Dear Sprague Community, As the days begin to get shorter, it is certainly chillier each morning. We had our first rainy morning last week. I’d like to remind you of the morning procedures in the event of rainy or extremely cold weather. If the weather warrants having students wait indoors between drop off time and 8:30 a.m., a flag with red, white, and blue stars will be flown from the front entrance. This is the signal that students should enter the building to wait. Students in grades K and 1 will wait in the cafeteria at tables and students in grades 2-5 will wait in the gym. The adults who supervise drop off will send them to their classrooms at 8:30 a.m. Global Child after school language classes began today, October 7th. Classes will meet in the following classrooms with the following Global Child instructors: Beginning Spanish Lower      grades K-1    1LM-room 113         Ana Rodriguez Beginning Spanish Lower      grade 2         2KF-room 114         Danuta Bujak Beginning Spanish Lower      grade K-1      2LB-room 120         Roxana Leon Spanish Theme                    grades 3-4    4MH-room 215        Viviana Bolanos     Spanish Theme                    grade 5         5KC-room 216        Monica Torres Beginning Chinese                grades 1-5    2KC-room 121         Yajuan Zhang  We will also be offering an Engineering Club to students in grades 2 and 3. The Club will be lead by Engineering Students from Olin College and is offered free of charge. The focus will be on general engineering skills like problem solving and decision-making. They will form curriculum weekly but examples could include: creating closed circuits with electrical engineering or Rube Goldberg Machines for mechanical engineering. All the activities will be hands-on. The Engineering Club will meet on October 14, 21, 28, November 4, 18, and December 2, 2014. Enrollment is limited to 24 students. If we receive more than 24 requests, we will make a waitlist and enroll on a first come, first served basis. To register, please contact Ms. Snyder via email and include your child’s name, your email address, teacher’s name, and phone number where you can be reached between 3-4 PM on Tuesdays. Also back by popular demand will be a Lego Robotics Club. There will be 2 sections offered this fall: one for second graders and one for fifth graders. Mrs. Bartelloni will lead the younger group and Mr. McManus will lead the older group. Older students will be exploring foundational skills of engineering as well as beginning to see how programing can support and enhance their creations. Younger students will explore the foundations of building, problem solving, partner work, and engineering. The Lego Robotics Club will be offered on the following Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 p.m.: November 12, 19 and December 3 and 10, 2014. Please note that on Wednesdays, students are dismissed at 12:00 and will need to return to school at 3:00 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 14 students per group. If we receive more requests, we will make a waitlist and enroll on a first come, first served basis. To register, please contact Ms. Snyder via email and include your child’s name, your email address, teacher’s name, and phone number where you can be reached between 3-4 PM on Wednesdays. Please remember to follow our Sprague guidelines for picking up your child after school. Students being picked up in the carline should report to the gym. They will be called by radio to come outside when your car reaches the front of the school. Parents picking up by the playground should park in marked spaces in our parking lot. Please DO NOT park another vehicle in. Unfortunately, this has happened recently and presented a problem to other parents. Thank you for your courtesy and patience. I know the parking lot can get busy! Parents always want their children to be successful in school. We often let you know which math facts or spelling words to practice.  In a recent Ed. Leadership article, Mary Ehrenworth wrote about “Parents as Writing Partners.” I have been so impressed with the writing instruction at Sprague and our children’s ability to express themselves both orally and in writing. Even though writing is an area of strength at Sprague, we can always help our kids get better. As with anything, when schools and parents work together, children benefit. I hope that writing is as enjoyable for kids as reading can be. The ability to express one’s self creatively can take many forms, but writing is truly a craft. It is, however, a craft that requires skill, planning, organization and practice. We will teach your children to write narratives, informational text, persuasive pieces, and even some poetry. Narratives help children be able to tell their stories well. This will always be important, especially when they need to write college applications or plan for a job interview later in life. Persuasive writing helps kids learn to express an opinion and advocate for themselves and others by defending their position with evidence and logic. Children learn about new topics when they engage in informational writing. Often, they can then teach others about the topic.  I’d like to share some writing tips from this article with you. Tip #1: Help kids rehearse their structure. You can do this by asking questions and helping them organize the sequence. How will your story go? Tell me about the parts. How will it start? What will come next? What will be the most important part you want the reader to remember? How will it end? Do you want to try out a different lead? Tip #2: Help writers elaborate. Kids often say more than they write, but you can help them rehearse orally or jot down notes so they will write more and develop stamina for writing. There was something you said before that struck me; do you want to add it here? You know, thinking about how strong this piece is, you may want to think more about the ending (or beginning)… Tip #3: Work with checklists or exemplars. Provide an example of good writing and have your child check his/her own writing. I hope you find this topic useful and enjoy your child’s writing style. I always love to read student writing as a way to get to know them better! Sprague is always a busy place! October 9: Walk to School Day      ***NOTE DATE CHANGE*** October 13: No school—Columbus Day October 22, 29, November 4, 5: Parent conferences October 27, 28, 29: Sprague Scholastic Book Fair October 31: Halloween Parade in the AM November 3: Internet Safety assembly for grades 4-5; Parent session at 7 PM with Katie Greer at WMS. November 4: Election Day November 7: Green Assembly for all grades   I have also attached a note about nutrition courtesy of Mrs. Kahn. Enjoy!    

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–October 7, 2014
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