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On Wednesday, October the 31st,  students may come to school in a costume.  When considering a costume remember that children must be able to sit comfortably in order to complete class work. Pretend weapons are not allowed at school. On the 31st, all students will come to school from 8:10-11:40.   We will have a parade at the “big kid” playground in the back of the school. All Silverwood classes will be in the parade.  Family members are welcome.  Time for the parade will be announced soon.

 Kids really love cooking in the classroom.  I will do 4 cooking projects as it teaches so many skills and the kids are completely engaged. We learn so much math and science! Yes, we all wash our hands before making food.

Elizabeth Swanson Contact & Biography

Click HERE to find out about Elizabeth Swanson!

School and Home Communication


Emails and Remind:

The best way to communicate with me is by email or messaging me through the Remind App. Click HERE to join Remind to get updates and reminders through text or e-mail!  I send Remind messages for short reminders, send e-mails for longer messages and update this webpage by the first Thursday of each month.   Group emails sent from me will NOT publish your email address.


Class Directory:

I know that some parents would like a class list of parent names, cell phones and email addresses.  I LOVE this idea.  However, it is important that I respect all privacy wishes.  Therefore, I will only publish information approved by parents. 



Meeting Appointments:

I am always happy to schedule a meeting to discuss any concerns or answer questions.  However, these meetings must take place after 2:00. My first priority must be on students. 


Communication Folder and Newsletter:

  • On the first and third Thursday of every month, students will bring home a  “take home” folder.  The folder will contain a monthly newsletter, PTA and Silverwood information flyers, and community flyers. It is significantly important that you read the newsletter. Our communication is a key component to your child’s positive early school experience!
  • Folders are returned to school on the second Thursday of every week. Folders should be returned EMPTY unless you are turning in a school form. 
  • On the third Thursday the folder will go home again with PTA and Silverwood information flyers, and community flyers.
  • On the fourth Thursday folders should contain ONLY completed homework, reading log, and forms that need to be filled out by parents.  Please refer to the class calendar HERE for exact dates.

Parent Partnership Bulletin Board:

When entering the sliding glass door of C-4, there is a bulletin board on the left called, “Parent Partnership”.  You can find extra copies of newsletters, homework or forms that went home but may have gotten misplaced. 




Meet Cookie and Brownie


  • Each kindergarten class has a class mascot.  The C4 Transitional Kindergarten class will have pups. During the months of August and September, your child will have a turn to bring home a mascot. Cookie and Brownie are their names.
  • The mascot comes with a journal.  Please read the previous journal entries to your child and have your child dictate their experience with the class mascot. 
  • The class mascot should be returned the next morning.  The journal adventures will be shared with the class.
  • After every student has had a chance to bring home the class mascot, students will be given a second opportunity to bring the home the mascot. 
  • During the mascot’s second visit, the student will again dictate their experience with the class mascot in the journal.
  • In addition, the students will have the responsibility of “The Surprise Can”. 
  • The Surprise Can is a lot like the PBS show, “Blues Clues”. The student selects an item to put in the can.  The student thinks of three clues about the item and has a grown up write the clues down for the teacher to read. 
  • Lastly, and the hardest part, the student keeps the item a secret while the class uses the clues to predict what is in the can!
  • The mascot, journal, the mascot's overnight bag and surprise can are all due the following day.

Parent Volunteer



  • As a parent volunteer in the classroom you have the opportunity to participate in your child’s education. The TK experience at Silverwood Elementary in one of inclusion.  The administrator, teachers, and parents are a team working together to benefit the children at Silverwood.  Not only will you be active in helping the teacher and the students in the classroom, you will be able to watch your child grow and learn.
  • All parent volunteers MUST have district-approved clearance prior to working in the classroom or attending a field trip. 
  • Complete instructions for MDUSD volunteer clearance can be found by clicking HERE
  • There are many opportunities to volunteer outside of the classroom.
  • A survey will be e-mailed to you shortly after the beginning of school.



