.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

BYOD explodes into Mepham!

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As you have seen from the previous posts, BYOD has exploded into Mepham! Since the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District's Board of Education approved the Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) / Mobile Learning Device (MLD) Policy at the beginning of this year, students and teachers alike have truly embraced this new opportunity to enhance instruction in the classrooms.

We first have to thank our amazing IT department, because without the many updates to our network over the summer, BYOD simply would not have been possible. The high schools were outfitted with new Cisco wi-fi and the middle schools with Alcatel-Lucent. Now all schools in the district are completely wi-fi enabled.

Some examples of the amazing work can be found here:
QR Codes

Friday, October 24, 2014

QR Codes in the Classroom

We have talked about QR codes before on this blog, here and here. In a recent Lunch and Learn, teachers were trained by our Technology Integration Mentors, Ms. Schuliaz, Ms. Stack (that's me!), and Ms. Tschan on BYOD and QR codes in the classroom. Math teacher, Ms. O'Hagan, attended this workshop and created two different QR codes for her algebra and calculus classes. Now hanging in her classroom are QR codes that when scanned by a QR code reader (a free app from your app store) on a smart phone will take students directly to the homework page of her website through an Internet browser. What a great idea!

Ms. O'Hagan's homework QR codes.
Our students now see QR codes all over the high school; on flyers in the cafeteria which take users to the voting form for Homecoming Queen and King to Mr. Grozzkreuz and Mr. Stein's Armenian Genocide Museum in the main foyer which allows users to hear a voice of the Genocide. These QR codes are teacher and student-generated.
QR Codes hang in the cafeteria. 
Student-generated QR code. 
How will you use QR codes in your classroom?

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Doceri for iPad
Mepham Math Teacher, Ms. McClenahan, has been using Doceri this year to flip her classroom. Ms. McClenahan teaches Geometry and Algebra 2/Trigonometry. She recently signed up for Edmodo and had all of her students join her online classroom. Tina is creating her own videos on her iPad that teach the content using Doceri. Next, she posts these videos to Edmodo and has the students view the content the night before for homework. Students take notes and identify any questions. Students can view the videos as many times as they like and until they understand the concept being taught. In class the next day, students answer each others questions, for a more student-centered environment. Students work at their own pace practicing examples. As a do-now, Ms. McClenahan posts polls (similar to exit cards or tickets) to see the level of understanding the students have and then she can adjust her lesson plans accordingly and go over the concepts that are stumping students. How to the students like it? THEY LOVE IT. In fact, Ms. McClenahan is getting a ton of positive feedback from students and parents alike.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Kahoot is a FREE game-based classroom response system. Users can create online quizzes and surveys. Recently, I had the privilege to observe Chemistry teacher, Mr. Lee Mattes, as he used Kahoot's online quiz in his classroom as review for an upcoming test.  

Mr. Mattes created the online quiz in only a few minutes. It is user-friendly and he was even able to import pictures and videos into the quiz itself. Quizzes are multiple choice questions. He then began the quiz from his laptop while displaying it up on his white screen using a projector. 

The first question of the quiz is multiple choice with four options. 
He set each question to have a time-limit of 30 seconds (but could have given students up to 120 seconds to answer each question).  Students go to from any web browser and enter a 5 digit code otherwise known as the "game pin" associated with the quiz. Next, students type in a nickname. The teacher can see the number of players before he/she begins the quiz. 

Students answer the questions from smart phones, tablets or laptops.
While I was walking around observing, I saw that EVERY student was on task and truly engaged. Students were competitive with each other and themselves, wanting to improve their scores. Students are awarded points for correct answers and the timeliness of their answer.
The students do not see the question on their device, only the four buttons.
At the end of each question, the teacher displays real-time data. The number of correct and incorrect answers are displayed for class discussion. This gives the teacher the feedback he/she needs to go over concepts that the students are struggling with and data on which incorrect answer they are selecting. 
Real-time data.
Students also get real-time feedback. They see which questions they are struggling with and can use those questions to go and get extra-help. 
Students see instantaneously if they answered correctly or incorrectly. 
There are many applications for any classroom. Using Kahoot as an 'exit quiz' or a 'do now' can supply a teacher with a wealth of information. Teachers can also download the results. How do you use Kahoot in your classroom?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Google Classroom

It's here! Google Classroom is a new product in Google Apps for Education, which all of the teachers at Mepham High School have access to and can begin using to create an online classroom. Google Classroom, which is similar to Edmodo and Microsoft's OneNote Class Notebook Creator, lets teachers communicate with their classes and easily share assignments, materials, and messages. According to Google's Website, "Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized. Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom."

