Friday, October 18, 2019

School Spirit-ual Learning

Tech Tip of the week
Did you know that our library collection includes 26 digital magazines? The following 3 minute video tutorial shows you how to access and search them.

Here is the complete list of digital magazines:
  • Aperture
  • Architectural Digest
  • The Atlantic
  • Automobile Magazine
  • Car & Driver
  • Elle Decor
  • Esquire
  • Food Network Magazine
  • Forbes
  • GQ: Gentleman's Quarterly
  • Horse & Rider
  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance
  • Mother Jones
  • Motor Trend
  • National Review
  • The New Republic
  • The New Yorker
  • Reason
  • Rolling Stone
  • Scientific American
  • SLAM
  • Vanity Fair
  • The Week
  • Wired
  • Bon Appetit
  • Poets & Writers
We also have print magazines, and a database (National Newspapers) that features:
  • The Christian Science Monitor
  • The Boston Globe
  • The Hartford Courant (include archives going back to the 18th century)
  • The Los Angeles Times
  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal 
  • The Washington Post
and, even though it is a magazine rather than a newspaper, 
  • The Economist
Inquiry and Innovation
We've had a busy few weeks in the makerspace!
  • Mr. Stevenson and Ms. Greco's Global History II students designed monuments to highlight the achievements of Enlightenment thinkers
  • Mr. Stevenson's AP Psych class built brain models
  • Mr. Forcucci's U.S. History students examined the impact of imperialism
  • Ms. Arastu's and Ms. Rothschild's Global History I students examined the anatomy of ancient civilizations

A few non-makerspace projects were launched as well
  • Ms. McLellan's Chemistry students analyzed the chemical dangers of vaping to create public service announcements

History Reads
To examine U.S. involvement in war, Ms. Rothschild's U.S. History class checked out fiction and nonfiction books for history reading groups. Offered a selection of 25 books to choose from, students "voted" for their top choices and formed reading groups around themes of interest. Our offerings follow. 

Somewhat Virtual Book Club
Our book club (virtually) met with two schools in South Carolina on October 10 to discuss a fast paced high school mystery novel called "One of us is Lying" by Karen McManus. The book's plot twists surprised all in attendance, which is saying something, since we have an impressive cadre of mystery readers.

Our next selection is "Dear Martin" by Nic Stone with a companion graphic novel recommendation, "New Kid", by Norwalk-based author Jerry Craft, whose children attended New Canaan Country Day (in case you know the Craft family).

The class of 2023 is full of innovative maker enthusiasts! We have several students who are contemplating becoming Techxperts. Throughout the day, students visit the makerspace to tinker with their chosen specialties, including virtual reality, 3D printing, electronics, robotics, and computer building, and Raspberry Pi.

Book Displays 
Ms. Mabee is a display master! The library features enticing book displays everywhere. Please take note, and check out a book!

We've added virtual book displays to the announcement screens throughout the building. Focusing on what to read next, our slides feature recommendations for follow-up reads to books that circulate widely at New Canaan High School. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Autumn Leaves Library Full of Activity

Tech Tip of the Week
Have you tried Google Voice Typing? This tool can be used to capture ideas as you speak them. Make sure to check for corrections that may need to be made.

Business as Usual
The library is a hub of student activity.

Global I
Freshmen continue to explore the Essential Question: Is Geography Destiny? They learned about strategic Boolean search strategies when researchers combine keywords with operators or modifiers, such as AND, NOT, and OR to get effective search results.  Students also learned how to access the NCHS Library databases to find evidence to support their point of view and properly create a bibliography using database entries.

Students Wondered, Investigated, Synthesized, Expressed and Reflected (WISER Research Model). By using this model, students could frame their thinking about their research on the Essential Question. Students first read the articles: "The Geography of Poverty" by Geoffrey Sachs, and "No, a Nation's Geography is not its Destiny" by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. Then students researched and close read articles through the lens of analyzing information to either support the claim that geography is destiny or that it is not. Students took notes to support their point of view and expressed their ideas in an essay. They reflected on the process in order to set goals for the next time they do research.

Keep on Reading NCHS!
Students have been checking out books that are hot picks or Vide books. These are books that have either won awards, been best sellers or come highly recommended by other students.  Of course, students have access to a wide range of free choice reading.

Makerspace: Design Thinking Integration into Curriculum

Superstar students in Mr. Haag's astronomy class created 3D constellations to demonstrate that our perspective of constellations is specific to our location. If our location changes, then our "view" of the constellation will change also.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Falling Back into the Swing of the School Routine!

Tech Tip of the Week:

Are you tired of logging in to Google? Then stop! Here is a tutorial that will show you how to create separate Chrome profiles so that you never have to log in again! Just toggle between profiles to switch from personal to school accounts. It's easy! Also, let's give a shout out to Justin for helping us out with this video!

Sharpening Research Skills:

Is Geography Destiny? 

Freshmen students in Global I are delving into the Essential Question: Is Geography Destiny? They conducted case studies on countries to draw conclusions about geography's influence on the success of a nation as well as the impact of institutions on a country's success. Teacher Librarians co-taught with social studies teachers. Students learned how to access databases, use GapMinder, which provides statistics about global development, and properly create citations in a bibliography. Students shared findings and thoughts about the impact of geography on a country's success or failure.

Who was the greatest absolute ruler? 

Sophomores in Global II are studying Absolutism. They are tackling the Essential Question: Who was the greatest absolute ruler? Teacher Librarians are co-teaching in classes as students are learning how to use keywords more effectively and how to use a variety of sources, going beyond the use of reference materials.


Sophomores participated in booktalks to choose an independent reading book and to keep a list of titles on deck. Students discussed which books seemed to be a good fit for them. Students are exploring how knowledge of text structure can improve a reader's comprehension.

Open Doors at Open House: 

Parents Welcome! Parents visited the library during Open House to explore all the library has to offer. Highlights included checking out out the library book collection, exploring the Makerspace and learning about how Teacher Librarians and the Tech Integrator collaborate with teachers to deliver the curriculum.

Making in the Makerspace: 

Growth Mindset 

Students in Mr. McAteer's sophomore English classes have been delving into the concept of a growth mindset and how to represent that idea. Students shared ideas about Growth Mindset vs. a Fixed Mindset via different mediums, such as 3D depictions, podcasts, and videos.

Teddy Roosevelt's Square Deal 

Juniors in U.S. History portrayed aspects of the Square Deal's goal of the conservation of nature, control of corporations and consumer protection.

3D Printing 

Students come in during lunch and after school to use the makerspace.