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Displaying items by tag: Maple Ave Middle School

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 14:48

The Mapletogian: Budding Reporters at Maple Ave

SARATOGA SPRINGS — There are a few newspapers in Saratoga County, but not many people know about a special publication that runs in the Maple Avenue Middle School. The Mapletogian Newspaper is run by the middle schoolers and advised by Trisha Phillips. They report Maple Ave news only.

“Sometimes kids will come to me and they’ll say, ‘can I write about this that’s happening on Broadway’ and I say, ‘but the school is bringing in therapy dogs or they’re doing this’ and I really like them to focus on our school news because so much is going on in our own school. We haven’t met for very long yet, we’ve only been meeting for about a month and a half, but ideally, their ears are chimed in to what is going on in their own classes and then for me as an eighth-grade teacher, I love to hear about what’s going on in a sixth-grade science classroom or gym class. It allows us all to see it first hand,” Philips said.

The Mapletogian Newspaper can be found online via a wix website, mrsphillips239.wixsite.com/may18, which has the latest edition from May still up currently. The new club members are working diligently on their next paper. The young reporters submit all the work to Ms. Phillips and discuss what the titles should look like along with photos they should include.

“Ideally, the meeting will start running itself and I’m just here to throw candy and dance around encouraging them,” Phillips explained.

Each member of the club, about 20 students, got involved for similar reasons. 

“My parents are both in newspaper and I also love writing, it takes me to another place,” said Talia Green. Each budding journalist has a different favorite beat in mind and for some, a different approach entirely. “I’d like to sell the ads because you get to help get money for your company and you can also trade things like Great Escape tickets and stuff like that,” said Nadine Barton.

“I would like to write book reviews. I see a lot of them on the New York Times and I think it would be fun to review books that I really enjoy,” Ella Cureo explained.

“I want to write more about what’s going on in general in the city or in the world,” Musi Chowdhury stated.

“I’d like to write about what’s happening in the public community that is surrounding us, so people can have a little bit of background knowledge about what I’m already talking about and I can expand their knowledge,” Kelsey Dodd added.

However, it was made clear that everyone’s favorite topic is the changing seasons and the holidays. As far as editing goes, the students do peer reviews and Ms. Phillips looks at everything a final time before “going to press.”

“I definitely think that Ms. Phillips helps us the most because she’s the one who lays it out and she helps us with all of the typos and the things that we’re not really sure what to write and she knows what to put in,” Kelsey Dodd explained.

The Mapletogian Newspaper is the publication to read when you want to be in the know about Maple Avenue Middle School and all of the goings on.

Published in Education

[Photos provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The kids at Maple Avenue Middle School has been hard at work since November to put on this year’s production, Beauty and the Beast, a show they put on seven years ago. Candace Colvin, director and producer of the show; this is her eleventh show with the district. 

“It’s a great show. It’s a show everybody loves, the music is outstanding, and we’ve had so much help on the sets, which are incredible. The parents do the costumes and we’ve rented some costumes. The kids have been working a little bit in November and December, but pretty much every day in January, even some Saturdays! We try to make it fun,” Colvin said.

The show rotates between two casts total and three Belles. Molly Egan, an eighth grader who has also done shows through Home Made Theater and Schuylerville Community Theater, is playing one of the Belles, following in her older sister Serena’s footsteps.

“It’s intense, it’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it in the end. I think that we’ll end up with a really awesome show,” Egan said.

“Molly is awesome, she was our Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz last year and she was Ariel in The Little Mermaid when she was a sixth grader. She’s very talented and a great kid, too, very smart,” Colvin commended.

Egan intends to continue doing musicals in high school, and though she prefers singing to acting, she enjoys them both immensely. She is also a lacrosse player.

“I just really love when it all comes together. I think it’s so cool with the costumes and everything. I feel like there’s one moment when you see everything on stage and it just makes you really happy, after all of the hard work,” Egan said.

The Beast is being played by Ethan Crowley, an eighth grader with a black belt in Tai Kwan Do and a swimmer.

“I mostly do plays, I don’t really do musicals too much, but it’s been fun. I’m not a dancer at all,” he laughed, stating that as his biggest challenge.

“But you can’t tell when he does the waltz, it’s quite good,” Colvin laughed.

Crowley plans to continue acting in high school.

“I love playing this character and working with such a talented cast,” Crowley said.

“It’s a super great group of 100 children, they’ve been really good,” Colvin said.

Shows are over two weekends, beginning on Friday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Performances continue Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Henry C. Trombley Auditorium, tickets are $5.

