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FSE Develops Family Engagement

Photo of PE Night Fields Store Elementary (FSE) recently held a combination of SMART and PE Family Night for students and families to learn and play together. This is the second year FSE has hosted the two events but the first time they were combined. SMART Night encompassed Science, Math, Art, Reading, and Technology, while PE focused on physical education. Each subject had its own station for parents to see a preview of what their student learns.

“A lot of parents have kids in different grade-levels and they want to know how they can help their students collectively,” Instructional Facilitator Lauren McSwain said.

For SMART Night, teachers set up areas demonstrating how students advance throughout the year and each grade level. Math teachers showed how problems are solved in each grade and how the difficulty level develops every year. Reading had examples of books used in benchmark assessments and posters detailing reading level expectations for the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. Technology had a variety of materials students use during Makerspace.

“For our area, we chose items that students enjoyed the most but made them think the hardest,” Technologist Lundin Matthews said. “They are able to create and build with tactile feel and creative thinking.”

PE Teacher Gwen Marki created PE Night for families to have fun but also for parents to experience the activities students participate in gym class. For the event, Marki chose games that are the biggest hit in class, as well as some older games that help students work on fine motor skills. Families could be seen playing badminton, bean bag toss, toppler stacker, and other physical activities. FSE holds a PE Night twice a year, once in the Fall and Spring semesters. Fifth grade leads the fall PE Night and fourth grade leads in the spring. For the spring PE Night, fourth-grade students create human diagrams to designate what muscles are used during each activity.

“I wanted to give families an opportunity to have a free and fun event where they could spend time with their kids and create memories,” PE Teacher Gwen Marki said.

For the night, students were given a PE/SMART Night Passport to ensure they were exposed to all stations. As they turned in their passports, students were able to get a goodie bag containing a bookmark, pencil, and Smarties.

“These are two different events, but both work toward the same purpose of involving parents,” Principal Melissa Crosby said. “PE Night gives families ideas on how to be active together at home and SMART connects parents to curriculum and what happens in the classroom.”