Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bellmore-Merrick Writers Festival

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District will be hosting its inaugural Bellmore-Merrick Writers Festival on Friday, February 26th. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to come read original poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. Kicking off the event will be keynote speaker, Linda Opyr, Nassau County Poet Laureate. The registration deadline is Wednesday, December 23rd. Click on the video below for more information.

Friday, December 11, 2015

ELITE Event: Makey Makey

Makey Makey
Our next ELITE Event is scheduled for Monday, December 14th at 2:15 pm in the school library. This time we will be using Makey Makey, which is "an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. The kit will include everything you see: Makey Makey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable." The format of this workshop will closely mirror the littleBits Lab we hosted earlier in the year. If you are interested in attending, please sign up here. We hope to see you there! Want to know more about Makey Makey, check out the video below.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Brunch & Learn

Made with Smore
This Wednesday, December 9th periods 1-9, your tech mentors (Ms. Desmond, Ms. Stack and Ms. Tschan) will be upstairs in the library's MacLab ready to teach you how to use Weebly Pro. These 40-minute workshops are for all skills levels, from beginner to advanced. If you do not have a website yet, we will help you set one up. If you already have one, we can show you how to use the advanced features, such as HD video, how to create a calendar and so much more. Each session will be custom-designed to meet the needs of those in attendance. Join us and bring your breakfast, lunch or snack along too.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tis the Season!

In the spirit of the holiday season, we are collecting handmade cards for veterans who live at the Northport VA Medical Center. Please help yourself to the supplies in the Mepham MakerSpace and drop off your finished cards to one of the librarians at the front desk. Here at Mepham we believe that every person should feel wanted and loved, especially those that sacrificed so much for our freedom. Thank you veterans. Happy holidays!  
Card making station
Update: Thanks to our caring students here at Mepham High School, we were able to deliver hundreds of cards to our veterans this year.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monster Book Fair from Scholastic

The whole school is excited about our upcoming annual Scholastic Book Fair. An amazing selection of books is headed our way on Monday, November 30 - Wednesday, December 2 from 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM. At the Book Fair you will find the latest and finest titles for students, as well as books of interest to parents. If you are out of town or cannot make it to the school library, you can still support our school and shop our online fair here. All online orders ship for free to the school. Online there is an expanded selection of books of all ages.

We will once again be collecting dollar bills and loose change for our All for Books campaign.  The Scholastic Possible Fund then matches every donation, up to $1 million in books, received through the program and distributes them to children in need through organizations such as Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. and Kids in Need Foundation.

The All for Books program: 
  • Provides books to children who otherwise could not afford them. 
  • Gives kids access to books they want to read through classroom libraries. 
  • Cultivates in students a love of reading and a love of helping others.
  • Reinforces that literacy is a priority for schools, families, and communities.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


New to our Makerspace is a button maker. Who can use it? EVERYONE! Are you in a club or sport? Make buttons to support your cause. See Ms. Stack or Ms. Gellerman for details.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


We have tried Kahoot and Socrative in our classrooms here at Mepham. Now I am about to try something a little different. "Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices." Our BMCHSD Bring Your Own Device Policy is wonderful, but not all our students have their own devices. Plickers eliminates the need for student devices and relies only on the teacher to have a device, in this case I am using my iPhone 6.

Each student in your class gets a Plickers card, similar to this one below (it's free to print at Plickers.com or you can buy a set from Amazon.com). It acts as a QR code. The teacher downloads the Plicker app and logs in to Plickers.com on a computer, which then projects the questions on a screen or SMART Board. The teacher would import the class roster prior to class so that each numbered card corresponds to a student.

Plickers Card (In this class belonging to John Smith, see roster below).
This card can be used by multiple classes, over and over again. 
Class Roster
Students hold up their Plickers (paper clicker) orientating it so that the correct answer is on top. For example, the Plickers orientation above would indicate that the student believed the correct answer to be "B" because the letter "B" is on top. Then the teacher, using her/his smartphone would use the camera feature to scan the classroom picking up on students Plickers (as QR codes).

This is what the students see on the board. 
Once all students have been scanned, you can click on the graph and reveal the correct answer. This game can be played at the teacher's own pace. Allowing you as much time as you need to go over each question. I used it to review a lesson on plagiarism. Students and teachers get formative assessments right away in the form of a bar graph.

