The parents of Julia Randall second-graders helped the students glop green icing onto ice cream cones, and then dab the cones in sprinkles Thursday to create Christmas trees. Parents helped their children place the cones in plastic sandwich bags before moving on to create other crafts at the holiday party.
Other activities at tables around the room included creating Poinsettia ornaments from construction paper, writing letters to Santa and decorating outlines of the merry man with colors and cotton balls, and measuring legs and other objects with candy canes.
“It’s a family involvement activity for the children,” said teacher Linda Ansick.
All the second-grade teachers at Julia Randall invited parents to the classes’ holiday parties. Through a common preparation time, known as the Professional Learning Community, grade level teachers meet once each week to discuss future lesson plans and what worked during past lessons.
The staff at Julia Randall partly attribute the school’s “excelling” label from the state Department of Education to these common preparation periods, which allow teachers to develop camaraderie and also improve their teaching skills. The school has been labeled “excelling” for two years.
A piece exploring why Julia Randall Elementary has excelled academically will appear in the Jan. 9 issue of the Roundup.
Ansick usually invites parents to various activities throughout the year. However, this year, with the confusion of new school construction next door and the byproduct of limited parking, Ansick has limited her parent involvement.
Parents, nonetheless, appreciated the chance to engage in their children’s schooling.
“I think it’s really awesome that we get to be a part of our children’s Christmas party,” said Stephanie Keeney.
“She’s been excited about this for weeks,” Keeney added about her daughter, Taylor.
“It helps a lot because I know what’s going on and I don’t have to go on solely what my second-grader tells me,” said parent Jennifer Jung.
“He loves to show off what he does,” said Jackie Pasamonte of her son, Michael. “The kids are always so proud.”
Michael, for his part, had measured the table — 12 candy canes long — and his leg — four candy canes long — but said making the Christmas tree was his favorite activity.