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Hello. My name is Colton and I was the student director of the Full House production of the play titled The Fearsome Pirate Frank. Many of the WCS students saw this presentation which was about Frank, an actor in the time of William Shakespeare. Frank was considered a star at that time, topping Shakespeare by a mile, even though he could not remember his lines for the life of him. One night, while performing in the Fearsome Pirate Frank Show with the world famous Esmerelda Effington, Frank and his band of pirates were kidnapped by the real Pirate Frank, who of all people is a woman! They are taken aboard her ship and are put to work. While aboard the ship they learn about a zombie pirate ship, The Black Mark, that is haunting Captain Frank. At then helm of the The Black Mark is none other than Ben Davies, Captain Frank’s old captain, who is out to get revenge for the “black deed” Captain Frank has done. The play ends with an epic battle between Frank, the underdog, and Captain Ben Davies.
Directing a middle school play meant that I had to be able to work with students with varied abilities. Some students had little to no acting or stage crew experience while others had been involved in plays before. Going into this project, I knew I needed a plan. I pictured the play like a puzzle, each character being a puzzle piece. For me, when I put together a puzzle, I start with the corners. Once the “corners” are in place, I build around them filling in the gaps. The lead or main roles became the “corners” and the remaining characters filled in the gaps. In all plays, there are always those actors that need help. The “corners” of the cast were strong actors so I had them work with the kids that were less experienced or having a hard time. I know that this helped because I saw improvement in the cast as a whole and I think because I involved everyone they were more invested in the production.
I am a perfectionist so knowing that the production would not be perfect was stressful for me. To alleviate the stress, I tried to think about it from the perspective that if nothing can be perfect, then that means there is always room for improvement. When someone didn’t have anything to do, I would have them run lines or practice with a sword, because practicing would help them get better. I also tried to teach others to “pick up” their fellow actors when they make a mistake and move on rather than dwell on it and berate them. In watching the final production, I saw that we skipped parts of scene and lines here and there, but…the actors moved the play along perfectly just the way we trained, making the play look fine to the audience.
Overall, directing the play was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat. In the end, my cast came together and produced a wonderful show. There is something addicting about directing…once you direct one, you want to do it again. I would definitely enjoy directing another show if the opportunity presents itself. I would also encourage anyone who likes acting to give it a try. It will give you a different perspective and possibly make you a better actor.
By Allison Grade 3
It was the first day of school. I was very nervous because it was new to me. The building was very big, too. I was worried that I would get lost.
It was also very exciting. I had new teachers and friends to meet. I also had some old friends in my class. Their names are Lizzie, Kendra and Isabel.
One difference that I noticed between WCS and ABS is that my old team, Horizon, had a kiva and Kaleidoscope has a meeting space between Mrs. Hass’ and Mr. Willis’ classrooms. In spelling, the words are getting bigger and harder. And that’s what I think of being a third grader.
By Sunny Grade 4
Now, I’m in fourth grade but when I was in third grade, I remember when I walked through the doors. I was trying to remember the way to my classroom from Step-Up Day. Fortunately, I did.
When I got there all of the kids were strangers except for Carlie and Alyssa who I already knew from Preschool and Kindergarten.
Now that I’m a fourth grader, I know both ways to my classroom and I’m not worried anymore. One thing I don’t like is getting up early but I like seeing my old friends. I have a new art teacher.
I still get to meet more people. Last year, I met the fourth graders; this year I met the new third graders. Marybeth, (my teacher) moved some of the bookshelves. She got new things that we get to use this year that we didn’t get to use last year.
That’s what I think about back to school.
Be sure to watch the videos below.
Twelve years ago, Mr. Reese was 15 years older than his son is now. If the son is now 10 years old, how old is Mr. Reese now?
This is Continental Math. It’s all about problem solving. Students working on problems that really make you think a little harder. Continental Math groups usually meet once a week with a parent volunteer. Groups practice problems and learn problem solving strategies. It is a great way to build up your math confidence and you can prove what you have learned once a month when there is a meet. A meet is like a test consisting of six challenging problems, each getting harder. You have 30 minutes to complete the questions.
You do not have to be great at math to participate in Continental Math. It is for anyone grades 2-8 at any level. It is a great way to improve your skills and learn useful math concepts that will not only help you in the monthly tests but in everyday math class and beyond. Continental Math is also extremely fun and enriching.
This year’s Continental math session has just ended, but we are always looking for new people for next year. Continental math is also competitive. The third grade winner this year was Amanda Li and second place was Jessica Klein. First place in the fourth grade was a tie between Benjamin Herskowitz and Baker Angstman and second place was Storm Rushford. In the fifth grade, first place was Ben Klein and second place was Justin Schaaf. The winner of the sixth grade was Ananth Malladi and second place was Sam Gelin. First place in the seventh grade was Will Hubbard and second place went to Zach Varricchione. The winner of the eighth grade was Kathy Joseph and second place was Alison Spasyk.
And for those who put on their thinking caps, the answer to the sample 8th grade problem above is that Mr. Reese is now 37 years old.
