Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Where Did September Go??

Wow, I can't believe we've been in action for almost a month.  I couldn't be more thrilled with how we have settled in to routines and structures in the classroom.  We are off to a GREAT start!
Here are a few things to keep you up to date:

TERRY FOX WALK:
Wow.  This couldn't have been a bigger success.  If you follow MMH on Twitter you saw some of the amazing photos of our journey.  We were sure tired afterwards but we didn't complain, because Terry never complained!  We were so thankful for the police escorts, the great weather, the fantastic drumming and many other things!  Thank you to all the amazing family helpers that came along to help keep us safe and cheer us on!

LETTER SOUNDS:
We have been reviewing our letter sounds!  Your child should now be very confident in telling you the sounds to go with the sets 1-3.  

By the end of next week our review of letter sounds will be complete.  If there are any sounds your child needs to review further at home I will let you know.  We use the Jolly Phonics program to review letter sounds.  The following link will lead you to the songs we learn to go along with the sounds.  More importantly are the actions that help to cue students if they forget the sound to go along with the letter they recognize. 

    JOLLY PHONICS SONGS AND ACTIONS

SIGHT WORDS
We are reading!!  I completed my first mini reading assessment with the sight words we've learned to date and everyone did very well!  Way to go!  We will continue to record the sight words we should know in our agendas each week.  Please practice these at home for a few minutes every night until your child can recall them without sounding out.

The words we have learned to date are:
I
THE
SEE
CAN
BLACK
BROWN
YELLOW
ME
RED
GREEN
We will be adding even more as this week goes on so stay tuned!

ORANGE SHIRT DAY
Wow!  We all wore orange today! Thank you for helping your child to show their support as we learn more about he FNMI culture and Residential Schools.

UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES:
October 10-11:  Thanksgiving Break.  No School
October 13-18:  Scholastic Book Fair:  I prefer not to take my students to the book fair to shop without their parents.  However, during these few days, please feel free to come to the school at any time and "borrow" your child from class if you'd like to shop the book fair together.
October 17: Picture Retake Day
October 20: No School PM  Professional Learning Day
October 21: No School AM Professional Learning Day
October 25:  Hot Lunch
October 27 & 28:  Mrs. Fallwell away at Readers Conference in Calgary.  Mrs. Speelman will be in as guest teacher.  
October 31:  Halloween Celebration

SCHOLASTIC BOOK ORDER
Our book order should be arriving in the next day or so.  If you had any books in your order that were meant to be gifts, please send me an email and remind me.  I'd hate to send any surprise books home in a backpack.

VOLUNTEER FROM HOME
If anyone has a love for cutting laminating I have a TON.  If you'd like to take some home with you to cut while you watch Netflix after bedtime (oh wait... I'm not the only one that does that am I?) come and see me and I'll hook you up!!




Sunday, September 18, 2016

Away Monday and Tuesday

This is just a note to let you know that I will be away on Monday and Tuesday of this week at a Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Intervention training session at our District Office.  I will have access to my email at all times so if you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to send me a message.  I hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In the Swing of Things!

HOW CAN I EARN A TOONIE FOR TERRY?

This week we have begun to talk about Terry Fox in preparation for our Terry Fox Walk on September 23.  We are learning about why he is a Canadian Hero, and what we can do as responsible members of our school community to help the people around us.
Our school is collecting TOONIES FOR TERRY and our school goal is $3000.00!
Students can begin bringing in their TOONIES (or more) tomorrow and continue to donate until September 23. I am encouraging my students to ask themselves "How can I earn a TOONIE for Terry?"  Perhaps you and your family can have your child perform small chores to earn their TOONIES to donate to the Cancer Society.  I'm excited to ask each child what they did to earn their TOONIES!

TERRY FOX WALK INFORMATION

We will be leaving the school at 8:45am on September 23.  We will be walking to Nicholas Sheran lake.  Once at the lake we will meet up with Nicholas Sheran and Probe schools, give them all a high five or a wave, then will walk back to MMH by about 10:15am.
Please be sure your child is dressed for the weather with appropriate outdoor walking shoes and have your child wear our school colors of navy and yellow if possible.  Thanks to my GREAT parent community this year, I already have enough volunteer parent walkers, but more are always welcome.  If you'd like to join us please let me know.


