Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Principal Challenge Problems

Vacation is a great time to rest and rejuvenate.  I also find that I like to do a lot of puzzles and thinking games to stretch those brain muscles! Special, just for you - early editions of the next two principal challenge problems are available below... give them a shot and have fun!

Principal Challenge Problem #4 & #5: http://www.edline.net/pages/Alice_M__Barrows_Elementary_Sc/Principal_Problem_of_the_Week

While there you can also view some awesome Barrows student answers!  Answers to problem #3 will be coming soon!

Love, Mrs. Leonard

Thursday, December 17, 2015

All School Writing Prompt

All-school Writing Prompt

Have you ever read “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka? It is the story of the 3 little pigs told from the point of view of the big bad wolf. Point of view means the perspective of the person (narrator) who is telling the story. There are other stories told from surprising points of view including “The Day the Crayons Quit” told from the crayon’s point of view, and “The Giving Tree” told from the tree’s point of view.

Think about your favorite childhood story or fairy tale. Retell the story from a DIFFERENT character’s point of view. Think about telling Cinderella from the Stepsister’s point of view, Jack and the Beanstalk told by the giant, Goldilocks told by one of the three bears… the possibilities are endless! Try this challenge over winter vacation and turn in your story to the office when we get back. Stories will be collected until January 15th, then we will display them for everybody to see!

Happy writing!

School Update

Dear Barrows Families,
I can’t believe that we're right up on our winter break!  The first part of this school year has just flown by! I am so proud of the work happening within these four walls, I hope you are able to check us out on Twitter @BarrowsSchool to see some great photos of our learners hard at work!

I am so proud of the generosity of our school community—The current collections of items for the Student Council Food Drive, monetary donations for the Mission of Deeds Kindergarten fundraising effort, and the Coats for Kids donations. Recent generous donations from our school community include the collection of slippers for Boston Children’s Hospital, hosted by 1st grader Lani McGrady, Donations towards our REF tree, donation of candy to Operation Gratitude, and more. A strength of our school community is giving outside of ourselves to others—and I celebrate everybody’s participation in these efforts! There is still time to give your change to the Mission of Deeds collection—Kindergarten will be accepting donations up through December 23rd.

We will have our all-school winter assembly next Wednesday (12/23) - it is also an all-school pajama day, so we invite your children to come in their cozy pajamas to enjoy our all-school sing along hosted by our Kindergarten class.

I have had some parents ask how to continue to support learning over the winter break. I have a few suggestions for you;

  •  Read together! Read aloud, read quietly near each other, read 2 copies of the book and discuss your thoughts, read a story then watch the movie and compare/contrast… READ!
  •  Use your child’s access to MobyMax.com (a school-based program for which they have a log-in and password) to practice math, reading, fluency, writing, and more!
  •  Play games together—including games like Battleship (Coordinate grids/visual spatial skills); Card game “War” (number value); Memory (working memory/matching skills); Taboo (describing words)
  •  Check out BedTime math—a FUN challenge a day for families to try; http://bedtimemath.org/
  •  Try out our all-school writing prompt over vacation! We will be collecting and displaying student responses when we get back in the new year– just turn them in to the office.

In closing I thought it would be worthwhile to share something I wrote last year that is still very applicable now; “This time of year can be busy, exciting, and overwhelming for both adults and children. Consider having some down time with your learner; read a good book together, take a walk, play a board game, etc. In the hustle and bustle of the winter/holiday season we tend to see students with heightened sensitivity, exhaustion, grumpy moods, and tears. When you see your child showing shifts in behavior from their typical self help them to identify how they are feeling (sad, tired, angry, etc.) and work with them to identify how they can help themselves feel better (take a break, dance, go to bed early, play a silly game, etc.)" Enjoy a wonderful holiday break with your families. See you in the new year!

Love, Mrs. Leonard