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!
The library hosted the Sophomore Symposium this week where the Top 10 finalists shared their presentations on a variety of topics:
Kaitlyn D. – The Benefits of the Mental Health Court
Aarushi R – Multi-Cancer Detection Blood Test Galleri
William H. – Artificial Intelligence and Its Uses in Healthcare,
Luke S. – The Effects of Climate Change on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Gulzar S. – Farm to Fork
E R. – Mental Health in Transgender Youth
Mia C. – To Bee or Not to Bee
Grace Z. – Chinese-American Conservatives
Imani C. The Math and Science behind 2D Character Animation
Katie E. – Changes in the Vietnamese Language Over Time
Congratulations to the winners Mia, Grace, Imani, and everyone who presented!
Later this week, Ms. Melinson worked with Mr. Hobbs’ eighth-grade history class to learn about misinformation. Students learned about lateral reading vs. horizontal reading and the important of checking where their information comes from as well as fake news and deep fakes.
Last week, Sage brought her magnificently fuzzy cat to the library for another visit. Just look at that majestic floof!
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.
Happy December! The library has been in full National History Day research mode this week with both seventh and eighth-grade students in to work on their projects. Students spent the week learning how to navigate databases and look for information on their topics in library books. This year’s NHD theme is Debate & Diplomacy and some of their topics include gentrification, the Bubonic Plague, and disability rights. Thursday and Friday were spent as a “help day” for seventh-grade. Students were able to work on their projects and get assistance from Mrs. Kahn or Ms. Melinson.
Also happening in the library this week was the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Usually held in person, this conference went virtual due to COVID. Six high school students were able to attend this important conference virtually. The library’s quiet room turned into a communal conference space. To make the event feel more special, students received SDLC swag bags and lunch.
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 9th and 10th graders were in this week working on various aspects of their projects. Ninth grade students got a refresher course on how to use NoodleTools, a citation management tool, for their National History Day projects. They also learned how to navigate our databases for relevant information and how to find scholarly sources. The 10th graders spent their library time taking a deep dive into local sources.
The library held its first book club of the school year. Students talked about what they read over the summer. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir was a popular book between Adam and Saheb, with both of them describing it as more dense than The Martian, but a great plot. We also had a lively discussion on movie adaptations of books and which are better (the books are better).
Friday saw the beginning of Teentober and a writing contest to celebrate teen voices. The library’s helpers wrote out interesting prompts on Post-it notes and put them on the front window for students to draw inspiration from.
Thank you to our two secret admirers for the lovely flowers!
The library was full of 7th and 10th grade students this week. The 7th graders began by searching the Credo database and brainstorming topic ideas for National History Day. This year’s theme is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences and students are sure to come up with fascinating topics. Later in the week, the 7th graders were back to learn how to find and annotate a database article (annotating is a way to take more interactive notes) then they added their sources to NoodleTools (a research management platform that also helps them generate a bibliography). Meanwhile, the 10th graders were in this week to research local sources for their Sophomore Project topics.
We’re back! Back in school, back in person, and back to our weekly review of what happens in (and, this year especially, around) the Matthews Library.
Mrs. Frandrup’s Book Elective stopped by on the first day of school to check out some new reading material. The library is positively bursting with new books so they had much to choose from.
The 10th graders were in the library on Thursday to learn about their big research unit, the Sophomore Project. Ms. Melinson introduced them to what they would be doing and then had them brainstorm ideas by searching through local Sacramento magazines and websites.
Ms. Melinson also met with her advisory for the first time and ate tasty, fancy snacks.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Strong was out some of the week practicing one of our most important civic responsibilities – jury duty. While she can’t talk about the experience yet, she can share some photos from the beautiful Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse.
We held our last Book Club of the school year this week. Students and staff shared what books they’ve been reading and what they hope to read over the summer.
Ms. Melinson shared that she’s been reading Woven in Moonlight and chose it for its beautiful cover. She’s also been working her way through Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook. Samhita read Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. She said it was really interesting to see how people were tricked for so long. Doctora Portillo said she’s been reading student’s work from her Spanish classes. Mrs. Strong has been reading Upright Women Wanted, a fun western that takes place in the future. Mr. Wells’ stayed up late reading The Heights and enjoyed its ironic humor. Erin has been reading Harry Potter in French. She says it easier to translate some of the harder French words because she previously read the books in English. Erin has also been reading When Women Ruled the World. She likes how it relates modern history to ancient Egypt.
For summer, Ms. Melinson plans to read Educated for her alma mater’s book club. She also wants to listen to The Poet X because it’s read by the author. Some other books she’s excited about for summer are: The Nickel Boys, Internment, With the Fire on High, The Fountains of Silence, Parable of the Sower, Dangerous Alliance (written by Country Day alumna, Jennieke Cohen), and more Joy Harjo poetry (current and future U.S. Poet Laureate).
Doctora Portillo plans to read The Chronicle of Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She says it’s short, but complex. Doctora is also looking forward to reading How to Be an Anti-Racist. Mr. Wells is planning on reading The Hobbit with his son and Station Eleven (with himself). Erin plans to read and/or listen to more books in French. Samhita has been waiting for a good time to start The Starless Sea and might also read The Night Circus after Ms. Melinson described it.
For all the books we’ve read this year and in years past, check out our Goodreads page. Happy reading!