Book Elective Book Reviews

For this trimester, Ms. LaMay’s Book Elective class had the opportunity to review their books for a prize. The kids read some great books and submitted informative, interesting, and entertaining reviews. Congratulations to Connor for his review of Matilda and Vivian for her review of Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina! Check out all of the reviews below!

Connor recorded his review of Matilda by Roald Dahl, which you can listen to below.

Vivian reviewed Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland and rated it 5 stars. She wrote:

“This book is so inspiring. That’s why I love it. It shows that just about anyone can do anything. It is about Misty Copeland who is the first black ballerina at ABT. How she came from nothing to one of the world’s best ballerina’s. This is a good read for everyone from kids to adults most people will like it. The book is very well written Misty is obviously a very talented ballerina but she is also a good writer. In the middle of the book it has pictures of her as a dancer which is good because it gives a nice visual of what life was for her. This is overall a great book.”

Jake reviewed The Icebound Land by John Flanagan and rated it 5 stars. He wrote:

The Icebound Land is the third book in the Rangers Apprentice series and is the most tragic of the books in the series. It is a very close tie to Halts Peril which is book nine. This is a heartbreaking tale about how Will who is the main character has been taken by savages that live in the north with a young girl. Meanwhile, his friend Horace and his mentor, Halt have gone off to rescue him traveling around the continent in order to find him. This book is part of a larger series called Rangers Apprentice which is about Will who is an orphan being taken into secret training for his kingdom as a ranger which is an elite group of combat scouts. His adventures take him all around the world fighting to protect his friends and his kingdom. His two best friends Horace and Alice also join him occasionally and help him fight these evil plans. The Icebound Lands is a good book and I enjoyed it very much.”

Hannah reviewed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and rated it 5 stars. She wrote:

“The Hunger Games takes you into the life of a scared but brave girl named Katniss Everdeen. District 12 was one of the twelve districts that made up the country of Panem. Every year, children’s names, ages 12 through 18, are put into a bowl and drawn out during a ceremony known. This is a dreaded time and no one wants to be a part of it because it is almost like a death sentence. When a name is called, you are then taken and thrown into what is known as “The Hunger Games.” This book was really good because it kept me on my toes the whole time. I would rate it a solid 10. The unexpected seemed to happen a lot and things popped up all the time out of nowhere. The book also kept a good pace and you could picture what was going on in your head while the story kept moving. I would definitely recommend reading this book!”

Will reviewed A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park and rated it 5 stars. He wrote:

“The book is about a boy named Salva who was in school when war broke out in his village in Southern Sudan. Salva has run as far away into the bush as he can. As he runs from his village, he can’t help but think about his family. Through the book Salva meets a friend and finds his uncle. I think the biggest problem they had was having water. In the middle of the book it explains how people were dying from dehydration. I think the book was great because of all the details the author put into the. The only thing I would say I didn’t like was how repetitive it was talking about walking. Otherwise I feel like this is a great book to read in your spare time because of how short it is and how the rest of the book lures you in to reading more. Overall, I thing this is a great book”

Hayden reviewed Brisingr by Christopher Paolini and rated it 4 stars. He wrote:

“The book Brisingr is the third book of the Inheritance Cycle. It unlike the other two is very action filled and doesn’t contain a lot of “filler”. Filler is where in order to progress the story it tells a tale of something mostly unrelated. The main setting of the book is during one of the great wars in which the main characters are trying to overthrow the tyrannical overlord. I like the book so much because all of the characters certain power gaps and weaknesses are fixed during this book really setting the stage for the story to transition into the next book. In other words the book Brisingr is a well rounded book that is used as perfect stepping stone to Inheritance, the final book of the series.”

We also had two video submissions. For their review, Kellen and Malek filmed a scene from the Percy Jackson series.

For Colin and Cooper’s review, they filmed a scene from the Eragon series.

Thank you to all of our participants!

Week in Review: Penultimate Edition

Well, here we are! The second to last week of school and a shortened week at that. Things are wrapping up as students prepare for their finals and the library rounds up delinquent books. Here’s what happened this week:

 

On Wednesday, the library was host to a retirement party celebrating Dr. Baird, Dr. Bell, Lonna, Ms. Kassel, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Kren, and Mr. Neukom. Their combined experience totals 172 years!