  • I take regular photos of your children for memory books, classroom decorations and to document growth. 
  • I am on a certified CPIN (California Preschool Instructional Network) trainer through the CCCOE.  This means I am certified to train transitional kindergarten teachers in the state of California.   I am also enrolled in a master's program through Pacific Oaks College.  I may sometimes share photographs of my classroom setup and take pictures of students engaged in developmentally appropriate practices.
  • When applying for a Donors Choose grant, I am asked to submit pictures of students engaging with donated items.
  • A photo perrmisson slip will go home shortly after the beginning of school and no photos will be taken without your permission.

Scholastic Book Club Ordering

Scholastic Book Club:.

  • Students will have an opportunity to order books through the Scholastic Book Club
  • Book order forms will go out on the first Thursday of every month.
  • Books orders will be made on-line unless you do not have access to a computer. If you choose to have me mail in the order, please make a check to Scholastic Book Clubs and return it with your child’s book order in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on the front.  No cash please.
  • I will submit book orders on the LAST Thursday of every Month. 
  • To order books go to Scholastic Book Club. 
  • Click: "Add A Child" on left hand side and enter code.

Our Class code is: MD6FM

Elizabeth Swanson

October and November Curriculum Goals


Curriculum Goals

August and September Goals

Science Themed Focus: Colors, Shapes, Frogs

Goal 1:  Children will become more self-aware by noticing how they are similar and different from their peers in appearance, thoughts, and feelings.    Self-awareness enables children to gain social and emotional understanding, empathy, and caring in their relationships and interactions with peers and adults.    


Goal 2:  Students and I will establish routines and children will be taught about the classroom expectations.  We will practice routines daily to ensure success for all students.    Providing these structures allows students to learn self-regulation, cooperation, responsibility, and initiative in learning.


October and November

Science Themed Focus: The Life Cycle of Plants: Trees, Pumpkins and Apples. Weather patterns and seasons.


Goal 3: With the first and second goal in mind, we will move onto another social-emotion goal. Once students fully understand routines and expectations of the classroom, I will encourage them to grow more confident in their abilities to work more independently at a chosen activity.  The ability to attend longer and persist when a problem gets challenging will be an important goal as a lifelong learner.  This goal also requires children to participate positively and cooperate with social expectations and group rules more independently. 


Goal 4: Academic Goals:


Mathematical, logic, number sense and spatial development: We have reviewed sorting, geometric shapes and colors and have begun examining patterning with color.  We will continue to work with mathematical reasoning and examine multiple ways to sort and pattern objects. We continue to work with numbers to 10 by reciting, identifying, and counting with one to one correspondence to 10.


Fine Motor:  We will continue to use playdough to build muscle control and strength.  We will use playdough to learn cutting skills and will be engaging in projects that require this skill.  We will engage in jobs that require hand-eye coordination. Holding a pencil with the correct grip and working towards personal best writing is the goal at this point.


Language and Literacy: We continue to look at details in pictures and making predictions about the next event in a story.  We continue to use academic words: main character, character, setting, problem, events, conclusion, author and illustrator.




Steps to Perfect Scissor Development

 Once your child's hand muscles have strengthened and her bilateral and coordination skills have improved, introduce the scissors. Follow these simple instructions for holding scissors correctly.

  1. Position the wrist so that the thumb is turned upward, the thumb joint resting inside the thumb loop.
  2. Make sure the tip of the middle finger is inside the opposite loop. Some scissors have enough space for the middle and ring fingers to be positioned inside this loop. There may even be adequate space for both fingers.
  3. Place the index finger outside the loop, in front of the middle finger serving as a "guide."
  4. The ring finger and pinkie should be curled into the palm (unless the ring finger is inside the loop with the middle finger). "Many children need frequent help positioning the wrist correctly in the 'thumbs up' position," Smith advises. "A helpful strategy is to hold the paper above eye level or tape it to the wall so that the child is cutting upwards. Cutting in this position automatically positions the wrist correctly."


