This week saw the return of a fun Middle School event: the Enlightenment Salon. Seventh grade students in Ms. Kahn’s history class are learning about historical figures from the Enlightenment period. Salon guests included Toussaint Louverture, Sor Juana de la Cruz, John Locke, Olaudah Equiano, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph II, Catherine the Great, Mercy Otis Warren, Phillis Wheatley, Thomas Hobbes, and Olympe de Gouges. For the salon, they acted as their figure against a roaring fire backdrop while discussing topics from the time, including equality, slavery, and women’s rights. Some students even dressed in costume! Check out the gallery below!
High school students are continuing to prove themselves as puzzle fiends. Students completed one at the beginning of the week, bringing the total number of completed puzzles for January to 6! They quickly started a new one and are making excellent progress.
It’s hard to believe it’s already almost February, but it’s true! We had a full and busy January that flew by. The first few weeks of January were spent grading the bibliographic portion of the Sophomore Project. We managed to squeeze in a high school book club between grading, and then the library was taken over by students in temporary madness for high school finals. Some students are voracious puzzlers and decompressed from studying by completing two 1000 piece puzzles!
Toward the end of finals week, the sixth grade science students came into the library to listen to presentations by different professionals in the STEM field. First, they heard from Mrs. Frandrup’s husband, Kurt, who is an engineer for a construction company. Students learned all about the work it takes the be an engineer and the kinds of projects they do.
The following week, students heard from an array of professionals, including: Dr. Nasirov, a cardiac surgeon; Dr. Lang of Ancestry.com; and Dr. Altman, a Sacramento State professor and scientist. After hearing from their visitors, students began to research science figures and careers for a project.
During the last week of January, the tenth graders returned to debrief about their Sophomore Projects and to get ready for their presentations. Against a cozy YouTube fire, students began learning how to give good presentations via content and design.
This week we hosted the 8th grade for their “Suspicious Scoops” unit on misinformation–how to recognize it and fact check it. At the beginning of the week we examined confirmation bias “our subconscious tendency to seek and interpret information and other evidence in ways that affirm our existing beliefs, ideas, expectations, and/or hypotheses”* as well as satire, conspiracy theory, the differences between mis- and disinformation, and what “post truth” means (“when objective facts are less influential than personal beliefs and emotion.”**) We also discussed click bait, hoaxes, media bias, and altered images/videos including deep fake technology. Then we balanced all of that with skills we all have to separate reliable from unreliable sources including common sense, searching skills, lateral reading, and OPVL, a way of looking at historical information to examine its origin, purpose, value, and limitations.
On Wednesday people at High School Book Club (more here) shared their wishes for types of books they were looking to read over the break–let us know if you recommend a favorite series, mystery/thriller, realistic fiction where you can learn about and connect to others who live differently than you, or just a really great read.
During Thursday’s meeting, Ms Melinson’s Advisory started their gingerbread houses that they will finish next week.
Tenth graders have been working hard on their Sophomore Project papers that are due next week. Good luck, Sophomores!
*from Facing History and Ourselves; **from Oxford Dictionary
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:
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.
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.
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!
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 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 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
MiaC. – 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!