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.
The library was hopping this week with classes and events. It almost felt like a return to the before times!
On Monday, the library hosted an Enlightenment Salon with Ms. Kahn’s seventh-grade history class. Students became a variety of Enlightenment figures, including Voltaire, Diderot, Wollstonecraft, and Benjamin Franklin, as well as some lesser-known people from that time, like Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Toussaint Louveture, and Phillis Wheatley. Students discussed such enlightened topics as should their characters support monarchy or democracy? What is the role of women in society? And what does it truly mean to be an enlightened society?
We also had the March edition of book club on Wednesday. Ms. Melinson presented a number of new books that recently joined the library’s collection. Her focus was on beautiful book covers like Drawn Across Borders, Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Butler, and Watch Over Me. Ms. Melinson also talked about new releases from popular authors like Rhythm of War, Cloud Cuckoo Land, The Lincoln Highway, and Again Again.
We ended the week with a lovely springtime concert courtesy of the Middle School Orchestra. Click here to watch a clip on our Instagram page!
Check out these great shelfies from Read Across Country Day!
The library was drama-central this week as the space was used for two different productions. At the beginning of the week, Mr. Panasiti’s tenth-grade English class was in the library to perform scenes from Anna Deavere Smith’s play Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. Students read the play in class and then adapted scenes to perform a dramatic monologue in front of their peers.
Later in the week, Ms. McGinnes’ high school Drama elective rehearsed for their upcoming play. It was a neat opportunity to see all of the work that goes into putting on a performance.
On Friday we had a furry visitor – Elton, Sage’s cat. Elton is a munchkin cat and looked quite content to be carried and have his fluff pet by his adoring fans.
Students in sixth, seventh, and 10th grades were in the library this week working on research for their various projects.
Sixth-grade students learned about curating their resources for their Scientists in the Field project. Seventh graders evaluated the authority of websites that might be useful for their National History Day projects. Tenth-grade students took a deep dive into databases and how to find relevant information for their Sophomore Projects.
The outside of the library got a little more informative this week when senior Masai decorated the window display with images and information honoring Native American Heritage Month.
Ms. Melinson helped host the first meeting of the Grands & Friends book club. Check out the selection of books she shared with the group.
The 6th graders were back this week to continue their research on learning differences. To encourage their quiet research, students worked with a “crackling fire” in the background.
Also this week, Gavin brought Chinese Checkers and struck up a game with new student Jiayu.
February is Black History Month. The library is participating in a #readingblackout by only featuring African American authors on our end cap displays. Come view (and check out books from) our displays or view them on the library’s Instagram, where a new display will be featured every week.
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.
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!
The Sophomores spent the week in the library working on their Projects. Students started making an outline for their paper and worked more with databases. They also had work days where they could work on different aspects of their projects with help from Ms. Melinson, Mr. Crabb, and Mr. Wells.
The rest of the week was spent with one event after another. This week is French Week and to celebrate, the library hosted Cafe Panache on Tuesday as they returned for another delightful performance of French cafe songs from the 1930s and 1940s.
On Thursday the Glass Knife held their first Speakeasy of the school year. Students and faculty read poems by fairy lights as the audience snacked on cheese, bread, and desserts. We even had a student sing and play ukulele this year! Click through the slide show to view participants.
Also on Thursday, French teachers Mr. Day and Ms. Meyers hosted a game of Kahoots in the library in honor of French Week. Kahoots is a trivia game where students participate by using their phones or computers to answers questions. The theme of these questions was French culture.
Friday was Rockvember Fest! Rockvember Fest is a fun day where students meet with their advisors to go over their current grades and then participate in a variety of activities. Ms. Melinson’s advisory made breakfast in the morning. At lunchtime, the library was host to puzzles and Jenga and later, another round of Kahoots.
The 7th graders spent the week in the library as they worked on projects for history and science. In history, students were working on their National History Day projects. They learned how to use NoodleTools for their bibliographies and how to search databases with keywords. They practiced using websites for research and judging websites on their authoritativeness. They got a crash course in copyright and fair use in relation to using images and videos. They also learned how to find books relating to their projects in the Matthews Library and the public library and how to add those sources to NoodleTools.
For science, students began working on their Biomes projects. They started by looking at books related to their subjects – deserts, oceans, tundra, wetlands, forests, etc. – and keeping track of those books by using NoodleTools. They also were introduced to the Biomes LibGuide, which features more resources relating to their topics. Students also learned how to make a Google Site for their topic. The library was transformed into Coffee Shop Mode on Friday for the 7th grader’s work period.
The library’s monthly Book Club also took place this week, which you can read about here.
With the Middle Schoolers away on their trips this week, the High Schoolers are back and ready to take back the comfy chairs. This week the Sophomores were in all week in both English and History working on different aspects of their Sophomore Projects with Ms. Nellis (who was filling in for Mr. Crabb who was on the 7th grade trip), Mr. Wells, and Ms. Melinson as well as some guests.
On Monday, students learned about what local sources the library has access to and how to take notes on them. On Tuesday Rob Turner and Elyssa Lee, founding editors and owners of SacTown Magazine, visited with the 10th graders and spoke to them about interviewing subjects for their papers. Elyssa and Rob gave great advice on who might be good to interview and told some good stories about some of their own interviews including ones with Sam Elliott, Charles Schwab, and our own Colin Hanks.
On Wednesday students explored the library’s databases using keyword searches. Thursday was spent evaluating websites and looking at ways to access books in our own and the public library as well as through Google Books and Amazon. Friday’s focus was on conducting research interviews, including reviewing advice from Elyssa Lee and Rob Turner and practicing a proper handshake with Ms. Melinson.