Showcase Your Own Skills. Teach your own scissor skills to your child. "Modeling, while sitting beside your child instead of across, is easier, especially for kids who are challenged with body position and space," says Sunita Murty-Gami, an occupational therapist and Clinical Coordinator for PediaStaff. Be sure to explain what you are doing at each step. For example, say, "Look, I am using my thumb to open and close the scissors." Provide a visual cue, such as, "The scissor blades are opening and closing like a crocodile's mouth." If your child has a difficult time manipulating the scissors, there are "two-person" training scissors available in many craft stores or online. These are excellent because they have an extra set of loops. You can hold and manipulate the outside loops while your child holds the inside loops, allowing your little one to "feel" the movement of the blades opening and closing.

Encourage Independent Cutting. Once your child can hold and manipulate a pair of scissors with ease, she is ready to cut on her own. She can start by snipping several colorful straws into small pieces. Thread a colorful piece of string or yarn through the pieces to make a bracelet or necklace. Once she has mastered snipping, offer her one-inch-wide strips of card stock, construction paper, or old file folders. The firmness of these materials makes cutting easier for a beginner because the paper doesn't flop around and the short width of the paper allows for cutting the strips in half with one snip. Never let the scraps of paper go to waste. "I often have a child snip pieces of green, yellow, and orange paper into small pieces to make leaves for a tree or sprinkles for an ice cream cone picture," Murty-Gami says.

Have your child attempt to snip sequentially by cutting across a 4-inch piece of paper and progressing to an 8-inch piece. With practice, he will learn to cut on straight lines, curved lines, angled lines, and simple shapes with skill. The cutting lines should be thick and bold in the beginning; as your child's skills improve, progress to thinner lines. If your child has difficulty staying on the lines while cutting, make a practice sheet by outlining the cutting line with two thin strips of school glue. Once the glue dries, have your child cut on the line between the ridges of glue. If he veers off of the line, he will feel a bump as he cuts across the glue strip. After completing several practice sheets, the sensory feedback should help him understand how to stay on the lines.

Encourage Scissor Skill Development. Don't worry if your child is a messy cutter at first. Kids progress at their own pace, so prepare his little hands with fun games and activities that challenge fine motor skills. Keep this development progression in mind as your kid begins using scissors:

  1. The child begins to show an interest in cutting.
  2. The child holds the scissors correctly.
  3. The child opens and closes the scissors in a coordinated manner.
  4. The child uses an entire hand to snip paper.
  5. The child uses scissors to cut forward across a piece of paper with two or more consecutive snips.
  6. The child cuts a piece of paper in half.
  7. The child follows straight lines, with the scissors (not the paper) moving to stay on the line.
  8. The child manipulates scissors and paper to cut out shapes with curves.
  9. The child cuts squares.

Class Schedule and Drop off & Pick Up Procedures

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday Schedule

Early Pups 8:10 – 11:40 

Late Pups 10:10  – 1:45 

Wednesday Schedule

Early Pups 8:10  – 11:35

Late Pups 9:50  – 1:15 



  • Early Pup - Children should arrive to school no earlier than 8:00 am. An adult must remain with a child until a teacher arrives for duty at 8:00. All students enter and exit the classroom from the kindergarten playground. When the whistle blows at 8:10 am, children will line up on the “loading zone” along the cement border in front of the play structure and swings.  The teachers will dismiss the children to line up in front of the classroom sliding door.
  • Late Pup - Children should arrive to school no earlier than 10:10 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and no earlier than 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday.  
  • Early and Late Pup Please be on time to pick up your child. Children will be sitting on the carpet in C4. Parents are to wait outside the room during dismissal. Children will wait for the teacher to call them before going to their parent, guardian, or daycare providers.  These dismissal procedures are important for your child’s safety.  I want to make sure that each child goes home safe and sound. It will take me a few weeks to automatically connect children to adults and therefore you should plan to wait a few minutes at dismissal.
  • Please park your vehicle on the street and use the designated crosswalks when dropping off your child.  The bus circle is for school buses only.  We need to keep this area clear for incoming school buses. Parking spots in the bus circle are reserved for teachers as they often carry work to and from school.
  • If your student is tardy and the teacher is not on the playground, an adult must accompany the child to the office.


  • After school play dates are encouraged.  However, these play dates may not take place on the kindergarten playground during school hours (8:00 – 3:00). 
  • Please note that the play structure is designed for children 5 and older.  Younger siblings may not be on the play structure.
  • Consistency is key to success with behavioral expectations.  Please reinforce all playground rules with your students when on the Silverwood playground.

