Week in Review: That's a Wrap!

It’s been quiet in the library this past week. The Sophomores finished their papers and turned them in for grading, 6th graders finished their Scientists in the Field projects, and the high schoolers are preparing for finals next week.

We had a one-day storm on Thursday which made the perfect day for tea.

On Friday to celebrate the end of their Scientists in the Field projects, students were visited by scientist and author Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Dr. Patent has written two Scientists in the Field books and is working on her third. She’s also written several other books on various topics, especially dogs (she’s a dog person). Dr. Patent discussed her extensive experience has a scientist traveling and observing different animals and then writing about them.


Two puppy visitors in one day! Look at this adorable and tiny puppy!

And look at this adorable and giant puppy visitor!

Week in Review: Little Bit of Everything

Welcome back and welcome to 2020! We eased back into school life with a little bit of everything this week.

On Tuesday the 6th graders were in with Mrs. Sterling for a NoodleTools refresher. They learned how to export their bibliographies and had work time for their Scientists in the Field projects. We also had tea to warm us up during flex time on Tuesday. On Wednesday we had our first Book Club of the new decade, which you can read about here. On Friday the library hosted author/aerospace engineer/game designer Andrew Rader to talk about his new book, Beyond the Known, human explorations, and space.

January Book Club

New year, new decade, same Book Club!

Ms. Melinson started us off by sharing what she did on Christmas Eve – Jólabókaflóð – the Icelandic tradition of reading a book in bed while eating chocolate on Christmas Eve. Ms. Melinson’s Christmas Eve book was Jackpot by Nic Stone. She also read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and said it’s an interesting story that does not have the beautiful writing that Starless Sea, the book she recommended last book club, has.

Heloise read The Starless Sea and had nothing but praise for it. She suggested reading it in one sitting because the novel sucked you in so much, it could be disorienting going back and forth from fiction to reality. Heloise also read My Sister the Serial Killer and enjoyed its unique concept. She read The Incendiaries and found it gorgeously written, but perhaps a little wordy when it came to some descriptions.

Natalie shared that she is rereading some old favorites, including Warcross and the Neil Shusterman series Unwind. She advised not to get too attached to any character in the Unwind series and the need for a strong stomach. Anna read The Infinite Noise and loved that it featured LGBTQ+ characters but the story didn’t solely focus on LGBTQ+ issues.

Luca returned to say hi and share what he’s been reading – a lot of Stephen King, including Carrie. He also started Between the World and Me and is enjoying its poetic prose. Speaking of beautiful writing, Dra. Portillo read How We Fight For Our Lives, and described it as a beautiful coming of age story. Samhita reread Anne of Green Gables and forgot just how good it is.

Arijit reread The Martian and said he likes to do the math from the book. He also read more books by Jurassic Park author, Michael Crichton. Layla read After the Fire, a book about the after effects of being in a cult. Dylan read The Fold and described it as being paradoxical and fitting into many genres. He also read V for Vendetta then watched the movie.

Sarina read Tangled and said she picked it based on the pretty cover. She said it’s from multiple points of view, but overall too bland and doesn’t feature enough representation. Sarina also read Trinkets because she likes the Neflix show based on the book. She found the book to be lacking diversity compared to the show. She also used the public library’s ebooks over Winter Break and found it exciting to instantly get a book. This is a friendly reminder that we also have a healthy collection of ebooks and often buy books students request if we don’t already have them.

To view all the books we’ve talked about, check out our Goodreads page!

Week in Review: Pre-Winter Break Festivities

The week before Winter Break was filled with festive activities and squirrely children of all ages.

Monday was the second day of Scientists in the Field research for the 6th graders. And speaking of SIF, on Tuesday Mrs. Bornmann and Ms. Melinson found out they were accepted to present about Scientists in the Field at ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), a conference focused on STEM in education.

Monday was also the Glass Knife’s annual holiday get-together, the Latke Throwdown. Students brought their favorite holiday dishes to share and Ms. Melinson read The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming.

