Sunday, September 30, 2007

Check out the survey

I was reading the blog, News from the LMC, and saw that Katie Kirsch - the fabulous school librarian at Lake Bluff Middle who is a friend of mine - added a survey feature to the blog. I decided to try one on this blog as well. The first survey question is about how you choose the next book you are going to read.

Happy Reading (and selecting!)
Ms. Wyatt

Monday, September 24, 2007

Citing Sources

This morning at our faculty meeting, Ms. Hauman, Highland's technology teacher, and I talked to the Highland staff about citing sources. Our hope is that we can grow a school-wide expectation of citing sources in a consistent style through teachers modeling and adding requirements for citations in every assignment. The idea being if students need to cite sources every time they do research or use an image, that it will become a habit of mind in the way that they use information academically.

Highland's guide to creating a works cited can be found at: There are also some really helpful how-to guides that Kim Hauman created for electronic resources that are integrated into the works cited guide.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


The 8th grade book club is meeting to discuss Whirligig by Paul Fleischman next week. I initially read the book a couple of years ago. I just finished reading it again. I knew I enjoyed the book, but I found it such a pleasure this time around! I love that the whirligigs take on a life of their own and connect people in ways that they don't/won't ever realize. There was one quote that really struck me as I read, "We never know all the consequences of our acts. They reach into places we can't see. And into the future, where no one can." (38) The book explores the extended consequences of actions in several ways and left me thinking about that idea even after the last page was read.

Here's the little blurb I wrote on my LibraryThing page:
Brent Bishop has moved around a lot, so he knows "the rules" of trying to fit in at different high schools. A lot of these things have to do with status and appearance: the right clothes, cars, girlfriends. Those things matter to Brent. After getting humiliated at a party, he decides to end his life. The car crash doesn't kill him but instead it kills Lea, an 18-year-old with a bright future. Her mother gives Brent the task of building whirligigs in Lea's honor at the four corners of the United States. The story is interwoven with vignettes of how the whirligigs touch the lives of people who come across them. The story is beautifully written and the structure of the story reinforces the themes of interconnectedness, loss, and healing. Brent is a person transformed by his experience.

I'll keep you posted about our discussion. I am hoping it'll be a good one. There are a lot of interesting talking points and themes in the book! Any Highland 8th graders who have read the book are welcome to come to the meeting.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lunch Bunch Book Clubs Starting in September

Each grade level will have its own Lunch Bunch Book Club this year. Any interested students are welcome to join the club. Copies of the books are available in the Learning Center.

6th Grade -- Our first book of the year is No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman. We'll meet on September 27 during 5th period.

7th Grade -- Our first book of the year is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Our meeting will be on Wednesday, September 26, during 4th period.

8th Grade -- Our first book is Whirligig by Paul Fleischman. Our meeting will be on Wednesday, September 26, during 6th period.

Participants should bring lunch to the book club meeting. We'll eat together while we discuss the book.