SCHOOL NEWSLETTER

Please click on the link below to view the MMH Newsletter for September.

CLICK HERE


UPCOMING DATES

Deadline to order hot lunch is Friday!


Sep 22 - Spirit Assembly 
Sep 23 - Terry Fox Walk
Sep 27 - Orange Shirt Day
Sep 27 - Hot Lunch Gr. 1,2,3
Oct 10 - No School - Holiday
Oct 11 - No School - PL Day
Oct 12 - School Council
Oct 13 - Spirit Assembly

SIGHT WORDS
We are learning to read!  We have been working hard reviewing our letter sounds.  As a whole class we are also beginning to learn sight words together.  Please watch your child's agenda next week for words we have learned at school that you can reinforce at home each evening.  (So far this week we have learned: I, see, can, green, red and brown)
Next week we will begin breaking up in to Guided Reading groups for a portion of our LA time.  At this time we will be participating in lessons with levelled readers at our instructional reading levels with a few other children that are learning at a similar pace.  This is such an important component of Balanced Literacy in our classroom and I am so excited to get it going!


MORNINGS

If your child arrives at school prior to 8:15am please direct them to the playground for some fun time before the bell rings.  There is supervision on the playground beginning at 8:00am.  When the bell rings at 8:15am I will happily greet them at their Grade 1 door to invite them in to start the day.  For safety reasons this is best, as I am often out of the room prior to 8:15am prepping for the start of our day.  Thank you so much for your cooperation. 

AGENDAS
Thank you so much for putting important pickup info and other questions in your child agendas!  It's such a great way for me to stay up to date on your child's day.  

I just have to say how thrilled I am about the first two weeks of school this year with my new group of kiddos.  This is going to be a fantastic year!!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What a Great First Day!

Wow… What a fantastic first day with a fantastic bunch of kids.  We spent most of today talking, getting to know each other, exploring our classroom and new desks.  We drew pictures of ourselves on our first day and tried to do some writing to show Mrs. Fallwell the words that we knew.  How awesome.

I know there were a few parents that I didn't get to have much of a chat with this morning.  That first half hour of the first day can be kind of crazy.  Please know as parents you are ALWAYS welcome to come by and chat with me before or after school, or even just come and check out our classroom, your child's desk etc.  I feel it's SO important for parents and teachers to get to know each other!  Email me anytime!

I have a few things to update you on as we come towards the end of our first week.

1.  Waterbottles:  Please make sure your child brings a water bottle to school.  They can take it home each day or leave it at school until Friday.  We are so fortunate to have a sink in our classroom and can wash and fill our own water bottles whenever we need to!  As cold and flu season approaches its a much better way to stay hydrated rather than using the fountain.

2.  Handbook Package:  If you didn't receive a Handbook package or Student Profile form from me today, please pop by and grab one at your convenience.

3.  Snack Sign Up:  There are still a few spots to sign up for party snacks if you're interested.  The sign up sheet is on the counter in the classroom.  Pop by anytime.  I will send out reminders as each date approaches.

4.  Drop Off and Pick Up:  Please feel free to bring your child right to the classroom this week in the mornings.  Beginning Monday children will be expected to play out on the playground until the bell rings at 8:15am.  Once that bell rings students head into the courtyard and line up at the Grade One door to be invited in.  Parents are MORE than welcome to accompany students in to the classroom at this time if they'd like to say good morning etc.  
If students arrive after the second bell at 8:20am please pop by the office for a late slip.
At the end of the day please continue to come to the classroom as long as you wish.  Many parents choose to come to the classroom all year and this is just fine.  If the time comes that you'd like to make another arrangements, please just let me know so I can be sure your child gets where they need to be to meet you without any stress.

5.  Scholastic Books:  Your first Scholastic book order will be coming home tomorrow!  Please return these by Tuesday if you'd like to place an order.  These books are SO affordable and earn us free books every time you order!