The students LOVED it and once I figured out how to use it, I realized that it is super easy! The best part was I didn't have to troubleshoot any technology issues.  The teacher is able to then print reports and see which students correctly/incorrectly answered each question. I really liked using Plickers for review/exit cards and can also see it used for a motivation as well. The ease of use and quick learning curve on this educational tool makes it a winner for sure!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Plagiarism Animated

You've heard me talk about TedEd on this blog before. The punishable perils of plagiarism (below) is one of my favorites. TedEd states that, "Fighting plagiarism is serious business. From brainchild-snatching to wholly quotables, plagiarists have plenty of wily ways to pass others' work off as their own -- and all of them are threats to original thinking." This lesson by Melissa Huseman D'Annunzio, " imagines what would happen if a Department of Plagiarism Investigation were on the case." Click here for more information and discussion questions.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sphero 2.0

New addition to the MakerSpace
Sphero 2.0 is the latest addition to our MakerSpace. "Sphero lets you play, learn, and explore." It is an app-enabled robotic ball, smart toy and gaming system in one. You can "drive" Sphero from your smartphone or tablet. Sphero comes with a library of free apps for your iPod, iPhone, and iPad. MacWorld wrote that Sphero "will inspire a love of robotics, coding, and STEM principles… all through play." We named our Sphero, "Roger" for our school mascot Jolly Roger. Roger came with us to computer club this past week, we taped our session via Periscope and posted it to our Twitter account.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New Books!!!

New Books Display
Our new fiction and non-fiction books have arrived! They are now located in the reference section next to the flag pole.  For a full list, click here and select "Fall 2015 New Books" from the Resource Lists (which is right in the middle of the page). If you are looking for a book and we do not have it here in our library, you can request it here. Fill out all fields in the form.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Our New iMac Lab

New iMac Lab in the School Library
Our new iMac Lab debuted this Fall. We now have 30 Apple iMacs and a new SMART Interactive Flat Panel on the classroom side of the library. These new computers will be used by our broadcasting and art classes. They will also be used by our other disciplines when creating public service announcements, commercials, and other video/photo-related content. We are very excited to see what our students create. Stay tuned for features from our best and brightest.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fragments: Nostalgia

Fragments, Mepham's literary magazine has new contest: Nostalgia
Image Source
Submit your original poetry, short stories, essays, artwork or photography on the topic of nostalgia to win a prize and the chance to be published. All pieces are due by Wednesday, October 27th. Please submit entries to fragmentsemail@gmail.com.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ELITE Event: littleBits in Mepham’s MakerSpace

Ever wondered how electronics work? Want to try making a noise maker or “prank handshake”?
We will be hosting our first littleBits in Mepham's NEW MakerSpace. This is a sanctioned ELITE Event. You can sign up by clicking here.

Date: Monday, October 5th
Time: 2:15 pm
Location: School Library (Room 300)

These kits come with easy-to-use colorful instructions on how to make over 20 different prototypes! littleBit modules are tiny circuit-boards with simple, unique functions that are engineered to snap together with magnets.  Modules each have a unique function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc.) and the modules snap together to make larger circuits. Just as LEGOs™ allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits modules are powerfully small, intuitive, blocks that make creating with sophisticated electronics a snap.

No experience necessary. All are welcome!

UPDATE: THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN! Using littleBits, students created a prank handshake, a motorized Lego car that operates on the amount of light available, and a windmill generated from our 3D doodle pen whose speed is dependent on the noise level.  This friendly competition stimulated the students creativity and they were able to problem solve when things didn’t work properly.  The students went back to the design model and made adjustments to get things back on track.

Prank handshake

Monday, September 28, 2015

MHS Library Orientation 2015

Hey Mepham Pirates! Are you new to Mepham High School? Part of the Class of 2019? Welcome! We are so glad to have you. Click here to view our library orientation video. It is a virtual tour of your fabulous library in just six minutes. Questions? Swing by and ask the librarian!

Friday, September 25, 2015

#bookface is Back!

Ms. Desmond's (formally Ms. Schiulaz) Photography II class came to the library last Friday for a lesson on perspective. See the results below.  Last year, her class took a field trip to the Mepham High School Library in honor of #bookfacefriday. See the photos here

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who cares about Banned Books?

In recent years, the majority of the most frequently challenged books in libraries have been Young Adult (YA) titles. Six YA titles were on the list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2014, according to the American Library Association.
"Young Adult books are challenged more frequently than any other type of book," said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee. "These are the books that speak most immediately to young people, dealing with many of the difficult issues that arise in their own lives, or in the lives of their friends. These are the books that give young readers the ability to safely explore the sometimes scary real world. This Banned Books Week is a call to action, to remind everyone that young people need to be allowed the freedom to read widely, to read books that are relevant for them, and to be able to make their own reading choices.”
Here is a list of Books Challenged or Banned in 2014-2015. The good news is that we have most of these books right here in your school library for you to check out.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, September 27 - October 3

Friday, September 18, 2015

iPad Reference Bar

Thanks to a generous donation from the Class of 1954 (read all about it here), the school library was able to purchase 6 iPad Airs along with MacLocks rotating and tilting iPad enclosures. We have just unveiled Mepham's iPad Reference Bar. Each iPad is engraved, "Gifted to Mepham High School by the Class of 1954."
Brand-spanking new iPad Reference Bar
Students checking out our new iPads
The purpose of these iPads are to check email, use Google apps for Education, check the weather, look up a word in the online dictionary, quick calculations, and so many other applications. They best part... They are just for you!
Landscape View

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Teachers - They're Just Like Us!

