Dear Sprague Community, It was wonderful to see so many parents at our Back to School Night on Thursday! We so appreciate your support. I heard positive feedback from parents about the Spanish language program that will begin in grades K-2 on December 1st. Vixen Peare ( our Spanish teacher) and Barbara Barnett ( Elementary Foreign Language Director) are certainly entertaining presenters!  After listening to them, I am sure it is easy for you to see how engaging Spanish instruction will be for our students. We had our first whole school gathering on Friday. Students were wonderful listeners! Fifth grade helpers from 5BH led the gathering. After watching a 1-minute video clip called, “You Can Learn Anything,” the 5th graders gave students some suggestions about how to shift their mindset to a ‘growth mindset.’ For those who came to the presentation in the gym on Thursday, you will remember that the term “growth mindset” was coined by Stanford professor Carol Dweck. She cites research that was conducted suggesting that anyone who believes that they have the ability to learn new things, enjoys a challenge, and is not afraid to make mistakes has a growth mindset. These qualities lead to powerful learning opportunities. In contrast, a “fixed mindset” can lead to some frustration and lack of confidence. We hope our students will adopt a growth mindset and shift their thinking from believing that some people are just smarter and believe that THEY CAN LEARN ANYTHING! Here are statements our 5th grade helpers read at the gathering: Instead of saying:                              Try: “I don’t understand.”                                   “What am I missing? “I give up.”                                         “I’ll use one of the strategies I’ve learned.” “I made a mistake.”                           “Mistakes help me improve.” “This is too hard.”                             “This may take some time and effort.” “I’ll never be as smart as her.”        “I’m going to figure out what she does and try it.” “I can’t make this any better.”         “I can always improve.” “I can’t read.”                                    “I’m going to train my brain in reading.” “I’m not good at this.”                       “I’m on the right track.” This is called positive self-talk. People with a growth mindset do this regularly. Carol Dweck suggests parents have discussions about learning and focus on process. Specifically, she suggests praising effort, persistence, learned strategies, seeking challenges, and setting goals. We can help our children understand that intelligence is not fixed. It is changeable. When learning occurs, our brains change! Dweck also suggests that failures teach kids valuable lessons about resiliency. We often want to protect kids from failing and feeling upset or sad. She says we must allow kids to fail sometimes to they can strengthen their growth mindset muscles. We all want them to grow up to be adults who persevere, work hard, believe in their abilities, and succeed. “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.”  -Carol Dweck I am attaching the link to the video clip “You Can Learn Anything.” We also had a surprise visitor at the gathering…Spikey the Sprague bulldog. Spikey showed off his ability to fetch and brought back all the letters that spell out our H.E.A.R.T. values. (For our new families, our HEART values are: helping, effort for excellence, acceptance and appreciation, respect and responsibility, and teamwork.) Powerschool Parent Portal: Please update your information in Powerschool if you have not already done so. If you are having difficulty with Access ID or password, please email: for assistance. Drop off and pick up in Carline: Please remember to pull as far forward as you can in the lane. It is tempting to drop off students near the play structure entrance, but traffic can back up quickly behind you. Drivers must remain in their vehicles in the carline as well. Please be considerate and follow our guidelines for the safety of all of our children. Thank you. Box Tops for Education: You can Box Tops for Education on many grocery items that you may buy. We will be sending home collection sheets each month with a seasonal theme. Children can help cut the box tops and glue or tape them to the sheet. There are 10 spaces on each sheet. This is a fun way for your child to help collect and submit them. The school will receive money back for each submission. We are also looking for a parent volunteer to count and submit the box tops. If you are interested, please contact Elaine Marten, PTO president. Thank you. Global Child: Global Child will once again offer after school language classes to students in grade 3-5 only at Sprague. Registration is now open. Contact Global Child to register or send form along with payment to the school office and we will send it to Global Child. We will begin our own language instruction at Sprague in grades K-2 on December 1, 2015. Hand wipes and hand sanitizer: We are in need of large quantities of hand wipes and hand sanitizer so children can clean their hands after recess and before eating lunch. We will accept any donations of either. There will be a collection box in the office/lobby.   ODDs & ENDS: Health information from the Nurse: ·      As you may know, several members of our Sprague community areseverely allergic to latex.  This is a serious condition and we need to follow recommended precautions to maintain safety. ·      Briefly, latex is a major ingredient in many rubber products; only some of these products have been found to be a danger to the approximate one percent of our population that is allergic, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  Someone allergic to latex doesn’t even have to touch the item; the rubber particles in the air can trigger a reaction.  The only effective strategy in the treatment of latex allergy is avoidance.  Therefore, we request that people do not bring latex balloons to Sprague, to prevent exposure to latex. (These balloons shed latex particles into the air.) Mylar balloons, the shiny metal ones, are fine since they do not contain latex.  We appreciate your cooperation in this serious matter. ·      Similarly, some members of our community have environmental allergies and are sensitive to chemicals and perfumes. Therefore, we ask that you be aware of these products and avoid their use or use them sparingly while at Sprague. ·      Frequently students come to me to borrow clothing after spills or mishaps.  I ask that you launder and return these garments so we can maintain a supply of available clothing. When you are cleaning out drawers please keep in mind that we can always use socks, undies, and sweatpants of all sizes. ·      Snacks: Please send your child(ren) with a generous and nutritious snack to eat during the day. Children need frequent snacks because they are growing and have higher rates of metabolism than adults; in addition they are not able to focus in the classroom if they are hungry, with attendant stomach aches and headaches…. In the first 5 days of school (2 early-release) I have given out 25 snacks to hungry students! As always, please feel free to call me at ext 2502 if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you, Sharon Dates to remember: September 17: Ice Cream Social @ 6 PM September 18: Walk to School Day September 18: Grade 5 Leadership Retreat to Morse’s Pond September 19: Fiske School Wild West Day September 23: No school—Yom Kippur September 29: School Picture Day  