6.  Students inside/gym shoes have been placed on our bookrack and your child's spot has been labelled.  Please remind your child to change their shoes in the morning.  Their outside shoes can be left on the bookrack.  Thanks so much for your help!

7.  Five Things About Me Bags:  Your child no doubt shared with your our special homework!  Please don't feel as though you need to do this right away, anytime in the next week is great.  We do 3 or 4 presentations a day, so if it takes a few days for your child to bring their bag home, please don't worry.

8.  Agendas:  Please initial your child's agenda each night and feel free to write notes to me whenever necessary.  We will begin writing in our agendas soon, but it's a bit of a daunting task in the first few days.

9.  Terry Fox Walk:  Just a heads up that I am going to be looking for parent volunteers to join us for our Terry Fox Walk on Friday, September 23.  We will be leaving the school around 8:45am (exact details to come) and will walk to and from Nicholas Sheran Park.  After walking around the lake and cheering on our other Westside Schools we will return to MMH by about 10am.  If you have little ones and would like to bring them along in strollers etc. we would be happy to have you!  Please let me know if you'd like to join us.

10.  Hot Lunch:  Our first Hot Lunch is Tuesday, September 27.  Please find details on, and pay with School Cash Online prior to the deadline if you'd like to order for your child.  Hot lunch is a FAVORITE day for all students.

11.  Meet the Teacher Night is next Tuesday!  It starts with a Bring Your Own Picnic behind the school and is followed by a "Come and Go" in the classroom.  There is no formal meeting at this time but feel free to come and chat and let your child show off their new environment.

Thank you so much!  I'm so excited for the year ahead.
Angie Fallwell

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Brand New Year

I simply can't wait to meet my new crew tomorrow.  As a mom and teacher, I'm constantly thinking about the first day of school from both sides.  This poem is very near and dear to my heart.  Here's to an amazing 2016 2017 school year.





MRS. FALLWELL'S HANDBOOK 2016 2017


Dear Parents,
Welcome to the world of Grade One!


Grade One is a time of new beginnings, of making friends, and of learning lots of new things. The month of September is an exciting (and often exhausting) transition for Grade One students. They are getting used to full days at school, being here 5 days a week, are adjusting to having less free time than they had in kindergarten and are now doing more independent tasks. If your child is extremely tired at the end of the day, this is normal! Their little bodies surprisingly will adjust after just a few short weeks.

I am delighted to be your child’s teacher this year. After many, many years in kindergarten I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be embarking on my fifth year as a Grade One teacher. This is your handbook, so please read it over carefully and keep it for reference throughout the year.

If you need to contact me for any reason, at any time throughout the school year, feel free to stop in and chat, call the school (403-381-2211) and leave a message, send an email or write a note in your child’s agenda. I will respond as quickly as possible. Email is often a great way to contact me as I try to check my email at least three times daily.

EMAIL:

Mrs. Angie Fallwell (angie.fallwell@lethsd.ab.ca)

GRADE ONE BLOG:

http://mrsfallwellsgradeoneblog.blogspot.ca/


GRADE ONE HOURS

Monday to Thursday

8:20am to 3:10pm

(Lunch is from 11:45am-12:25pm)

Friday

8:20-11:35am


DROP OFF AND PICK UP

There is supervision on the playground at the school beginning at to 8:00am. When students arrive at school it is the expectation that they play on the playground until the first bell rings at 8:15am. This area is supervised. Once the bell rings, students line up with their classes and will be invited into the school by the grade one teachers. My students line up in the courtyard behind the school. (This ofcourse will take a few weeks to build a routine!) Parents are welcome to accompany their child into the class after the bell rings if they wish. Please encourage your child’s independence by having them hang up their own coat and backpack, change shoes and prepare for the day. Quick goodbyes seem to be best, once children are settled.

If by chance your child is late for school, PLEASE stop by the office on your way in. Late children need to pick up a late slip before coming to class.

Please be prompt in picking up your child for dismissal time, and phone if unavoidably delayed. Our classes will meet their parents and guardians outside our classroom or in the Grade One bootroom at the end of each day. For the first few weeks, please come inside the school to pick up your child, to avoid confusion and fear if they have trouble finding you.


