Week in Review: SIF & Sip

We had a low-key week in the library as we countdown to winter break (one more week!)

The Chinese Club met on Wednesday and were in for a quite a treat. Jason’s mom brought a variety of Chinese teas and treats for students to try. She explained the tea pigs (or tea pets) were there to pour any excess tea over into the tea tray. They are made of the same clay as some of the teapots. Over time the tea builds up on the pigs, coloring them different shades. She also talked about some of the traditions of tea.

On Thursday Ms. Mitchell’s Movie Making elective filmed a few scenes in the library, which included dancing on the tables.

Friday saw the first day of SIF-related research in the library. Mrs. Bornmann’s 6th graders got a research overview, an introduction to databases, and learned about searching with keywords.

Week in Review: SIF Kick-Off!

We returned from Thanksgiving break to find December and fall had finally arrived: temperatures below 70 degrees, rainy days, and this gorgeous tree in front of the library:

This week the 6th graders began their joint English and Science project, Scientists in the Field (or, SIF). On Tuesday students browsed the different SIF books bookstore-style where they were arranged in groups by theme. Check out some of the subjects below:

Students then ranked their top choices from each category. On Wednesday the 6th graders had a Google Hangout visit with one of the Scientists in the Field authors and scientist, Dr. Caitlin O’Connell. Dr. O’Connell is an elephant scientist and author of The Elephant Scientist. She spoke to students about her work and then took questions. After the visit, the kids were given their SIF books.

On Friday, the National Art Honor Society hosted a student art show inside of the library. View their work below:


Tuesday was our biggest and fluffiest library dog’s birthday – Quaffle! Quaffle turned 3 years old and celebrated by bringing Scooby Snacks to share with everyone.

Week in Review: Countdown to Thanksgiving Break

It was business as usual this week as we head toward Thanksgiving break. Ms. Kahn’s 8th grade History class returned on Monday to continue work on their NHD projects. This time they found books related to their topics and imported sources into NoodleTools. The rest of the week featured the 10th graders working on their Sophomore Projects. Students spent the week learning how to properly cite sources and beginning the early drafts of their paper.

Thursday was the High School’s annual Thanksgiving lunch where students sit with their advisory and enjoy turkey sandwiches and side dishes. Ms. Melinson’s advisory brought mashed potatoes, gravy, apple pie, cider, ice cream, and cookies. Cheese on apple pie was a total hit!

Students from Ms Melinson’s advisory went with Mrs. Bauman to deliver some snacks they collected for Dyer Kelly School and get a tour of the newly updated school.

November Book Club

We held our monthly Book Club last week where students and faculty talked about what they’d been reading and what they’re hoping to read over Thanksgiving break.

Ms. Melinson started us off by sharing Jewish Stories of Wisdom, a small & pretty book filled with old fashioned folk tales. She then talked about an assortment of new arrivals: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, Slay, The Red Scrolls of Magic, The Dutch House, The Tiger at Midnight, Angel Mage, a beautifully illustrated edition of Black Beauty, Lovely War, and the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also had some books to give away.

Becca read The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers, which she described as the Dr. Suess-ified rhyming and illustrated version. Heloise shared that she likes to read fun and wintry books at this time of year and is currently rereading My True Love Gave to Me. Samhita read Scythe, which she described as less dark than it sounds (there’s a character killed in every chapter), but still really interesting. Stephanie is rereading Just Mercy in anticipation of the movie’s upcoming release. Joanne is also rereading books, but books that she previously started and didn’t finish. She’s beginning with Bad Blood. Clara is reading How To, what she describes as being filled with “science-y, nerdy information” about how to do things. Hermione has been reading Japanese books in Chinese, and especially liked Keigo Higashimo’s Miracle in Namiya’s General Store. Sarina read Just Listen, but didn’t care for it much. However, it did encourage her to read more diversely.

Mr. Wells shared that he started reading Harry Potter with his son, who is enjoying it. He also said he’s going to reread The Handmaid’s Tale after “putting his foot in his mouth” at the last Book Club by declaring The Testaments the better of the two books. Ms. Doyle read the Master and Margarita. She also asked the question: What process do you go through when choosing a book to read for pleasure? Mrs. Bauman said when she’s teaching fiction that she reads more non fiction. Sarina looks for colorful books and often likes the themes that Buzzfeed uses for its book lists. Stephanie likes Chinese authors. Samhita will judge a book by its title. Heloise likes to step away from Top 100 books lists and opt for something a little more interesting. Joanne just starts reading to decide if she’ll like it.

To learn about all of the books we discussed, check out our Goodreads page.

Week in Review: 8th Grade NHD

Mrs. Kahn’s 8th grade History classes spent the shortened week in the library preparing for their National History Day projects. Students had a refresher using NoodleTools, using databases, and evaluating websites.

As part of their lesson on community, a group of pre-k students visited with Ms. Melinson and Mrs. Strong to learn about the Country Day community and the jobs in it. Students viewed tools the library commonly uses, observed how older students use the library, and asked questions. Students also showed us their “magic rock” pose.

On Friday, we held our monthly Book Club with hot apple cider and brownies. Look forward to our Book Club post next week! Also on Friday, the Cooking Club held their first club meeting just outside of the library. They tried drinks from around the world. In puzzle-related news, students are making great progress on the current book-themed puzzle. It got complicated at the end, but it should be completed any day now!


Ms. Mitchell-Vayner brought her dog, Lieutenant Commander Data, in for a visit!

Week in Review: Events galore!

The Sophomores spent the week in the library working on their Projects. Students started making an outline for their paper and worked more with databases. They also had work days where they could work on different aspects of their projects with help from Ms. Melinson, Mr. Crabb, and Mr. Wells.