On Thursday and Friday, Ms. Melinson finished up her summer book talks with the soon to be 6th graders.

And speaking of 6th graders, your assistant was able to view some of the current 6th graders presenting their passion projects on Friday. Students spent weeks researching and putting together their projects, which included creating a recipe book, making slime and a slime recipe book, and learning to bake and cook. Students discussed their successes and failures then participated in a Q & A with their classmates about their experience.

Week in Review: Cupcakes are fun!

The countdown is on as we head into the last week of school!

On Monday, Sean, who is a cook at Hawk’s Restaurant, visited with 6th graders who are doing cooking for their passion projects. He showed them how to ice cupcakes and answered cooking questions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Tuesday and Thursday, Ms. Melinson began summer reading book talks for the incoming 7th and 8th graders. Students are given a list of books to choose from and a corresponding activity sheet. Summer Reading will be available online soon.

On Wednesday we had our last book club of the year, which you can read about here.

On Friday the library was host to the Career Day Panel, which concluded the Senior Seminars. The panel consisted of parents and alum who offered insight into their careers.

Friday also featured a Glass Knife informational meeting for 8th graders who are interested in joining next year.

Week in Review: It’s almost Winter Break(!) edition

It’s been a crazy week here in the Matthews Library as we head towards Winter Break!

Junior and Senior Biology students visited this week to prepare for their Bio Research Debates. Students researched genetically engineered/modified foods and dressed up as the groups they represented (scientists, farmers, environmentalists, law makers, food processors & retailers, and citizens) to present their sides.

Tuesday we were treated to some festive music from the High School choir and orchestra to help get us in the mood for the holidays. Check out their performance of the theme from Downton Abbey!

On Wednesday we had a very special (and adorable) baby shower/goodbye party for Gabriella, who is expecting twins! #twinning

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friday we were host to the Middle School kids, who made holiday cards for their friends, family, and Dyer Kelly Elementary School.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ms. Bauman’s class also visited us on Friday and sang the New Year’s Eve classic “Auld Lang Syne”.

 

Bonus:

Ms. LaComb’s seventh graders dressed up as characters from The Outsiders!

Week in Review: Productive 7th Graders!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our seventh graders have been working hard the past few weeks, and this week we’re getting to see the fruits of their labor. Mr. Kuipers & Ms. Lyon’s history classes did research in the library and then created their Middle East Cultural Fair Projects focusing on architecture, food, games, gardens and more. On Thursday, they set up all the projects in the quad and presented to their classmates.

Then they researched in the library last week and this week to gather information for their Biomes websites that they created for Ms Burns’ class. Here are some of them posing with their webpages:

But that’s not all. This week they’ve been working on their Call of the Wild projects for Ms. LaComb’s English class. This group is writing the script and making the props and costumes for their video that they will shoot while in Yosemite.

We ♥7th grade!

Spirit Week in Review!

Spirit Week was packed into a very exciting four days this week. On Tuesday, students wore tie-dye. Wednesday was the Advisory Costume Contest, with a movie character theme. Ms. Melinson’s advisory chose Diary of a Wimpy Kid and was judged along with the other Advisory classes.

Thursday was twin day and students spent a rainy Friday wearing red and black and preparing for the pep rally. Friday also saw Mr. Wells and Mrs. Bauman lead Morning Meeting in singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” to honor recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

In the middle of all the Spirit Week events, 10th graders came in to learn more about their Sophomore Projects and 7th graders came in to do research for their Biomes Projects. They will be making websites to help teach their classmates more about biomes.

In addition to Spirit Week, it was also Teen Read Week! The Matthews Library mascot, Agamemnon, announced the winners of the Teen Read Week raffle, who all read books during September and October: In the High School Emily H won lunch for herself and three friends; Anny, Sonja, Emma B, Joe, Monique, Héloïse, and Abby won brownies on a random Tuesday, and Monique won the mystery prize. In the Middle School Lindsay won lunch for herself and three friends; Elizabeth, Catherine, Loryn, Rahul, Jada, Zola, Erin, and Anna W won brownies on a random Tuesday; and Catherine won the mystery prize. What a crazy week!

