Dear Sprague Community, It has been so nice to see many parents at the grade level socials. Thank you to all who came and especially to those families who opened their homes to host. Congratulations! To Mrs. Okoshi and her family as they welcome baby Kaiya. She was born on Thursday, October 15, 2015. Both Kaiya and mom are doing well! Fall Festival Thank You! Thanks to all of the volunteers–parents and 5th grade students who made the Fall Festival such a wonderful success! Thanks also to “Loaded Dice” for providing live music and a festive atmosphere–featuring Sprague dad, Mike Davies! See photos: fall festival 1.jpg   fall festival 2.jpg fall festival 3.jpg  Concerts This year, Mr. Hagar McKee would like to expand opportunities for students to perform for each other and for their families. With this in mind, we have scheduled 3 concerts featuring different grade levels on the following dates: November 20: Concert featuring grade 1 and grade 3 students January 22: Concert featuring grade 4 and grade 5 students April 15: Concert featuring kindergarten and grade 2 students Parents of students in the featured grades are invited to attend. The concerts will take place from 8:45-9:15 a.m. on those days. Thank you for not idling…. Sprague, Hardy, and Fiske have been selected this week to get visits by Officers Kathy Poirier and Evan Rosenberg to walk car lines and pass out “Thank you for not idling cards” for drivers who are following the law. We do not know which days they will stop by Sprague. DreamBox We are very fortunate that the Sprague PTO has purchased a school site license for DreamBox math software. Designed to adapt to each individual learner, DreamBox is an online tool for students that personalizes math instruction.  There are activities targeted for intervention as well as enrichment so that students consistently work on math content designed for them.  DreamBox adjusts both the pace at which students work as well as the progression of content based on students’ strategies and solutions.  There are significant learning benefits to using DreamBox consistently.  Students show progress in their conceptual understanding of mathematics, fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Your child’s teacher has or will send home information about logins and classroom expectations for DreamBox use at home. Our math coaches recommend that students use DreamBox 2 or 3 times per week for 20 minutes. After School Offerings Coming Soon… This year, we plan to offer after-school enrichment classes once again. We are already hosting Global Child classes for students in grades 3-5. We will begin partnering with the Wellesley Recreation Dept. to administer other offerings at Sprague. Once the offerings are finalized, we will send information about the classes and how to register. Registration will be done through the Rec. Dept’s online platform. Many families already have accounts set up in this system. The system will only allow the maximum number of students for each class to enroll and then it will take a wait list. Recreation Dept. director Matt Chin will be able to answer questions about the platform. We plan to offer some of the same classes we had previously offered at no cost and also add some new classes that will have a fee. For example, Lego Robotics will be offered for grades 2 and 5 this fall at no cost, but there will likely be an art class, a chess club, and a computer coding offering that will be fee based. All of the classes will be located at Sprague with a 4:00 pick up time. Once we have the specifics, we will send along the information to parents. From the Nurse          Often I see students with reddened eyes at school, and the first question the teachers and parents ask is, “Is it contagious?” Here’s some information about conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of the eye, a normally clear thin membrane that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids.  There are more than 3 million cases of conjunctivitis in the US each year (Wow!). The three most common causes of conjunctivitis are infectious, allergic, and irritant.          Infectious conjunctivitis is usually caused by either bacteria or viruses.  The viral type is often associated with a cold or sore throat. Ear infections may accompany bacterial conjunctivitis because similar bacteria can cause both infections. Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs more frequently in younger children and viral conjunctivitis is more common in older children and adults. Parasites and fungal infections occur rarely as causes of conjunctivitis.          Outbreaks of infectious conjunctivitis are seasonal in nature. They tend to occur most frequently in the winter, when children are indoor more often and in close contact with each other; outbreaks decrease during warm weather, when close contact decreases.          Allergic conjunctivitis occurs more frequently among those with allergic conditions. It may be seen only at certain times of the year, if caused by allergens such as grass or ragweed pollen. Other allergy-causing substances like animal dander, dust mites, or cosmetics can cause year-round symptoms of conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis typically affects both eyes at the same time.          Irritant conjunctivitis can be caused by chemicals, such as those in chlorine and soaps, air pollutants such as smoke and fumes, wearing contact lenses, dry eye, or related to the use of medications. What Are the Signs and Symptoms? The different types of conjunctivitis can present differently. In addition, symptoms often vary from person to person.                            Viral conjunctivitis

