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Franklin Square students learn at a distance


Second-graders in Jeanmarie Derby’s class at the John Street School were excited to build leprechaun traps on March 13, after reading the book “How to Catch a Leprechaun” by Adam Wallace. Unfortunately, however, they never got a chance to have their planning session in class, as Franklin Square schools were closed that day while the district underwent a deep cleaning of its facilities.

So, Derby instead sent every student and their parents in her class an email informing them that “the leprechauns were still coming,” and asking the parents if they wanted to work on a trap with their students.

“It would be a fun family-friendly activities to do inside to help pass the time,” she wrote to them.

Within a few hours of sending that email, she said, her students started sending her photos of the traps they made. They used whatever materials they could find in their house, and built the traps out of cereal and shoe boxes.

Surprised by the response, Derby sent the 20 students in her class another STEM challenge only a few days later. She challenged them to color the bottom of each egg holder in an old egg carton, go outside and find something of that color to put in the carton.

“Enjoy the walk, the fresh air and the excitement in your child’s eyes as they find each item,” she wrote to the parents on March 17.

And once again, she started receiving photos of her students almost instantly with their egg cartons and a smile on their faces as they completed each assignment.