Dear Sprague Community, I can hardly believe it is March and we are into Daylight Saving Time. The year is flying by! Students in grades 3-5 will take MCAS reading tests this month. They will take the math and 5th grade science tests in May. The 5th grade vs. faculty basketball game is just around the corner as well, on April 9th. I have heard so much about this Sprague tradition and am excited about the faculty ‘secret weapons.’ Watch out 5th graders! We had a wonderful turnout for the Sprague Open House on Friday, March 6th.  Students loved sharing their work and their school with their families. Teachers loved seeing students’ families and sharing in the joy of acknowledging student growth. Thank you for coming and making Sprague such a special place! Lego Robotics: Mrs. Bartelloni and Mr. McManus will offer another session of Lego Robotics in late April. This session will be offered to students in grade 1 and grade 4. Mrs. Bartelloni and Mr. McManus are offering the 4 sessions in the same week this time on (M, T, TH, F) April 27th -May 1st. Please reply to Ms. Snyder with your child’s name, teacher’s name, parent name, and phone number. See class description below: In the grade 1 LEGO session, students will begin to learn what it means to be an engineer. We will work on identifying problems and solving these problems with the structures that we build. We will use teamwork and comprising to achieve a common goal. We will learn how to create a design, test the design, and make necessary improvements. In the grade 4 Lego session, students will begin to learn how to program their LEGO creations. Students will create LEGO designs and learn how to enhance the designs using movement and sensors. Fifth Grade News The spring season brings the beginnings of many rites of passage as the 5th graders prepare to move up to the Middle School next year. We begin with a parent night at WMS on Thursday, March 26th from 6:30-9:00 p.m. All 5th graders will also have the opportunity to visit the Middle School during regular school hours. They will travel by bus with their class and teachers. Sprague students are scheduled to visit the Middle School on April 29th along with Hunnewell 5th graders.  The Grade 5 vs. Faculty basketball game will take place on April 9th. More info to follow later. I will send along information about the end of year 5th grade ceremony next week. We are finalizing the day and time this week. Incoming Kindergarten Parents: If you have a kindergartner coming to Sprague next year, please join us on Thursday evening for a Parent Information Night. If you have friends or neighbors who have not yet registered for kindergarten, but will be coming to Sprague, please invite them and remind them they can still register their child at Central Office by calling 781-446-6210 and asking for Lisa Colosimo. Kindergarten screening will take place on April 30. Parents will receive a mailing with an appointment time for that day. Thank you!   Dates to remember: March 12: Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information Night at 6:45 pm March 13: MCBA voting party in the library during assembly block time March 18: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon March 20: Hero Art assembly March 25: Walk to School Day March 26: Grade 5 Parent Night at WMS April 3: Good Friday—no school April 9: Grade 5 vs. Faculty basketball game April 30: Kindergarten screening for incoming kindergartners (by appt. between 8:45-2:00)   ELA MCAS Schedule: March 23, 24: Grade 4 ELA March 26, 27: Grade 5 ELA March 30, 31: Grade 3 ELA April 2: Grade 4 Long Comp.   Parent Conference Dates: March 25, March 31, April 1, April 8 (all early release days)   From the Nurse:  Good nutrition starts with smart choices in the supermarket.  But how to figure out which items are the most nutritious and the best buys? Grocery shopping can be a daunting experience simply because there are so many choices.          Experts say the process starts even before the grocery store. First, plan meals for the week and create a list to shop from. It takes a few minutes, but saves time and helps you to follow a healthy menu plan.          Eat before you shop; shopping hungry often results in impulse purchases that may not be the best decisions.          To help meet nutritional guidelines, fill your cart with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts.          Most of us tend to eat the same foods over and over again. But variety really is the spice of life. Be adventurous; aim to try a new fruit or vegetable each week.          Spend the most time in the produce section. Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. The colors reflect the different vitamin, mineral, and nutrient contents.          Choose whole wheat bread and pastas, brown rice, grain mixes, quinoa, bulgur, and barley. To help your family get used to whole grains, start out with whole-wheat blends and slowly transition to 100% whole wheat pasta and breads.          Beware of the end aisle displays designed to attract attention but often containing less healthy foods. Stay clear of foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. If you don’t want your kids eating junk foods, don’t have them in the house.          Choose “real” foods, such as 100% fruit juice or 100% whole-grain items with as few additives as possible. If you want more salt or sugar, add it yourself.          Learn the label lingo. Check ingredients: contents are listed in order of quantity. Read the Nutrition Facts panel for calories, fat grams, sodium, and fiber content and choose foods with fewer calories, less sodium and fat, and more fiber.                  Navigating the grocery store with children can be even more of a challenge, but it’s important for them to learn how to chose nutritious foods too. This month we are providing a Supermarket Scavenger Hunt, to make shopping for healthy foods fun for everyone. Please encourage your child(ren) to participate.          To teach children about healthy eating, send them on a color-finding mission in the produce section. Assign one child orange and green, and another child gets the job of choosing two yellows. This can be a great way to introduce new foods and add variety into the family diet.          Talk with children about the nutritious and not-so-nutritious foods you see.          Older children can learn to interpret nutrition labels. Comparing labels on different products is a particularly good exercise for kids. (Serving size and percentage of daily values are based on figures for adults, so this information does not apply to children.) Try comparing two different boxes of cereal, or examine junk food labels and compare these with more nutritious alternatives. Point out how much fat is in the junk food and how much fiber is in the nutritious cereal. Show your child how to be a sugar detective by checking ingredients. Look for foods that are high in iron or vitamin C.          Good nutrition starts in the grocery store, a great place to teach children about making smart food choices. Trying some of these suggestions with your children will promote their knowledge of good nutrition and the development of lifelong healthy habits.  

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–March 10, 2015
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