Weeks in Review: Classes & Visitors!

This week in the library, we saw 6th, 7th, and 9th grade classes working on various research. The 9th grade was in at the beginning of the week to begin their National History Day project. They discussed topics that would fit in with the NHD theme of “Frontiers in History,” and later in the week, they learned how to find related information in the library’s databases.

On Thursday, the 6th graders had a special visitor—Jim DeBoo, Executive Secretary for Governor Newsom. DeBoo talked to the students about his perspective on leadership in government and the private sector. This tied into the 6th grader’s English project around leaders.

Ms. Melinson’s advisory got a fun lesson in time management from Learning Specialist Ms. Adams.

On Friday, the 7th graders began their library research for their Ancient Civilizations museum project. Ms. Melinson took them on a field trip out and around the library to get their blood pumping for research.

The following week saw the 7th graders return for more research fun on their Ancient Civilization projects.

The library also hosted the Leadership Lunch with seniors Amaya and Ryan interviewing members of the Asian & Pacific Islander Alliance club. Club members spoke about why they started the club and what they plan to accomplish this year.

Finally, the whiteboard in the Quiet Room is seeing some fun drawings, as evidenced by Triangle Tuesday:

Week in Review: We had an author visit!

The library was quiet this week with high schoolers on their trips. But Middle School students were in for quite a treat on Friday when author and artist Jon Chad (Ms. Kahn’s husband, too!) stopped by to talk comics and bookmaking.

Jon talked about his work and creative process, including adjusting to making comics digitally instead of hand drawing them. He shared some of his early work and passed original sketches around the room so students could see the process at different stages. Jon also encouraged students to remember PIE when making comics: Pencil, Ink, Erase.

Students in Mr. Cunningham’s art elective got to have a lesson on drawing comics with Jon. They learned about drawing character emotions and movements along with some other quick cartooning tips. What a fun day!

Week Review: Sophomore Project + Book Club

The tenth graders were again in the library this week to work on their Sophomore projects. Some highlights include the return of the site visit! In pre-COVID years, students would visit a location related to their topic, usually in conjunction with their interview, and include that information in their research paper.

Students also got a crash course on how to contact and interview expert sources from Mr. Panasiti. He reminded students to behave professionally and courteously when interviewing and to come prepared.

The remainder of the week was spent learning about different sources, such as books and websites, as well as how to add relevant information from those sources to their NoodleTools.

Mid-week the library held the October book club, which you can read all about here.

October Book Club

The high school book club was back this month to discuss what students and staffulty had been reading lately. Ms. Melinson shared some new books, including Ain’t Burned All the Bright, Alone Out There, The Truth About White Lies, Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History, The Crossover graphic novel adaptation, and Their Eyes Were Watching God with a new cover.

Ms. Melinson also mentioned that House of Leaves has returned to the library collection. Jordyn is currently reading the book and said she’s never read anything like it. She described it as “well-written, poetic in its psychoticness [sic]” and creepy in an unknowing way. Perfect for spooky season!

Suketa read I Am Malala and said it’s a really good book. She also enjoyed Save Me Seat. Natalie read Imaginary Friend and warned that the rich and complex world the author creates is ruined by an unsatisfying ending. She suggested reading Bone Gap instead.

Samhita has been reading books by Jhumpa Lahiri, including The Namesake and The Lowland. She says they’re excellent books but too depressing, attributing the sadness to what the immigrant experience was like in the ’80s.

Mr. Comer began reading an ethnography of the Colusa indigenous people in southwest Florida but said it became too much. He mentioned that the author of Damnation Spring, a book he discussed last month, is too fond of the word pumpkins, prompting a brief detour into overused words.

Mr. Wells read The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu and loved it. He said it’s reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and flips the western genre. He thinks it would make an excellent film.

View all of the books we’ve talked about by visiting our Goodreads page!

Week in Review: Sophomore Project Round-up + Return of Leadership Lunches

The sophomores visited the library every day this week to work on some aspect of their project. And there were many! Students worked on focusing their topics and went on “The Walk,” where they discussed their subject with a classmate while walking around the track. They also learned about Boolean search techniques and lateral reading, two important research skills that will help students find accurate and authoritative information for their papers.

The Leadership Lunch also had its first interview of the school year—and it returned to its pre-COVID lunchtime slot! Junior Ryan interviewed senior Amaya about her involvement with the Latinx Club. Amaya talked about wanting the club to focus on art in the Latinx community and hopes to have a bake sale in support of Latine artists. She plans to have the first meeting of the club before Hispanic Heritage Month ends in mid-October.

Week in Review: Orientations, Projects, and Other Assorted Fun

The sixth graders finished their library orientation last week. To demonstrate what they learned about evaluating sources, they finished up with a game of Friendly Feud to test their knowledge. Good thing Steve Harvey was on hand to host!

To practice their new skills, they spent the rest of the week learning more about algae and soil to get some background information for their trip to Clay Banks.

