Hogwarts Has Nothing on Stapleton
Students in grades 3-4-5, who wrote an essay creating a potiona nd how it would be used, were allow to take a special Potions Class yesterday at Stapleton Elementary.
All last week, the entire Mary E. Stapleton Elementary School (kindergarten to grade 5) was transformed into an enchanted Hogwarts haven with its 3rd Annual Harry Potter House Cup Challenge.
All pupils were assigned to one of four houses in the Harry Potter novels -- Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin -- and the house with the most points at the end of the week would win.
While children amassed points for their physical skills in competitive games of quidditch and capture the snitch during physical education class, they also received points from teachers for showing good behavior in class and toward each other.
Yesterday afternoon, Stapleton Principal William McDonald, who becomes Professor Dumbledore annually, announced Ravenclaw was the winner with 3,499 points.
At a special celebration in the school gym, each pupil in Ravenclaw received a copy of the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, thanks to a donation of 100 books from Metro Credit Union of Framingham.
Ellen Margiotta, a physical education teacher, who dresses up as the main character of the books, is the brainchild of the school-wide Harry Potter House Cup Challenge.
"I wanted to find a way to include Harry Potter and literacy into a school-wide activity. So I came up with the challenge, with teachers giving out points for just about anything -- such as who can clean their desk the quickest or be quietest in class. And I made up these games from Harry Potter and the kids even ride broomsticks when they play quidditch.
"I really get into it," she added, "and I found that when teachers get into it, the kids get really excited about doing things for their team. So it's not about individual achievement, it's all about the team, and the kids will do extra things to get points for their team.
"The teachers love this because they can use the activities as a motivational tool because the kids will do anything for points … they'll be quiet, they'll listen and follow directions, not that they don't do it already, but it's extra. It's been a fun week," Margiotta said.
New this year was a Potions Class for pupils in grades 3-5, who wrote impressive essays on what type of potion they would invent and what would it be used for.
Professor Bubbly Brew, the Potions Master, (aka Deb Flaherty from Connecticut and a good friend of Margiotta) and her assistant Professor Boyle (Josh Mulready of Framingham), created a powerful concoction for the pupils that included black lake water, pulverized dragon's teeth, minced phoenix feathers, liquid amethyst and the solidified spit of trolls. After one hour, the potion turned into a personal crystallized Unicorn Magic Wand.
Flaherty said all the kids who participated exceeded all expectations.
One essay centered on a kindness potion. She said the writer envisioned a world where people would see only good in others and not get wrapped up in little things, such as picking on others.
Pupils in the Potions Class yesterday included: Tess Lawson, Erin McQueen, Zoe Silverman, Matt Martino, Anoushka Nadkarni, Mackenzie Maloof, Cameron Lee, Jason Nolte, Eli Matz, Jennifer Enriquez, Cecilia Hampton, Nicholas Crotty, Cameron Mulready and Jill Rotatori.