Wednesday, March 14, 2018


The Emerson-Williams school community will be spending the next few weeks focusing on the importance of responsibility. It is one of our three main behavior expectations at EW, along with respect and safety. In each classroom, students are expected to demonstrate responsible behaviors by doing their best work, utilizing technology for school tasks only, and helping to keep their classroom clean. Some teachers help instill responsibility by assigning classroom jobs to students, giving incentives and/or consequences for missed homework assignments, and encouraging students to be problem-solvers on the playground.

Students should be demonstrating responsible behaviors at home as well. Make this a topic of conversation at your next family dinner or while taking a ride in the car. What responsibilities does your child have at home? Do they clean up after themselves or put away their own laundry? Do they complete their homework independently? Do they take responsibility for their words and actions? To help stir up the conversation at home, try using one of the videos and/or books listed below. They are great for teaching responsibility!

That Rule Doesn't Apply to Me
What if Everybody Did That?
But It's Not My Fault
Responsibility Song
Berenstain Bears Trouble at School
Berenstain Bears Pick Up and Put Away

Friday, February 9, 2018

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Week is during the month of February. At Emerson-Williams, we will actually be focusing on kindness for the entire month! We are encouraging students to do random acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, to help brighten someone's day. Some student council members helped create the Bingo board shown below with a bunch of kind acts that kids can do.

If you would like more information about Random Acts of Kindness, check out their website at

If you'd like to read some books with your children about kindness, we recommend reading these...

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
When I Care About Others
Kindness Counts
Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What is SRBI?

SRBI stands for Scientific Research Based Interventions. You may have heard this term from school meetings or from other parents, so we want to take some time and explain what it is.

SRBI is broken down into three tiers - Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. The four categories for SRBI support are reading, writing, math, and behavior.

Tier 1 consists of interventions that are provided within the classroom setting by the classroom teacher. Some examples of Tier 1 interventions include working in a small group, having a behavior chart, or reteaching material.

Tier 2 interventions may involve a tutor providing additional support. If a student is in SRBI for behaviors, they may work with the school social worker or school psychologist at this Tier.
Students may leave the classroom to work on specific goals in a smaller setting.

Tier 3 interventions involve more intensive support. The student may receive more frequent services from the support staff previously listed. Students in Tier 3 are working on specific goals and their progress towards achieving these goals are monitored often.

We hope this helps you understand the various support services that are we offer at EW to ensure that every student succeeds!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cyber Safety at EW

Thanks to our amazing EW PTO, we were able see Scott Driscoll present about internet safety last week. We learned so much and wanted to share some main concepts from the presentation for those of you who were unable to attend. Apps are ever changing, but the biggest ones being used by elementary students right now are; Instagram, Snapchat,, and YouTube. Here are some key things he suggests to do when talking to your child/children about internet safety.

  • Sit and learn from your children about what they're doing with technology 
  • Set up ground rules and consequences
  • Go through your child's social networking accounts and see who they're communicating with
  • Discuss privacy settings with your children and why they are important
  • Never share personal information online
  • Don't share passwords with friends
  • Don't say or do anything online that you would not do offline
  • If something does go wrong, tell a trusted adult immediately

Here are some websites that Scott Driscoll shared with us...

Scott Discoll's company is called Internet Safety Concepts and more information can be found on his website at

Monday, September 25, 2017

Welcome Back!

Welcome back! We hope you had a WONDERFUL summer and that the transition into the new school year has gone well for you and your family. We're excited to get the blog up and running again this school year. What should you be looking forward to? Well, we're planning to post some information about problem-solving, social skills, and homework habits. We will also try to have some more EW staff guest bloggers!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer Reading

Summer Reading: Enjoy!
Brenda McLaughlin
Reading & Language Arts Consultant
Emerson-Williams School
While reading at any time is important, summer reading is a particularly precious time for the practice and the pleasure of good reads and reflection.  Our kids are growing in both heart and mind when they read.  They are beautiful, whole persons for whom every cognitive experience evokes an emotional response.  (Lyons, C. A., 1999)  And it is, in no small part, through books that our children encounter people very much like themselves along with those who are quite different, in places seemingly familiar as well as settings unlike their own surroundings.  We can explore new content through reading, or dive deeply into topics we already love. When we read, our perspectives are broadened, our perceptions are challenged and our knowledge increases.  Our hearts and minds expand and grow.
Joy Cowley’s ridiculously silly and at once serious book entitled Meanies, ends by asking, “Who wants to be a meanie?”  A first grader beside me once explained, without the slightest bit of prompting, in reply, “Mean people don’t have bad hearts.  They have good hearts that are just trapped inside.”   I nearly fell off my chair, astounded as I was at the wisdom of a six-year old.  Books are powerful.  Such empathic words I could not have evoked in a hundred lessons on kindness.
It is precisely the idea of being trapped that a Nutmeg Book Award winner, Out of my Mind, by Sharon M. Draper, brings boldly and brilliantly to light. Told from the point of view of Melody, a girl trapped inside her body because of cerebral palsy, the reader learns how she is entirely dependent upon others and struggles immensely just to communicate.  Yet, Melody is like everyone else, at the same time. I dare any reader to remain untouched or unchallenged by this award-winning book.
Reading contributes to achievement, yes.  I’m in favor of summer reading for that reason—but there’s so much more!  Reading fosters the growth of the mind and, more importantly, the development of the whole person.   Reading helps us to try out new worlds and new ideas while living safely in the comfort of our homes.  Reading allows us to try on new personas, points of view and gain knowledge that might otherwise be elusive.  Reading displaces ignorance, engendering empathy in its place.  The mind doesn’t exist in a vacuum.   Our children’s minds are not separate from their hearts.  Help them to devour books that feed their hearts this summer.  Let their reading diets be plentiful and fun.  And their hearts and minds will grow, as one.
Caution:  Increased amounts of reading might lead to kindness and possibly world peace!
As summertime approaches, I ask you to encourage your children to be touched by books.  Read to them.   Keep them reading, too.  Forever.   Talking about books you read to your children as well as those they read themselves can help bring the images and the ideas from the pages to life. I don’t mean to quiz our young readers, but do consider talking with your son or daughter in a way such as this.  “ I’m wondering how your character might be feeling about her or his problem.”  Or, “How would you have handled that situation?  I think I might have….”   To further guide your discussions, here are a few questions to invoke deep thinking, regardless of the text at hand, that you and your kids can use as a springboard for great conversations about books.*
For narrative texts:
  • Who is the main character?  Why do I think so?  (Hint: the main character is the one with the problem in the story.)
  • What is the character’s problem?  How does she or he feel about it?
  • How is the problem resolved?
  • Do you agree or disagree with what the character did?
  • Is the story true to life?  Why or why not?
  • What surprised you about this story?
  • Did you like or dislike any part of the story?  Why?
For Expository Texts:
  • What is the topic of this section?
  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • What are the most important ideas?
  • What is most interesting to you?
  • What did you learn?
  • What are some of the words you have learned?
  • How is this different from what you already know?
*(Adapted from: Caldwell, J. S., & Leslie, L., 2013).
May summertime be full of many pleasures for your family, reading among them.  Be sure to take advantage of the rich resources available at the Wethersfield Public Library.  Students are expected to bring their summer reading logs to school during the very first week of the new school year.  They may
  • Print the online Summer Reading Log,
  • Use the Summer Reading Log available on the WPS Summer Reading webpage, or
  • A student-created log that includes the titles of each book/article/magazine (print or digital) as well as the total number of titles read.
ALL kinds of reading counts, including books read to kids!
Most importantly, keep it light.  Keep it FUN!  May you and your children Read for JOY!