TROY – Magical things are happening at Concord Elementary School.
>> PHOTOS: Harry Potter classroom at Troy School
Fourth-grade teacher Jasma Mercer has transformed her classroom into a mini-Hogwarts, creating a fully immersive learning experience for her students as they read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” from the series at success of JK Rowling.
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âWhen I plan a lesson, I try to think of interesting activities,â said Mercer. âTeachers have to compete with video games, computer games, TikTokâ¦ so it can be difficult to get students’ attention. This is not the first time that I have decorated my classroom with a theme and that I have worn a costume.
âI also decorate my classroom like a cafe, ‘Starbooks Cafe’, where children read different genres. When we learn different text features, we disguise ourselves as doctors and nurses and perform âsurgeryâ on text, looking for different text features. Other teachers and my daughter, Nora, have always inspired me. My daughter is very creative and always liked to dress up in different costumes.
While reading the book, students also do a variety of activities in conjunction with the test, ranging from creating their own magic wands to finding the book on a deeper level. The classroom is decorated from top to bottom with instants and Harry Potter-inspired learning tools.
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âI read aloud one chapter a day,â Mercer said. âThere are so many standards that are taught using this book, such as Character Traits, Character Change and Growth, Text-specific Vocabulary and Vocabulary, Theme, Frame and Point of view. Students will also write a research dissertation. These are just a few that we only focus on in the first couple of weeks. “
Mercer was able to keep his Potter plans a secret from his students until the project came to light two weeks ago. She said the students, many of whom have read all the books and / or seen all the movies, were thrilled.
âThe students are enthusiastic, even though some of them have read the book or seen the film,â she said. âThe first day was the most exciting because they had no idea I had planned this. I didn’t tell them we were reading the book. It was quite magical to see their reaction in the room and to hear that we were reading “The Sorcerer’s Stone”.
Being a Harry Potter fan herself made the project even more enjoyable for Mercer.
âYes! I read the whole series,â Mercer said. âWhen a book in the series came out, I immediately bought it and read it within days.â
Mercer said it took a lot of work to put everything in place, but she received a lot of help along the way and the end result was well worth it.
âThis is my first year using ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ in Readers Workshop,â she said. âI knew I would be a bit over the top with some of the activities, so I waited until I was mentally prepared to take on all the work required to do it.
âI could not have decorated my classroom the way it is or dressed in different costumes without the support of my colleagues and the support and donations of the parents of the students in my class. I think the parents are just as excited as I am about creating this engaging learning environment.
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