Snack and Lunch


Snack or Lunch Guidelines:

  • Early Pups- Please pack a nutritious snack for your child every day.
  • Late Pups – Please pack a nutritious lunch for your child every day.
  • Please provide your child with a healthy breakfast to help begin his or her busy day
  • For snack or lunch, please include plastic spoons or forks if necessary to eat their meal and remember to write their names on all containers, drinking containers and lunch boxes. 
  • All drinking containers MUST be in a drip free container. Backpacks sometimes end of on their sides.  Please consider this when selecting a beverage container.
  • NO GLASS containers please.
  • Food Allergy – We are asking parents to not pack snacks or lunches with foods containing nuts of any kind, including peanuts, walnuts, almonds, until we know if there are peanut allergies in tk or kindergarten. Food allergies have become a real concern for some families. Some allergic reactions can be very mild.  Other reactions can be more severe and life threatening. Please talk to your child about not sharing their food with other children at school.  Let your child know that some foods may contain ingredients that can make a person sick if he or she is allergic.  If your child has any food allergies, please alert me ASAP.



Lifeskills and Classroom Management

Classroom rules and policies are grounded in the  philosophy of Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Click HERE for video about growth mindset by John Spencer.  Please share this great video about the "Power of Yet" HERE.


Social-emotional skills are integrated with academic skills.  Therefore, a lot of our classroom time is spent working on self-regulation, learning friendship and negotiating skills and problem solving.


Click HERE for Social-Emotional State Transitional Kindergarten Foundations.


During the school year, children will be learning the lifeskills of friendship, cooperation, flexibility, responsibility, respect, problem solving, perseverance and patience.  Teaching lifeskills in the classroom can help to create a positive classroom climate, provide a framework and/or standards for behavior, develop academic and social expectations and help to build relationships.  A classroom that supports, teaches, and provides time for students to understand and utilize these lifeskills can help children make healthy life choices, provide them with experiences to adapt to change and encourage them to take risks.  All of these components can help students to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. 


To help them solve a problem, students are using “I-Messages” to communicate their feelings and cool down time when they are angry or upset before addressing a problem/conflict.  There is a safe place in the classroom where a student may go to “cool down” and self regulate.  This safe spot is not a punishment.  It is a place to engage in calm down strategies until he or she is ready to work through a problem.


“High Paws” are awards given to a few students each day.  I take time to highlight a specific lifeskill behavior that the child exhibited.  If your child does not receive a “High Paw” it does not mean that he or she made a poor choice.  I highlight a few kids a day for being a role model.  Every child is usually highlighted about once a week.

Teaching Philosophy and State Foundations

1) My personal teaching philosophy and practices are center around what is known at the six C’s of the 21st century report card.

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Content
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Innovation
  • Confidence

Please click HERE to read  attached article an article based on the book, Becoming Brilliant, What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children By: Roberta Michnick, Ph.D. Golinkoff and Kathy, Ph.D. Hirsh-Pasek.


The DRDP Kindergarten, is a developmental continuum observational tool for early infancy to kindergarten. It is a scientific tool that I utilize to assess students. I use an app called Learning Genie to collect data and evaluate student progress.  Assessments are done by interviews and observations of students while they work and play. If you see me walking around with an iPad; I am observing and collecting data.


Click HERE for a link to the DRDP.


Click HERE for a link to the Learning Genie.


"The California Preschool Learning Foundations outline key knowledge and skills that most children can achieve when provided with the kinds of interactions, instruction, and environments that research has shown to promote early learning and development. The foundations can provide early childhood educators, parents, and the public with a clear understanding of the wide range of knowledge and skills that preschool children typically attain when given the benefits of a high-quality preschool program.

The foundations were developed using an inclusive and deliberative input process, including statewide stakeholder meetings, public input sessions held throughout the state, public hearings, and public comment. Input from the various review opportunities was considered and incorporated as appropriate.", 



Click HERE for Social-Emotional, Language and Literacy, English-Language, Mathematics Foundations

Click HERE for Visual and Performing Arts, Physical Development, Health Foundations

Click HERE for History, Social-Studies, Science Foundations

Homework, Bookbags, Reading Logs, and Family Projects Routines


Generally, the following schedule in maintained.  

