Friday, May 10, 2019

Summer Reading Time!

Post your video review here!
It is summer reading time! That's when we get to catch up on what’s new and exciting in publishing. Our summer reading list is primarily recreational. Its purpose is to connect our learners with resources they may enjoy.

We generally keep the list relatively short – under one hundred books so as not to overwhelm. We are mindful of genre and diverse interests. We focus on contemporary publications - the last two years or so, but we also include a few classics. We aim for balance between young adult and adult literature.

Keeping in mind that our library users include young teens and adults, our list is thematically comprehensive. Not every book is for every library user. Selection is part of the reading process and we encourage young readers to be reflective about their choices - to contextualize them with their personal and family values. Readers are encouraged to consult reviews and publisher notes to make predictions about whether a book will suit their interests and to switch to a different book when one falls short of their expectations. There are so many books to enjoy. Summer is not the time to slog through a book that holds little appeal.

As in previous years, New Canaan (town) Library runs a dynamic Summer Reading Program. We send our copies of the summer reading books to the town library so students may borrow them over the summer months. We carry as many titles as are available in both eBook and audiobook format. Students may use Destiny, our online catalog, to access those formats. They can text the library at (615) 669 6670 if they need help.

As always, we aggregated our summer reading list in GoodReads - which is a social book recommendation site (see right). The entire NCHS learning community is invited to connect, share what they are reading, rate books, and write reviews in GoodReads and this year, we invite students to post video reviews to Flipgrid. Members of our learning community can use their login to add a 90 second clip telling us about a book they read over the summer.

Again, the list is here (below), and the tabs at the bottom of the sheet allow viewers to switch organization – title, author, genre, etc.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Learning Is Blossoming as Spring Rolls In

 Read, Research, Write and Present:  Freshman English students read a nonfiction book and are researching an issue related to one in the book. After researching an issue using school databases and other resources, they are writing a speech to bring attention to it and persuasively argue a specific way to handle the issue. Some books include Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden, Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg and Spare Parts by Joshua Davis.
Infographic about Collapse of a Civilization:  Global I students created infographics to explain why civilizations collapse. Students read about a civilization in Jared Diamond's book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and applied new learning to creating an original infographic to explain Diamond's causes for collapse and societal responses. 
Invisible Influence: Sophomore English students are exploring an ideology held by our society on a specific issue (gender roles, national identity, tolerance, politics, homelife, workplace, power structure, etc.) that they feel is outdated, the problems/challenges these views create, and the influence of the media on society's change or lack of change regarding the issue. They are analyzing past and present ads looking for fallacies used in advertising to perpetuate myths.
Blackout Poems from Night by Elie Wiesel: Sophomore English students created new found/blackout poems using Elie's language. Blackout poems are a form of found poetry where one takes existing texts, reorders them and presents them as poems.

Global I: Students in Global I are depicting the role of religion in a movement, event or conflict. For example, some students chose to gain a deeper understanding of the Iranian Revolution and the Holocaust.


Friday, March 15, 2019

March Learning Coming in Like a Lion

Why Do Some Societies Collapse?
    Students in Global I are deepening their understanding of why some societies collapse and others endure.  Students close read writings by Jared Diamond, including parts of his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Some students explained the dynamics of Diamond's reasons for collapse through a Rube Goldberg Machine. Students became the teachers and explained why civilizations, such as the Anasazi, Easter Island, and Tokugawa Shogunate, either collapsed or found a way to endure.

Students teach each other about how societies collapse or endure.
In the process, students took notes on background of civilization, reasons for success, reasons for collapse as well as any miscellaneous information that was intriguing.

Students thoughtfully planned and created infographics to deepen understanding and explain the reasons for the collapse or endurance according to Diamond's text.

Key ideas are included in an infographic. 

Global I students are also thinking about what they learned about the past civilizations' collapse or endurance and are relating it to modern day society: Are we doomed?  Some Global I students researched a modern day issue and wrote a magazine article about it through the lens of a collapse problem defined by Diamond and suggested possible solutions to adapt and endure.

Open House at New Canaan High School Library
    Visitors from other schools, including an administrator, came to visit the NCHS library and to engage in professional dialogue. Visitors toured the library and the makerspace.

MLA 8 Certified
   Freshman students continue to learn about citing sources using MLA 8 and earning digital badges after watching short videos and taking a quiz.

Makerspace Sightings
  Civic students created a visual representation of a part of the Constitution.

Earth Science students created aliens and explained how they adapted to another planet. Students kept in mind that everything that lives on Earth has adapted to certain features of the Earth: the atmosphere, climate, land, oceans, temperature, seasons and gravity. The alien must be able to adapt to the planet being studied.

Living Poets
    English students read works of a contemporary poet that they found intriguing. Then they made a pitch as to why the library should include the works of these writers. Students were given a budget to work with and had to justify which works would make a good addition to the library collection.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Winter Alert: Learning Squalls Taking Place

Midterms-We Got This!
    The library was a central hub of activity during midterms. Tables were set up for diagraming ideas, doodling or relaxing with friends in between and after exams. Students studied together or decompressed with friends.
Chit Chatting about Books:
     Sophomore English classes talked about books they are reading and heard about other books through a booktalk. Students keep a list of "on-deck" books to read in the future.
Juniors Read about Historical Periods: 
Students in U.S. History classes are exploring books from different time periods and selecting one of interest. The book may serve as a springboard for digging deeper into a topic for the Junior Research Paper. Books about WWII, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the War on Terrorism are being highlighted in both fiction and nonfiction stories. Teacher librarians and the history teachers collaborated to plan out the booktalk, which included an array of diversified titles.

Climate, Countries, Databases and Correct Citations
Students in Honors Earth Science conducted research to predict how climate change may impact a particular region or country. Students had to take into consideration how people, geography and economy will affect climate when they presented their research-based predictions. A librarian collaborated with the science teacher to guide students in accessing databases and other reliable sources. Students received feedback from a teacher librarian on their Works Cited and feedback about the content of the presentation from the science teacher before presenting their final projects. 

Digging Deeper into Research: 
Sophomores are learning strategies for moving beyond reference sources into more diversified scholarly sources as they embark on research on imperialism using the WISER Research Process (Wonder, Investigate, Synthesize, Express and Reflect). Librarians and history teachers are collaborating to further develop students' research skills.
Thinking in the Makerspace: 
Freshmen are learning why civilizations collapse.  They are exploring the following Essential Questions: Why do some societies collapse? What lessons can past civilizations teach us about collapse? Students are designing a Rube Goldberg machine to illustrate the causes and effects of the collapse of a particular civilization. The teacher and librarian are explaining how students will be using design thinking to plan their ideas that will be used during construction in the makerspace.

Punic War Comics: 
Students in Global I created a comic strip to explain the Punic Wars. The graphic illustrations and text allowed students to demonstrate their learning and teach other about these historical events.

Gummy Bear Governments
Students in Civics used gummy bears and makerspace materials to create a model of different forms of government. Students could base their depiction on a nation that institutes that form of government.