Exploding volcanoes, measuring the density of a caramel, creating a group art mural and learning more about Jamestown High School, were just some of the many activities that Jefferson Middle School parents could explore during the school's recent Parent Day.
Parents attended grade-level activities to learn more about class curriculum and other activities their child is participating in at Jefferson Middle School.
"Our goal is to be in a partnership with parents when it come to educating our children," said Jefferson Principal Carm Proctor. "It's important that we stay in contact with parents throughout the year and not just at an open house or parent/teacher conferences. This day was another way of connecting."
Jefferson Middle School parent Mike Dracup works on an art mural with daughter, Summer, during a recent Jefferson Parent Day.
One fun activity was found in the Art Room with teacher Lisa Corey. She invited parents to help create an all-school mural based on the theme, "Working Together for Student Success." She asked parents for design ideas. The winning designer was parent, Mike Dracup. Parents painted a piece of the mural as part of Parent Day.
"Any time you can get in quality time with your child that is a good thing," said Dracup who came with his wife, Joelene, and daughter Summer. "We want to be a positive influence on our kids and get involved in things they are interested in. Life gets busy sometimes but it is so important for you to take the time to take an interest in your child's education."
Fifth grade teams Quest, Eagles and Excel showcased their students' works with an Academic Fair. Students chose topics from science, math, social studies or English Language Arts - everything from "How Do We Hear?' to "Testing Various Running Surfaces" to "Mammals Skulls" to "The Revolutionary War in America." Students researched the topic and created a visual project, along with a written essay. The majority of the projects were completed outside of the school day with students learning about: time management, formal writing, keyboarding and public speaking.
"I spent four weekends with my dad building my volcano," said Jefferson Middle School fifth grader Nathan Franklin. "The most interesting thing I learned is that the earth's outer surface layer is broken into tectonic plates, which are in constant motion relative to one another. When they rub together, it can cause a volcano to explode if they are located on the plates."
The sixth grade teams of Endeavor, Challenge and Timberwolf developed Parent Information Stations that included interactive activities in different subject areas such as: calculating density for math, moon phases for science, literacy information, examples of math problems for parents to solve, deepening knowledge of what types of assessment their child are taking, English Language Arts module information, polysemous words for science and math, and information on good study skills.
The seventh- and eighth-grade teams of Aspire and Achieve combined to present information on transitioning to Jamestown High School including a talk by JHS Principal Mike McElrath, who discussed the many JHS AP and college courses. He emphasized that students who take these courses are better prepared for college and can save parents money by earning college credit during high school. McElrath also talked about the wide variety of extracurricular activities including music, athletics and clubs to fit every student's interest and explained JHS' block schedule. The seventh- and eighth-grade teachers wanted parents to better understand all of the available opportunities at JHS before their students enter as freshmen.
The exploratory classes also gave parents information including: Health/ Family & Consumer Science with Jen Restivo and Sara Hochman, who talked about nutrition and healthy eating, Information Literacy, with Julie Livengood, informed parents about good, and bad, apps for their children. Kim King, Rebecca Botsford and Gina Wakefield showed what is happening in the music department. The physical education teachers, Franni Carlson, Nancy Feenstra and Paul Mammoser, offered parents student fitness tests. Spanish teachers, Amy Tousley and Ellen Kennelley distributed "Spanish Survival Guides" with quick tips on how parents can navigate through the Spanish curriculum. Technology teacher Ted Hoca introduced parents to the pre-CAD drawing program use in the classroom.