Bestselling Author Trudy Ludwig

Coming this Fall to Our Elementary School!

This October 5 -7, parents, students, and staff at Sprague, Katharine Lee Bates, and Hunnewell Elementary Schools will have the opportunity to spend time with children’s advocate and award-winning author Trudy Ludwig. Trudy has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” PBS’s nationally syndicated show, “Keeping Kids Healthy,” Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Reading Rainbow, the National Crime Prevention Council’s Circle of Respect program, and has served as an expert panel member on Sesame Street Workshop’s video series addressing bullying. Her books (My Secret Bully, Just Kidding, Sorry!, Trouble Talk®, Too Perfect, Confessions of a Former Bully, Better Than You, The Invisible Boy and her newest release, Gifts from the Enemy) have received national praise for helping children cope with and thrive in their social world. In each of her student assemblies for kindergarten-grade 2 and grades 3-5, Trudy will read one of her books to the audience and discuss the story and the characters’ roles. Through engaging, age-appropriate activities and role-play with the author, the children will learn important life skills related to making healthy friendship choices.  On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Trudy will also be providing an afternoon staff in-service for the co-sponsoring schools’ staff to provide them with more tips, tools, and resources to assist them in their ongoing, proactive efforts to create safer social-emotional learning environments for their students ATTENTION PARENTS: On Tuesday evening, October 6, parents from Sprague, Bates,and Hunnewell are invited to come hear Trudy’s special parent presentation, “Understanding Our Kids’ Online & Offline Social World: Friendships, Cliques & Power Plays.” The parent event, scheduled from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m., is for adults only and will take place at Wellesley Middle School Auditorium. Sales and book signings will take place during the author’s visit. For more information about Trudy, her books, and other resources on the topics of friendship and bullying issues, please visit the author’s website: We wish to give special thanks to the PTO                                              for making this author visit possible.                        

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–September 15, 2015
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