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.
This week was so jam-packed with activities and events, we can’t believe it’s already Friday! This week both Mr. Crabb’s 7th grade History class and Ms. Nellis’ 9th grade History class spent some quality time in the library researching projects. The 7th graders continued to work on their collective learning projects based on various topics such as animals, plants, and technology while the 9th graders worked on their Indigenous Peoples project. On Tuesday author and alum Victoria Loustalot visited for a lunch time chat where she talked with students about the writing and publishing process, experimenting with genres and writing exercises to get writing.
On Wednesday Mrs. Bornmann’s and Mrs. Eustace’s classes were in the library to work on their Scientists in the Field research. During lunch time we held our monthly Book Club, which you can read about here. On Thursday Ms. Melinson’s advisory and the Chinese Club celebrated Chinese New Year with chow mein, dumplings, and Chinese sausage with rice. Friday was the Sophomore Moratorium, the day where the 10th graders take over the library and work on their Sophomore Projects.
Mrs. Eustace brought her pup Mali for a visit!
The theme for this month’s Book Club was Award Winners. Ms. Melinson shared several books that won various ALA Youth Media Awards: Monday’s Not Coming, The Faithful Spy, Educated, Sadie, Circe, The Astonishing Color of After, I, Claudia, A Heart in the Body in the World, and The Poet X. Ms. Melinson also talked about “closely reading” Future Perfect (and showed off her sticky note-filled book) because she interviewed the author, Victoria Loustalot. Heloise talked about reading The People’s History of the United States, which she found fascinating even if U.S. isn’t your thing. However, she warned to be prepared for footnotes. Sanjana read Love, Hate, and Other Filters and loved it – so much so that she had a hard time putting it down to study for finals. Avi read a paper about how free speech has evolved, a topic that relates to his Sophomore Project. This was the Book Club to attend if you’re a Sophomore in need of source help!
For information about all of the books we discussed, check out our Goodreads page!
This week was all about classwork and library research. Mrs. Bornmann and Mrs. Eustace’s 6th grade students were in the library on Wednesday and Friday to research their Scientists in the Field topics using databases. Ms. Nellis’ 9th graders were on Wednesday to begin working on their Indigenous Peoples project. Mr. Crabb’s 7th grade History class was in on Thursday to work on research for a variety of topics, such as animals, food, weapons, and trade routes, and how it relates to collective learning that happened between the Fall of Rome and about 1750. Friday was World Read Aloud Day and to celebrate, Doctora Portillo’s High School Spanish class read old and new favorite picture books to Ms. Lang’s 2nd graders who also read to the high schoolers.
High Schoolers took their finals during this short and sweet week. Though not pictured (but easy to imagine), the library was was equal parts loud and crowded (before and after testing) and quiet and sparse (during testing). In between finals, students snacked on goodies in front of the library. Our resident library dog, Quaffle, stopped by for a visit on Tuesday to receive pets and ear scritches. On Thursday the Glass Knife held their annual retreat where they planned and discussed all things book-related.
Welcome back! We had our first Book Club of the new year on Wednesday, featuring our weather-appropriate hot apple cider and brownies. Ms. Melinson started the discussion by sharing Barack Obama’s end of 2018 list of favorites, including favorite books. She also shared some popular books that were back in the library including The Astonishing Color of After, Crazy Rich Asians, and Far From the Tree. Ms. Melinson mentioned she started reading Joan Didion’s Where I Was From over break and found it to be helpful for inspiring Sophomore Project topic ideas. Ms. Melinson talked about a cool bookstore she visited called Crawford’s Bookstore on Freeport Blvd., which led to a discussion about bookstores. Josh talked about a bookstore he went to in Colorado and Grace mentioned her connection to Beer’s Books downtown.
Ms. Batarseh reviewed Future Perfect by Country Day alum Victoria Loustalot and mentioned that it was forthcoming. She also read Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming and found it fascinating. Becca started reading Middlemarch, a book she discovered via the SATs. She says it’s great, but kind of hard to follow due to the large cast of characters. Alyssa read Never Wake over break and loved it.
Mrs. Eustace read several books over break, including The Babysitter’s Club graphic novel, El Deafo, Fake Blood, The Inquisitor’s Tale, and the memoir Educated, which talks about the value of education and being well informed. Josh, our resident Tolkien super fan, read the Dictionary of Middle Earth and the Atlas of Tolkien, which features maps of Middle Earth. Sarina read People Like Us, which she liked, but found something off about the writing.
Doctora Portillo asked if anyone read The 57 Bus, which she described as being “really good.” Grace talked about exchanging books with her friends on Christmas and receiving the Lin Manuel Miranda delight that is G’Morning, G’Night: Little Pep Talks for Me and You.
To learn more about the books we talked about, check out our Goodreads page!
This week saw the kick off our collaborative Scientists in the Field project for 6th graders. Sixth graders in Mrs. Eustace’s English class and Mrs. Bornmann’s Science class are learning about scientific field work for a subject of their choice, which will culminate in a showcase presentation. On Monday, students skyped with Dr. Desley Whisson of Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Whisson is a scientist in the field of koala habitats and behavioral research.
On Tuesday, 6th graders returned to “shop” for a Scientist in the Field book. The series of books were set up around the table bookstore-style where students could peruse books arranged by topics. On Wednesday we held our monthly Book Club, which you can read about here. On Thursday Mrs. Eustace returned, this time with her 8th graders, who were working on research for their Of Mice and Men presentations. We ended the week with Mr. Crabb’s class in for their Sophomore Project work day accompanied by a roaring fire.
Grace’s adorable puppy, Luigi, visited us again!
Middle Schoolers made bookmarks for 2nd graders during Middle School Community Service last day before break and Ms. Melinson delivered them on Monday.
We held our final Book Club of 2018 on Wednesday featuring our usual brownies and hot apple cider. Students and faculty talked about what books they’ve read and what books they hope to read over break.
Ms. Melinson started us off with too many new books to list. Check out the picture below for all of the titles. Ms. Batarseh talked about reading Country Day Alum Victoria Loustalot’s new book Future Perfect. She also read The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet and The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, which she described as a mix of David Sedaris and Agatha Christie.
Heloise explored a giant bookstore in Colorado and came away with some interesting my reads. She read a book called Fox 8
with a fox narrator who spoke phonetic English. Heloise also picked up a collection of Italo Calvino stories and is looking forward to reading My Sister the Serial Killer
Anna read The Song of Achilles and described it as interesting and well written. Sarina just started reading The Perfect Mother and liked that it started from the ending. Alyssa is looking forward to reading Never Wake over break, the sequel to Dreamfall, which she loved.
Ms. Melinson asked what book would make a good gift and Ms. Batarseh suggested the Emily Wilson translation of the The Odyssey while Mr. Wells suggested Walking to Listen, which he called uplifting. Ms. Melinson said she gives books of poetry or Einstein’s Dreams, which she calls fun and geeky.
For all the books mentioned here and at previous Book Clubs, check out our Goodreads page. Happy reading!