A Note Home from Mr. B.

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Hi All,
Once in a while, I feel the need to send a note reminding parents to be aware of what kids are watching and doing at home.  This is not intended as a judgment of your family values, but as a caution related to how those influences translate into behavior at school.  Please believe that I want the best for your student and their experience in our school.
That said, there are two particular things that are showing a significant influence on student behavior in the classes where I co-teach and in the school as a whole.  The YouTube sensation Jeffy the Rapper shows up in phrases and gestures by students as they mimic his behavior.  I encourage you to read the attached webpage (linked here) related to how Jeffy’s influence has a negative impact on students.
The second is the uber-popular video game Fortnite.  Here is a link to a page related to FORTNITE PAGE.  The challenge is something that becomes so consuming for students it that it tends to monopolize their thinking and leaves little room for effort related to learning and academics.
I would not presume to tell you what to do.  I simply want you to be aware of the influences of outside elements within the school.  There will always be something, PopCulture will filter in somehow.  The more adults are aware of these things, the better prepared they will be to guide students through those influences.
Enjoy the Journey,
Dave Bentley (dbentley@ssdvt.org)
Teacher on 6th Grade Team
Riverside Middle School
Springfield, Vermont
(802) 885-8436

Make Mistakes

If you have made a mistake raise your hand.  That’s right, all of us should have our hands up, perhaps with some enthusiastic waving because we have all made mistakes, and some of them have been doozies.  Let’s explore a few other questions.

  • Has a mistake ever made you quit?
  • Has a mistake ever cost you more than you expected?
  • Has a mistake ever hurt yourself or people you care about?

It’s likely that we all answered in the affirmative with those questions.  These and other reasons are why we fear making mistakes.  We don’t like to be wrong.  We don’t like to feel as if we have failed.  It can be embarrassing.  It can hurt.  It can cost.  As a result we may avoid situations where we could potentially make a mistake.  We are particularly wary of circumstances where mistakes might be public.  It might be that we don’t raise our hands in class.  Perhaps we avoid volunteering for committees or teams where we work or worship.  Maybe we have refused to host the annual family reunion.  Fear of mistakes and failure can keep us from a number of things.  It may be that avoiding mistakes and the possibility of failure has cost us opportunities.

Let’s explore a couple of other questions:

  • Can you think of a way that you learned something from a mistake?
  • Can you think of a time that a mistake lead you in different, and ultimately better direction?

A few years ago we were traveling through the Smokey Mountains on a family trip.  I had taken a wrong turn, and ended up well off course.  However, we found a number of interesting things along that accidental detour that made the mistake worth making.  Another mistake I recall is a dish that my mother once made with or Thanksgiving leftovers.  It was supposed to be soup, but she had accidentally doubled parts of the recipe.  What resulted is a delicious casserole that we dubbed Turkey Mistake.  To this day it remains one of our favorite post holiday dishes.

The challenge for us is to view mistakes through a different lens.  To see them as opportunities and not as endings.  The clip below of an acronym for mistakes gives us some sage advice for positive ways of viewing our missteps.

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The difference is determined by whether we will permit the mistakes we make to stress us or strengthen us.  It’s not that the mistakes will become less painful, costly, or embarrassing.  Rather, it is that we would recognize mistakes as a natural (and intended) part of learning and growing as human beings.

Don’t be afraid to mess up, you might discover that the mistake you make leads to even better things than you initially planned to accomplish.

Emotional-Behavioral Resources

Dave Bentley – Emotional & Behavioral Issues in Special Education

Fall, 2017

This blog post contains resources related to Special Education and working with students who may have emotional or behavioral challenges.  The resources are intended to provide teachers and other staff with links to sites and information that assist in meeting the needs of students, establishing supports for students, and tracking progress of students.  If you are a teacher or administrator please leave a comment with other resources that you have found helpful. 


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Positive Behavior Intervention and Support

The Website indicates that PBIS intends to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies by improving social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students.  While there are benefits for students with special needs, there are also benefits for the school as a whole.


PBIS WORLD – http://www.pbisworld.com/

PBIS World is a comprehensive and invaluable resource of forms and information related to MTSS and the implementation of a PBIS strategy for classrooms and schools.  I encourage people to spend some time exploring the site and learning how to navigate through the materials available for the three tiers of support.


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Responsive Classroom – https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/ 

Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to education that focuses on the strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning (SEL). The Responsive Classroom website provides links to training, information, and resources for implementing the strategy in the school and classroom.  While primarily employed with younger students, middle level learners also can benefit from the structure and practices of Responsive Classroom.


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A Site for Behavioral Forms

 Documents for a Systematic Behavioral Analysis (FBA)

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Articles Related to EB Issues:

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  Dave Bentley is a Special Educator in Springfield, Vermont.

