Thursday, December 7, 2017

Volunteers Needed!!

Attention Parents, Grandparents and Other Interested Helpers!

The Grade One teaching team is in need of some regular volunteers beginning after the Christmas break.  
Twice a week, for one hour at a time, our first graders are going to be combined in levelled literacy groups for some very targeted instruction and focused learning!  We are so excited about the possibilities of this new program but are in need of some adult volunteers to help work with small groups and assist with supervision during this time.  
If you are interested in helping out regularly or even once in a while, please respond via email to your child's teacher ASAP.

Help is required:
Mondays from 12:30pm-1:30pm (Please arrive 10 min. early to receive your instructions)
Thursdays from 8:50am-9:50am (Please arrive 10 min. early to receive your instructions)

Thank you so much!
The MMH Grade One Teaching Team

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's the Busiest Time of the Year!

Welcome to December!  This is a busy month so I thought I’d send out a list of upcoming events!

*Just a heads up… we are in the midst of trying to plan a visit to The Gardens during the last week of school.  The Gardens is a seniors’ center near our school.  Our plan is to make Xmas cards to brighten spirits, to read to some of the residents and to perform our Xmas concert songs.  I’ll let you know ASAP if this works out, as I will need parent drivers and supervisors to come along.

December 7
School Evening Event: Caroling in the Gym at 6:30pm

December 8
Hot Lunch Order Deadline

December 12
12:25pm Christmas Concert Dress Rehearsal:  Each family gets two tickets to the evening concert.  This rehearsal is open to anyone that wasn’t able to get a ticket but would like to see our concert!
6:30pm  Christmas Concert 
This year the Grade 1 students will be performing December 12 at the College Drive Church.  The concert begins at 6:30pm but performers should be there a half hour prior to show time.  Each FAMILY will receive two tickets, as seating is limited.  If you are aware that your child will not be attending that evening please make a note in your child’s agenda and return your tickets if you receive any.  They will be given to another family in need. 

December 18-22
Christmas Carolling in the Gym:  All  are welcome!
M/W/F  8:30-9:00am
T/TH  12:30-1:00pm

December 19
10:20am  Spirit Assembly
Hot Lunch

December 21
Classroom Christmas Party (if you signed up for snacks, please bring them today!)
Dress Red and Green Day!

December 22
PJ Day in Grade One!
Dismisall 11:35am

December 22 is the last day of school prior to the break.  If your child will be leaving early for the holiday break please let me know!

*Please be sure to check the lost and found prior to the break.  All items left at the school after December 22 will be donated.  Thanks so much!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

RAZ Kids

Hi There!
Just a note to remind parents that if the format you chose for home reading does not seem to be working for your family, please let me know as soon as possible.  RAZ Kids, paper books (which I can provide) or a combination of both are all options to explore!  For example, my own grade one child and I prefer to mix it up depending on how we are feeling that evening.  
What is SO important is that your child is reading text at their specific reading level at least 4-5 times per week.  While I am able to check a child's progress and the number of logins on RAZ Kids, I obviously can't for paper books so please continue to record titles read in your child's agenda.  
The expectations for reading increase very steadily after this first report card and I am here to support the home portion of your child's reading program any way that I can.  
Thanks so much for all you do to support you child!

Friday, November 3, 2017

November 3 Update

Important Dates
Nov 8 -   Remembrance Day Assembly  (parents welcome!)
Nov 9 -   Professional Learning Day No School
Nov 10 - Stat Holiday No School, Hot Lunch Order Due
Nov 12 - School Clothing Orders Due

Nov 15 - Rock Your Mocs Day
Nov 21 - Report Cards Go Home, Hot Lunch Day
Nov 23 - No School PM, Parent / Teacher Interviews
Nov 24 - No School, Parent Teacher Interviews
Nov 30 - Crazy Hair Day, Spirit Assembly 10:20
Dec 7 -   Earth Rangers Assembly
Dec 12 - EEP, Gr 1, Gr 4 & Gr 5 Christmas Concert
Dec 14 - EEP, K, Gr 2, Gr 3 Christmas Concert
Dec 19 - Hot Lunch Day
Dec 21 - Red & Green Day, Spirit Assembly 12:45
Dec 23 - Jan 7 - Christmas Break

Poppy Sale

Students are welcome to bring money to school (any amount) next week to purchase a poppy to wear.  Grade 5 students will be making their way around the school each day collecting donations and handing out poppies.  

MMH Clothing Sale
MMH clothing is a hit! Who doesn't want some MMH swag!!  Parent Council is offering the chance to purchase items once again! You can purchase T-shirts, ball caps, toques, headbands, sweaters and more. All of these items will have our MMH logo on them. Details and ordering are available via School Cash Online.  Deadline is a quick turnaround so get your orders in right away! Orders due online by Sunday Nov. 12.

