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:
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
- Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
- 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:
- The Random House Book of Poetry – “Who Has Seen the Wind?” by Christina Rossetti
- New and Collected Poems – “A Black Birch in Winter”
- The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
- Lives of the Trees by Diana Wells
- The California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufman
- 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!
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!
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!
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!
In case you didn’t already know, our library is the place to be for dog visits.
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!
We had quite the week here in the library. The Sophomore Symposium was held on Monday and Tuesday where the Top 10 projects were presented:
- Elijah: Phage Therapy and the Superbug Crisis
- Allie: The Feral Cat Crisis
- Lili: The Problems with Autism Diagnosis
- Kenyatta: Rancho Seco – Did It Cause Cancer?
- Anna: LGBT Representation in Television and Film
- Sarina: Superfund Sites
- Joanne: Human Trafficking and Its Solution
- Sydney: The Importance of Community in Sacramento
- Pragathi: Cerebral Organoids
- Ming: The Evolution of Jazz
Good job to all who presented and congratulations to Elijah, Ming, and Anna for placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively,
On Thursday the Room of Requirement was set up bookstore style for Mrs. Lacomb’s 8th grade English classes. Students perused mystery books like classics and thrillers before checking them out. Thursday was also Poem in Your Pocket Day where students who read a poem from their pocket (more often in their head or on their computer than in their pocket, but that name is a bit too long) were treated to a piece of candy. Some of our students really got into the spirit with dramatic readings!
On Thursday and Friday Ms. Myers PE class was in to learn how to be healthy for life. Ms. Melinson and Ms. Myers presented on how students can search for good websites to use for personal health and how to avoid the more sketchy sites. Friday was also another Glass Knife work night as we get closer to crunch time for putting the book together.
Dogs and art! We were visited by not one, but two library doggos this week!
Also, check out the new mural by the weight room. Thanks to Bella for adding some much needed color to the gym walls!
We had an English-heavy week this week in the Matthews Library. On Tuesday Ms. Eustace’s 8th grade English class was in to learn how to export their works cited page into NoodleTools and to continue working on their WWII technology papers. On Tuesday and Wednesday Mr. Wells’ English class was in learning the details about how to create citations for their Sophomore Projects.
On Thursday the library was transformed into ‘Starbucks Mode’ for Ms. Eustace’s 6th graders as they worked on and practiced their pitches for their Passion Projects.
The Book Elective class visited on Thursday to discuss summer reading ideas with Ms. Melinson. Also on Thursday Ms. Lang’s 2nd graders visited the library in search of where to best hang poetry. Happy Poetry Month!
On Friday the 6th grade English classes were back to present their Passion Project pitches to their classmates and the community.
All week long the Glass Knife continued their board meetings and on Friday had their first work night.
If you’re in the market for a new hairstyle, check Kaelan’s below, styled by Sarina. Sarina accepts Cheese-Its as payment.
This week started out with Mr. Crabb’s 7th grade History class in the library finding books and doing research for their March Madness projects. Students had to read a historical fiction book and then write a review and comparison about actual historical events. Brackets go up on Monday and the books go head to head. Check back next week for the winner!
On Tuesday Ms. Eustace’s Book Elective class was in to pick out books for their #TBR (to be read) shelfie book stacks for Instagram. Students picked out books they’d like to read and came back on Thursday to arrange their stacks and decorate them with props and filters. Check out the gallery of their behind the scenes photos below. Be sure to view their finished pictures on our Instagram!
Dr. Whited brought her Schnoodle for a visit!
This week’s main event was the annual Polyglot Cat in the Hat. Students and faculty took turns reading sections of The Cat in the Hat in 23 languages: German, Spanish, French, Latin, Russian, American Sign Language, Farsi, Hebrew, Korean, Portuguese, ACSII Code, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, and Kinyarwanda. This Polyglot was extra special because it was Ms. Batarseh’s last time running the event as she’s retiring this year. It was also Ms. Nellis’ last time reading the very last page of the book because she’s also retiring.
On Monday Ms. Melinson met with other independent school librarians at The Marin School. Check out the pictures below of their cozy library!
This week started off with the second Sophomore Moratorium where 10th graders prepared their presentations on a variety of topics including Opioids, The Role of Small Businesses in Community, Phage Therapy, Art and the Brain, Human Trafficking, Cat Adoptions in China and the US, and more. On Tuesday, we had an ice cream social for Millie, who won the prize for Teen Read Week. On Tuesday and Wednesday Ms. Eustace was in the library with her 8th graders as they researched for their Ignite speeches and argument papers on Technology and WWII. On Wednesday Ms. Eustace’s Book Elective was also in the library for personalized Book Talks and literary prescriptions. Thursday was the 100th day of school and the kindergarteners marched around campus, including a stop in the library, to help us celebrate. Also on Thursday, Deborah Costello spoke to language students about hosting exchange students this summer. The library’s windows were put to good use by Jack, who used them as a dry erase board for a physics problem. Friday was our Read Across Country Day event. The library was transformed into the Reading Lounge with bean bags, comfy pillows, and a reading fort that was reserved by classes throughout the day. At 2:30, the whole school read for the All School Read. Classes who sent in shelfies of their students reading will get a visit from the Candy Fairy this week!
We were visited by not one, but three adorable dogs this week!
We were packed with activities this week as we tried to squeeze in as much as we could before Mid-Winter Break. Monday started with Mr. Crabb’s 7th grade History class as they continued to work on their Collective Learning projects. On Tuesday Mrs. Eustace’s 8th grade English class was in to begin research for their Ignite speeches. During break and lunch, the Glass Knife put on their Love/Hate Valentine’s Day Bake Sale.
All this week 6th graders have been presenting their Scientists in the Field projects. They gave speeches as their scientists while discussing their topics then presented their scientist showcases in the form of board games, documentaries, virtual reality experiences, and backpacks of field tools. Check out the gallery below to view their work!
On Thursday March Madness began for Mr. Crabb’s 7th graders. Students got to judge a book by its cover and listen to the first line of each novel before picking historical fiction books to read. Their books will go head to head in brackets until the best book wins. Stay tuned for results!
Thursday was also Valentine’s Day, which turned out to be a pretty festive day around the Matthews Library. Ms. Melinson’s desk was was accordingly decorated by some pranksters. The LGBTQ Club sold handmade cards much to the delight of Middle and High Schoolers alike. The library’s Blind Date with a Book display went up. The 1st grade class presented an adorable singing telegram to Ms. Melinson. Check out the video on our Facebook
On Friday the Glass Knife held their last Speakeasy of the year where students and faculty read poems and other writing, some original and some they just enjoyed. We were also surprised by some brief, but intense hail on Friday.