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.


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.


Mrs. Angie Fallwell (



Monday to Thursday

8:20am to 3:10pm

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




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.


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.


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


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!


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.



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!


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.


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.


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 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!


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.


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.


Mrs. Angie Fallwell

Grade One Teacher


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.

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.


Angie Fallwell


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



SCHOOL CONNECTS (to report a student late or absent)

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