Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Star Monday

Kindergarten student Griffin Haggerty and 5th grade student Jared Magazzu get dressed up for School Council spirit day "movie star Monday"

Sunday, April 27, 2014

REF's online auction

Online Auction
Has Begun!

The Reading Education Foundation is pleased to announce that our Spring Online Auction is now OPEN! 

We have an amazing array of items -- something for everyone. Click here to register and start bidding today!

And don't forget to buy your tickets to the
Imagination Celebration Gala on May 3rd - food, drink, martini tasting, silent auction and more!

Click here for more information.

The online auction runs from April 28th until May 9th.
Check out some aution highlights below!
4 Tickets to Red Sox vs. 
Cleveland Indians
Four field box seats for the Red 
Sox/Cleveland Indians game on 
Thursday, June 12 at 7:10 p.m. 
Seats are located ten rows behind the Red Sox dugout at first B
A Day of Sailing Aboard 
Travel back in time and enjoy a 
day of classic sailing aboard a 
John G. Alden classic wooden 
yawl from the 1941 Goudy and 
Stevens Boat Yard. Your captain 
and navigator will be Elaine and 
Doug Webb.


13 week Subscription to 
Daily Times Chronicle

Enjoy this 13-week subscription 
for the Daily Times Chronicle!
Good for editions in Woburn, 
Reading, Winchester, Burlington,
Stoneham, Wilmington or 


Family 4-Pack to Davis 
Family Farm Adventures

Day passes admit 4 guests to 
Davis Farmland OR Davis Mega Maze. Farmland is ideal for 
children age 1-8.  Davis Mega 
Maze is ideal for ages 5+. 


Thank you to our Sponsors... 
Reading Cooperative Bank Schwartz & Schwartz, P.C. Northern Bank & Trust Company
Sanborn Home Care Cube Smart
Reading Rotary Club
Reading Education Foundation
PO Box 265
Reading, Massachusetts 01867
(781) 696-3646

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Interesting Article about "Raising Caring Children"

Tips on Raising Caring Children

            What does it take to raise a compassionate, moral child? asks Adam Grant (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania) in this New York Times article. Researchers have found that worldwide, this is parents’ number one priority – instilling caring is more important to them than their children’s achievement. But how much difference do parents make in this area? Are some children born good-natured and others mean-spirited? Studies of twins suggest that between one-quarter and one-half of people’s propensity to be kind is inherited – which means that parents and the environment account for up to three-quarters. Drawing on the psychological research, Grant has these suggestions for adults working with children:

            Praise is more effective than rewards. If we want to reinforce caring, “Rewards run the risk of leading children to be kind only when a carrot is offered, whereas praise communicates that sharing is intrinsically worthwhile for its own sake,” says Grant.

            With children around 8 years old, praise character, not actions. Say, for example, “You’re a very nice and helpful person,” which leads children to internalize being helpful as part of their identity. However, this approach doesn’t work with younger children, who haven’t formed a stable sense of self, and with children 10 and older, there’s no difference in whether they’re praised for character or actions.

            Nouns work better than verbs. It’s better to encourage a child to “be a helper” than “to help,” and it’s better to say, “Please don’t be a cheater” than “Please don’t cheat.” Grant explains: “When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices. Over time it can become part of us.”

            With bad behavior, evoke guilt, not shame. “Shame is the feeling that I am a bad person, whereas guilt is the feeling that I have done a bad thing,” says Grant. “Shame is a negative judgment about the core self, which is devastating; shame makes children feel small and worthless, and they respond either by lashing out at the target or escaping the situation altogether. In contrast, guilt is a negative judgment about an action, which can be repaired by good behavior. When children feel guilt, they tend to experience remorse and regret, empathize with the person they have harmed, and aim to make it right.” When parents get angry, withdraw their love, and threaten punishments, children feel shame and believe they’re bad people. Some parents are so worried about this dynamic that they fail to discipline their children – which can get in the way of moral development.

            With bad behavior, say you’re disappointed. “[E]xpressing disappointment, explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation,” says Grant, “enables children to develop standards for judging their actions, feelings of empathy and responsibility for others, and a sense of moral identity, which are conducive to becoming a helpful person. The beauty of expressing disappointment is that it communicates disapproval of the bad behavior, coupled with high expectations and the potential for improvement: ‘You’re a good person, even if you did a bad thing, and I know you can do better.’”

            Model caring and generous behavior. Studies have shown that children pay more attention to what adults do than what they preach. “Children learn generosity not by listening to what their role models say, but by observing what they do,” says Grant.

[There’s an interesting contrast between these findings and Carol Dweck’s research and advocacy on praising children for working hard and being strategic rather than for being “smart” – praising actions rather than innate qualities. It seems there is a difference between the way researchers think about the development of moral character versus intelligence.  K.M.]


“Raising a Moral Child” by Adam Grant in The New York Times, April 13, 2014 (p. SR1, 6-7),
summarized by Kim Marshall

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


From about 1:15 P.M. to 1:45 P.M. today our school was without electricity and phones, as were many parts of Reading. I visited each classroom and our students and staff did a wonderful job continuing about their learning, and smiling through. I told them it was like camping in school. Our electricity and phones are working again, but I wanted to share what a wonderful job our students and staff did during this surprise in our day.

Thank you Shining Stars!
Heather Leonard

Monday, April 14, 2014


Please view the 2014 Read-a-thon assembly slide show with pictures of the Dr. Seuss drawing contest winners!

What a wonderful event - I'm so proud of our Barrows students for far exceeding the goal of 150,000 minutes read - nice work Shining Stars!
Read-a-thon assembly 2014
The winners of the Dr. Seuss drawing contest 2014

Students that reached 100 and 500 mins. stand to be recognized!

Our Wall of Fame is impressive!

Our Wall of Fame is impressive!

Table update!

You may recall that earlier in the year I posted about the table in my office:

Check it out now... I enjoy spending time with all of your learners each day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Teaching Students about Mistakes

A great blog post:

"Mistakes are the most important thing that happens in any classroom, because they tell you where to focus that deliberate practice...So why don't students view their mistakes as a valuable asset? Well, students don't think about their mistakes rationally -- they think about them emotionally. "