GRADE ONE BLOG

Please review our Grade One blog often. It will provide you with frequent updates about our school and our classroom. I will send out an email each time a major newsletter is added to the blog.

Our MMH school newsletter can also be found online each month. It contains tons of important information, including the school calendar. Please make a point of taking a look at it and marking important dates.


LUNCH AT SCHOOL

Please be sensitive to the fact that your child is expected to be focused in their learning in the afternoons. A healthy lunch is greatly appreciated. Water is most often best as a drink, and water bottles can be kept at your child’s desk or in their mailbox during the day. Children can refill their water bottles during the day at the school hydration station. Water bottles will be sent home each Friday, or every day if a child has a cold. Please be sure to also send both a small morning and afternoon recess snack. It is extremely helpful if your child knows ahead of time which items are for their snack, and which are to be eaten at lunch. We will be eating in our classroom each day. There is no microwave access for students. We will absolutely do our best to help students out during eating time by opening containers, etc. However, if items are easy to access and simple to eat, that would sure be appreciated! Please don’t forget to send a spoon if it is needed for one of your child’s lunch items. While it is very difficult to monitor exactly what each child is eating at lunch time, please let me know if your child doesn’t seem to be eating enough of their lunch and I’ll be happy to “monitor” their eating. Thanks! J


FAMILY INVOLVEMENT

I believe that family involvement in learning is essential to each child’s success. This includes a range of activities such as supervising on field trips, helping in the classroom and reading at home. As a volunteer, you may be asked to read with children, supervise simple games or obtain and prepare materials. I have an open door policy in my Grade One class (although many times the door is physically closed to keep noise from our busy activities to a minimum). If you ever need to pop in, please feel free to do so.

If volunteering in the classroom is something you would be interested in doing once a week or so please come and see me!


PERSONAL BELONGINGS:  THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!

Please keep in mind that clothing, shoes and jackets that are easy to get on and off will be most efficient for your child to have this year at school. We love to play and explore, and this can result in some dirty clothes.

Please make sure that coats, boots, sweaters, hats, mitts etc. are labelled. It really helps us at home time. We encourage the children to take care of their own belongings, ie.. hanging up their own coat and backpack. Please be sure your child can put on and take off his/her own jacket and shoes. It is important that students learn to be independent. Students will be going outside at least three times per day, regardless of the weather, with the exception being a temperature of below -20. Often we go outside regardless of wind, light rain etc. PLEASE DRESS FOR THE WEATHER.

Please be sure your child has one pair of gym type shoes that are left at school each day.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND TOYS TO SCHOOL WITH YOUR CHILD


SHOW AND SHARE

We do have Show and Share in Grade One. Approximately once a month (always on Friday), your child will be invited to bring in a special item to show during Morning Carpet time. Please watch for a schedule, coming soon!


FIELDTRIPS

Our Grade One classes will go on several field trips in order to enhance the classroom experience, most of which take place during the second part of the year. We will often need parent drivers to accompany us on these outings.


GRADE ONE ROUTINES

Most school days begin with a Morning Warm Up activity that students get started on as soon as they are ready for the day. A group carpet time follows, in which we talk about our day, complete a Smartboard activity, update the calendar and share with each other.

Each day also includes a Language Arts and Math time. The Grade One curriculum also includes Science, Social Studies, Health, Technology Integration, Art, Music and daily PhysEd. These subjects are taught separately as well as combined, with theme type activities. Ms. Elizabeth Nevels is the Grades 1-4 music teacher (3 periods per week), all other subjects will be taught by me, with the occasional addition of the other Grade One teachers.

GRADE ONE PROGRESS REPORTS

Your child’s progress will be assessed in an ongoing basis in our room and results communicated as needed. Formal report cards will go home in November, March and June.


BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays can be a very exciting but tricky time at this age. We ofcourse can’t invite every child in our class to our parties, and often feelings can get hurt as a result. If you have invitations to hand out, if you wouldn’t mind handing them to me, I can make sure they get sent home discretely. Thank you!


