Thursday, April 21, 2016

Vacation, Earth Day, All-school writing prompt, REF

I hope our Barrows families are enjoying this BEAUTIFUL spring day today.  Its days like this that vacation is made for!  I've been spending quite a bit of time with my family enjoying the beautiful weather with hikes, beach visits, playing at the park, scooter riding, and more.

beach combing
Visit to Castle Island Park in Boston 

Spring leads to so many wonderful opportunities - and also fills up calendars of our students, staff, and families. As we kick into this spring swing, be sure to pause and enjoy the many exciting spring events and the "small" moments (achievement of a great piece of art, conquering a set of tricky math problems, finally making that 3 point shot, nailing the spelling of the trick words, etc.)

I hope some of our Barrows Shining Stars will consider celebrating Earth Day tomorrow (April 22nd) with an action in their community to support environmental stewardship.  Additional ideas are listed in the websites below.  With April also being National Poetry Month we have teamed them up together and invite our Shining Stars to submit a piece of poetry inspired by Earth day!  Poems will be accepted in the Barrows office until April 29th, when they will be displayed in our school hallways!

Learn more about Earth Day here:
Learn more about poetry structures here:

I hope you will join our Reading Education Foundation (REF) for their annual Spring Gala, auction, fundraiser to support our schools.  If you don't have your tickets yet - you can get them here:  REF has funded grants directly supporting Barrows in acquiring Document Cameras for our classroom, Ukulele gear for our music department, and (coming soon!!) materials and equipment for Barrows Outdoor Learning areas - with our garden beds!  I encourage your participation in this wonderful event and/or online auction.

Enjoy the rest of your April Vacation - we will see you all on Monday!
Love, Mrs. Leonard

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Barrows Read-A-Thon 2016

What an AWESOME way to celebrate reading at Barrows Elementary School.  Our Shining Stars blew their previous records out of the water - far surpassing the school-wide goal of 150,000 minutes.  Barrows Shining Stars read a total of 319,895 minutes during our Read-A-Thon!!!

In exceeding their goal, the class that lead their grade with the most minutes read had the chance to help tape me up to the wall.  Additionally the top reader from the other classes added a piece.  We came together as a school community to laugh, dance, and celebrate this fun achievement!

I am so proud of our Shining Stars!

Check out the names of our 100 minute and 500 minute readers here:

Check out the great video made by Mrs. Becker and some of her 5th grade students capturing our celebration assembly today:

Why all the fuss? Research shows that the best way to improve students' reading skills... is more time reading!

Check out some more links below about love and engagement with reading, books, literature, and stories...

  • Reading Tips for Parents:

  • How to instill the love of reading blog:

  • 12 Ways to Nurture a Love of Reading:

"The biggest, most important question is, "Are kids reading for pleasure?" If the answer is yes, then we are on the right path."