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 WasFrom 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 over break.
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!
It’s beginning to look a lot like mid-December around the library: snowflakes are in the windows, seniors are beginning to hear about early action/decision for college, and Winter Craft has returned. On Tuesday the Glass Knife held their annual bake and gift sale, which featured a variety of cookies and brownies, homemade bread, cards, and jewelry.
Thursday saw the first Winter Craft session of the season. Mr. Crabb’s advisory was in to make festive pencils out of packs of Rolos and Hershey’s kisses. Mr. Crabb’s History classes returned on Friday for their weekly Sophomore Project work day where they learned about possible volunteer opportunities relating to their topic.
Bonus: we have some major puzzle fans! Students finished another puzzle on Thursday.
We had another visit with Grace’s adorable puppy, Luigi.
This week started off with Ms. Burns’ 7th graders back in the library on Monday as they learned how to make websites for their Biome projects. Soon they’ll be using WebQuest with each other’s websites. On Wednesday we were treated to a lunchtime performance by Cafe Panache, a band that plays French cafe songs from the 1930s and 1940s. On Thursday Mr. Wells’ English classes were in for a Sophomore Project work day and back again on Friday for a work day in Mr. Crabb’s History class. The Glass Knife held their Fall Speakeasy and Open Mic Poetry & Music event on Friday, where students shared poems (including originals) and noshed on snacks.
Our kids are really into puzzling! Check out their completed work on Instagram.
This week was all about Fall Book Talks with the middle schoolers and work days with the high schoolers. Book Talks are where Ms. Melinson talks about 60+ books and then students pick out books that sound most interesting to them. Monday’s Book Talks began with Mrs. Eustace’s 6th and 8th graders, with the 8th graders having a mystery slant. Tuesday was a work day for Ms. Nellis’ 9th graders as they continue to work on their Ancient Egypt research project. Wednesday was a Sophomore Project work day for Mr. Wells’ 10th graders. Thursday was a Book Talk extravaganza with 7th and 8th classes in all day long. Friday was a day off for students, but an in-service day for teachers. Ms. Melinson and I went on a field trip to the Sacramento History Museum in Old Sacramento. Check out our pictures on Instagram!
While the High School is away…the Middle Schoolers will play! This week the High Schoolers were away on their trips, which gave the 6th graders a chance to really get to the know the Matthews Library.
All this week, the 6th graders had their library orientation where they learned how to read a shelf, find some of our more unusually labeled books, arrange books according to the Dewey Decimal System, navigate databases, and evaluate websites for content, authority, bias, and design. Student then got to show off their website evaluation knowledge with a game of Friendly Feud.
Also in the library all week were Mrs. Eustace’s 8th graders. They were in to research for their Salem Witch projects, which will culminate in an Ignite Speech next week.
It’s spirit week at Country Day and our students dressed to impress!
Tuesday was Twins day and Mrs. Eustace and Mrs. Strong joined in on the fun. Wednesday was Disney-themed and Brandy dressed up as Snow White while Shelly played as the Evil Queen with the poisonous apple. Don’t eat the apple, Brandy! On Thursday advisories dressed up as TV characters. Ms. Melinson’s advisory dressed up as The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
On Friday two local librarians visited the Sophomores. Kim, from the Arden-Dimick branch, gave the kids their library cards and talked about what research resources the library has. James, from the Sacramento Room, also visited and spoke on the historical resources the Sacramento Room has to offer. He also brought a signed copy of the Ladybird script. How cool!
Ms. Melinson visited the arts event, Tearing Walls Apart, featuring the work of some of our students – Bella, Jason, and Sophie. Check out their work below!