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!