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 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.

Week in Review: Spirit Week, NHD, Author Visit & More!

Reader, we had quite the busy week both in the library and out. Mr. Kuipers 9th grade History class was in the library all week preparing for their National History Day projects. Students explored ABC-Clio and Gale databases, learned how to add database articles to NoodleTools, and created booklists in Destiny, the library’s catalog.

At lunchtime on Tuesday, the library hosted the popular Cookies, Coloring, & Conversation where students munch on cookies while coloring and hanging out.

This week is Sprit Week and each day has a theme. Wednesday’s theme was Superheroes and guess who stopped by? Baymax, your friendly neighborhood robot helper/superhero. Thursday’s theme was Pop Culture and Ms. Melinson’s advisory created hashtags that represented them.

Friday was quite possibly the busiest day in the history of days. In addition to it being Homecoming, Fall Family Festival, and a lunchtime pep rally, it was the beginning of 6th grade’s library orientation and we were visited by author Lisa McMann.

Lisa McMann, bestselling author of The Unwanteds series and The Unwanteds: Quests series, spoke to the Middle School on Friday about how she came up with the idea for The Unwanteds and what it’s like being a writer. She then took questions from students and autographed their books.

Friday was also the beginning of library orientation for Ms. Sterling’s 6th graders. Students learned how to access the library’s catalog and had a brief introduction to databases. Then students did a Silent Conga through the stacks to see where books are located.


Mr. Crabb brought his dog, Frankie, to visit the library for the first time!


Week in Review: Lunar New Year

This week was so jam-packed with activities and events, we can’t believe it’s already Friday! This week both Mr. Crabb’s 7th grade History class and Ms. Nellis’ 9th grade History class spent some quality time in the library researching projects. The 7th graders continued to work on their collective learning projects based on various topics such as animals, plants, and technology while the 9th graders worked on their Indigenous Peoples project. On Tuesday author and alum Victoria Loustalot visited for a lunch time chat where she talked with students about the writing and publishing process, experimenting with genres and writing exercises to get writing.

On Wednesday Mrs. Bornmann’s and Mrs. Eustace’s classes were in the library to work on their Scientists in the Field research. During lunch time we held our monthly Book Club, which you can read about here. On Thursday Ms. Melinson’s advisory and the Chinese Club celebrated Chinese New Year with chow mein, dumplings, and Chinese sausage with rice. Friday was the Sophomore Moratorium, the day where the 10th graders take over the library and work on their Sophomore Projects.


Mrs. Eustace brought her pup Mali for a visit!

Week in Review: Sophomore Moratorium Edition

This week, Ms. Nellis’ 9th grade History classes visited almost every day to work on their Pre-Columbian Americas research projects. On Monday Ms. Melinson shared with them how to start an outline for the presentation component of their project and the rest of the week was spent looking at sources and researching indigenous cultures.

Monday was also National Puzzle Day which meant is was time for Ms. Melinson to bust out the puzzle! This year’s puzzle features an elaborate library that even includes a puzzle in the corner.

Wednesday featured a guest speaker, New York Times sportswriter Karen Crouse. Ms. Crouse spoke to the members of the Octagon staff about her new book, Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence, as well as how she got started in sports journalism and some notable stories from her career.

Thursday the Glass Knife held a meeting where they planned for the upcoming Valentine’s Day bake sale – look forward to that happening on Monday, February 12th!

Friday was the all-day Sophomore Moratorium. Students spent the day working on their projects and getting help from teachers while also listening to presentations on outlines, rubrics, and how to make a presentation.

Last Week in Review…Illustrator Edition!

Last week we were pleased to have illustrator Lisa Brown visit SCDS. She has illustrated such books as The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming (a Glass Knife traditional read every year!), Picture the Dead, Vampire Boy’s Good Night, and many more. She also may or may not be married to the elusive Lemony Snicket.

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Lisa spent the morning talking to Lower School students about drawing, and gave a great presentation to Middle School about where she gets ideas for her characters. She shared that she finds a lot of inspiration from everyday people (especially in airports and coffee shops!), as well as old photographs. Then things got colorful when she had the Middle School audience help her come up with a story based on a couple of old photographs. What a treat!

We also enjoyed having the 7th Grade science class in the library all week as they worked on their biomes projects. Look at them go!

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We were also pleased to send off our food donations to the Dyer Kelly food drive—High School students were encouraged to bring in bags of non-perishable grocery items for World Food Day. We had quite the collection taking over the library office!


Jordan Sonnenblick Skype Visit

Author pics

On Friday, October 4th, we had a Skype visit with Jordan Sonnenblick, the author of Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie, which was this year’s required summer reading for middle school.

Jordan talked to us from his kitchen in Pennsylvania about the origins of Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie, and how he shaped a lot of the characters from people he knew in real life. He based Steven on himself and said Jeffrey was based on his son.

Many students asked Jordan some really great questions–about his writing process, how he deals with writer’s block (he said he would like “to jump off a cliff” sometimes), and how he manages to be a writer and a dad at the same time. He talked about being a musician and how that also inspires his writing. He had some great tips for all the writers in the audience (query letters, oh my!)

We enjoyed our Skype visit with Mr. Sonnenblick! His new book, Are You Experienced? was released on September 3rd–come on down to Matthew’s Library to check it out.

Ashley Wolff Visits Country Day

Ashley Wolff visiting the Middle School art class.Children’s book author and illustrator Ashley Wolff visited with our Middle School art class when she was on campus to visit our Lower School students. She taught the artists about forward momentum (making sure the action in the pictures faces the right, so that it is set up in the same way we read, left to right). She showed them how to prepare two-page spreads keeping in mind the gutter (the fold in the center of a book). Because heads, hands, feet, and small illustrations can get lost, any great detail should be kept clear of the gutter. She also had them draw pictures that touched on all four sides of the page. Then she showed examples from her own books where she did one in block prints with watercolors and another in collage (she used pages from the Farmer’s Almanac for an apron and a flyer from Lucky’s for the clothing). It was interesting to learn about all the things a book illustrator has to keep in mind when creating artwork.