Rock Your Mocs Day
Wednesday Nov 15 is Rock Your Mocs Day at MMH. Students are encouraged to wear their moccasins to school to celebrate and honour First Nations Culture.  If you don't have moccasins, no worry, we will also make paper ones to wear on our shirts to show our support. 

Sock It To 'Em Campaign
The Caretakers and Maintenance Staff of District 51 are collecting NEW socks to be donated to local charities for Christmas. Please feel free to send new pairs of socks to school with your little one to add to their campaign and make someone's holiday season a little bit warmer! The Sock It To 'Em Campaign is running from Nov 1 until Dec 15.

Notes for the Teacher

Thank you again for continuing to sign your child's agenda each night.  The agenda is also a great place for you to let me know about upcoming absences, appointments, questions etc. 

December Scholastic Order

The December Scholastic order will be coming home very soon.  The order will arrive well before the Xmas break, so if you would like to order any books and give them as gifts, please indicate this clearly to me on the order form and I will be happy to keep them for you and pass them off sneakily when I can!  Scholastic is a VERY affordable way to order books for the Christmas season!

MMH Christmas Concert - "Sounds of the Season"
The MMH Christmas Concert Committee is excited to invite you to the 2017 "Sounds of the Season" Christmas Concert. Due to the size of our student population, we will be holding two separate concert evenings, with the Grade Ones performing on Tuesday, December 12. The concert will begin at 6:30 and students are asked to arrive at the venue between 6:10 and 6:20. The concert is being held at the College Drive Church (2710 College Drive South). Each family will receive two tickets to the concert.  Additional family members are welcome to attend our dress rehearsal.  More information will be coming out later next week.  Stay tuned!

RAZ Kids

For those of you using RAZ Kids for home reading, please let me know when you feel your child is ready to move up a level!  If you ever notice your child's level has changed without a request from you, that is usually the result of a reading assessment indicating your child is ready for a new challenge!  Please keep me posted as to how home reading is going however, as it is imperative that this remains a pleasurable experience for your child.  Thank you for continuing to record books read in your child's agenda each night.  

Remembrance Day Assembly

We have been talking a great deal about Remembrance Day and the importance of this event.  I would be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to talk with your child about the importance and expectations of the assembly on November 8th.  It is a very somber occasion.  No clapping, lots of silence and respect etc.  It is so important everyone is at their very best on this day.  Thanks so much!


Parents... our very talented Mrs. Hartwick loves making something called "busy boards" for our learners.   They can be very useful for all students but are especially valuable to our students with very special learning needs.  (If you'd ever like to see one, come on in and check them out!)  She creates these boards from reused materials that you use and probably recycle almost every day at your home.  We would LOVE for you to save these things for us and send them in!  Below are just SOME of the items we would love for you to donate:  
If you ever are wondering... "Can they use this?"  ask, or just send it!!  
- baby wipe container lids
- flip or pull caps from dish soap, shampoo etc.
- any type of lid that opens with a snap sound (spice container lids, parm cheese lids etc.)
- spice jars and lids that have holes on one side and a large opening on the other
- Pringles cans and lids ( or anything similar)

Parent Teacher Interviews
I'm looking forward to chatting with you and celebrating the growth that your little one has seen so far this year. I prefer to leave it to your discretion as to whether or not you bring your student along at this time.  If you have anything of a sensitive nature to speak with me about regarding your child, please consider finding alternate care for them.  Please see below for step by step directions on how to book a Parent Teacher interview (also available through the MMH Newsletter).  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Week


I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  This is just a quick note letting everyone know that I will be away at a Reading Conference in Calgary tomorrow and Tuesday.  Deb Wenaas will be in for me both days.  She is fantastic and knows the class very well.  Feel free to email me at any time during those two days if you need anything.  

* Please remember to record the name of the book your child read for home reading in his/her agenda.  If at any time you feel your child's level needs to be changed in RAZ Kids please make a note in the agenda as well.  

This Week:
Tuesday:  Hot Lunch
Wednesday: After School Skaing
Thursday:  Pajama Day!  Students may bring along ONE stuffy.
See you Wednesday!

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's October!

October 2 Update
Important Dates
Oct 4 - School Photo Order Forms Due 
Oct 9 - Thanksgiving No School
Oct 10 - Professional Learning Day No School
Oct 13 - Hot Lunch Order Due

Oct 12-17 - Book Fair in Learning Commons
Oct 19 - Professional Learning Day No School PM only
Oct 20 Professional Learning Day No School
Oct 23 - Picture Retake Day
Oct 26 - Pajama Day / Spirit Assembly
Oct 31 - Halloween Celebrations

Students are invited to wear their costumes on Tuesday, October 31. 
Mike Mountain Horse will be having its annual Halloween parade at 12:45 in the afternoon on the 31st and our students will be having a small classroom party after the pm recess. We will enjoy the awesome snacks provided, watch a Halloween video, and play some quiet games after the day’s excitement. Thank you so much to those who have signed up to send snacks for this event. Feel free to send the snacks to school in the morning with your child and we will find room for them in the school's fridges until we're ready to celebrate. I will send reminders to those who have signed up the week before Halloween. 