This past week was the Voyager production, “Clowns and Crooks”. The play was written and directed by Voyager teacher, Mr. Messer and Madeleine Barrett, a Voyager student. Students received their scripts before Winter break, and the students rehearsed from Winter break until the performance day. The performance was held on January 19th to an enthusiastic audience of parents and friends. It took a lot of effort, and every Voyager student had a part in the production. Big or small, every job was very important.
In the play, a family, the Carr’s, are mugged on their return from a showing of “Breaking Dawn” by a seemingly common criminal. They soon discover that the criminal is much more dangerous than expected. The witness protection program moves the family to the circus, and the main character, Olive Carr, does not have an easy transition to her new life. She runs away, and finds out her family is in danger. Realizing the importance of family, she heads back to the circus to save the day.
Before Winter Break started, Voyager held auditions for everyone interested in being onstage. Students could sign up for an acting role, stage crew, props, publicity, costumes, lights, sound, or an acting extra, which is a non-speaking role. For auditions, there was a reading for each character. Our directors, Mr. Messer and Madeleine Barrett, were in charge of casting for every Voyager student.
When I asked Voyager students if they had learned or gained anything from being in the play, Marlee Gunn, a stage manager of the play, said “I learned about being backstage and working together to get things done on time.” Being in a play can be very beneficial to students, because they learn important skills to work together, make friends, and gain confidence onstage. Maddie Collins, who played the youngest Carr, Sydney, answered “I think I have definitely gained confidence in myself because I needed to perform in front of a big audience, and in order to do that you need to be confident, especially when you’re dressed like a three year old!”
A few stage crew members and Ms. Hill (a teacher in Voyager) painted our sets, which turned out fabulously! As Marlee mentioned, Voyager was pretty rushed on time since Winter break fell within our production time. We really had to work together and make sure everyone was helping, and we made it! The props, costumes, sets, and the actors all had to hurry to make the deadline, and everything came out great! Good job to the Voyager cast and crew for the wonderful production, “Clowns and Crooks!”
Alexa Pudlo and Taylor Antonioli
In our garden class we learned about how to design a garden. Things to keep in mind when starting a garden:
- What size garden bed do you need for spacing of the plants? We learned that different plants need different amounts of space. For example, summer and winter squash need a lot of space, but carrots don’t need a lot of space. Sometimes plants can be put closer together than Gardening books say. One way to use space well is to put plants at the edge of the garden and let them flow out onto the grass.
- Soil quality and depth needed for plants. Some plant need different types and depths of soil. If you plant a carrot and you don’t know what kind of soil you’re planting it in, it might not be very good.
- How will you (and the school) use what you are planting? We had two beds to plan for (see bottom photo below). In one bed, we planned to grow cucumbers, melon, and squash because that’s what the kids in our group like to eat (first photo). Another group planned an herb garden with thyme, parsley, cilantro, basil and chives, because that’s what the kitchen here at school uses most (second photo).
- It’s better to plan out your garden on paper first. See our plans below.
By Jared, Ellie, Hailey and Lauren
All students in Harmony House went to the Flynn to see the play Henry and Mudge. Henry and Mudge are characters in many stories by Cynthia Rylant. Henry is a young boy and Mudge is dog who likes crackers and popcorn, likes to drool and likes to sleep.
We have been reading many Henry and Mudge stories in our classes. Hailey thought the play was funny and delightful to watch and it showed her how to be a better friend. Lauren thought they added a ton of feelings. Jared thought the acting was great and Ellie learned that you shouldn’t run away because you might get lost and your parents would be really scared and mad.
There was lots of talking, singing and dancing. This story was about not getting mad when a friend is better at something than you are. In the beginning of the story Henry moved away from his good friend and cousin, Annie. He didn’t want to move. Annie mailed him notes and he put them together to make a sentence and found out that Annie was coming. That meant they had to clean!
Annie is a better dog trainer than Henry. It seems like Mudge likes her more. Henry runs into the forest because he is mad and he doesn’t want Mudge to listen to Annie. He wants Mudge to listen to him. The whole point of getting Mudge was to have someone to play with since there were no children near where he lived.
Mudge found Henry in the woods because he smelled Henry’s shoe that smelled like gopher and smelled treats had fallen out of his backpack.
Henry’s Mom told him that Annie had a rough time in the woods and that he should be nice to her. Her fancy ‘dry-cleaning’ dress with sequins got ruined when she was looking for Henry. She wanted to go home.
In the end, Annie gave Henry a hug and she gave a hug to Mudge, too. Henry and Annie were best friends again.
We felt excited to go to the Flynn and everyone clapped at the end.
For more information on the Student Activities and PBiS that Katie and Maddie wrote about below see…
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Welcome to the Williston School Disctrict Online News Source. After years as a bi-annual newspaper featuring stories about house, school-wide, and worldwide events, the Blue & Gold has become a constantly changing news blog. Check back often to see what is happening in our schools. To the right, you can search for articles by category.