This week, the tenth graders joined us daily for lessons relating to their Sophomore Projects, including how to paraphrase, determine their research question, and use NoodleTools. Students were also visited by archivist James Scott of the Sacramento Room at the Sacramento Public Library. He talked about the research tools available at the public library, like databases and ebooks, as well as the wealth of local information in the Sacramento Room. Students will learn more about the Sacramento Room when they visit in person next week.

Students have been enjoying the new whiteboard in the Quiet Room. This week they used it to play Boggle!

In bookish news, the Middle School Book Elective met in the library to read and discuss their books. We also drew winners for the Summer Reading Raffle. Congratulations to Zachary, Phoebe, and everyone else who participated!

We also acknowledged Banned Books Week with a counter display showing where and why books are most often challenged.

Finally, Ms. Melinson’s advisory proved that they have the best snacks. Advisee Ava D. made cannolis to share with the group.

Week in Review: We’re Back!

The new school year began last week and the library was off to a running start with the 10th grade visiting to learn about their big assignment, the Sophomore Project. We were also visited by the Middle School Book Elective, who came in to browse the shelves for a new favorite.

The High School Book Club met for its first meeting of the year—and the first to take place at its previously usual time at lunch. Students and faculty shared what they read over the summer, and Ms. Melinson shared some new-to-the-library books. Read more about book club here.

This week, the library held its 6th grade orientation. Sixth graders were introduced to their new library and went on a silent conga through the stacks to learn how the books are organized. Then they rotated through stations where they learned about the library’s databases, watched videos on evaluating websites (which will come in handy next week when they further explore the topic), practiced sorting call numbers, and then used those skills for a library scavenger hunt.

Bonus:

It’s always a good day when we get dog visitors, and today we said hello to Ms. Adams’s dog, Ruby, and Mr. French’s dog, Fritz!

September Book Club

A new school year means the start of the High School Book Club. Students and faculty met on Wednesday to share what they read over the summer.

Ms. Melinson started us off by reminding us that the On the Come Up movie will be released soon. She then talked about some new books in the library, including The Lincoln Highway. Ms. Melinson described the book as a road trip and said if you like The Odyssey or O! Brother Where Art Thou, then you’d probably like the book.

Ms. Melinson then discussed reading The Sentence, a somewhat meta book about a bookstore the author owns. She touched on The Coasts of California field guide by Obi Kaufman, a beautiful full-color guide to water in California. Ms. Melinson also shared the updated covers to classics like Nine Stories and Red Mars.

Then Jordyn said she read Dry by Neil Schusterman and loved the layered plot and character growth. Avery has been mostly been reading for school, but did enjoy reading The Alchemist over the summer. Samhita read The Sympathizer and The Refugees, both which made her feel like a changed person. She also gave Murikami a second chance and returned to Kafka on the Shore.

New Latin and Humanities teacher Mr. Comer shared his love sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson. He also discussed an interesting book on economics, The Dawn of Everything, that tries to disprove the use of bartering in ancient times. He also mentioned reading The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which discusses the development of Christianity from a different viewpoint than usually presented.

Mr. Wells talked about reading Damnation on Halfaday Creek, a book he describes as starting out sad and just getting sadder. But he also started a fun historical fiction book called Doc to clean his palate.

Visit our Goodreads page to see what we’ve discussed in book clubs past and present!

Week in Review: DRAMA

The library was bustling with activity this week, mainly human sexuality for the sixth through eighth-grade students. But when not in use by middle schoolers, the library hosted the High School drama class for a look at their play, Anxiety is Orange. Students performed several scenes from this thoughtfully funny play. Also happening this week was the final Leadership Lunch of the school year. Ryan interviewed Samhita and Saheb about their experiences on the Quiz Bowl and Science Bowl teams. We look forward to seeing them both in the future on Jeopardy!

Week in Review + May Book Club

The sixth graders were in the library on Monday with Ms. McGinnes to begin research for their passion projects. Student topics include various sports, animation, organic food, Lego, and music.

It’s hard to believe, but we held the final high school book club of the year on Tuesday. To start us off, Ms. Melinson shared a number of books she got on Independent Bookstore Day, including the Joan Didion classics Let Me Tell You What I Mean and The Year of Magical Thinking, Call Us What We Carry, and All About Love. She also shared some cool-looking books like The Coasts of California, a beautifully illustrated field guide, an oddly sized edition of 1984, the graphic novel adaptation of 1984, and the Maya Angelou poem Life Doesn’t Frighten Me with illustrations by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Avery shared she’s only reading a school book right now, The Tempest. Jordyn talked about returning several books, including Scythe, which reminded Ms. Melinson to share that a prequel to Scythe will be released this year. Mrs. Strong read The Personal Librarian and liked it well enough. Samhita is re-reading House of Leaves, although it’s much less weird the second time around. Dra. Portillo read Circe and said it’s really good and makes you wonder about gender roles in that time period.