Published in Education
Thursday, 21 December 2017 13:19

The Gratitude Project

[Photos provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hannah Weeden, an English teacher at Maple Avenue Middle School, created The Gratitude Project 15 years ago and has made it her life’s work for the last two years. This project consists of students delivering handwritten letters to people who have made a powerful impact on their lives, showing gratitude to them for that. Weeden believes that if gratitude is instilled in a child from a young age, you raise a happier child.

“Thinking and then recognizing the little things as well as the big things that enrich our lives enables us to not just feel happy, but be happy,” Weeden explained.

To Weeden, gratitude isn’t simply words, it’s an attitude.

“Students need to grow this attitude to find fulfillment within themselves, this has to be taught and modelled,” she said.

The students hand-write their letters because Weeden feels that hand-writing is as personal as it can get in this day and age with all of the technology that is available. She does not read the letters, she feels that would take away “from the sincerity of the students’ heart.”

“Similar to developing a muscle at the gym, developing gratitude requires regular and periodic practice in order to grow and develop,” Weeden explained.

Weeden has been a keynote speaker for the New York State Middle School Association (NYSMSA) at their last two annual conferences.

“I saw the tear-stained faces of my colleagues and I was blown away at how transformative it was for them to just receive a letter,” she explained, in reference to the students handing out their letters to the teachers who have made an impact on them.

“I feel like it’s essential for students to truly find ways to be positive and upbeat and I don’t think that often times they know how to do that. So that whole notion that gratitude isn’t necessarily about saying thank you to someone but it’s experiencing gratefulness of what you have, big or small. What I’ve come to recognize is students need to grow this attitude and I really am acting as a facilitator of that growth. They need to find fulfilment within themselves, but it really has to be taught and modeled, it doesn’t just happen,” she said.

“What has been incredibly empowering for me, is to see through their physical interactions between student and adult, student and student, to see that interaction, they’re growing. It’s a messy process, but they are really growing their soft skills which are being lost in a day and age when everyone is connected to a cell phone. So, it’s not only developing them in terms of giving them a more positive outlook on life but it’s enabling them to develop soft skills that are otherwise being lost,” she said.

In the last two years, teachers from South Glens Falls and South Colonie have expressed an interest in using The Gratitude Project in their classrooms.

“I’ve continued to speak to as many people, that are willing to listen, in terms of the project, as I can” Weeden said. “Sharing this has been a very intense experience for me. Yes, I put myself out there every day with my 145 students but I’m not one to put myself out there otherwise,” she explained.

With sharing her message of gratitude, Weeden’s goal is to see positive change.

“This is certainly a project that can be done at all levels,” she said enthusiastically.

For more information on The Gratitude Project, visit www. hweedenpowerofwords.com.

Published in Education

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A team of Maple Avenue Middle School students will be competing in a regional competition to determine who will go to the upcoming U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 27th National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.  The event will be held on March 4, at General Electric National Research in Niskayuna.  The winners of the event will receive an all-expense-paid trip to D.C. to compete at the national level representing the Capital Region of New York.

The team from Maple Ave. is made up of the following students: 8th graders jack Murratti, Max Su, Stephen Verral, and Jason Zheng; 7th graders Isabelle Girolamo, Hana Nguyen, Jack Maiellaro, and Ethan Murnan; and 6th grader Andrew Hope.  Their team’s coach is Maple Ave. science teacher John Scrivo.

“This is our third year participating and we made tremendous strides last year,” Scrivo said.  “Finishing second in the car race and reaching the semifinals in the academic competition.  This has set the bar high for this year’s team to try to improve on last year’s success.”

At this weekend’s regional event, the team will take part in two events.  The first is a weighted car design challenge, wherein the team must design a small car powered by a falling weight, with the goal of getting the car to go 10 meters.  This challenge is strictly designed for the regional middle school level event, and has no impact on the team moving on to the national competition.  The second event, and the one that will decide if the team moves on, is an academic question-and-answer style competition.  According to the DOE’s official website, teams will “tested on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math.”

The team’s preparations for the event have involved in-class and out-of-class work.  In class, they have practiced for the academic challenge by answering questions using a simulated version of the buzzer system that will be used at the event.  Out of class, they have been working on the designs that they will use in the falling weight challenge.  This has involved not just the design for the car itself, but also the launcher that will get the car moving, as well as testing the ideal amount of weight to use. 

After the regional event on Saturday, the national event will take place in D.C. from April 27 to May 1.  The National Science Bowl has been held annually since 1991, and draws more than 14,000 middle school and high school student each year. 

Published in Education