Fridays are for school families
April 1, 2018
Famlies aren’t just for homes anymore. Family Time is a new bonding activity at Patrick M. Villano School. Each staff member is assigned a student family. The family is a small group of third through sixth grade students.
”We were thinking about it and wanted it to be different students from different grades, so every student knew another student from a different grade,” Principal Jessica Espinoza said.
On the last Friday of each month, the school families gather for a short character education activity. The meaning of family time is to promote teamwork and friendship among students in all grade.
¨I like family time because you get to hang out with kids in other grades,¨ fifth grade student Alyssa Gabriele said.
“You can see different kids … have the same family, but meet different kids from different grades,” third grade student Neha Ayoo said.
This activity replaces buddies, and involves more interactive group work.
“Mostly, I got some feedback from some of the teachers who said that the buddies were great, but they didn’t feel like the kids were always getting a lot out of it as much as they wanted them to,” Espinoza said.
Some students, however, miss the one-on-one time with a single buddy from another grade.
¨I liked buddies a little better because it was kind of easier to think with one person,¨ fifth grade student Kayla Elek said.
“I do enjoy it [Family Time], but sometimes I feel left out of the group, but most of the time I enjoy and love doing all the activities and talking with everyone,” fifth grade student Olivia DeCarlo said.
Activites include writing a group poem, creating a plastic cup tower, and building a tower with pipe cleaners. Students use their critical thinking skills, teamwork and patience with each activity.
“I liked building the tall tower with the pipe cleaners because everyone had their own opinion about everything. We tried a lot of different things and were really competitive,” Ayoo said.
Espinoza thinks that Family Time benefits all students.
“I think, it’s just from my experience with certain kids, that just knowing they are part of a family and knowing a different teacher in the building [will be a benefit],” Espinoza said.