Dear Bates Families, I hope you are enjoying the beginning of spring! I am excited and honored to continue in the role of Principal of the Bates School. I appreciate all of the support I’ve received and look forward to working with the Bates community to continue strengthening the ways we work together to best educate our students. Math and Perseverance I would like to thank the math department for their exceptional work this month. They hosted a very informative math talk for Bates parents and multiple math workshops for Wellesley parents. Many of you participated in one or more of these special math events. At the workshop at Bates last week, we engaged in some of the math problem solving that our children currently are learning. We played the game Close to 100 and measured angles in geometric shapes. Parents working on these tasks experienced the importance of problem solving, using multiple strategies to solve a problem, and explaining one’s thinking. From the strong attendance of Wellesley parents at these workshops, I know working together to support our students in math will be an ongoing topic of conversation. If you were unable to attend the math workshops but are interested in seeing some of the materials, I have attached the handouts and articles to this email. Jen Macpherson, the Math Department Head and one of the workshop presenters, stressed the importance of perseverance for children in math. She shared this quote: “One of the most significant things parents can do is to help their children understand the normalcy and the value of struggle in mathematics … Learning math ultimately comes down to one thing: the ability, and choice, to put one’s brain around a problem — to stare past the confusion, and struggle forward rather than flee.” – Suzanne Sutton. Beyond Homework Help: Guiding our children to lasting math success We believe perseverance is a key skill that can be used in all aspects of life and we seek to provide opportunities for Bates students to utilize and enhance their perseverance skills. For example, we carefully considered this idea of perseverance when we launched the Magnificent Day of Play in December. We shared with every class the picture book The Most Magnificent Thing. In this book a girl faces repeated set-backs and frustration in her effort to create “the most magnificent thing. ” Instead of giving up, the girl works through her frustration and tries a number of difference approaches. Finally, she is satisfied with her creation, which she calls the most magnificent thing. The children at Bates were then provided an opportunity to use their perseverance skills as they went about creating their own most magnificent thing. At Bates, we will continue to foster the ability to persevere in all aspects of school and life. The Bates Green Team The Bates Green Team is meeting and planning several spring initiatives to support environmentally friendly practices at Bates. Our first initiative is to discourage idling while in car line at dismissal. If you find yourself waiting in car line before the line starts to move, please consider turning off your motor. For more information on reducing idling and other Green Team initiatives, please visit: http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/wellesley-green-schools/ Spring Parent Teacher Conferences Thank you for signing up for a conference to meet with your child’s teacher this spring. Parents and teachers look forward to this time to reflect on each child’s progress so far this school year. While it is appropriate to begin thinking and planning for next year, teachers are not yet ready to have conversations about class placement. We welcome your thoughts in the placement process and invite you to share your ideas with us in writing. Prior to April vacation I will send you a form that you can use for this purpose. Warm regards, Toni Jolley Upcoming Dates: Tuesday, March 24 – Grade 4 ELA MCAS Wednesday, March 25 – Grade 3 ELA MCAS Thursday, March 26 – Grade 3 & 5 ELA MCAS 6:30 WMS Grade 5 Parent Night Friday, March 27 – Grade 4 ELA MCAS Bates Spirit Day Saturday, March 28 – Wellesley STEM Expo Tuesday, March 31 – Early Release for students: Teacher Conferences
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