 

Week in Review: Welcome Back!

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

We’re back! The library was busy this week as usual. All sorts of activities happened in the library including a screening of an informative and entertaining video made for Freshmen by Sonja & Nico about the rules at Country Day. The 9th Graders learned a lot–including not to mess with Sonja! There were also parent orientation meetings as well as very helpful College Application sessions for our seniors (thanks, Mrs. Bauman & Mr. Kuipers!)

Some 6th graders learned the legend of the library St. Bernards when they came in for a short orientation.

Some 6th graders learned the legend of the library St. Bernards when they came in for a short orientation.

Speaking of orientation, our 6th graders came in for a quick library orientation so they could find out where to find the books they want as well as how to log in to their email. Some of them even got to learn the legend of the library St. Bernards.

Ms. Melinson’s advisory met for the first time on Thursday to plan their takeover of the world–or really just to figure out who’s bringing snack each week and get to know each other (that way they’ll know who should do what when they take over the world).

Book elective class received pizza bookmarks and checked out their first books of the year.

Book elective class received pizza bookmarks and checked out their first books of the year.

On Tuesday and Thursday, Ms. LaMay & Mr. Crabb’s Book Elective classes came in to check out books and get a slice of pizza (well in bookmark form–food for thought?)

Employees from SpaceX captivated us with stories of their latest projects.

Employees from SpaceX captivated us with stories of their latest projects.

On Friday, Adrianne and Brady from SpaceX came in to speak to interested High School and Middle School students and teachers about their jobs at SpaceX and current projects.  Thanks again to Mrs. Bauman for arranging their visit–Adrianne is her niece. Here are three things we learned:

  1. Since the Space Shuttle retired, SpaceX Dragon is used to shuttle things to the International Space Station. Because Dragon does not burn up upon re-entry, it can also bring things back from space.
  2. The ISS has requested to use Dragon as a camera to take a photo of the Space Station (so in addition to its other useful purposes, it’s kind of a selfie stick for the ISS).
  3. The engineers at SpaceX use math from video games to help them in design.

Last Week in Review: Glass Knife Retreat Edition

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last week we had a flurry of activity in the library, otherwise known as Finals Week. After observing Martin Luther King Day on Monday, we had a library full of High Schoolers looking to escape the rain between taking their finals.

Perhaps the most exciting activity we had last week was the Glass Knife retreat. Staff gathered on Thursday for several hours to plan this year’s magazine. They feasted on a buffet of Thai food before getting down to the nitty gritty details.

We were also pleased to have the 7th Grade History class in to work on their Renaissance Faire characters with a “choose your own adventure”-style site that the library made for them.

It’s a Library Roundup! Here’s Your Week In Review

During the first week of school here at SCDS, we realized that there was a lot of stuff going on around campus—and we couldn’t decide which to post. It was like going to the candy store and not being able to choose one candy. The struggle was real. So we decided to buy all of the candy instead! Here’s a roundup of some of the cool events we had in the library this week:

Ms. Melinson had lunch with her brand new advisory.

Ms. Melinson had lunch with her brand new advisory.

The Glass Knife had their first staff meeting.

The Glass Knife had their first staff meeting.

Ms. LaMay's Middle School Book Elective came in and scored some bookmarks from Ms. Melinson's author pal.

Ms. LaMay’s Middle School Book Elective came in and scored some bookmarks from Ms. Melinson’s author pal. Oh yeah, and they checked out some books, too.

Preemptive strikes against germs! Pew pew pew!

Preemptive strikes against germs! Pew pew pew!

Maryjane demonstrating proper library seating techniques.

Maryjane demonstrated proper library seating techniques.

Ms. LaMay's 8th Grade English class came to learn about using the Independent Reading Sites for posting book reviews.

Ms. LaMay’s 8th Grade English class came to learn about using the Independent Reading Sites for posting book reviews.

Some Really Pretty Photos From Ms. Monahan’s Photography Class

Ms. Monahan’s photography class took a trip to McKinley Park last week to practice their skills in nature photography. We’re delighted to share these awesome photos with you, just try not to get too jealous about their adventures in the beautiful sunshine.

P.S. Be sure to click on each photo to see it in full-size (and with captions!).