Sight Words
Sight words have come home in agendas for the secondtime this week! Sight words are words that don’t generally follow the normal phonetic pattern of the English language and are therefore difficult to “sound out” while reading. The goal with sight words is for students to be able to recognize them ‘by sight’ and to recognize and read them within about a 3 second time frame. Practicing sight words at home will go a long way in helping your child to be a fluent reader, so thank you in advance for helping your little one begin to recognize these high frequency words! When you sign your child’s agenda each evening please have them read aloud the week’s words to you.

Home Reading
For our home reading program in 1A I like to offer the option of either bringing home paper copies of books at your little one’s reading level, or having students access the same books in a digital format through the online program RAZ Kids. RAZ kids can be accessed on a desktop computer or tablet and can therefore be a great option for some families who are often on the go!  If you would like a mixture of both formats that is also perfectly ok! If you could please let me know which format you would prefer for home reading (paper books or online) by Friday October 6, I can put together the home reading book bags, or sign your little one up for a RAZ Kids account.  Thanks very much!

In the meantime, please continue to model avid reading for your little ones! Read aloud your grocery list with them, encourage them to pick out letters and words in environmental print (store signs, food packaging, etc), let them see you reading recipes, picture books, novels, magazines etc, and make reading time a routine and an enjoyable time in your household. :)

Show and Share
Show and Share in grade one is a great way for students to learn about the people in their classroom community and to practice their oral language, listening, and turn taking skills. Show and Share days in 1A will be held on Fridays and will correspond to monthly themes. If a student is away for their Show and Share day please feel free to contact me to arrange for an alternate day. Show and Share will begin on Friday October 13. Please watch for the schedule coming home next week that will include your child’s specific Show and Share dates, and the monthly themes!

MMH Book Fair
Our school's Learning Commons (formerly library) is holding its Scholastic Book fair from October 12 - 17. They are open from 8:00 - 4:00, except Friday, October 13, 8:00 - 12:00. Feel free to stop by the school and borrow your little one to take them down to the book fair if you would like to do so. During the time that the book fair is on, we will not be able to check out new library books, so feel free to keep your library books at home until the following week. 

Outdoor Wear
Mike Mountain Horse students go out for recess in many conditions of weather.  PLEASE make sure your child has proper outerwear, as unless the temperature dips below -20 or in case of very heavy rain, they are headed outside!  Recess is so much more fun when we have what we need.  Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Few Things...

Below are a few important info items and dates.

Important Dates
Sept 15 - Hot Lunch Orders Due
Sept 15 - Scholastic Book Orders Due
Sept 21 - Spirit Assembly 10:20 am
Sept 22 - Terry Fox Walk
Sept 26 - Hot Lunch Day
Sept 29 - Orange Shirt Day
Oct 9 - Thanksgiving No School
Oct 10 - Professional Learning Day No School
Oct 12-17 - Book Fair in Learning Commons
Oct 19 - Professional Learning Day No School PM only
Oct 20 Professional Learning Day No School
Oct 23 - Picture Retake Day

  • If you have not filled out and returned the papers from the 1st Day Handbook, please also do that as soon as possible. If you weren’t able to pick one up on the first day of school please let me know, I will send one home for you.
  • Our first library books came home this week. Library books are due back at the school on Wednesdays and students will bring a new book home on Thursdays.
  • September 15 is the due date for hot lunch orders this month and Sept 26 is Hot Lunch Day. 
  • On Friday, September 22th we are going on our Terry Fox Walk! We are leaving MMH at approximately 9am, and will walk over to Nicholas Sheran Lake. We go around the lake once where we meet up with the other Westside Schools, and then we head back to MMH. The Grade One teachers are looking for approx. 2 parents per class to join. If you’d like to join us on our walk please let me know. If you don’t want to walk, you are more than welcome to grab a spot at the lake and cheer us on when we pass! Students are invited to wear our school colours (Blue and Gold) for this morning.  
  • Mike Mountain Horse organizes a Breakfast Club for students who don’t have access to eating breakfast at home before school. If your child would like to attend Breakfast Club please let me know. They can go and enjoy cereal, toast, and juice before school, and the cost is free! :)

As we continue into the second week of school I will be dismissing all (calm and prepared) students into the hallway to meet up with mom or dad in the boot room or in the hallway. Students are instructed if they don't see their adult then to COME RIGHT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM AND FIND ME. :) They're told to please not go to the office or head down a hallway looking but to come back to the class and I'll help them find who they're looking for.  BLAST and BUS students will now begin to walk without a grown up, together with the others from their class, down to their assigned rooms. 

