What's New @MWES...

Back-to-School Night ~ September 28th at 6:15!

posted Sep 28, 2017, 9:39 AM by Sandra Gassner   [ updated Sep 28, 2017, 9:40 AM ]

We are off to a great start and can’t wait to share all of the amazing things that 
are happening at Errickson with you at Back to School Night! 

We have added many amazing learning opportunities for our students. Here is a sample of what’s new:

• STEAM Center
• 3D Printer
• Robotics
• Green Screen Technology
• Aeroponic Gardens
• Mindfulness Training
• coLaboratory
• Flexible Seating
• And so much more


Our students have been enthusiastic about all of our new curriculum materials and now it’s your chance to enjoy them as well. We have changed the format of Back to School Night so that you will have time to engage in some new activities and materials. 
Our doors will open at 6:15. Stop into the lobby and take a peek at our new school year video that uses green screen technology and grab a copy of your Choice Menu for the evening. 

At 6:30 head to your child’s classroom teacher for the classroom level presentation. 

At 7:00, check your Choice Menu and visit some of the areas/activities listed above. You can also experience the exciting new things happening in Related Arts or talk to
representatives from the PTO, Freehold Twp Education Foundation or Foodstock, among others! 

At 7:30, teachers will hold a second classroom session for parents and many of our Choice Activities will again be open to visit.
Our hope for the evening is that you will walk away as excited about the wonderful things happening at Errickson as
our staff is! We look forward to seeing you on September 28th at 6:15.

Welcome Kindergarten Students!

posted Sep 5, 2017, 2:48 PM by Sandra Gassner   [ updated Sep 5, 2017, 2:52 PM ]

Welcome to the Errickson School!  You and your children are going to become part of a very special family this year – the Errickson Family.  We take pride in treating our school like a small community in which every member plays an important role. We are looking forward to working with your children this year and interacting with you while you volunteer in the school and attend the various events that the staff and PTO sponsor.  

Freehold Township Schools is fortunate to be able to provide a full day Kindergarten program.  The full day Kindergarten program brings about many opportunities for our students.  They have more time to have meaningful language experiences, experiment with manipulatives to discover math concepts, capitalize on their natural inquisitiveness through the project approach, and socialize with their peers.  Our Kindergarten teachers have been very busy this summer arranging their centers and organizing their classrooms to create a fun and exciting environment for your children that will meet their academic needs.  

Please join us for Kindergarten orientation on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 9:00 AM at the Errickson School. This will be your children’s first opportunity to see their new classrooms and meet their teachers.  The orientation will help ease the anxiety children may have with the first day of school.  Please note that the orientation is for both parents and students, however the program is child-centered.  (Specific questions about curriculum and routines will be answered for parents during our annual Back to School Night on September 28, 2017.)  The program will conclude with a brief bus ride for students to become familiar with the safety rules of the bus. 

The first day of school will be Thursday, September 7, 2017. Our doors open at 8:10am and school starts at 8:20. Dismissal is 2:55pm. For students who ride the bus, a staff member will meet them on the bus and escort them to their teachers prior to the rest of the bus unloading. Hopefully, this will ease any first day jitters that students (and parents) may have. We will continue this practice for the first few days of school until we are confident that our students are secure in making the trip on their own. For students who will be dropped off by their parents, please proceed to the back of the school and pull around the circle for drop off. The mornings are very hectic in the back of the building, so please drop off as quickly as possible. If you feel that you need more time dropping your child off, there are areas to park in the back of the building, but because of the traffic flow, it may be challenging to park. We will have staff members in the cafeteria to escort your child to their classrooms so that they will feel confident once they arrive. Parent pick up is also in the back of the building during dismissal. Please park and sign your child out each day. Walkers will be met by staff members at the crossing guard station in the morning and escorted to the crossing guard in the afternoon.

As your child gets ready for kindergarten orientation, you may enjoy reading the book, "The Kissing Hand," or "Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes," or "Wheels on the Bus," before the first day of school. You may view all or portions of these books on You Tube.  We look forward to seeing you in school!

Pete the Cat
Wheels on the Bus
The Kissing Hand


New Student Orientation - Tuesday, August 29th!

posted Aug 22, 2017, 7:06 PM by Sandra Gassner

As the summer days lead up to the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, we would like to formally welcome you to the Errickson family as a new student!  Please know the number one priority at Errickson School is our students.  We strive to address the individual academic, social and emotional needs of each child while guiding them to reach their full potential.  To this end, we have scheduled a New Student Orientation program on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 9:00 am.  At this orientation, we look forward to establishing a positive foundation for the school year ahead. The orientation should take no more than one hour.  

The new student population includes students from grades one through five, so there will only be a brief overview of the academic program.  Afterwards, you and your child will receive a tour of the building and be able to visit the classrooms.  While the classrooms may not be completely decorated for the new school year, the tour will allow you to become acquainted with the building and help alleviate any “new school jitters.”

Again, welcome to the Errickson family, and we look forward to seeing you on the 29th!  

STUDENT PLACEMENTS FOR THE 2017 -2018 WILL BE PICKED UP AT ORIENTATION 

MWES Keeping Reading Skills Strong this Summer!

posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:04 PM by Sandra Gassner   [ updated Jun 29, 2017, 1:06 PM ]

The Errickson Eagles are off to a great start this summer, logging close to 7,000 minutes in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge! If your child is reading a good book remind them to log on to the challenge and record their minutes. If you need help logging on to the site please email Mrs. Gassner @sgassner@freeholdtwp.k12.nj.us

The homeroom with the most minutes will be awarded some "flexible seating" in the fall! Mrs. Pasola's grade 3 students are in the lead with Ms. Taddeo's 4th graders a very close second!
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Learning = Summer Fun!

posted Jun 21, 2017, 8:34 AM by Sandra Gassner   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 8:42 AM ]

Summer is a time to relax and recharge, but it can also afford us time to learn something new! As in years past, we have compiled some resources towards this end. Visit our summer learning web page for ways to make learning an enjoyable part of every summer day while maintaining the gains students have made over the school year. The following tips for parents, provided by MA Literacy, will also help kids stay on track during the summer months.

PB DD RA:
Put away the mobile devices and spark stimulating conversations with your young children! You can help them improve their communication and critical thinking skills using “PB DD RA,” (Preview Before, Discuss During, Reflect After). For example, before a trip to the beach, parents can prompt kids with questions such as, “What do you think we will see/smell/feel at the beach?” During the trip or activity, parents can discuss the activity at hand with the child. After the trip, parents can talk to kids about the experience, or ask children to draw a picture or write a story about the event.
  • Get outside: Playing outside can be educational; there’s a whole world to count, spell and explain! When kids are drawing with sidewalk chalk, ask them to make certain shapes or comment on the colors they are using. Count the rings in a tree stump. Help kids learn how to spell the names of vegetables or flowers that they see growing in outdoor gardens.
  • Read, Read, Read: Perhaps the best thing parents can do is have their children spend time reading — for at least 30 minutes a day. Younger children will benefit just as much from having books read to them. Remember that children gain the most from reading when a parent asks guiding questions to check their child’s comprehension. Ask them to read a page out loud and then ask them a question based on the content of that page. Often when they only focus on decoding the words, the meaning gets lost.
  • Create math art projects: A great game for young children learning about numbers is also an art project. Children can decorate a piece of paper with small objects…beans, uncooked macaroni or pom-poms. Place the objects on the paper, no glue required yet. Take turns rolling dice to determine how many of the objects each player can remove from the paper and count them out loud. At the end of the game, children can glue down their game pieces to create a masterpiece.
  • Too hot to play outside? Head to the library! Most libraries have a summer reading program. Check the website of local libraries for hours and programs. Monmouth County Library - http://www.monmouthcountylib.org/ Libraries also have plenty of DVDs, and music to check out, and they have air conditioning!
  • Resources from Teachers: Check the school website or the website posted by your child’s teacher for resources. Teachers may also send home lists of suggestions with students.
  • Play with math online: Visit Greg Tang's math website and/or check out some of his math books at the library! You can also find a variety of math games for children on Pinterest? Just go to www.pinterest.com and search for “math activities.” Other online resources for math can be found on the school website.

Have a wonderful summer! We look forward to hearing all about your adventures in September!

End-of-Year Learning Experiences!

posted May 31, 2017, 7:56 AM by Sandra Gassner

It's hard to believe that in less than a month Errickson will send its students off for summer vacation. Before then however, we have many exciting things planned to further enrich student learning for the 2016-2017 school year. We hope you will be able to visit the school as students showcase what they know about a variety of topics. Listed below are the learning experiences currently
 scheduled...
  • June 1st - Listen to the tunes created by our students playing the recorder!
  • June 2nd - 4th Grade Wax Museum: Famous people come alive through the voices of our fourth graders!
  • June 7th - An Evening of the Arts! 6-8pm
  • June 9th - Grade 2 Publisher's Party!
  • June 15th - 3rd Grade presents Animal Habitats!
  • June 15th - 1st Grade Reader's Retreat!
  • June 16th - Kindergarten End-of-Year Celebration!
  • June 20th - 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony!

Kindergarten Preview!

posted May 15, 2017, 6:25 AM by Sandra Gassner   [ updated May 15, 2017, 6:37 AM ]


The staff of Marshall W. Errickson School will welcome the Class of 2030 for its "Kindergarten Preview" on Tuesday, May 16th at 9:30 am


While our newest students will be busy visiting the kindergarten classrooms and taking part in learning activities with the Kindergarten Preview team of teachers, parents will be treated to a video created by our own kindergarten students! Mrs. Areman and Mrs. Gassner joined forces with the kindergarten and related arts teams to film kindergarten students in action. This exciting video footage was skillfully edited by our building Technology Integration Coordinator, Ms. Coronado, creating an informative explanation of "A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner, by Kindergarten!" 

To support parents and students after the event is over, visit the Kindergarten Preview Website  which showcases all of the information presented during the preview! 

PARCC 2017: Parents...Be a Learning Hero!

posted Apr 25, 2017, 7:35 AM by Sandra Gassner   [ updated Apr 25, 2017, 12:56 PM ]

Tuesday, May 2nd marks the first day of PARCC testing at MWES. This assessment allows students to show what they know...what they have learned through the years and test results allow teachers and administrators to plan for instruction to best meet the needs of each student. The last day of testing at MWES is May 10th. Make-ups will follow.

This is the third year our students will be taking the PARCC assessment on a Chromebook, and as was posted here back in 2015, we remain mindful to preserve the classroom environment our students have grown accustomed to; the one in which they feel most comfortable learning! 



The following list provides some good talking points for you and your child as they get ready to take the test.

  1. The test is on a computer (for us, Chromebooks). For most students, this is a big YIPPEE! For others, it is not as exciting as some might predict. Keyboarding familiarity is important, as are some basic computer skills our students are honing. Every minute students spend learning digitally is a step in the right direction, and we have provided time to become familiar with the technology skills students will use on the PARCC. 
  2. This isn't your grandmother’s multiple choice. The multiple-choice questions on the PARCC test are not always asking for one answer; sometimes they are asking for more than one. Often the test asks us to choose an answer for #5, and then #6 asks us to choose the best reason to support that answer. We keep reminding students to choose the best option, even though there might be other reasonable ones. These questions make us really think. As we practice test items similar to the ones our students will see on the PARCC we discuss the answers to these questions and the reasons for choosing particular answers.
  3. What are students thinking? The PARCC folks want to know what students think after they are exposed to two or three selections on the same topic. They want to see how kids compare, contrast and convey their understanding. We have been doing this since the fall, and we are very impressed with how students are now diving back into the reading (close reading) to find supporting evidence when constructing answers. One of the biggest challenges our students are facing is the fact that they have to include so many parts in their written answers. With consistent feedback, modeling and encouragement, we have seen growth in our students’ ability to express opinions using evidence from their selections. Yea!!! 
  4. Basic Skills Remix: In math, students are required to apply basic skills they have acquired over the past several years. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills will be pushed to the limits as students decide how to apply them in challenging problems. We remind our students that they already possess skills necessary to succeed. They only need to commit those skills to their problem solving to make it all come together. 
  5. Families can STILL help! If you are the lucky family member of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, you can provide valuable support! Make sure students are getting adequate sleep, eating healthy and staying active. Remind them every single day that effort affects everything, and that everything we do in school is important.
Yes, our young students are faced with challenging assessments, and have already demonstrated success using the computer to participate in such assessments. We know they will work hard to do their best on the PARCC, but in the end it is the rest of our interactive, reflective learning that determines the success of our school year.


Thank you to Falmouth, MA fourth grade teacher Suzy Brooks for her March 2015 blog post, Searching for PARCCing Spaces. The content of this blog post is taken from her blog, but has been modified to better match NJ students, more specifically the students and families in our K-5 community.

The Power of STEAM!

posted Apr 6, 2017, 12:29 PM by Sandra Gassner

Coding Club, Maker Spaces, these are just two components of the growing focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math) education in our schools. This cross-content expansion of STEM, STEAM, allows our students to explore multiple subjects through hands-on making and integrates design and art into the STEM experience. Carrying out STEAM projects also fosters collaboration, something that comes naturally to children, as evidenced in their play with friends and family. Hands-on projects provide students with the opportunity to build something with others and to share ideas and gain new insights through collaboration. These communication and collaboration skills will serve them well in all areas of learning and future careers.  

We encourage higher-level thinking in our students by using computers and other digital devices to be creators, not just consumers. You can provide similar opportunities at home, taking advantage of coding and “maker” activities online using the following resources. 

  • Code.org: A website providing kids the opportunity to design and manipulate a variety of games, create intricate works of art and track mastery of new skills. A multitude of unplugged activities do not even involve a computer.
  • Break It Down: Encourage kids to take apart electronics (computers, DVD players, televisions) to see their different components. This process, which Hayes uses frequently with her students, helps kids demystify what is going on under the hood of electronics, just like coding.
  • Scratch: A website where kids use code to create animations, music videos, design games, send interactive cards and more. Kids communicate with others throughout the world to collaborate on a project and give design feedback to one another.
  • Interactive Robots: Students work on teams in programming robots to complete certain tasks. Encourages problem solving and sequential logic. Sphero and Olliie and Dash and Dot are a couple of examples.
  • Makerspace: Community centers are being developed in schools where students use various tools to physically engineer ideas for solutions to problems. They depend on collaboration and critical thinking, and they can be linked to coding.
  • NOT a free choice, but if you have an iPad and are looking for an STEAM-related purchase for your child you may want to look at Osmo.

Some Surprising Facts About Learning...

posted Mar 9, 2017, 8:01 AM by Sandra Gassner

Have you heard about a growth mindset? It stems from Carol Dweck's much published belief that, “...our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” Recently one of our teachers shared a video with us that we wanted to share with our entire school community, In this video Jo Boaler, Stanford mathematics education professor tells us, “You have probably heard people say they are just bad at math, or perhaps you yourself feel like you are not “a math person.” But this isn’t true and she goes on to share the brain research showing that with the right teaching and messages, we can all be good at math. Not only that, our brains operate differently when we believe in ourselves. Boaler gives hope to the mathematically fearful or challenged, shows a pathway to success, and brings into question the very basics of how our teachers approach what should be a rewarding experience for all children and adults. We hope you'll have time to give this 12-minute video a look!

How you can be good at math, and other surprising facts about learning | Jo Boaler | TEDxStanford


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