Thursday, October 29, 2015

West St. Road Construction

The following is an update on the West Street Project construction:

·         Officers working details – please expect extended days.

·         The current construction area is on West Street between Howard Street and the Woburn town line.

·         There are only two basins left to install. Probably 11/02 Monday and 11/03 Tuesday.

·         Newport is working on this Saturday, 10/31/15. They intend to clean up the site and make the area safe for Halloween.

·         Next week on 11/04 Wednesday, 11/05 Thursday, and 11/06 Friday,  they will be reclaiming the roadway. This will require the Woburn Street to South Street detour. Expect late work days.
·         Soil injection is expected on 11/09 and 11/10 and will also require a late work days. Paving is expected on 11/12 and 11/13 and will require late work days.

·         Once the paving is complete, expect very limited use of any detour route. Newport expects that West Street will remain open and traffic will be alternated around any construction. They will be installing retention walls, curbing, and signal lights.

·         Newport expects to work though out the entire Winter.   

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

all-school assembly TOMORROW!

Thank you to the PTO enrichment committee in their efforts to bring Mark Rothstein, World of Rope Jumping assembly for our school tomorrow.  Our school will have an all-school assembly and grade-level based workshops as well.  What a great day of wellness for our school community.  Please see below for a link to his website and information about the assemblies.  We encourage all students to wear sneakers and PE appropriate clothes.

As a performing pro-athlete, educator, role model and entertainer, Mark presents an inspirational elementary school assembly for all ages. Mark's 45 minute show consists of his hi-energy rope jumping exhibitions, coupled with enjoyable and interactive character building skits.
Character building elements emphasized:
Healthy Living
Positive Choices
Trying Your Best
Mark's experience - more than 10,000 shows since the 1980's - will ensure a wholesome, beneficial and enjoyable assembly for everyone.

Following Mark's opening assembly, typically an entire grade level attends each workshop. This allows every student the opportunity to enjoy the assembly and a "hands-on" workshop with Mark. The emphasis of these workshops are on jump rope techniques, total fitness, trying your best and fun!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reading Science Expo

Cooler temperatures

Good Morning Barrows Community!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful fall weekend.  With the cool temperatures greeting us this morning, I thought it would be timely to send a quick reminder about our seasonal temps/weather. 

We do our best to get students outside as often as possible - this means unless it is actively raining, thunder & lightening, or dangerous temperatures, we send students outside.  Please send your child(ren) with appropriate outside clothing including hats, gloves, jackets, and warm socks/shoes, and assume they will be going out to recess.

We use this chart as a general guideline to determine indoor/outdoor recess and drop-off. Unless it is "in the red" we will stay outside as our times outside are 15-20 mins or less. Only when you see the red flag out front is it an indoor drop-off day.

Reminder: On "Red Flag" days students may begin to enter the building at 8:05am. Prior to this time doors will be locked. At 8:05 students may enter the building. Students in grades K-3 may enter through Door #16 (front of school by Gym) or Door #13 (blacktop entrance by Gym.)   Students in grades 4 & 5 may also enter through Door #1 (Main office). You must buzz to enter on the indoor drop-off days.

Especially on those cold weather days please observe our traffic safety laws (no idling, no parking on the school-side of Edgemont Ave, active drop-off in the kiss & go lane only, etc.) to help ensure the safety of all of our students.

Thank you all!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Family Math Night

Thank you to all the families that came out for our Barrows Family Math Night!  What a great evening of family-fun math events!  A special thank-you to Ms. Carina Becker for her support in organizing this evening.  Check out some of the photos below from our event - and below that read about how your positive engagement in Math is important for your learners!

Teach your Parent - learning number bonds!

Family game time

Taking on other students from around the world in World Maths Day competition!

Taking on other students from around the world in World Maths Day competition!

Math Art - symmetry, tessellations, patterns, and more!

Math Anxiety Is Contagious!

In this New York Times article, Jan Hoffman reports on a study in Psychological Science of how parents’ math anxiety is picked up by their first and second graders, pulling down the kids’ school achievement in math (but not in reading). The means of transmission? Parents helping their children with math homework. The study found that the more math-phobic parents helped, the worse their children did, slipping more than a third of a grade level behind classmates and becoming math-anxious themselves. “The parents are not out to sabotage their kids,” says Sian Beilock, one of the authors of the University of Chicago study. “But they have to ensure their input is productive. They need to have awareness of their own math anxiety and that what they say is important… Saying, ‘I’m not a math person either, and that’s O.K.’ is not a good message to convey.”

How does math anxiety work in the brain? According to Mark Ashcraft of the University of Nevada/Las Vegas, “On challenging math problems that require a lot of working memory, math-anxious people fall apart.” Their working memory is tied up with worries “and they don’t have enough left over to do the math.” The anxiety most often kicks in when students encounter middle-school algebra, but it can begin earlier, especially for girls who have math-anxious female elementary school teachers.

One thing that increases parental math anxiety is the introduction of new math curriculum materials that take an approach to basic operations that’s radically different from what they learned in school. “Educators can’t take math, turn it into Greek, and say, ‘Mom, Dad, will you help your kid with this,’ and not expect to get a ‘Wha?’”, says Harris Cooper of Duke University. An Idaho mother went on Facebook to complain about how Common Core math standards were driving her to drink. “I’ve taken to labeling math homework by how many glasses of wine it takes to peel myself off the ceiling after I’m done,” she said. “That was a two-glasser after whatever it is we’re calling long division.”

What can white-knuckle math parents do to reduce the negative effect they’re having? One approach is to create a math-positive environment and model “math behavior,” says Cooper. “You have your math homework, and I have mine” – counting change, calculating when dinner will be ready, and looking at prices in the supermarket. Another approach is to tag-team with a more math-confident spouse. And then there’s consulting with the teacher, looking over curriculum manuals, and actually mastering the math.

“Generations of Math Fears” by Jan Hoffman in The New York Times, August 25, 2015,; the study described in this article, “Intergenerational Effects of Parents’ Math Anxiety on Children’s Math Achievement and Anxiety” by Erin Maloney, Gerardo Ramirez, Elizabeth Gunderson, Susan Levine, and Sian Beilock in Psychological Science, August 7, 2015, is available for purchase at

Check out this article about the value of Recreational Math:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Fair!

**It's BOOK FAIR TIME!  This year, for the first time, we will be partnering with Scholastic to support Reach Out and Read. This organization promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide, by integrating children's books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. We will be accepting spare change donations at this week's fair, and we will use these proceeds to buy books that will be donated to Reading Pediatrics. Reading Pediatrics, through Reach Out and Read, provides a new book to every patient at every well visit from 6 months to 5 years.  Please encourage your child to share some of their spare change at the fair, or bring some from home, to support this special program!**