Week in Review: Sophomore Takeover

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.

September Book Club

We had our first Book Club of the school year on Wednesday, with the customary brownies and, unexpectedly, hot apple cider, due to the rainy weather.

Ms. Melinson began by sharing some of the new books the library has received, starting with sequels: the newest Lisa McMann book, Unwanteds Quest: Dragon Curse (who will be visiting next week!); Kingsbane, the second book in the Empirium trilogy; Finale, which is the final book in the Caraval series; Dark Age, a new book from the Red Rising series; and a new Pittacus Lore book, Return to Zero. Some other new books include poetry by the new Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo; The Haunting, which is described as the “scariest book you’ll read all year” and possibly the shortest; the buzz-worthy This Time Will Be Different; the new Margaret Atwood book The Testaments; and (shout out to Mr. G.) How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems.

Then Ms. Melinson talked about some of the books she read over summer: Becoming, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The State of Water, Citizen, Eternal Life, and Where the Crawdads Sing. Heloise also read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and described it as a “pretty story with an ugly side” and reminded her of My Antonia. She also read Flights, a collection of short stories about human travel, Italo Calvin’s Complete Cosmicomics, and The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel, which she said is “so pretty” and does a good job showing not telling with the art. Heloise also read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and loved it and said the film was the worst adaptation ever.

Becca read the graphic novel version of Speak and enjoyed the anticipation from it and the “breathtaking” artwork. Spencer read The Count of Monte Cristo and couldn’t put it down, however, it took about 130 pages to really get into it. Ms. Renteria read Where the Crawdads Sing and was prepared to not like it due to how popular it is, but enjoyed it and called it “lyrical and beautiful”. She also read The Power and wanted to like it, but it wasn’t what she expected and found it to be violent and sad. Ms. Renteria is currently reading Inheritance, a memoir that brings up interesting revelations about identity and what it means to be a father.

Madame Meyers read Happiness, a non-fiction book about being present for moments in daily life. She’s also rereading the Harry Potter books, which she likes to reread every few years and still finds new information. Ms. Bauman read Eight Men Out after being inspired by The Great Gatsby and The Maltese Falcon. After reading it, she said she’ll never read the The Great Gatsby the same way again because of ‘romantic corruption vs. realistic corruption.’ Sarina read There Will Be No Miracles Here and enjoyed it. Samhita reread Diary of Anne Frank and finds it more depressing now that she knows more about Anne Frank’s life.

Check out all the books we discussed at Book Club on our Goodreads!

Week in Review: Shenanigans

We had a fun mix of academics and shenanigans this week. On Monday the Sophomores had a one-two punch of Sophomore Project work. First, in English class, they worked on some preliminary research for their Sophomore Projects. Then in History class, students walked around the track with partners and discussed what their projects are about. Then, in the garden (when it wasn’t rainy), students shared what their partner’s project was about.

On Wednesday we had our first Book Club of the school year. Thursday was picture day for the Middle & High School, and because the pictures are taken in the library, we got to see some of the wacky and lovely ways the Seniors dressed up for their photo-ops, including Jackson M.’s behind-the-scenes “Bachelor” photo shoot.

Friday was the High School’s annual Ancil Hoffman flag football game. The quads were awash in red and black spirit and decorations.

Also happening on Friday was the Climate Strike, which the Middle School science department participated in by creating a large chalk mural. The theme was “What do you want your Earth to look like in 50 years?” and students from 6-8th grade science classes drew various scenarios they thought might happen, both good and bad. Check out the slideshow below to view their work!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Week in Review: Sophomore Project Extravaganza

The Sophomores took over the library this week as they worked on various aspects of their Projects. At the beginning of the week, they learned about focusing their topics, paraphrasing, and using NoodleTools by completing their Zombie Issues assignments. Students worked in pairs to learn about frequent mistakes made in NoodleTools by evaluating sources and notecards about zombies. They also learned about formulating “The Question,” essential to their research.

On Thursday librarians from the Sacramento Public Library visited to talk about the Sacramento Room at the Central Library, the local Arden-Dimick Library, and to deliver their library cards. Sophomores also learned about the resources available online and in the library. On Friday the Sophomores journeyed to the Sacramento Room where they got a tour and an up-close look at some of the Room’s more interesting pieces. Archivist James Scott showed students a copy of History of the World from 1490. He also showed students William T. Vollmann’s Thirteen Stories, which happens to have a poisonous cover and cow’s teeth lining the case. Neat!

In other news, the Chinese Club met on Wednesday to learn about and share different types of mooncakes to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, a harvest festival celebrated by our Chinese and Vietnamese students.

Later one of our doggie patrons, Buster stopped by for a visit.

Week in Review: Welcome Back!

Welcome back to school! We hope you all had a lovely summer filled with good books.

We started the week off and running with multiple orientations taking place in the library on Monday. Up first was the orientation for new Middle School parents. Afterward, the library was host to new High School students receiving their school-issued laptops for the first time. Lastly was the orientation for new High School parents. Welcome to all of our new Middle and High School friends!

Tuesday marked the first day of school and the library was busy with students hanging out before their first class of the day. Our first class of the new school year was Ms. Sterling’s Book Club elective. They stopped by the library for a tour and to check out some books.