  • Watery discharge
  • Irritation
  • Red eye
  • Usually begins with one eye, but spreads easily to the other eye
  • Recent upper respiratory tract infection
  • Very contagious 

                                    Allergic conjunctivitis

  • Usually affects both eyes
  • Itching, discomfort
  • Tearing, reddened eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Exposure to allergen

                                    Bacterial conjunctivitis

  • Thick discharge may cause the lids to stick together
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva
  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Irritation and/or a gritty or burning feeling
  • Mild eyelid swelling
  • Usually begins with one eye, but spreads easily to the other eye
  • Very contagious

Severe eye pain, light sensitivity, or blurred vision that fails to clear with a blink are not typical features of conjunctivitis. Anyone with these complaints should be seen by an ophthalmologist.                            Is It Contagious? All types of infectious conjunctivitis are contagious and spread easily by touching the eyes. A child can first become infected from direct contact with someone who has the infection or indirect contact something that person has touched, such as a used tissue. The infectious organisms can also spread through coughing and sneezing. In addition, certain viruses spread in the summertime when children swim in contaminated water or share contaminated towels. Early diagnosis and treatment help to limit spread.          Allergic and irritant conjunctivitis are not contagious.                                                 Treatment             Conjunctivitis requires medical attention.  The appropriate treatment depends on the cause of the problem.  Although infectious conjunctivitis usually is not serious, in rare cases it can cause permanent damage so be sure to follow the doctor’s directions.          For the allergic type, allergen avoidance, cool or warm compresses and artificial tears may relieve discomfort in mild cases.  In more severe cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and antihistamines may be prescribed.  Some patients with persistent allergic conjunctivitis may also require topical steroid drops.          Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments that cover a broad range of bacteria.           Like the common cold, there is no cure for viral conjunctivitis; however, the symptoms can be relieved with cool or warm compresses and artificial tears (if needed). For severe cases, topical steroid drops may be prescribed to reduce the discomfort from inflammation. Often, infectious conjunctivitis will go away by itself without medical treatment, but doctors usually do recommend treatment to speed up the healing process and decrease the likelihood that the infection will spread.          Frequent proper hand washing with soap and warm water can reduce the spread of this highly contagious infection. Additional measures include avoiding touching the face, not sharing towels or washcloths, and avoiding shaking hands. When Should I Call My Child’s Doctor? If you think your child has conjunctivitis, it’s important to contact your child’s doctor to determine what is causing the conjunctivitis and the best form of treatment. Be sure to call the doctor if the conjunctivitis does not improve after 2 to 3 days of treatment or after a week when left untreated, if your child complains of severe pain, a change in eyesight, or sensitivity to light. Rarely the infection may spread to the tissues around the eye, so watch for increasing swelling, redness, and tenderness in the eyelid and skin with fever; this would required oral antibiotic treatment and close follow-up by the physician.   We’ve talked about Growth mindset. Read below to see carol dweck’s latest thinking on the subject and how we can avoid some pitfalls in oversimplifying the concept for our kids. The excerpt is from this article: “Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset'” By Carol Dweck Education Week Sept. 22, 2015 For many years, I secretly worked on my research. I say “secretly” because, once upon a time, researchers simply published their research in professional journals-and there it stayed. However, my colleagues and I learned things we thought people needed to know. We found that students’ mindsets-how they perceive their abilities-played a key role in their motivation and achievement, and we found that if we changed students’ mindsets, we could boost their achievement. More precisely, students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset). And when students learned through a structured program that they could “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities, they did better. Finally, we found that having children focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits. So a few years back, I published my book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success to share these discoveries with educators. And many educators have applied the mindset principles in spectacular ways with tremendously gratifying results. This is wonderful, and the good word continues to spread. But as we’ve watched the growth mindset become more popular, we’ve become much wiser about how to implement it. This learning-the common pitfalls, the misunderstandings, and what to do about them-is what I’d like to share with you, so that we can maximize the benefits for our students. A growth mindset isn’t just about effort. Perhaps the most common misconception is simply equating the growth mindset with effort. Certainly, effort is key for students’ achievement, but it’s not the only thing. Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. They need this repertoire of approaches-not just sheer effort-to learn and improve. We also need to remember that effort is a means to an end to the goal of learning and improving. Too often nowadays, praise is given to students who are putting forth effort, but not learning, in order to make them feel good in the moment: “Great effort! You tried your best!” It’s good that the students tried, but it’s not good that they’re not learning. The growth-mindset approach helps children feel good in the short and long terms, by helping them thrive on challenges and setbacks on their way to learning. When they’re stuck, teachers can appreciate their work so far, but add: “Let’s talk about what you’ve tried, and what you can try next.” Recently, someone asked what keeps me up at night. It’s the fear that the mindset concepts, which grew up to counter the failed self-esteem movement, will be used to perpetuate that movement. In other words, if you want to make students feel good, even if they’re not learning, just praise their effort! Want to hide learning gaps from them? Just tell them, “Everyone is smart!” The growth mindset was intended to help close achievement gaps, not hide them. It is about telling the truth about a student’s current achievement and then, together, doing something about it, helping him or her become smarter. I also fear that the mindset work is sometimes used to justify why some students aren’t learning: “Oh, he has a fixed mindset.” We used to blame the child’s environment or ability. How can we help educators and parents adopt a deeper, true growth mindset, one that will show in their classroom practices? You may be surprised by my answer: Let’s legitimize the fixed mindset. Let’s acknowledge that (1) we’re all a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets, (2) we will probably always be, and (3) if we want to move closer to a growth mindset in our thoughts and practices, we need to stay in touch with our fixed-mindset thoughts and deeds. If we “ban” the fixed mindset, we will surely create false growth-mindsets. (By the way, I also fear that if we use mindset measures for accountability, we will create false growth mindsets on an unprecedented scale.) But if we watch carefully for our fixed-mindset triggers, we can begin the true journey to a growth mindset. What are your triggers? Watch for a fixed-mindset reaction when you face challenges. Do you feel overly anxious, or does a voice in your head warn you away? Watch for it when you face a setback in your teaching, or when students aren’t listening or learning. Do you feel incompetent or defeated? Do you look for an excuse? Watch to see whether criticism brings out your fixed mindset. Do you become defensive, angry, or crushed instead of interested in learning from the feedback? Watch what happens when you see an educator who’s better than you at something you value. Do you feel envious and threatened, or do you feel eager to learn? Accept those thoughts and feelings and work with and through them. And keep working with and through them. My colleagues and I are taking a growth-mindset stance toward our message to educators. Maybe we originally put too much emphasis on sheer effort. Maybe we made the development of a growth mindset sound too easy. Maybe we talked too much about people having one mindset or the other, rather than portraying people as mixtures. We are on a growth-mindset journey, too.

Carol Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton professor of psychology at Stanford University and the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success(Ballantine Books).   Dates to remember: October 21: Parent Conferences October 27-29: Book Fair October 28: Parent Conferences October 29: Dads and Donuts at Book Fair from 7:15 a.m.-8:15 a.m. October 30: Halloween Parade at 9:00 a.m. November 3: Parent Conferences—12:00 dismissal (Tuesday) November 4: Parent Conferences November 11: Veteran’s Day—no school November 18: DATE CHANGE: Screening of documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed” will be rescheduled due to a conflict at the WMS auditorium….we will let you know of the new day and time. Sorry for the inconvenience.  

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–October 20, 2015
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