The rest of the week was spent with one event after another. This week is French Week and to celebrate, the library hosted Cafe Panache on Tuesday as they returned for another delightful performance of French cafe songs from the 1930s and 1940s.

On Thursday the Glass Knife held their first Speakeasy of the school year. Students and faculty read poems by fairy lights as the audience snacked on cheese, bread, and desserts. We even had a student sing and play ukulele this year! Click through the slide show to view participants.

Also on Thursday, French teachers Mr. Day and Ms. Meyers hosted a game of Kahoots in the library in honor of French Week. Kahoots is a trivia game where students participate by using their phones or computers to answers questions. The theme of these questions was French culture.

Friday was Rockvember Fest! Rockvember Fest is a fun day where students meet with their advisors to go over their current grades and then participate in a variety of activities. Ms. Melinson’s advisory made breakfast in the morning. At lunchtime, the library was host to puzzles and Jenga and later, another round of Kahoots.


We got two doggy visitors this week!

Week in Review: Halloween

Monday started off with a work period for Ms. Burns’ 7th graders as they continued to work on their Biomes projects. The rest of the week was filled with Halloween festivities, starting with the Glass Knife Halloween Bake Sale. Tuesday was back-to-back-to-back Halloween Book Talks for Ms. Sterling’s 6th graders. Students listened to Ms. Melinson talk about a bunch of books – some new, some spooky, all fun to read. On Wednesday students attended a presentation about Dia de los Muertos, put on by the Club de Espanol at Sac State. Check out some cool pictures here. Thursday was Halloween, which means costumes! View our costume slideshow below.


Ms. Monahan’s Digital Photography elective visited a local park recently. Check out some of their photos below.

Week in Review: 7th Grade Takeover

The 7th graders spent the week in the library as they worked on projects for history and science. In history, students were working on their National History Day projects. They learned how to use NoodleTools for their bibliographies and how to search databases with keywords. They practiced using websites for research and judging websites on their authoritativeness. They got a crash course in copyright and fair use in relation to using images and videos. They also learned how to find books relating to their projects in the Matthews Library and the public library and how to add those sources to NoodleTools.

For science, students began working on their Biomes projects. They started by looking at books related to their subjects – deserts, oceans, tundra, wetlands, forests, etc. – and keeping track of those books by using NoodleTools. They also were introduced to the Biomes LibGuide, which features more resources relating to their topics. Students also learned how to make a Google Site for their topic. The library was transformed into Coffee Shop Mode on Friday for the 7th grader’s work period.

The library’s monthly Book Club also took place this week, which you can read about here.

October Book Club

Much like the end of October, this month’s Book Club snuck up on us! But, we still had our usual brownies and hot apple cider – and a few special visitors: Ms. Batarseh and Dr. Bell.

Ms. B. started us off by sharing that she spent the summer listening to audiobooks. She also brought in her Arabic textbooks to share because she’s currently taking an Arabic class. Ms. B. is also reading A History of the Arab Peoples and Introduction to Tatreez (in Arabic), which is traditional Arabic embroidery. She brought along her tatreez to show us her progress.

Ms. Melinson shared some new books we have in the library: Imaginary Friend, the long-awaited second book by Perks of Being a Wallflower author Stephen Chbosky, is out and it is nothing like his first book. We have a new gorgeous edition of Frankenstein and this the perfect time of year to read it. For Rick Riordan fans, we have the newest Trials of Apollo book, The Tyrants Tomb. We also have a really neat graphic novel about the early origins of rap and hip hop called Hip Hop Family Tree.

Dr. Bell talked about reading short stories by H.P. Lovecraft this summer, an author he previously didn’t like due to purple prose – prose that is too ornate. Dr. Bell also talked about the staying power and influence Lovecraft had on horror and fantasy authors.

Becca shared that she started reading a collection of short stories by Ted Chiang. Clara said she’s still reading Beyond the Know. Heloise is reading Eve Was Framed which looks at the British legal system and its treatment of women. Mr. Wells read Internment and enjoyed it and is currently reading The Testaments, which he likes better than The Handmaid’s Tale.

Ms. Doyle read Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment, which talks about how people become masters of certain fields. Spoilers: you have to love the mastery process. She also read Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a dense book about the role education plays between oppressed people and oppressors. Ms. Doyle also read A Peacock Among Pigeons because she enjoys children’s literature.

For more information on the books shared, visit out Goodreads page.

Week in Review: Senior Moratorium


This week was shortened due to a teacher in-service day on Monday. We worked on Responsive Classroom training with Middle School and discussed case studies on issues of equity and inclusion with High School. But we were just as productive as if it were still five days.

On Tuesday the 10th graders were in with History class to continue learning about how to conduct interviews for their Sophomore Projects. They returned with their English classes to have a work period devoted to working on Sophomore Project research with support from Mr. Wells and Ms. Melinson.

On Wednesday the Seniors had their moratorium in the library where they devoted several hours to working on their college applications and essays with help from Ms. Bauman, Mr. Kuipers, and Mr. Hinojosa. Also on Wednesday Ms. Melinson was a panelist for a webinar, “Activating Student Success with Database Access,” with Gale and Project Tomorrow about databases and how she uses them with our students. She shared with participants three collaborative projects: 6th grade Scientists in the Field, 9th grade Indigenous Peoples, and 10th grade Sophomore Projects.

Ms. Sterling brought her 6th grade English classes in on Thursday and Friday for free reading and book recommendations. Thursday also happened to be your assistant librarian’s birthday!