January in Review

It’s hard to believe it’s already almost February, but it’s true! We had a full and busy January that flew by. The first few weeks of January were spent grading the bibliographic portion of the Sophomore Project. We managed to squeeze in a high school book club between grading, and then the library was taken over by students in temporary madness for high school finals. Some students are voracious puzzlers and decompressed from studying by completing two 1000 piece puzzles!

Toward the end of finals week, the sixth grade science students came into the library to listen to presentations by different professionals in the STEM field. First, they heard from Mrs. Frandrup’s husband, Kurt, who is an engineer for a construction company. Students learned all about the work it takes the be an engineer and the kinds of projects they do.

The following week, students heard from an array of professionals, including: Dr. Nasirov, a cardiac surgeon; Dr. Lang of Ancestry.com; and Dr. Altman, a Sacramento State professor and scientist. After hearing from their visitors, students began to research science figures and careers for a project.

During the last week of January, the tenth graders returned to debrief about their Sophomore Projects and to get ready for their presentations. Against a cozy YouTube fire, students began learning how to give good presentations via content and design.

Week in Review: That’s a Wrap!

It’s been quiet in the library this past week. The Sophomores finished their papers and turned them in for grading, 6th graders finished their Scientists in the Field projects, and the high schoolers are preparing for finals next week.

We had a one-day storm on Thursday which made the perfect day for tea.

On Friday to celebrate the end of their Scientists in the Field projects, students were visited by scientist and author Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Dr. Patent has written two Scientists in the Field books and is working on her third. She’s also written several other books on various topics, especially dogs (she’s a dog person). Dr. Patent discussed her extensive experience has a scientist traveling and observing different animals and then writing about them.


Two puppy visitors in one day! Look at this adorable and tiny puppy!

And look at this adorable and giant puppy visitor!

Week in Review: Productive 7th Graders!

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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!

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.

The evolution of the GE Foods Debate

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Every year, Dr. Whited’s biology class participates in a heated debate regarding genetically engineered foods. It all begins with research in the library–from websites, to databases, to books–students gather information and are divided into groups. This is where things get interesting! These groups consist of farmers, environmentalists, food processors/retailers, lawmakers, citizens, and scientists. Each group has to choose and then defend their pro- or anti-GE foods stance (sometimes members of a group may not even agree with each other.)

Sounds fun, right? Well, it gets better! On the first day of debates, each group has to give their opening statement in costume! We were delighted by the farmer hats and scientist garb in particular. One pair of citizens were a married couple (played by Aidan and Brad) who disagreed on GE foods although they both believed the foods should be labeled–this disagreement was handled in an interesting way in their opening statement video. A group of food processors brought in several brands of potato chips and asked the audience to guess which one actually labels the chips as GMO. The second day features a roundtable debate, with each group asking the others leading questions. The only rule is that there is no table-jumping/strangling allowed. It’s always interesting to watch!

Great job, guys!

Renaissance Plant Projects

Renaissance PlantsIn case you weren’t able to see all the Renaissance plant projects on display at the Apothecary Guild at the Renaissance Faire, we have them on display at the library, so come by and take a look. The 7th graders from Ms. Burns class did a great job on their books!