"I need the letters G and D," says kindergartner Emma Brant as she closes her eyes and sticks her hand into a bright yellow container filled with puzzle pieces shaped like fish and other sea creatures. This board game teaches Battle Ground Elementary kindergarten students how to take turns and master the alphabet in a new program called First Fridays.
On the first Friday of every month, parents join kindergarten students for a morning filled with math, alphabet and sound games. "This is a great way for parents to be more involved and see different ways to work with their children on certain skills," says teacher Pam Richert.
Teacher Lauren Ahlermeyer says she hopes parents always feel welcome and that their involvement is appreciated: "Along with curriculum and life skills, kindergarten is such an important time to foster a love for learning. We thought it would be beneficial to involve parents in a program that would show them how to provide academic support in ways that are engaging and entertaining."
Parent Bobbie Shackleferd enjoys having an opportunity to interact with her child and other kindergartners. "I get to put faces with the names of their friends that we hear about at home. I think the students look forward to showing off their classroom and all the things they have been learning," she says.
Students eagerly share what their favorite pizza toppings are with Mrs. Shackleferd, who leads a pizza memory game. While the kindergartners may not remember if the scattered face-down cutouts are pepperoni or onions, they will remember spending time with parents and teachers, who help make all the pieces of the puzzle come together.