  • On the FIRST Thursday of every month, students will bring home a  “take home” folder.  The folder will contain a monthly homework packet, family project, reading log and any school or PTA notices.  Remove all these items and place them in a safe place at home. 
  • Folders are returned to school on the SECOND Thursday of every month. Folders should be returned EMPTY unless you are turning in a school form. 
  • On the THIRD Thursday of every month, the folder will go home again with PTA and Silverwood information flyers, and community flyers.
  • On the FOURTH Thursday of every month,  folders should contain ONLY completed homework, reading log, and family project, and any forms that need to be filled out by parents. 
  • On shorter months adjustments might be made to the bookbag or family project schedule.
  • Please refer to the class calendar HERE for exact dates.

Homework Details:

  •  Your Scholastic Magazine Subscription was purchased by Silverwood Elementary. Each month, students will receive 3-5 worksheets that are related to the subscription.  I find that children love to feel like  big kids with "homework".  The worksheets are meant to provide fine motor practice and to reinforce this excitement about being a big kid.  Focus on keeping this fun and about personal best, not perfection.  DO NOT make this a power struggle.  Homework is rewarded with a "high paw" for effort, it is not graded.
  • Homework is due on the FOURTH Thursday of every month. 
  • The Scholastic Magazine Subscription comes with a Scholastic site membership and password. On the Scholastic website, you will be able to view videos and play games that supports the articles.  Account information, passwords and links will be added in September. 
  • Please refer to the class calendar HERE for exact dates.


Scholastic Magazine Login:  HERE.  The class password is: TKPUPS2018


Once you are logged in: 


Click HERE for Interactive Reading.

Click HERE for Videos.

Click HERE for Games.


Family Project Details:

  • You can expect a family project monthly or bi-monthly.   The projects are ways for children to create something with families  and bring back to share with the class.  Each project will focus on a different academic area but the overarching goal is social-emotional growth.  Please let the child lead you!  You are the facilitator.
  • Family Projects are due on the FOURTH Thursday of every month.
  • Please refer to the class calendar HERE for exact dates.

Reading Log Details: 

  • TK Pups should turn in a “Read to Me” reading log on the FOURTH Thursday of every month. 
  • Parents should read and discuss books with their child a minimum of 300 minutes a month. 
  • Each month, your child will be offered the opportunity to turn their reading logs in for a book prize!
  • Please refer to the class calendar HERE for exact dates.
  • If you misplaced your reading log, click HERE to download a new copy. 

Bookbag Details:

  • Reading with your child is the most important thing you can do for his or her academic development.  The positive attention that he or she receives while reading with an adult creates a love of learning and builds confidence.  I want to support this important bond between you, your child and books. Knowing how to read words is a very small part of reading.  Students need to have a strong vocabulary and be able to articulate an understanding of literature.
  • In order to support you with this important job, I will be providing you with a STEM or Social-Emotional themed bookbags.
  • An adult or older sibling reads the five books provided in the bag. 
  • With an adult’s supervision, students draw a picture on one page of the journal of their favorite part of their favorite book from the 5 books provided.  Students tell a grown up the words that they want written. 
  • The grown up writes the title and the words spoken by the child.
  •  More detailed instructions are written on the inside of journals.

General Bookbag Schedule: 

  • Bookbags go home on the FIRST Thursday of every month. 
  • Bookbags are due on the SECOND Thursday of every month.
  • Bookbags go home on the THIRD Thursday of every month. 
  • Bookbags are due on the FOURTH  Thursday of every month.
  • Please refer to the class calendar HERE for exact dates.




