Half day for professional development on Dec. 15

The Fort Plain Central School District is scheduled to hold a half day for students on Dec. 15 as faculty and staff will attend the second professional development day of the school year.

Students will be released from the Junior/Senior High School at 10:30 a.m. and from Harry Hoag Elementary School at 10:40 a.m.

Comments and questions can be directed to the district office at (518) 993-4000 ext. #1000.

Harry Hoag Elementary School Students of the Month for October

Congratulations to the October 2017 Harry Hoag Elementary School students of the month!

Kindergarten – Claudia Maring

Grade 1 – Zaeliegh Perkins

Grade 2 – Caleigh Bartholomew

Grade 3 – Sage Smith

Grade 4 – Emma Cook

Grade 5 – Serenity Johnson

Grade 6 – Mariah Aney

Fort Plain Harry Hoag Students of Month Oct

Spooky science comes to life for sixth graders

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Dry ice experiments at Fort Plain
Dry ice experiments at Fort Plain

The trick was a treat for the students in Pat Hanifin’s sixth grade science classes on Halloween.

Student filled cylinders with colored tap water and then added dry ice, otherwise known as frozen carbon dioxide, to create creeping fog as part of their “Spooky Science” lesson for the day.

Students learned about handling dry ice safely. Even though the fog created by the ice and water is harmless, dry ice itself cannot be touched by bare skin or eaten. The extremely low temperature will cause frost bite very quickly.

Dry ice may look like the cubes from the freezer at home, but it stands at -109 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dry ice experiments at Fort Plain
Dry ice experiments at Fort Plain

Dry ice doesn’t melt like water cubes either, as the dry ice the students used bubbled into a grey mist when they added it to the colored water. After they added a few drops of dish soap to the “cauldrons” bubbles formed and held the fog in place until the bubbles popped.

The room looked much more like Dr. Frankenstein’s lab instead of Mr. Hanifin’s regular classroom.

Beyond the hands-on experiments, students learned how dry ice is made, its properties and some of its common industrial uses.

Elementary talented, gifted programs coming up

Elementary students with a interests in Math, ELA, community service, or drama can explore each in the new talented and gifted programs at Harry Hoag Elementary School this year.

Each program meets once a month on Thursdays after school.

Information was recently sent home with students in grades 2-6, but if families would like more information they are encouraged to call the main office, (518) 993-4000, ext. #3072.

The programs

“Fun with Math” is for students with an interest in math who are looking for a challenge. Students will focus on mental math skills, and developing speed while working with math facts.

“Challenging Minds” is for students who enjoy puzzles, word games, riddles, reading challenges and spelling.

“Caring Kids” focuses on local public service projects. Students can make placements, bookmarks, and cards for local senior citizens, veterans, and nursing home residents. They also support food pantries and animal shelters with collections and donations.

“Elementary Drama Club” gives students a chance to learn acting skills and try out being in the spotlight. They also learn about script fundamentals, how to select sets and costumes, and behind-the-scenes jobs in the theatre.

Little Free Library set up at Harry Hoag Elementary School

Jackie Kennedy once said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”

Gallup and her class with the new Little Free Library.
Gallup and her class with the new Little Free Library.

Since October is National Book Month, Fort Plain first-grade teacher Kyra Gallup took the first lady’s thought to heart. She and her class put the finishing touches on their own Little Free Library on the Harry Hoag Elementary School playground last Wednesday.

“I started working on it over the summer and my class and I were so excited to go out and stock it full of great books,” Gallup said. “The hope is that the box stays constantly filled with great books and that our children get the chance to be exposed to more books than before.”

The new Little Free Library.
The new Little Free Library.

The concept of a Little Free Library – a free standing outdoor cabinet where books can be taken and left for others free of charge – is an international movement that started in 2009 to give as many people access to books and knowledge as possible. More details about the project are available at littlefreelibrary.org.

“Our Little Free Library has books for every children of all grade levels from preschool up to sixth grade,” Gallup said. “We stocked ours with chapter, nonfiction, story, and joke books.”

Currently, one of Fort Plain’s current first graders, Molly Shults, is working on getting another Little Free Library built in Haslett Park next to Main Street. Shults has even gone before the Fort Plain Village Board to get approval for the project.

“That is just the beginning. You never know what other books might appear,” Gallup said. “We are hoping that there will be even more Little Free Libraries popping up around Fort Plain. Anyone can make one!”

Fort Plain wins $2,500 literacy grant

The Fort Plain Central School District has won a $2,500 Dollar General Youth Literacy grant.

The grant will benefit 40 readers in the Jr./Sr. High School in grades 8-9 who will participate in “LEGOS for Literacy.”

Instruction will take place during reading class and in the library, using LEGO WeDo 2.0 coding kits. The goal is for students to increase competency in reading fiction and functional passages. It is expected that participants will increase these reading skills by one grade level from September 2017 to May 2018.

Heroes and Sweethearts come to Harry Hoag

Facebook Gallery of the Heroes and Sweethearts Presentation

Students throughout Fort Plain’s Harry Hoag Elementary School donned capes and masks and stood up for what was right in the gymnasium on Friday.

A Fort Plain student roleplays as a superhero during an assembly at Harry hoag Elementary school.
A hero rises.

They stood up to play-acting bullies and conquered fears with self-confidence with the help of Tom Murphy, Rick Yarosh, and Amos (Yarosh’s black labrador assistant) from the Sweethearts and Heroes motivational speaking program.

“We aim to educate student not just in the traditional academics, but also in social and emotional settings. We want to help our student continue to grow into great people,” said Harry Hoag principal Lauren Chrisman. “Having Sweethearts and Heroes come in to speak with our students gives them a different perspective on the world and also the tools to be advocates for themselves and one another.”

The speaking duo and four-legged assistant are part of a group that bring a message to students around the country about the impact bullying has on schools, neighborhoods, and individuals. On Friday, they spoke about bystander empowerment, empathy and leadership to all of the elementary audiences.

A pair of Fort Plain students role play in the Heroes and Sweethearts presentation.
A hero stands up.

“Through knowledge and communication, we are committed to bringing our message to communities — not only to help the victims, but especially to empower bystanders to make a difference,” the group’s website sweetheartsandheroes.com says. “We all have the potential to be someone’s hero. The message is so universal that it can help create climates of empathy, kindness and leadership in all settings.”

A Fort Plain student talks to Amos the dog during the presentation on Friday.Murphy, who graduated from Cooperstown High School, was an academic and athletic star at the State University of New York at Brockport. With a variety of professional interests – he is a railroad control specialist, martial artist, and restaurateur – he brought passion and comedy along with his message of heroes having empathy and compassion for others.

Yarosh, who was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2006, delivered his own message about sweethearts giving him self-confidence and how Fort Plain students can do that for each other. He told a story about a five-year old girl accepting him despite the fact that he looks different due to his injuries.

“Sweethearts like her are unforgettable. A five-year old girl changed a 24-year old guy’s life,” he said. “You can do that too. You can do that everyday. You can help make another person’s life better.”

Embedded YoutTube video of Sweethearts and Heroes anti-bullying organization

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