Monday, December 2, 2013

Guys Read Meets at the Highland LC

Guys Read, a book club for guys led by guys, meets once a month at the Highland Learning Center. Led by Rob Eckmann, librarian from Cook Public Library, this group has spirited conversations about books and media. And there are always snacks at the meeting! Any guys in grades 5 - 8 are welcome to attend. 

Book Fair is Coming to Highland - 12/9 - 12/13

The Highland Learning Center will be hosting the fall book fair.
The book fair will run from Monday, 12/9 - Friday, 12/13.  It will be held in the Learning Center during the school day.

It's a great chance to stock up your personal library before winter break, find a gift for a teacher, or do some holiday shopping for family and friends!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hobbit Fan Event in LC on Thursday, 12/12

To celebrate the release of the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the Learning Center will be having a screening of a recent International Fan Event. Please join us!

Highland Students are Guest Readers at Adler's Family Reading Night

Nine Highland students volunteered their time and talents this evening by sharing stories from Illinois authors at Adler Family Reading Night.

The elementary school students attended the event in their pajamas. Students, siblings, and parents packed the library, where the Highland students shared picture book stories.

It was a fun event. The Highland students did a great job as the featured guest readers!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Marie Lu is Awesome!

Marie Lu is least that's the consensus from the group of Highland students that Skyped Legend on Wednesday.
with the author of

We had an audience full of students who were fans of the author's work, and I think we were all even bigger fans by the time our Skype session ended. She is approachable, insightful, and interesting. After giving us a brief intro about the idea behind Legend, we had a chance to ask her questions. Highland students took turns asking really thoughtful questions about her writing process, inspiration for her work, and getting advice about writing.

After being asked for advice about finishing up stories and struggling as a young writer, Ms. Lu NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which happens to be in November. Several of those in the audience, me included, were inspired and decided to take on the challenge of trying to crank out a novel in the month of November.
responded, "Let yourself write something that is bad. Force yourself through...finish a story, no matter how bad it is!" She also mentioned

It was a great virtual author visit. We all value the opportunity to have "met" Marie Lu!

Media Equipment Upgrade in the Learning Center - Thanks to the Family Association!

Thanks to the generosity of the HFA (Highland Family Association) we have a fabulous new audio and video system in the Learning Center! We've only had it three days and already it has made a difference to our programming and learning in the library.

On Monday morning I was trained on how to use the system, which includes a ceiling mounted projector, retractable screen, great audio system with ceiling mounted speakers, and microphones. Yesterday, Wednesday, the setup was utilized throughout the day.

The morning started with a staff meeting where we had technology training. The larger screen and clear picture made it possible for faculty around the room to have a clearer vision about what we were learning. We also watched a video to give us some additional information on the topic at hand. The sound system was clear, and we all heard the powerful message that the social workers shared.

During one of the lunch periods, we had a Skype visit with Marie Lu, author of Legend. Seventh and eighth grade students signed up to attend the event. Marie Lu talked to us from her home in California. It was fantastic to have the students be able to see and hear her clearly using the new system! She was fantastic - personable, interesting, and inspiring.

Finally, after school we had the 4th Annual Mystery Night in the Library. At this event participating students are detectives working to solve a mystery. Playing the suspects and witnesses, members of the drama club performed to make the activity come to life. After hearing the testimony of these witnesses and examining a number of crime scenes in the room, students got to try to deduce what happened. Snacks were eaten, prizes awarded, and a good time was had by all. There were over 90 attendees at the event! Having the new sound system made a huge difference! Everyone could clearly hear the actors and the directions for the event, and having the projector let us help set the scene for our mystery which took place at a ComicCon.

It was a whirlwind day in the Learning Center, these special events were in addition to our regular classes and all the students who use the library on a daily basis. We are so grateful to the HFA for this new equipment. It has already made a difference to the students and staff at Highland!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mystery Night in the Library - Student Sign Up!

Highland students are welcome to sign up to reserve their spot for this year's Mystery Night in the Library.
The event will run from 3:45 - 5:00 on Wednesday, October 30. Students who attend will act as detectives to see if they can put together the clues to determine who done it and solve the case of The Shadow of the Vampyre.

The event is always fun. The sign up is available in the library.

Happy Teen Read Week!

It is teen read week. At Highland, we are encouraging our students to visit Cook Library to participate in the EPIC QUEST. It's a great chance for students to explore the public library and earn chances for a fabulous prize.

Students who complete the beginner or advanced level will receive entries into a drawing for an iPad mini! Many of the LA/Lit teachers at Highland are offering extra credit for students who complete the quest.

During teen read week, the public library is also forgiving fines of up to $10 for students in grades 6 - 12.