Tuesday was music in the library. Ms. Keys and Ms. Hoyos brought their Middle and High School choir and orchestra to the library to serenade students and faculty with beautiful music during lunchtime.

On Wednesday we had our last Book Club of the year, which you can read about here. On Thursday the Sophomores turned in their first draft of their Sophomore Project papers (!!!)

Thursday was also Cookies, Coloring, and Conversation, a popular activity among students and staff alike. With roaring fire on the screen and classical music in the background, students relaxed while coloring and eating cookies.

Friday was a bit of a race as we counted down to Winter Break. As part of their community service day, a group of middle school students were in the library making Valentine’s Day cards for veterans, new service members, and first responders, as well as gift bags for Dyer Kelly School.

Alums returned on Friday for the annual alumni panel, but before that, they had lunch in the library and mingled with students and faculty.

Have a great break, everybody! If you need an ebook, or two or three, here’s a link, or connect through Cavnet where you can find the password if you forget it.

December Book Club

We had our final book of 2019 (and of the DECADE!) on Wednesday. Ms. Melinson started us off by sharing some Best Books of 2019 and Best Books of the Decade lists. She then shared what she’d been reading – Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, the author of The Night Circus. Ms. Melinson described it as “disgustingly beautiful” and a cross between Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store and The Night Circus.

Heloise read Frankly in Love and called it wonderful and similar plot-wise to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but much more realistic. She said the realistic plot and characters who sounds like high school students were a breath of fresh air. Mr. Cunningham read The Case of the Missing Men, describing it as a cross between Nancy Drew & David Lynch.

Anna read a graphic novel call Roadqueen and said the art and story were super cute. Layla read an An Abundance of Katherines and enjoyed, though she found the love equation confusing (why is there so much multiplication?!) Samhita read The Toll, the final book in the Scythe series. She’s sad the series is over, but liked the ending better than she expected to. Mr. Wells read The Water Dancer and found it thoughtful and horrifying. He’s hoping to read Beyond the Unknown in preparation for the author’s visit.

Then Ms. Melinson asked what people thought some of the best books of the decade are. Responses include The Testaments, The Hate U Give, the Champion series, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Night Circus.

Check out all the books we’ve discussed in past Book Clubs at our Goodreads page.

Week in Review: SIF & Sip

We had a low-key week in the library as we countdown to winter break (one more week!)

The Chinese Club met on Wednesday and were in for a quite a treat. Jason’s mom brought a variety of Chinese teas and treats for students to try. She explained the tea pigs (or tea pets) were there to pour any excess tea over into the tea tray. They are made of the same clay as some of the teapots. Over time the tea builds up on the pigs, coloring them different shades. She also talked about some of the traditions of tea.

On Thursday Ms. Mitchell’s Movie Making elective filmed a few scenes in the library, which included dancing on the tables.

Friday saw the first day of SIF-related research in the library. Mrs. Bornmann’s 6th graders got a research overview, an introduction to databases, and learned about searching with keywords.

Week in Review: SIF Kick-Off!

We returned from Thanksgiving break to find December and fall had finally arrived: temperatures below 70 degrees, rainy days, and this gorgeous tree in front of the library:

This week the 6th graders began their joint English and Science project, Scientists in the Field (or, SIF). On Tuesday students browsed the different SIF books bookstore-style where they were arranged in groups by theme. Check out some of the subjects below:

Students then ranked their top choices from each category. On Wednesday the 6th graders had a Google Hangout visit with one of the Scientists in the Field authors and scientist, Dr. Caitlin O’Connell. Dr. O’Connell is an elephant scientist and author of The Elephant Scientist. She spoke to students about her work and then took questions. After the visit, the kids were given their SIF books.

On Friday, the National Art Honor Society hosted a student art show inside of the library. View their work below:


Tuesday was our biggest and fluffiest library dog’s birthday – Quaffle! Quaffle turned 3 years old and celebrated by bringing Scooby Snacks to share with everyone.

