Mrs. Fallwell’s Grade One Parent Handbook
Welcome to the world of Grade One!
Grade One is a time of new beginnings, of making friends, and of tremendous academic growth. The month of September is an exciting (and often very exhausting) transition for Grade One students. They are getting used to full days at school, coming 5 days a week, are adjusting to having less free time than they had in kindergarten and have increased independence in their learning. 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 seventh year as a Grade One teacher. My number one goal is to have your child feel safe, happy and successful in the classroom each day. 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 (agendas are read by me personally each and every morning). I will respond as quickly as possible.
This is your handbook, so please read it over carefully and keep it for reference throughout the year.
Mrs. Angie Fallwell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GRADE ONE BLOG:
GRADE ONE HOURS
Monday to Thursday
8:19am to 3:13pm (first bell rings to open doors at 8:14am)
(Lunch is from 11:45am-12:25pm. Students eat from 11:45am-12:05pm then go for recess)
Friday (HALF DAY)
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 8:14am. This area is supervised but parents are welcome to stay at this time. Once the bell rings, students line up with their classes and will be invited into the school by their teachers. My students line up in the courtyard behind the school. (It will of course 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 but 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 for their day.
If by chance your child is late for school (arriving after the 8:19am bell), 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 boot room 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 still expected to be focused in their learning in the afternoons. A healthy lunch is greatly appreciated. Please send a water bottle to school with your child each day. 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 them during the day right in our classroom. 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 can include a range of activities such as supervising on field trips, helping in the classroom and reading at home. As a volunteer in class, 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!
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
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 I apologize in advance that this can sometimes 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. 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. It’s not a bad idea to have an extra pair of pants in your child’s backpack that travels back and forth to school each day “just in case”.
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 J
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!
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 routine for students to complete. A group carpet time follows, in which we talk about our day. Each day also consists of literacy time including the various components from a Balanced Literacy philosophy. The Grade One curriculum also includes Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, Technology Integration, Art, Music and daily Phys Ed. These subjects are taught separately as well as combined during different theme type activities. Ms. Peek-Vout is our music teacher (2 periods per week) but I will teach all other subjects, with the occasional addition of the other Grade One teachers.
GRADE ONE PROGRESS REPORTS
Your child’s progress will be assessed on 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 of course 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, please give them to me and 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 and often throughout the week 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.
HOME READING PROGRAM (begins in 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. 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!
Mrs. Angie Fallwell
Grade One Teacher