On Wednesday, our favorite library dog, Quaffle, came by for a visit and to (lovingly) slobber all over Ms. Melinson. The Book Club elective was back on Thursday, this time to learn about Destiny Quest (the library catalog’s version of GoodReads) and, of course, to check out more books.

May Book Club

We had our last Book Club of the school year on Wednesday. This Book Club was very special since Ms. Nellis and Ms. Batarseh are both retiring. They both happen to be avid readers and have been coming to Book Club since its inception. So it was only fitting that they take over the final Book Club to talk about some of their favorite books.

Ms. Nellis started us off by sharing her Top 10 books in chronological order:

  1. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  3. Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver
  4. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  6. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  7. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
  8. Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig
  9. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  10. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Ms. Nellis also talked about the perks of being in a book club and reading books you wouldn’t normally read. She also mentioned how she doesn’t read as much during the school year, but plans to read more in retirement.

As most of us know, Ms. Batarseh is a prolific reader so to share her favorite books, she had to narrow it down by topic. The following are Ms. Batarseh’s favorite works about trees:

  1. The Random House Book of Poetry – “Who Has Seen the Wind?” by Christina Rossetti
  2. New and Collected Poems – “A Black Birch in Winter”
  3. The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
  4. Lives of the Trees by Diana Wells
  5. The California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufman
  6. Aeneid by Virgil

Ms. Batarseh and Ms. Nellis were also awarded Matthews Library cards for life, and we hope they return often to use them!

 

Week in Review: Summer Reading

You can tell the end of school is near because we started our Summer Reading book talks this week. On Monday and Friday, rising 6th and 7th graders were in the library to listen to Ms. Melinson talk about tons of books for them to read over the summer to satisfy their required reading. Also in on Monday were the rising 9th graders to hear about reading for pleasure and keeping their brains active over summer.

On Wednesday we held our last Book Club of the school year. It was also the last Book Club for Ms. Nellis and Ms. Batarseh, as they’re both retiring, and they talked about some of their favorite books. Read about them here.

Thursday was the 11th Annual Rulindo Play-a-thon. We visited during the MegaBand and saw Elijah take an awesome solo during “Cold Duck Time”. Ms. Melinson’s advisory had an extra special snack on Thursday featuring potstickers and a variety of noodles.

On Friday the library was host for a retirement party celebrating Ms. Batarseh, Dr. Covey, Ms. Nellis, and Mrs. Wessels. Happy retirement!

Bonus:

Ms. Melinson submitted a question about health apps and privacy to a national healthcare round table discussion through KCRA 3. Check out the answer here!

Week in Review: Classes, Classes, Classes

We had a busy week of classes happening this week. All week long Ms. Eustace’s 6th grade English classes, Ms. Myer’s PE electives, and Ms. Nellis’ 9th grade history classes were in the library working on various projects.

Ms. Eustace’s 6th graders were working on their Passion Project research. Students set up their NoodleTools accounts, learned about evaluating websites, and found books and database articles based on their topics.

On Tuesday, the library was host to the LGBTQ Center for their Queer Voices presentation.  This presentation and performative expressions were in conjunction with Mr. Hinojosa’s 12 grade English class reading The Laramie Project.

Ms. Myer’s PE electives have been in the library working on their Healthy for Life projects where students choose real life health issues and use reputable websites (Mayo Clinic, NIH, CDC, Johns Hopkins, MedlinePlus, etc.) to determine situations related to the health issue in which you would use self-care, call a doctor or other professional, or call 911.

On Wednesday we had our last Book Club for the seniors and our penultimate Book Club for the school year. Check out what reading advice the seniors gave here. Stay tuned for the last book club in May when Ms B and Ms Nellis will give their reading advice before they retire.

Ms. Nellis’ 9th grade history class was in most of the week working on their World Heritage site projects. On Friday Ms. Nellis’ APUSH class got to visit the C-SPAN bus on campus and learn about research resources. Neat!

Bonus:
In case you didn’t already know, our library is the place to be for dog visits.

doggo

April Book Club

April’s Book Club celebrated our senior readers. Ms. Melinson started by reading the poem “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, giving gifts to the graduating seniors, and giving bookmarks containing lists of their recommendations from over the years to everyone. Then she opened the floor to the seniors to share some advice and recommendations.

Grace started us off by suggesting that students read the books that are assigned in class, but to supplement them with other books (some that she calls “trash” books–as opposed to high literature or classics) to add balance. She reminded us to keep reading because reading actually helps improve vocabulary. One of her favorite series of books is Flavia de Luce.

Josh shared that it’s ok to take breaks from reading to avoid feeling burnt out later. He then talked about some high fantasy books he recently started reading, The Last Wish, The Final Empire (which he recommended for Tolkien fans), and The Golden Apple of Discord. After Josh talked about his recommendations, Ms. Batarseh said if she were stranded on a desert island that she would take Josh with her because of his ability to recall details about so many books and their plots (someone else also mentioned that he knows how to build a fire, which would also be helpful). Dune will always have his heart.

Luca said that it doesn’t matter what you read as long as you’re reading. He also said that it’s ok to stop reading books that you don’t like. His favorite book is The Gunslinger. Luca’s final words of wisdom were to get a Goodreads account to keep track of what you read as well and to find new books. And to read Skulduggery Pleasant.

For all the books these guys and others have talked about over the years, check out our Goodreads page!