Week in Review: Countdown to Thanksgiving Break

It was business as usual this week as we head toward Thanksgiving break. Ms. Kahn’s 8th grade History class returned on Monday to continue work on their NHD projects. This time they found books related to their topics and imported sources into NoodleTools. The rest of the week featured the 10th graders working on their Sophomore Projects. Students spent the week learning how to properly cite sources and beginning the early drafts of their paper.

Thursday was the High School’s annual Thanksgiving lunch where students sit with their advisory and enjoy turkey sandwiches and side dishes. Ms. Melinson’s advisory brought mashed potatoes, gravy, apple pie, cider, ice cream, and cookies. Cheese on apple pie was a total hit!

Students from Ms Melinson’s advisory went with Mrs. Bauman to deliver some snacks they collected for Dyer Kelly School and get a tour of the newly updated school.

November Book Club

We held our monthly Book Club last week where students and faculty talked about what they’d been reading and what they’re hoping to read over Thanksgiving break.

Ms. Melinson started us off by sharing Jewish Stories of Wisdom, a small & pretty book filled with old fashioned folk tales. She then talked about an assortment of new arrivals: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, Slay, The Red Scrolls of Magic, The Dutch House, The Tiger at Midnight, Angel Mage, a beautifully illustrated edition of Black Beauty, Lovely War, and the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also had some books to give away.

Becca read The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers, which she described as the Dr. Suess-ified rhyming and illustrated version. Heloise shared that she likes to read fun and wintry books at this time of year and is currently rereading My True Love Gave to Me. Samhita read Scythe, which she described as less dark than it sounds (there’s a character killed in every chapter), but still really interesting. Stephanie is rereading Just Mercy in anticipation of the movie’s upcoming release. Joanne is also rereading books, but books that she previously started and didn’t finish. She’s beginning with Bad Blood. Clara is reading How To, what she describes as being filled with “science-y, nerdy information” about how to do things. Hermione has been reading Japanese books in Chinese, and especially liked Keigo Higashimo’s Miracle in Namiya’s General Store. Sarina read Just Listen, but didn’t care for it much. However, it did encourage her to read more diversely.

Mr. Wells shared that he started reading Harry Potter with his son, who is enjoying it. He also said he’s going to reread The Handmaid’s Tale after “putting his foot in his mouth” at the last Book Club by declaring The Testaments the better of the two books. Ms. Doyle read the Master and Margarita. She also asked the question: What process do you go through when choosing a book to read for pleasure? Mrs. Bauman said when she’s teaching fiction that she reads more non fiction. Sarina looks for colorful books and often likes the themes that Buzzfeed uses for its book lists. Stephanie likes Chinese authors. Samhita will judge a book by its title. Heloise likes to step away from Top 100 books lists and opt for something a little more interesting. Joanne just starts reading to decide if she’ll like it.

To learn about all of the books we discussed, check out our Goodreads page.

Week in Review: 8th Grade NHD

Mrs. Kahn’s 8th grade History classes spent the shortened week in the library preparing for their National History Day projects. Students had a refresher using NoodleTools, using databases, and evaluating websites.

As part of their lesson on community, a group of pre-k students visited with Ms. Melinson and Mrs. Strong to learn about the Country Day community and the jobs in it. Students viewed tools the library commonly uses, observed how older students use the library, and asked questions. Students also showed us their “magic rock” pose.

On Friday, we held our monthly Book Club with hot apple cider and brownies. Look forward to our Book Club post next week! Also on Friday, the Cooking Club held their first club meeting just outside of the library. They tried drinks from around the world. In puzzle-related news, students are making great progress on the current book-themed puzzle. It got complicated at the end, but it should be completed any day now!


Ms. Mitchell-Vayner brought her dog, Lieutenant Commander Data, in for a visit!