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Fantastic magical classes offered at Silver Mesa’s Literacy Night

Apr 26, 2017 11:39AM ● By Julie Slama

Wand-making was a favorite activity during Silver Mesa literacy night. (Silver Mesa Elementary)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Care of magical creatures, Snape’s potions class, charms class, Ollivander’s wand shop and other fantastic magical classes and opportunities were offered one night at Silver Mesa Elementary’s “School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
“The whole neighborhood came,” fifth-grader Gabe Vincent said. “Everyone was here wanting to make wands, learn about magical creatures and magic itself.”
That was the point of the literacy night, according to Mary Ann Curtis, Silver Mesa Parent-Teacher Association literacy night coordinator.
“We want to open new worlds to them, have them escape and explore realms within the literary world,” she said about the 600 patrons who attended the event.
During the evening, students could rotate through 10 stations, such as magical story time, writing class, magical demonstrations or even Trelawney’s divination class, to learn more about the magical world of reading, Curtis said.
Fifth-grader Tessa Schuman said the bookmark-making station was popular.
“A lot of people were making bookmarks with magical creatures and monsters for the books they got at the book fair,” she said. 
Classmate Sara Bryner said wand-making and the magician were two sessions high in demand.
“Everyone wanted to make wands,” she said. “I think they ran out because there were more people here than they expected. It was packed for the magician. He was so awesome. He knew comedy and really interacted well with the audience. In fact, all the activities were engaging for people who came.”
Fifth-grader Claire Krallis appreciated the potions class.
“It was really amazing with explosions and bubbles coming out of the cauldron,” she said.
These students, who are part of the student council, dressed in robes and welcomed visitors and helped the PTA with the event.  Teachers also dressed as witches and wizards and helped at the stations.
“A lot of people love Harry Potter so all the activities could be fun and creative,” Tessa said.
The literacy night event on March 21 was part of the month-long push to encourage students to read and do more reading-related activities, Principal Julie Fielding said.
“Our school goal is to increase our English-language arts scores and achievement levels so by bringing about creative reading and literacy activities, students will have more fun and enjoy reading more,” she said.
Some of the activities were as simple as students writing notes to staff and faculty which then Fielding, dressed as Professor McGonagall, would deliver with her stuffed owl. 
Sara wrote her teacher, librarian and Fielding.
“All the activities centered around reading and writing, but there were some creative ones, like reading a book before watching a movie or writing your own play, she said.
Claire said the daily trivia was fun, too.
“When you answered questions, you would get points that went to your house,” she said.
Each grade level was split into houses that would accumulate points throughout the month.
Tessa said students had fun creating names.
“The first-graders were the Rainbow Puffs and the kindergartners were the Suesserins,” she said. “The fourth-graders were the most creative. They were the Fowgarbrowests, which is a made-up name from combining all their teachers’ names together.”
Fifth-grader Keyan Olson liked Quidditch, where six students on a team would play against other teams in a tournament.
“It’s been all month that we’ve been playing outside,” he said. “Everyone wants to play so there’s a lot of teams trying to win and get house points.”
Curtis said the vision of increasing student reading and activities has come to fruition.
“We wanted to re-energize the students to read and engage in more learning,” she said.  “We hoped some students would do a couple of the eight activities on their own and most did at least half, if not more.  There are students reading more, writing more and having fun while doing so.”
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