Us Weekly is just one of the many magazines we subscribe to. Us Weekly gives you the latest top entertainment news, fashion tips, and celebrity photographs. One recurring section is "Stars - They're Just Like US," in which celebrities are featured performing everyday activities, from pumping their own gas to grocery shopping.  

Often times when students see teachers in places other than the classroom, they are aghast.  Teachers live outside these walls!?! It's true. And now we have the pictures to prove it. When you are passing by the library, make sure to stop at our bulletin board - "Teachers - They're Just Like US!" 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome Back Pirates!

Mepham's new MakerSpace debuts this year.
Ahoy mateys! We want to extend a very warm Pirate welcome to our new ninth grade students, the Class of 2019! We've been swabbing the deck in the Mepham Library preparing for a fine 2015-2016 school year!

Sail ho! Mepham's MakerSpace is about to debut this year! A MakerSpace is a DIY creation place for a students and faculty to gather, to build, to invent, and to learn. Students and faculty will have access to littleBits3Doodler, a button maker, Cricut Explore, modeling clay, building materials and more. Our Mepham MakerSpace was made possible thanks to two mini-grants (Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and Long Island School Media Association). 

Shiver me timbers! Have you seen the new layout of our school library? If me hearties are having trouble navigating the waters just ask your cap'n (the librarian!) for help! We'll show you around the ol' poopdeck. The classroom side of the library is currently transitioning into our new Mac lab.
Classroom side of library
The main seating of the library now contains more tables (taken from the classroom side) and houses our Chromebooks. This side, when not being used for classes, is free to be used by students. 
Main seating area side of library
We heard you pirates! Our 17 desktop computers in the reference section are now solely for student use during free periods and lunch. No classes will be allowed to reserve this space. It is just for you!    
Reference section of library
These desktop computers are reserved for student use. 
Something missing arrrrrr? We took out our old photocopy machine. Students can scan in their hard copy document(s) and turn them into PDFs and send the document(s) directly via email or to their My Documents folder via the Black and White Lexmark Scanner and Printer instead. 

Yo-ho-ho! Are you following the school on Twitter? You should be. We are @MephamHS!

Have a great year Mepham Pirates! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Summer Reading 2015: Every Hero Has a Story

Image Source
We are pleased to present the W.C. Mepham High School Summer Reading Program. Summer should be filled with joyful times, and we hope that reading will be an important part of your child’s summer plans.

Students entering Grade 9 are required to read one of the books on the list. While all of the books on the list clearly have literary merit, some may be suitable for more mature students. Therefore, we urge you to carefully review the list and to help your son or daughter make a selection that is appropriate based upon his or her interests, age, reading level, and maturity. To assist students in making their book selections, the Mepham High School website will have short summaries on each book. Students who are having difficulty choosing a book should ask their teachers, a librarian, or the English Department Chairperson for help. All students will be assessed on their summer reading in September.
Students entering Grades 10 – 12 are required to read the book(s) listed below for the grade level they will enter in September. This approach to summer reading will enable students and teachers to start school with meaningful, focused discussions. The “common read” format will help to increase participation and create a community of readers on each grade level. Through whole class discussions and lessons, students will have the opportunity to thoroughly analyze the text and to exchange ideas and opinions. Additionally, the required text will add value to the summer reading assessment as a springboard exercise to the school year.

Please note, students entering Senior Experience and Advanced Placement English courses will also be given a writing assignment to complete over the summer.

Enjoy the summer with a good book!

