Students from Fort Plain Jr. /Sr. High School
participate in “Minds On” workshops
In early November, three groups from Fort
Plain Jr. /Sr. High School joined students from area districts in
“Minds On,” workshops at locations around the area including the
Arkell Museum. Minds On is an educational initiative of The
Rensselaerville Institute that encourages deep thinking and group
The trips were arranged and sponsored by the
Okay to Excel (OK2XL) club at the Jr. /Sr. High School as a way to
add enrichment to the curriculum.
The three groups from Fort Plain attended workshops about the
Underground Railroad, DNA, and on setting the scene in writing.
Louise Clute took 10 of her seventh grade
students to the latter workshop and said they benefited from it.
“The students had to look at art and create a
scene like they were going to write a novel or short story. It was
great. One of the writing mentors really made them work hard at
writing dialogue,” she said.
“Our students were really involved and they
were able to share their writing. That helped their confidence. They
all ended up with the beginnings of a story and shared it with
everyone throughout the day.”
Kathleen DeKalb, a coordinator of the OK2EL
program said it’s good to get the students out of the classroom so
they can work with students from other districts.
“It gets them out and working with other kids.
Sometimes they come back surprised with what they know, so it’s
usually pretty good for their self-esteem,” she said.
Social studies teacher Will Ryan plans to
bring a group of nine sophomores, juniors and seniors to a workshop
in Dec. 14 in Rensselaerville. This marks his tenth year, and this
year, his students will take a point in history prior to the
creation of the United Nations and deal with a national issue.
“The groups will look at if the UN were
created earlier, what impact would there have been during that time.
We debate on resolutions and build consensus,” he said. “Kids get to
learn parliamentary procedure and coalition build, which means to
persuade other delegates.
“The kids learn a lot, and when I pick the
kids for the next year, I expect the juniors to teach the new