I was at Cook today and saw many students on the quest!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guys Read for Fall 2013

Any interested guys at Highland are invited to attend Guys Read. The group meets once a month on a Monday after school. Rob Eckmann, librarian from Cook Library, facilitates the group for guys. 
Questions can be directed to Dr. Wyatt. 

Lunch Bunch Book Club Meetings

All students are invited to take part in one of Highland's Lunch Bunch Book Club. There is one group for each grade level. Groups meet once a month at lunch time. We eat lunch together and talk about the book we've read for the month.
Contact Dr. Wyatt with any questions!

Mystery Night in the Library - Coming Soon

Monday, August 26, 2013

Patrick Ness Visit Information

Patrick Ness is coming to Highland on Thursday, September 26!
Thanks to Candlewick Press, Highland was awarded a stop on his U.S. 

In order to prepare for Mr. Ness' visit, we're encouraging all Highland students to read A Monster Calls. There are copies available in the Learning Center for check out. There are also copies available for purchase. An order form for the books of Patrick Ness is attached here and available in the Learning Center.
Order form for Patrick Ness Books

There will be several events leading up to the visit including book discussions during the week of September 16 and a panel discussion about the Dark Side of Youth Literature on Thursday, September 19 at Cook Library.

Author Visits for 2013-2014

We're super excited to announce several big author visits during the 2013-2014 school year!

Thanks to Candlewick Press. we're going to welcoming Patrick Ness to Highland on Thursday, September 26. Mr. Ness will be speaking to all the students at the school.

We'll be having a Skype visit with Marie Lu, author of Legend, on October 30.
And on Thursday, April 10 Neal Shusterman will be visiting Highland!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May Events in the Learning Center

It is hard to believe the school year is so quickly winding down.
The good new is that there is still plenty of time for students to check out materials and read a few last books this school year.

Here's what is happening in the Learning Center the next couple weeks:
5/13 - Guys Read Meets from 3:40 - 4:30
5/14 - 7th Grade Lunch Bunch meets to talk about Marcelo in the Real World
5/20 - All 8th Grade materials are due and fines need to be paid
5/22 - 6th Grade Lunch Bunch meets to talk about Legend
5/24 - Farewell meeting for the 8th Grade Lunch Bunch
5/28 - All 6th and 7th Grade materials are due and fines need to be paid
5/28 - Write in the Middle Publication Party from 3:45 - 4:30

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Week at the Learning Center

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Highland is excited to host the 8th Annual Lake County Battle of the Books!
The battle of the books is an game where participating students are asked questions about the 20 nominated books from the 2013 Caudill list. Students buzz in (the favorite part of some participants!) to answer the questions.

There will be about 85 students playing on 11 teams from 5 area middle schools.
The event will happen at Highland on Thursday, 3/7, and will run from 4:00 - 6:00. Fans are welcome to attend.

Guys Read

Highland is happy to partner with Cook Memorial Library to continue the Guys Read program this year. Rob Eckmann, librarian at Cook, leads this group which meets once a month after school from 3:40 - 4:30 in the Highland Learning Center. Any guys in grades 5- 8 are welcome to attend!
The meetings for the rest of the 2012-2013 school year are :

  • March 18
  • April 1
  • May 13

One Book, One School = A Success!

Breakfast Book Discussion in the LC
Friday (3/1/13) was the culmination of a very successful One Book, One School project. I got chills when our visiting author, Mawi Asgedom, asked the assembly full of students how many of them had read his book, Of Beetles & Angels, and nearly every hand in the gym was raised.
Throughout the week long celebration of the book, there were numerous opportunities for students, staff members, and members of the community to discuss the book. In total about 120 people participated in one of these events, leading to much great conversation about Mawi's memoir of coming to America from Ethiopia via a refugee camp in Sudan. The story inspired many of us. 

On Friday, Mawi spent the morning with us at Highland. His day was filled talking with student leaders over breakfast, doing two assemblies for the entire student body, and having lunch with students who had read and discussed his book. 

A great group of faculty members at Highland worked together to make this project and learning experience possible!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Write in the Middle Editorial Board Members

Along with submissions for writing and art for Write in the Middle, we are also looking for students willing to serve of the editorial board. This group reads and evaluates all the submissions, helping to decide which pieces are published.

Most of our work is done virtually. Although the board does have an afterschool final selection meeting face-to-face in mid-March.

Fill out the application to be considered as a member of the ediotial board!

Write In the Middle Call for Submissions

Write in the Middle, Highland's Literary and Art Publication, is gearing up for its fifth edition. 
We are currently looking for original writing - poetry, short stories, and essays - and artwork done by students and staff members to be considered for the 2013 issue.

Works should be electronically submitted to Dr. Wyatt ( by February 19, 2013.