  • A birthday is a very important occasion in every child’s life.  We will celebrate every child’s birthday on his or her birthday. If a birthday falls on a weekend, we will celebrate his or her birthday either on a Monday or Friday. I am requesting that you limit birthday treats to bite size items.   This is especially important if your child’s birthday is shared with another student. 
  • All birthday celebration will take place at 11:05 on the playground, weather permitting. 
  • Please do not send treats that contain nuts.
  • Instead of a sweet treat, giving a small party favor is an option.
  • If you are planning a birthday celebration outside of school hours and would like to hand out invitations, I request that invitations be given to me in private before the first Thursday or Third Thursday of the month so that I can put them in students' folders to go home on a Thursday.
  • I strongly discourage students from talking about parties at school.  Few parents can invite the whole class and it can cause a lot of hurt feelings to not be included at this age.
  • All students’ birthdays are in September, October and November. .
  • A birthday celebration schedule is included on the class calendar.
  • Click HERE for Calendar.

Attendance Office



Contact Kim Lohse to report an absence at (687-1150) or 

Make sure to include the following information:

  • Child's Name
  • Date of the Absence
  • Your Name and Relation to the Student
  • Reason for Absence

 If your student is tardy and the teacher is not on the playground, an adult must accompany the child to the classroom.  Please try to schedule medical appointments around your child’s school hours.

Class Calendar

Click HERE to view our class calendar.


This calendar is updated by the first day of each month.  It will include Silverwood School, PTA, and TK Class Events.


The calendar includes dates that the following will go home and the date that they are due due:

  • Homework
  • Family Project
  • Bookbag 
  • Reading logs


Supply List

Students should have a medium or large backpack.  This is a place where students can keep share items, personal belongings, bookbag and folder and snacks. If your child experiences occasional bathroom accidents, is it helpful to keep a change of clothing in a plastic bag that is kept in your child’s backpack.


Classroom donations are very appreciated.  Following is a suggested supply list for transitional kindergarten. 

All Students:

  • 10 glue sticks 
  • Large bag of baby wipes (Cleaning)
  • Clorox cleaning wipes
  • One old hand towel that you would like to donate
  • Large box of band-aids 
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Pak of colored pencils
  • Pack of Crayola Markers
  • Scrub Sponge
  • Box of crackers (ritz, graham, etc.)

Please send the following donations in a sealed envelope with your name written on the front so that a receipt can be given to you for tax purposes.  Donations can be cash or check. Checks can be made out to ELizabeth Swanson or Silverwood Elementary.

  • Donation for photo processing and crafting materials for student memory books ($5.00)
  • Donation for classroom party crafts and baking & cooking projects  $20.00 ($4.00 per party) * For classroom parties, we bake our own sweet treats! You will not receive any requests for party food or  supply donations.


Additional Optional Donation of Gift Cards:





Parent Education Links

For research-based parenting advice and opinions, please consider the following sites! 


Click HERE National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Click HERE Center for Effective Discipline

Click HERE Center for Successful Fathering

Click HERE for information about the effects of exercise on the brain


More to Come!




Suggested Resources for Students

Donors Choose


  • I will be submitting a Donors Choose project for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) materials at
  • I will notify you when the project is on the website. 
  • Please visit the site and consider forwarding it to any relatives and friends that might be interested in making a donation.
  • It is my hope that Chevron will match funds as the company is actively looking to financially support science, math, engineering, and technological projects this fall.




  • Learning how to speak in complete sentences and how to listen to peers attentively are strong components of being a successful reader.   Sharing circle is a very important part of our TK program.
  • Students are permitted to bring something to share every Monday and Friday.  
  • Share items are for sharing only and students are required to keep them in their backpacks at all other times of the day.
  • Please assist your student with finding items that they find interesting, a hobby or passion, or tell about their family and life.  We want to learn about them, not their toys.


Field Trip

We will be attending at play at The  Dean Lesher Theatre of the Arts to view the Fantasy Forum play "Cinderella," on May 9, 2019. More information to come. 


Field Trip Permission Slip


Chaperone Agreement Form




  • Dress your child comfortably and appropriately according to the weather. 
  • Sneakers are best for footwear.  For safety reasons, flip flops or shoes without back strap should not be worn to school. Please consider saving shoes with a heel for home.
  • It is always wise to have shorts under dresses so that children can do their job of of playing without limits on the play structure.
  • Please work with your child on tying their shoelaces.  We need some experts to help us.
  • Remember to write names or initials in all jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts.