Category Archives: elementary

Hello all,

Summer is winding down and the school year promises to be exciting and exhausting. No fear, there are teachable moments around every corner.

While in your car running to shop for new school clothes, point out highway signs. They are filled with words, beginning, middle and ending sounds, numbers and most of all important information to get you where you are going.  The final destination could be the mall to shop for clothes.  Again, use those signs and advertisements to prepare your child for what may be coming down the road….first, second or third grade.  No matter, it all matters.  Be aware also, that underneath those new clothes may hide a lurking menace known as anxiety.

A recent Johns Hopkins article outlines five ways to help relieve the anxiety of going back to school…albeit a new school, a new grade level, or transitioning into middle or high school.

1.  Start a routine a week or two before school starts.  Earlier bedtime, and clothing selection for the next day are easy first steps.

2.  Make sure your child has playdates with  classmates or familiar peers before school starts. If you have a new neighbor, reach out and invite them into your process.

3.  If at all possible, visit the school before the school year begins.  Practice the drop off and pick up routine. Check with the office staff to see if getting a chance to play on the playground (or just walk through it) is possible. If you are fortunate enough to get into the school building before the first day, ask if your child would be able to walk the halls (supervised of course). This would familiarize them with the layout.

4. If you have a preschooler or a transitioning Kindergartener to first grade student, offer an incentive for a positive separation.  It could be something as simple as a trip to the library after school.

5.  Don’t dismiss the anxiety.  Be a reflective listener and validate their concerns by acknowledging that new things can be a challenge, but you are there to support them no matter what.

Have a wonderful 2018-19 school year students, parents and teachers!





Bridget Swartzlander is a credentialed teacher in Colorado who has taught at Montessori for 21 years. Bridget holds a Master’s in Education Degree in Reading and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.

My fundamental premise is that we don’t need to wait for students to fail before implementing interventions that can be designed for your child’s specific needs. I work on supporting student success in phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, fluency instruction, vocabulary instruction and comprehension; the ultimate goal of reading is comprehension.

The solution is not homework-focused, but rather a one-on-one instruction that is research and evidence based; a tutoring program that puts tools in your child’s toolbox for being able to decode, engage with the text and ultimately become a proficient reader and writer.

When you work with me, the program will be designed for your child and your child only. There are no “cookie cutter” solutions, but rather effective methods of phonics instruction suited to your child’s particular learning style; a tailored and outlined program for your student only.

You will receive detailed notes on the sessions and progress monitoring reports as well. Changes and alternations to their learning plan will be discussed before being implemented and will be made to ensure optimum results.

Contact Bridget to schedule a reading assessment for your child today.