Incoming Ninth Grade (E1) 
Alexie, Sherman - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian 
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only Native American is the school mascot. While this book is not a graphic novel, it does contain several inspiring illustrations.
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe 
In 1659, after becoming the sole survivor of a shipwreck, Englishman Robinson Crusoe lives on a deserted island for more than twenty-eight years.
Hoffman, Alice - Green Angel 
Haunted by grief and by her past after losing her family in a fire, fifteen-year-old Green retreats into her ruined garden as she struggles to survive emotionally and physically on her own.
Lupica, Mike - Million-Dollar Throw 
Eighth-grade star quarterback Nate Brodie's family is feeling the stress of the troubled economy, and Nate is frantic because his best friend Abby is going blind, so when he gets a chance to win a million dollars if he can complete a pass during the halftime of a New England Patriot's game, he is nearly overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed.
Mortenson, Greg & David Oliver Relin - Three Cups of Tea 
Traces how the author, having been rescued and resuscitated by Himalayan villagers after a failed attempt to climb K2, worked to build schools that would benefit the young girls who were forbidden an education by Taliban restrictions.
*Three Cups of Tea is not to be confused with Three Cups of Tea: Young Readers Edition, which is a special adaptation for younger people.
Murray, Liz - Breaking Night 
Liz Murray, who was homeless at the age of fifteen and had drug-addicted parents, reflects on how she overcame obstacles and eventually attended Harvard University.
Swanson, James L. - Chasing Lincoln’s Killer 
Recounts the twelve-day pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, covering the chase through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with a discussion of Abraham Lincoln as a father, husband, and friend that examines the impact of his death on those close to him.
Incoming Tenth Grade (E2)
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye 
An adolescent boy, knowing he is about to be dropped by his school, spends three days and nights in New York City on a quest for self-discovery.
Incoming Eleventh Grade (E3) 
and Incoming Eleventh Grade Advanced Placement (11AP)
O'Brien, Tim – The Things They Carried

Related stories, linked by recurring characters and an interwoven plot, recreate an American foot soldier's experience in the Vietnam War.
Incoming Twelfth Grade (E4)
and Incoming Senior Experience 
Gladwell, Malcolm – Outliers: The Story of Success 
The author explores why some people are high achievers and others are not, citing culture, family, and upbringing as possible reasons some people are not as successful as others.
Incoming Twelfth Grade Advanced Placement (12AP)
Alvarez, Julia – In the Time of the Butterflies 
Gives a fictionalized account of four sisters in the Dominican Republic under the dictatorship of General Trujillo.
Foster, Thomas C. – How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Presents a discussion on how to understand symbolism in literature, discussing the appearance of journeys, eating, drowning, rain, violence, sex, illness, geography, Christ figures, and other signifiers, and how to see patterns the way literature professors do.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spring Arts 2015

Have you been down to the Art Center today? There are some amazing book sculptures this year! Below are just a sampling:

Rebecca Morawski 

Anna Vogel
Anthony Clemente

Anthony Clemente

Ryan Filosa
Janan Shen
Jamie Cayaban

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Thank You Class of '54

The Mepham Alumni have always been a very generous supporter of the school library. You may recall the restoration project they funded back in 2012. You can read about that project here and see what the library looks like after the restoration here.

Well in true Mepham Alumni fashion, the Class of 1954 has bequeathed a charitable grant to the library. On June 2nd, William Hall, Lance Blackshaw, and Barbara Carr Floryshak presented us with a check for $5,400. This grant will enable us to purchase an iPad reference bar for the school library. Our school library is a living environment and these funds will enable us to keep up with the times and provide much-needed resources to our students.
Check presentation with Marie Netto, English Chair; Michael Harrington, Principal; Shari Stack, Librarian; Hall; Floryshak; Blackshaw; Marla Gellerman, Senior Library Clerk
Plaque hanging in the school library

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mepham Teacher Debuts Her First TedEd!

Mepham's very own, Mrs. Melanie Sirof, English teacher extraordinaire, recently made a TED-Ed video. Click below to check it out! 

From the TED website:
TED-Ed — TED's education initiative — aims to amplify the voices and ideas of teachers and students around the world. TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. With this philosophy in mind, and with the intention of supporting teachers and sparking the curiosity of learners around the world, TED-Ed is the newest of TED’s initiatives.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's the end of the year as we know it!

Image Source
Right now I have R.E.M.'s It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) song playing in my head, (do you even know you R.E.M. are!?!), but I have changed the lyrics to "it's the end of the year as we know it." Yes, another year has come and gone and the Mepham Library will never be the same. When you return in September, you will see many new resources and spaces for you to explore, learn and create. BUT before this year draws to a close,we need to do some housekeeping. 

As you start to clean out your lockers, remember that all books and calculators need to be returned. We will be sending out reminder notices shortly via your English classes. You can always come into the library and speak to the librarian or click here to log into Destiny to see your library account. It's the same username and password that you use to log in to the school computers. 

Locker clean-out will take place on the following dates:
3rd Floor – Thursday, June 4
2nd Floor – Friday, June 5
1st Floor – Monday, June 8

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bradley Boyle likes to READ

Bradley's favorite books:

by Elie Wiesel

by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Hunger Games 
by Suzanne Collins

Fahrenheit 451 
by Ray Bradbury

by Veronica Roth

Friday, May 15, 2015

We Love YOUR #bookfacefriday

Ms. Schiulaz's Photography II class took a field trip to the Mepham High School Library today in honor of #bookfacefriday (yay for cross-curricular teaching!). Her lesson on perspective aligned perfectly with our #bookfacefriday competition. Here are some of the results. Choose your favorite one below. 

See our previous about  #bookfacefriday here