Well friends, it’s happened. The last Friday of the 2018-2019 school year is here! Faculty will still be here for another week with meetings, but the kids are officially done next Tuesday. So here we go with my final weekly roundup for the library.
6th grade book club had our last meeting of the year this Thursday, to talk about the awesome book Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly. It’s the story of a girl who is deaf striving to connect with a whale who sings his song at a wavelength none of his fellow whales can understand. I asked the kids if they thought it would be a good book to read in a science class for all the science tie-ins and they enthusiastically said yes. Something to think about for the future…
We also wrapped up our 4th quarter reading challenge and had the most students to read 9 or more books out of all 4 quarters. Sadly, there just isn’t time for the usual pizza party celebration, but we still had some nifty prizes to choose from.
On Tuesday, we got word that we were accepted to bring four of our students to the ALA National Conference this June in DC, where they will get to have lunch with YA authors and give their feedback on the YALSA Best Fiction for Teens 2019 nominees. We can’t wait!!
We’ve been exam study central all this week as well, as our Upper School students take their finals. So it’s by far the quietest days we’ve had all year! I even had time to READ A BOOK. What??
Mea Culpa! I have missed some weeks of blog posts, but it’s only because this past month has been BUSY. So even though the blog hasn’t had much activity, the library definitely has!
A run down of the highlights:
Steven Sheinkin visited us on April 22nd! He met with a group of 13 of our middle schoolers for lunch, and then gave an awesome presentation to all of the 6-8 grades during our afternoon meeting time. It was really interesting to hear his story of how he became an author (from aspiring movie director to text book writer to now), as well as how he comes up with and researches his ideas for books. (Everything that was too interesting to be included in the textbooks.) Read more about it here.
On May 2nd, we headed up to Baltimore to take on other schools in the annual Battle of the Books. This year was hosted by Gilman. (Shout out to how awesome the event was run!) We took two teams – one 5th and one 6th. Both teams did an amazing job, and our 6th grade team took home 1st place!! They are total rock stars!
The 6th Grade Team
Battle in action
All of our participants
We’ve seen a lot of juniors in the past few weeks as well. Two weeks ago, the US History yearly term paper was due, and we had students joining us for Term Paper Boot Camp. Many footnotes were made and papers revised; everyone survived. This week, we’ve had our AP US History classes coming to the library for a post-AP exam research project. They’ve been exploring topics that range from the influence of Rachel Carson to the building of the Atomic Bomb to Hollywood during the Cold War. It’s awesome to see so much great research going on.
Happy Week 17!
Today I’m preparing for a session on using primary sources and literature to elevate underrepresented voices in the classroom. I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite places to stay up on diverse books for our students, and figured I would share it here for anyone who is interested. For clickable links to the websites listed, go here.
This was our first week back from Spring Break, and while I could have used some warmer temperatures (seriously – where are you spring???), it was a great week in the library.
The big project this week comes from the 10th grade English classes, who are studying magical realism as part of their global literature curriculum. We got to help kids find novels or collections of short stories from the genre, which they will use as part of their larger research project. I think it’s going to blow some of their minds; magical realism is (to me) one of the most challenging, but interesting, genres since what’s real is always in question. I did realize, though, that we have a couple of gaps in our collection, even though we purchased a number of titles for this project. In particular, one comment from a student sticks out in my mind – “I just want short stories by an Asian author.” We’ve got Haruki Murakami, but that’s it – and his were checked out when her class came. So I’m on a hunt now.
Other highlights of the weekend included daily library trivia, which has taken off in popularity. Questions this week included “What actor portrayed James Bond in the first movie?” and “What country was the first to use paper money?” I also got to help with a session at the AIMS Diversity Conference on elevating underrepresented voices using primary sources and literature. AND I was able to talk with the amazing librarians at the Key School in Annapolis about the work they do around diversity in their libraries. They’ve got a great thing going there.
This is our last week of school before spring break, and the weather has turned a bit warmer, so everyone can see the light at the end of the winter tunnel. My brain is officially ready for vacation, so I’m just going to give a bullet list for this week’s activities.
- Helped 9th graders find books to read over Spring Break
- Gave book talks to our 4 awesome 6th grade English classes
- Had a library lunch staff meeting
- Supervised for middle school lunch cleanup (now THAT is fun times)
- Hosted a board game playing enrichment for the upper school
- Met with 6th grade book club for The Hunger Games
- Presented to middle school about upcoming author visit (Steve Sheinkin!)
- More stuff but my brain isn’t cooperating
We will be back in April. Happy Friday!!!!
It’s Friday!!! This week has gone by so quickly. We started off Monday by helping our lower school librarian take the 3rd graders to the public library. They were ADORABLE. Oh my gosh – they are just so excited about everything! I love it! Every kid left with a library card if they didn’t have one before and the love for reading was real. (I left with four books, including one where the main characters are pugs. I am so excited for reading this weekend.)
Tuesday my coworker and I prepped for our Book Tastings presentation, which we gave to faculty and staff Wednesday morning. Our upper school guidance counselor has since asked about doing a book tasting around mental health, which I am so on board for. We also floated the idea of doing an end of year book tasting for adults, so people can get something to read over the summer (when there is finally time!).
Wednesday afternoon I headed up to the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore to talk about a presentation we are giving together at the upcoming AIMS diversity conference. That place is really cool! They have so many primary sources and artifacts of Maryland history, and their Civil Rights program is robust. I think it would be a great field trip for our 7th and/or 11th graders to take as they study the history of the United States. I also had my post, Riverdale Reads, published over at The Hub. (Rest in peace Luke Perry. So sad.)
Thursday we met with our three Battle of the Books teams to make sure everyone was on track with their reading and got any books they needed for over spring break. I also found out that the ALA annual conference is happening in DC this summer, and checked out the sessions. There are a ton of really good ones, plus George Takei and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone) will be speaking, so I’m crossing my fingers there will be the budget for me to attend.
Today I’m going to try and read some historical fiction to prepare for 6th grade book talks next week, and just enjoy the fact that reading is a legitimate part of doing my job. I get to cap off the week with a baby shower for a coworker this afternoon, which of course, means giving books. Perfect ending to good week.
Happy Friday all!
I am in love with the concept of instabook pictures, and I wanted to create some for our library. Not having much in the way of photography skills myself, I enlisted our 7th and 8th grade photography elective to help us out. Thank you to their teacher, Ms. Josey, who enthusiastically jumped on board with the idea. Here are some of their creations!