RMS 6th Grade Math Notes


  • If students can define and find these they will do fine:
    • Mean – average (add and divide the sum by the number of data points)
    • Median – what is the exact middle of the data points when in order?
    • Mode – what data point(s) occurs the most (MODE=MOST)
    • Range – What is the difference between the highest and lowest data point?
    • Statistical and Non-Statistical Questions
      • Statistical – more than one possible correct answer (nosey questions)
      • Non-Statistical – only one possible correct answer (facts)
    • Simple Graphs of data (Histograph, Dot points)

Meet Mr. Bentley

  • Dave Bentley10624605_10205706768409705_5317929050308283420_n.jpg
  • 6th Grade Special Educator
  • Riverside Middle School
  • Springfield, Vermont

Many of you may have become acquainted with me through the years as I have worked within the Springfield School District as a substitute teacher.  In addition, I  volunteered for several years alongside my wife, Mrs. Bentley, at Elm Hill in her classroom and with after-school drama programs.  It has been a great experience working with some of the highest quality teachers and Para educators in education.

Last year I completed my Masters Degree in teaching with an internship at Riverside working with the 7th Grade team teaching English with Mr. Vandivere.  This Fall I am honored to rejoin the team at Riverside full-time where I will be working with the 6th grade team as their special education teacher.  

There are many things that I would like people to know about me, but most importantly I want you to be assured of my commitment to your students. I love working with young adolescents in the middle school and do not take lightly the level of trust that you have placed in me and the school to care for and educate your children.  Having the opportunity to help students entering middle school make the transition to a different school and system of education is both challenging and exciting.  I approach my role as a calling, which is more than a career choice or simply a job.  During these pivotal years it is my goal to provide students with the tools they will need to find success at the middle school and in the years beyond.

Please feel free to connect with me if I can be of assistance to you, or if you have questions concerning your student’s education.  If I do not know the answer to your question I will work with you to find the answers you need.

Looking forward to the Adventure of the School Year,

Dave Bentley


(802) 885-8490

Pastor’s Notes for FBCW–August

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Pastor Dave’s Notes

Hi Everyone! I pray that the final few weeks of summer will be blessed as we prepare for the coming of cooler weather, and a return to the normalcy that accompanies the school year.  Over the past few days I have spent considerable time praying for the church, for each of you individually, and for myself as we head toward the fall and the kick-off of the various ministries we engage in during the school year.

Make a Note of Things Coming Up

OLYMPIANS MEETING – August 19th after Church

Labor Day – September 3rd – will mark the return to our regular schedule with Sunday School at 9:30 and worship at 11:00. (Sunday school will resume the following week).

September 10th

· Sunday School Resumes

· Olympians Resumes

September 17th – Back to Church Sunday (more info will follow)

· Begin by praying for people you can invite.

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October-November Sermon Series on The End Times

As we continue the series through the Gospel of Matthew we approach Jesus’ teaching on the End Times, commonly referred to as “The Olivet Discourse.” (Matthew 24-25).  These teachings invite a serious look at the state of the world and an examination of our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.  In addition, the coming events ought to spur us into action as evangelical believers, for the population of people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior will face Him as their judge and be sentenced to eternal condemnation.  This series of messages will be a mix of information and passion as we rejoice in our position in Christ and mourn the lost outside of Christ.

With Paul I State:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5


Pastor Dave

It is Time to Turn Back



Bloodshed, violence, hatred, people displaying such horrible darkness, this is what happens when the world turns its back on the God of heaven and earth. We should not be surprised. What we should do…what we must do…is repent and return. Notice what Psalm 68 declares for the people who turn to God and the people who live in rebellion:

Psalm 68:1-6

  • let those who hate Him FLEE before Him.
  • As smoke is driven away, so DRIVE THEM AWAY;
  • As wax melts before the fire,
  • But let the righteous BE GLAD; let them EXULT before God;
  • Yes, let them REJOICE WITH GLADNESS.
  • Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
  • Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts,
  • Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.
    • · A father to the fatherless offers protection and provision.
    • · A judge for the widows is an advocate for the defenseless
  • Is God in His holy habitation.
  • God makes A HOME FOR THE LONELY;
    • · Home means family, and family is the remedy for loneliness
    • · Prisoners who have been held wrongly by strong powers.
    • · A stark contrast to the promised land and eternal heaven.
  • (New American Standard Bible, emphasis added)


Dear people, please turn to God.

  • · Turn to Him for Salvation in Jesus the Messiah!
  • · Turn to His Spirit for guidance and wisdom!
  • · Turn to His Word for revelation and truth!
  • · Turn to Him in prayer for daily walking with Him!
  • · Turn to His Church for instruction and fellowship!

This Sunday, find a church where you can learn about God and His plan for you. Find a church that preaches and teaches from the Bible. Find a church that calls you to prayer and leads you in worship.

If you are in the area, I invite you to Wallingford Baptist Church in Wallingford, Vermont. We meet at 10:00 on Sundays. We would be happy to welcome you.


Pastor Dave