Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Third Annual Domino Rally

On Friday, September 13, the Imperatore Library held our third annual Domino Rally for middle and upper school students. They were challenged to use their creativity in creating the domino course and several upper school robotics students took that challenge and ran with it. As a new idea, they decided to use the printer in order to start the chain reaction of cascading dominoes. Check out some photos of the event and the final video below.

A group of upper school students come up with a clever start to the domino track.

Victor and Len fill in the middle section.

Keiryn works on a bridge between tables.

Musashi and Matt put the finishing touches on the end of the dominoes.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Author Visit: Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, which all members of the upper school read this summer, spoke with the entire upper school in Schenk auditorium and afterwards participated in a more informal Q&A in the Imperatore Library. Anyone that didn't get to ask their question in the larger crowd was welcome to come in and speak with her in a more intimate conversational setting. She talked through some of the main themes of Station Eleven while addressing her writing process, including some of her motivations behind various characters and plot points. Afterwards, Ms. Mandel signed books one-on-one to enthusiastic faculty and students.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

If You Enjoyed Station Eleven...

The entire upper school read the same book this summer, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Here are some readalikes based on various aspects of the book.

If you enjoyed the social dynamics of the dystopian world, you might want to check out:


Wool by Hugh Howly
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson

If you enjoyed the environmental aspects, you might want to check out:


The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Dry by Neal Shusterman
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

If you enjoyed the flu aspects, you might want to check out:


Wilder Girls by Rory Power
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Severance by Ling Ma

All of these books are available for checkout in our school library.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Middle Schoolers Celebrate Poetry Month in the Library

April is National Poetry Month, and it is being celebrated in the Imperatore Library with a few student-centered poetry events.

The 7th grade crowd gets ready to hear some poetry 
Seventh grader Emmitt reads his poem
Seventh grader Abi reads her poem

On April 11, the seventh grade held their poetry cafe. During their poetry unit, each seventh grader wrote and workshopped several poems. At the poetry cafe, they shared at least one of their finished poems with the entire grade.

Eighth grader Ally recites a poem
Eighth grader Dhanesh recites a poem
Eighth grader Emma recites a poem

On April 15, the eighth grade held their poetry event. Each student chose a published poem to study and memorize, and then recited it in front of a larger audience.

Eighth grader Jack recites a poem
Eighth grader Tracianna recites a poem

Our final event of the month will be Write Night, our biannual celebration of student and faculty writing. This spring's Write Night, which focuses exclusively on poetry, will be on April 24th from 4:45-6. If you'd like to read your own poetry, sign up with your English teacher. You can also always come as a member of the audience even if you don't have a personal piece of poetry to read.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sphero Challenge

Last week the Imperatore Library held our second annual Sphero Challenge in honor of Computer Science Education Week. Students in the middle and upper school participated by coding a robotic ball through two challenges, a simple figure eight and a more complicated maze. This took a lot of patience and perseverance as many teams experienced frustration with various aspects of the Sphero and the course. See some photos and videos below of the challenge.

10th grader Joey programs the tough course.

Jake, John, Jonah, and Stasiu attempt the tough challenge.

Two middle school teams try to get final points on the last day of the challenge. 

The Simple Figure Eight Challenge:

The Tough Maze Challenge:

If you didn't get to participate this year, look out for Sphero Challenge 2019!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Author Sayantani DasGupta Visits 6th Graders

The sixth graders were fortunate to have author Sayantani DasGupta visit them last week in the Imperatore library. Her book series, Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, is a fantasy adventure story that is based on Bengali folktales.

When talking about her motivation for writing the first book in the series, The Serpent's Secret, Dr. DasGupta referenced the lack of diverse representation in middle grade fantasy books. This quote from Toni Morrison, "If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it" is something that has driven and inspired Dr. DasGupta. She brought up the importance of books that are windows (a glimpse into a new experience), mirrors (a reflection of your own experience), and sliding glass doors (a gateway to enter a new world) for readers.

The sixth graders greatly enjoyed Dr. DasGupta's interactive presentation. Library copies of her first book were all immediately snatched up! Look out for the second book in the series, Game of Stars, which comes out in February and read more on Sayantani DasGupta's website.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Write Night Fall 2018

It was a celebration of writing in the Imperatore Library on Tuesday, November 13 during the 5th annual Fall Write Night. If you haven't been able to witness this event, it is a great chance for budding writers to share their work among students and faculty. The night begins in the library main space, where English Department Chair Fred Daly invites a few writers to read their pieces to the whole group. Then, all participants move to smaller breakout sessions where they get the opportunity to share with their peer groups. Lastly, the group comes together again in the main space to close out the evening with a few more presenters.

Some of the pieces shared may be included in our school literary magazines, Open Roads (middle school) and Calliope (upper school,) so look for those publications in the spring. Thank you to all participants for sharing your work!

Grace ('19) kicks off the event as the first student to read her piece

Calliope editor Ken ('19) shares his work with the full group.

Jared ('20) snaps his fingers to a beat as he reads his poetry.

Anne ('19) reads her work to the breakout group of juniors and seniors.

Sixth grader Matias shares the piece he wrote for his English PBL

Eighth grader Sabrina reads her work to the 6th-10th grade breakout group.

Seventh grader Kristen shares her work with the full group.

Emma ('19) closes the evening with her creative piece.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Domino Rally

Students gathered in the library after school on Monday, November 5 to build elaborate domino structures in hopes of one massive knockdown. Great perseverance was practiced as smaller sections were occasionally knocked down but the students just picked up the dominoes and started over again. While we didn't end up with one massive connected strand of dominoes, several smaller projects were built and captured on video. Thanks to everyone who participated. Check out the photos and a video of all the fun had below!

Jack and George use a wooden plank to bridge the gap between the bookshelves. 

Delilah and Victor keep a color scheme in mind as they set up their domino sets.

A group of middle school students work to combine two domino strands.

A group of upper school students combine several strands of dominoes.

Several complex strands of dominoes were set up across tables and countertops.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The National Book Award Longlists have been announced! The books are broken out into five separate categories: Young People's Literature, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Translated Literature. See how many of the books you can read from this list before the winners are announced on November 14. Many of these books on this list are in our library so come check one or two out!

The Poet X         There There         We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sixth Graders Interview Author Kristin Levine

For the past four years, sixth graders in Ms. Macone's English class have been reading The Lions of Little Rock, and afterwards, have gotten the opportunity to Skype with the author.

The sixth graders read about the author Kristin Levine, who has written four books (pictured above), and brainstormed additional things they would like to know. They came up with questions ranging from the writing process to historical people and events like the Little Rock Nine and the Lost Year to specifics about the book's characters. Once the class votes on their favorite questions they would like to hear be asked, they are ready for their Skype Interview with Ms. Levine in the library. As students ask their questions, they deepen their connection to the book and get a glimpse into what it's like for authors to write, edit, and revise. This culminating activity has become a great way to end the year.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Middle School Celebrates Poetry Month in the Imperatore Library

All the seventh and eighth grade students celebrated National Poetry Month this April by holding their culminating presentations in the Imperatore Library.

In the seventh grade, students wrote original poems in English class and then shared their work with the entire grade during their Poetry Cafe.

Over the past few weeks, the eighth graders have studied the work of a published poet, analyzing the deeper meaning of their chosen poem. They each memorized that poem and performed it in front of their peers during the Poetry Recitation. Enjoy a few photos of each event below.

7th Grader Ben

7th Grader Javi

7th Grader Emily

8th Grader Julia

8th Grader Naz

8th Grader Jack