For one of their final projects of the year (and the final collaboration of Ms. Nellis and Ms. Melinson), Ms. Nellis’ AP U.S. History class read historical novels and then discussed them with their class. Like our monthly Book Club meetings, brownies were on hand. The following is the list of books students read:
- When the Emperor was Divine/Otsuka
- Miracle at St. Anna/McBride
- The Lazarus Project/Hemon
- Orphan Train/Klein
- Little Women/Alcott
- House on Mango Street/Cisneros
- Farewell to Manzanar/Houston (non-fiction)
- Songs of Willow Frost/Ford
- There Eyes Were Watching God/Hurston
- Angle of Repose/Stegner
- Dances With Wolves/Blake
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn/Twain
- Carter Beats the Devil/Gould
- As I Lay Dying/Faulkner
- The Revenant/Punke
- East of Eden/Steinbeck
- Ragged Dick/Alger
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn/Smith
- Maggie, a Girl of the Streets/Crane
- Daughter of Fortune/Allende
- Cannery Row/Steinbeck
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!
The library has been mostly closed these past two weeks for AP exams, but we managed to sneak in some regularly scheduled library time. Wednesday was the last school day for the senior class and due to the unusual weather, Ms. Melinson was able to offer some seniors tea for the last time as students. On Thursday Ms. Eustace’s English classes were in the library continuing their Passion Project research.
Over in Ms. Lacomb’s 8th grade English class, students were able to design their own lesson this week and some students came up with the idea of a meditation tent. Neat! It reminds us of the reading tent in the library during Read Across America.
This week started off with Ms. Myers P.E. classes in the library to finish up their Healthy for Life projects. Each student picked a topic, such as depression, stroke, anxiety, heart attack, and talked about what those issues entail and when it’s necessary to call 911. Students presented their final projects on Wednesday and Thursday.
Ms. Eustace’s 6th grade English classes were back on Tuesday to continue researching for their passion projects. Sophomores received some last minute help before they turned in their Sophomore Project papers on Wednesday. Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day and students wore black and stood for a moment of silence. In the library, students set up a display of books about the Holocaust.
Wednesday was College Announcement Day and the senior class wore shirts indicating where they’re headed next year. Congratulations, seniors!
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.
It was a week of weeklong projects. All week long the sophomores presented their Sophomore Projects to their peers and teachers. The Top Ten presenters will participate in the Sophomore Symposium in April where they’ll present to a panel of judges including teachers and former winners. Also all week the Glass Knife staff have been having their board meetings to discuss what pieces should go in this year’s book that will be produced in April and May and distributed in June. The seventh graders checked in on their March Madness book brackets each day this week. As the books progressed through the brackets, the students whose books moved forward each day received a piece of candy. In the end it came down to Ava’s review of Berlin Boxing Club and Natalie’s review of Broken Memory. Both were strong, but on Thursday we found out Natalie won the bragging rights.
On Monday Ms. Eustace’s 8th grade English class came in the library to research World War II technology in preparation for their upcoming papers and speeches on the same subjects. On Wednesday Ms. Eustace was back, this time with her 6th grade English classes. The 6th graders are beginning their Passion Projects and came to the library to brainstorm possible ideas.
Friday was the High School Passport Lunch where students buy a passport (with proceeds going to our sister schools in Rulindo) to visit different classrooms and sample a variety of dishes from around the world. In the library, Ms. Melinson’s advisory had noodle dishes and drinks from around the world.