STUDENT AGENDAS

Your child will be bringing home their very first agenda soon. Please acknowledge how special this is to them!

Each Monday your child will write a little something or glue in a note, about what is coming up that week. It is their responsibility to bring the agenda to you each day to get it signed. Learning to be a responsible student is a big part of Grade One so please help them out with this. Your child will get a special stamp each morning for getting it signed the night before. If you as a parent have a message for me, feel free to use the agenda. The right side of the page is designated for teacher/parent communication. Agendas will not go home on Fridays.


HOME READING PROGRAM (begins by Oct)

In the next while, you will start to see our grade one home reading program come to life!

Home Reading for Grade One at MMH this year will be on-line. RAZ kids is a great program, as reading can be done on the go, on tablets and other personal devices. Stay tuned for more info coming soon!

Home reading should last AT MOST, 15 minutes per day. This process may be slow and laboured at first, but if your child reads every evening, he/she will become a confident reader in no time.

Your child will be given access to books at his or her “instructional level” according to in-school assessments. However, if you have concerns at any time please let me know, as sometimes what we see at school differs from what you may see at home. Sometimes students choose their own book, and they will often choose books they’ve already read because they’re comfortable with them. This is okay! I do encourage children to read any other materials they are interested in at any time other than the 10-15 minutes per day that you spend on our formal home reading.

Please allow your child to read at their own pace while kindly encouraging them to progress. The point of this program is to develop and nourish a love of reading, and we don’t want to do anything to undermine that. I am confident that they will love reading as much as I do, and I’m so excited to hear their stories of learning new words and reading new books!

Following are some guidelines for you:

1. Encourage daily reading. Model this for your child. Let them see you enjoying books!

2. Encourage your child to track along with their finger reinforcing the left-right, top-bottom patterns and to keep their eyes focused on the correct words.

3. Work on accuracy in sounding out phonetic words.

4. Work on recognition of sight words.

5. Encourage your child to ask questions!

6. Encourage your child to use the pictures to help figure out tough words.

It takes a lot of effort on the part of the students, parents and teachers to develop confident, proficient readers. Parents are their first teachers and their most prominent example of lifelong learning. Thank you for doing your part!

I would like to welcome all children and their families to Grade One at Mike Mountain Horse and look forward to a very special year together. I hope this handbook has provided some background information and important details about my program.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Angie Fallwell

Grade One Teacher



WELCOME LETTER

Welcome to Mrs. Fallwell’s Grade One Class !

Dear Parents,

I am honored to be your child’s Grade One teacher for the year and would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself.

I grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta and moved to Lethbridge 18 years ago to pursue a teaching degree. While the plan was to return home once I graduated, I met my husband shortly after moving here and never turned back. Tyler and I have been married for 14 years and have two children. Lucy is ten and attending Grade Five at MMH this year and Greta will be six at the end of September. She attends kindergarten at MMH. I came across this poem one summer and feel it does a great job explaining my feelings as I begin another year as a parent and teacher.


                                                                            Unity
By Ray A. Lingenfelter

I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there,
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care. 

One was a teacher
the tools she used were books and music and art;
One was a parent
With a guiding hand and gentle loving heart.

And when at last their work was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought.
For the things they had worked into the child
Could never be sold or bought!

And each agreed she/he would have failed
if she/he had worked alone.
For behind the parent stood the school, 
and behind the teacher stood the home! 



This is my sixteenth year at Mike Mountain Horse School. My mission and goal as your child’s teacher is to help him/her reach their full potential while raising their self-esteem and belief in themselves. Please know that my door is ALWAYS open. Feel free to come to me, email or phone with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for sharing your child with me. I look forward to working with you this year.

Sincerely,

Angie Fallwell

angie.fallwell@lethsd.ab.ca



USEFUL LINKS FOR PARENTS: 

SCHOOL CASH ONLINE (pay for agenda and monthly hot lunch)

LETHBRIDGE SCHOOL DISTRICT 51 2016 2017 CALENDAR

MMH SCHOOL HANDBOOK 2016 2017

SCHOOL CONNECTS (to report a student late or absent)