Ms. Stack will be providing the teachers at Mepham High School an opportunity to create his/her own Google Classroom during a Lunch & Learn in the school library. Date: Sometime in November. Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Letters About Literature

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At Mepham High School, we like to give our students many opportunities to showcase their talents. One way we do this is through writing contests, like Mepham's Literary Magazine Fragments and PTA's Reflections. Letters About Literature is another wonderful contest that we are encouraging all of our students to participate in. It is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12.

From the Letters about Literature Website: 
"Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels... Here are the Rules and Guidelines." 

Submission deadlines to the Library of Congress national program for high school students is:
December 15, 2014

For more information, please see our English Department Chairperson, Marie Netto in the Learning Center (Room 203).

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Explore the Arts! Participate in the Parent Teacher Association's (PTA) Reflections. This year's theme is: "The world would be a better place if..."

  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Music Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts 
Deadline for entries: Friday, November 7, 2014

All participants who make it to the first round of judging, or beyond, be recognized at February’s PTA meeting where they will receive a Reflection’s pin and certificate. 

For more information, please contact Rosemarie Corless at (516) 852-6867 or Betsy Lashin (516) 826-6402. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lunch & Learn: BYOD

Made with Smore

TEACHERS: Join your technology integration mentors, Ms. Schuliaz, Ms. Stack, and Ms. Tschan, in the school library (Room 300) on Thursday, October 16th during periods 1-9. We will cover the district's new BYOD policy, QR Codes in your classroom and give you a Google Docs refresher. Bring your breakfast, lunch and snacks. These 40-minute lunch and learns are held throughout the day to accommodate teacher schedules. We hope to see you there!      

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Library Pirate Scavenger Hunt!

Can you answer these six questions?
Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt
Your Guide to the Library

Friday, October 10, 2014

Non-fiction eBooks: Gale Virtual Reference Library

Back in December of 2012, I announced in this blog post that we have access to non-fiction eBooks through the Gale Virtual Reference Library. To access these books, you go to the Mepham Library Homepage here and click on the eBooks tab.
"The Gale Virtual Reference Library gives you 24/7 access to full text eBooks. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely. Because each library creates its own eBook collection, the content you see may vary if you use the database at different libraries (your school or your public library). In the following video tutorial you will learn how to browse and search for titles."  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

More Media

Good Hair
Last year, we were hard at work enhancing our media collection. Thanks to an $800 mini-grant from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, we were able to purchase 57 new (and replacement) DVDs. We also added many non-fiction titles. These films enhance classroom instruction and are fun too! Films in the classroom are often times shown in segments and not as full-length features, depending on the curriculum. These films are reserved for teachers to check out.

Speaking of fun films, tonight is Mepham's first "Movie Night Under the Stars" out on our new turf field starting at 7:00 pm. After an intense fundraising contest between classes, the seniors won the right to select this year’s movie and they chose Grease. This event is sponsored by the Mepham High School SADD chapter with all proceeds set to benefit the Most Valuable Kids of Greater NY organization. Tickets are $5.00. We hope to see you tonight!

Titles from the mini-grant include:

10 Things I Hate About You
12 Angry Men
And Then There Were None
Blood Diamond
Bowling for Columbine
Capitalism A Love Story
The Crucible
Death of a Salesman (2 versions)
Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 9/11
Fast Food Nation/Idiocracy/Young@Heart
Good Hair
Good Will Hunting
The Grapes of Wrath
The Great Gatsby (2 versions)
An Inconvenient Truth
Inherit the Wind
Jane Eyre (2 versions)
The Joy Luck Club
Julius Caesar
The Kite Runner
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
Life of Pi
Lord of the Flies
Macbeth (2 versions)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Miss Representation
Much Ado About Nothing
Of Mice and Men
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Ordinary People
Our Town
Paper Clips
Pride and Prejudice (2 versions)
Romeo and Juliet
The Secret Life of Bees
The Scarlet Letter
A Streetcar Named Desire
Supersize Me
To Kill a Mockingbird
Tuesdays With Morrie
Twelfth Night (2 versions)
V for Vendetta
William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (music version)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Database Week: Science In Context

We subscribe to several databases or online resources to support the curriculum taught at Mepham High School.  These databases can be very useful, especially for research. Our Intro to Science Research classes and our Advanced Science Research classes can specifically benefit from this next database: Science In Context from GALE Cengage Learning.
"Science in Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on hundreds of today's most significant science topics. The new solution merges Gale's authoritative reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, experiments, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience."
All databases can be assessed at school or at home and on mobile learning devices through an Internet browser. Click here to access ALL of our databases. These are password-protected. See Ms. Stack or Ms. Gellerman in the school library for the username and password.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Database Week: Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Here at Mepham High School we subscribe to databases or online resources that make it easy for our students to get reliable information from trustworthy sources. These databases can be assessed at school or at home and on mobile learning devices through an Internet browser. Click here to access ALL of our databases. These are password-protected. See Ms. Stack or Ms. Gellerman in the school library for the username and password. One of our most popular databases is Opposing Viewpoints in Context from GALE Cengage Learning. Below is a brief description from the company and a short video tutorial.
"Opposing Viewpoints in Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues. Drawing on the acclaimed Greenhaven Press series, the new solution features continuously updated viewpoints, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience."


Opposing Viewpoints in Context  was offered to us for free this year as part of NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library). Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELny connects New Yorkers to 21st century information.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Database Week: Student Resources in Context

Every day this week, I will be introducing you to a database (otherwise known as an online resource) that we subscribe to and showing you ways to navigate these sites. The first one is Student Resources In Context  from GALE Cengage Learning.
"Student Resources In Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on a broad range of topics, people, places, and events. The new solution merges Gale's authoritative reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience combined with new features such as Search Assist and quick fact boxes."

All databases can be assessed at school or at home and on mobile learning devices through an Internet browser. Click here to access ALL of our databases. These are password-protected. See Ms. Stack or Ms. Gellerman in the school library for the username and password.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Writing Center @ Mepham High School

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What is the Writing Center?
  • The Writing Center is a place where any Mepham student can get help with his or her writing. 
  • The Writing Center is a place for writers of all ability levels to come and improve their craft.
  • The Writing Center is a place where a student will work closely with a writing coach to provide feedback on written assignments.
  • The Writing Center is a fixture that aims to improve a writer’s entire writing practice through the use of collaborative writing approaches like open-ended questioning.
What can writing coaches do?
  • Read through paper with the writer. 
  • Ask constructive questions about the writing. 
  • Make suggestions for improvement. 
What can’t writing coaches do?
  • Edit the paper for the writer. 
  • Teach about the content of the paper. 
  • Replace extra help.
Who should use the Writing Center? 
  • Everyone. We aim to help all writers at any level of writing on all different types of writing assignments.
How do you book a session?
  • Just stop by the Learning Center during periods 1 - 9, or after school on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays, and ask to see the writing coach on duty.
How long is a writing session? 
  • Typical sessions last between 15-20 minutes depending on the length of the paper and what stage of development it’s in. 
  • Avoid booking sessions right before the assignment is due—you will need time to make changes to your paper.
What should you bring to the Writing Center?
  • The original assignment your teacher gave you. 
  • Any rough drafts or outlines you have made. 
  • The texts or documents with which you are working. 
  • Any rubrics your teacher has given you. 
  • A writing utensil and extra paper. 
  • A positive attitude.