Dear Sprague Community,

Our annual Book Fair will begin next week. This year, there will be a kickoff event on Sunday from 5:30-7:00 PM. The Book Fair will be open and “The Lorax” movie will be shown. Parents may choose to bring students to this event, have students shop with their classes during school, or come with dad on Thursday (10-27) morning for the “Dads and Donuts” event. That event is a time when dads can bring kids to the Book Fair and have a light breakfast too! Special thanks to Book Fair organizers Matt McKay and Andrea Doglioli for their efforts!

As a district, we place a strong focus on both academics and social/emotional learning. This summer, many school leaders read the book, “GRIT,” by Angela Duckworth. ”Grit” refers to the combination of passion and perseverance. The book highlights how we can help children to develop grit. Angela Duckworth writes about research in which it becomes apparent that intelligence alone does not guarantee success. It takes GRIT and a growth mindset. I highly recommend this book to parents. It will be available at the Book Fair on Oct. 23, 25, 26, and 27.

Speaking of Growth Mindset, I received an email last week that highlighted how the concept of growth mindset and our approach to mathematics instruction go hand in hand to help students develop the foundational number sense they need to be successful in more complex mathematics.

It came from Jo Boaler, Stanford Professor who developed the Week of Inspirational Math. Jo is a proponent of developing a Growth Mindset in our students and has worked with Carol Dweck, another Stanford professor. In it, she pointed out recent research that found that students who take a memorization approach showed lower achievement. She points out that math facts are important, but they do not have to be learned through ‘blind memorization.’ When students develop number sense and number flexibility, they build the most important foundation for higher levels of mathematics. If you have 3 minutes to spare, check out her video about number sense.

Lastly, I will be presenting the MCAS results from the 2016 Spring test administration on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 9:30 in the Sprague cafeteria. I will explain how the state calculates accountability results for schools, how we use the results to inform school improvement initiatives, and how to interpret your child’s results. MCAS testing is conducted in grades 3-8 and grade 10 each year. All interested parents are welcome to attend.

Dates to remember:

Oct. 19: Grade 4 Architectural Showcase 8:45-9:30

Oct. 19: MCAS presentation for parents @ 9:30

Oct. 24: School Council meeting @ 3:15 PM

Oct. 23, 25, 26, 27: Scholastic Book Fair

Oct. 27: Picture re-take day

Oct. 31: Halloween Parade begins between 8:45 and 9:00

Nov. 1, 2, 9: Parent Conferences—12:00 dismissal

Nov. 8: Election Day—late start at 10:30

Nov. 9: WEF Spelling Bee

Nov. 11: No school—Veteran’s Day

Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–October 18, 2016
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