If you are concerned about any part of this routine please don't hesitate to let me know and we can make other arrangements.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Wee Poem...

It's the Second Week!

Mrs. Fallwell’s Classroom UPDATE    September 11, 2017
We’ve had an awesome first week of school! Grade 1 is such a huge change from Kindergarten but our class seems to be adjusting well!
The blog is where you will find the latest news of our classroom as well as upcoming events/ things to know. I will send an email out to families letting you know when I’ve updated the blog, so please make sure I have your email.  If for some reason you did not get a classroom handbook on the first day, please come and see me ASAP. 
Here’s a brief summary of what we will be working on during the upcoming weeks:
In Language Arts we will be reviewing our letter sounds and printing skills. We will also start learning sight words, which will be written or stapled every week in the agenda. Each week we will practice these sight words and we ask that you please practice them at home if your child is not already familiar with them. It is important that the students are able to READ these words without trying to sound them out. Our home reading program will begin in October.
I’ve been busy working one on one with students getting a sense of where we are each ready to start in reading, writing etc.  A main component of our comprehensive literacy program is guided reading and writing (small group targeted instruction) so I’m hoping to get those groups going very soon!
In Math, we began with printing numbers 1-10 as a review, and are testing out different ways to represent them. We are moving on to sorting and patterning next week.
In Science we will start our Colours unit, and discussions about the season fall.
In Social Studies we are beginning a unit called Belonging in My World.  We are learing first about our school community and all the different jobs that happen here to make it work.  We are learning that being a student is also a job!

We have had a good start to settling in to the routine of eating lunch at school. Students are getting faster at handling their lunch kit from their backpack. Parents, you can help us out here! We ask that you involve your student when packing their lunch, so that they're aware of what's in their lunch kit. It's helpful when they know what they should be eating as their morning snack (10-10:15), lunch (12-12:24) and then as an afternoon snack  if they want or need one(1:55-2:05). Morning snacks especially, should be healthy and easy to eat.  Cheese, a piece of fruit, granola bar etc.  Don't forget to pack any utensils that they need for lunchtime. Some students are able to open up their containers on their own which is VERY helpful for us!
As of right now we have no nut allergies in our classroom. 
Thanks to parents who signed up to bring party snacks! We still have some spaces available so come on in if you’d like to sign up.  When it comes time, you’ll receive a reminder for what you’ve signed up for via email.

Morning Routine:
If your child arrives at school prior to the bell, please direct them to the playground.  There is supervision there and it is a much safer place than the front of the school.  The Grade One doors open each morning at 8:15am, when our first “warning bell” will sound.  Please always feel free to accompany your child into our class in the morning if you wish.  We like to show off our classroom and what we’ve been working on!  Another bell will go at 8:20am.  Any student arriving after the 8:20am bell needs to enter through the office doors and ask for a late slip on the way by.  This helps so much to ensure accurate attendance is taken.  Thank you for your help with this!

Water Bottles:
Your child is encouraged to bring a water bottle to school daily.  We keep them in our mailboxes/cubbies and it sure cuts down on trips to the water fountain.  Water is SO important for our little brains while we are learning!

Library Books:
Your child will bring home their first library book very soon.  Please return these each Tuesday, and a new one will be sent home the next day.  Thanks so much!

Scholastic Book Orders
If you wish to place a Scholastic book order please send your orders back by Wednesday of this week.

Field Trip:
On Friday, September 22th we are going on our Terry Fox Walk! We are leaving MMH at approximately 9am, and will walk over to Nicholas Sheran Lake. We go around the lake once where we meet up with the other Westside Schools, and then we head back to MMH. The Grade One teachers are looking for at least 2 parents per class to join. If you’d like to join us on our walk please let me know. Siblings and strollers are welcome!  If you don’t want to walk, you are more than welcome to grab a spot at the lake and cheer us on when we pass!

Five Things Bags
Thanks so much for sending in your Five Things bags!  If you haven’t sent them in yet, we’d like to wrap up our presentations by Friday.  Thanks so much!

Extra Shoes
Please make sure your child has a pair of gym style shoes that can stay at school.  This helps out a ton if we all of a sudden get a rainy day.  These shoes will be kept in our classroom when we aren’t wearing them.  If children are going to be changing their shoes in the morning, they have their name on a spot on our boot rack for outdoor shoes.  Thanks!

Upcoming Events:
September 12  Meet the Teacher Night
5-6 Bring your own picnic
6-7 Come and go touring classrooms
Sept. 14  Picture Day
Sept. 15  Deadline to order hot lunch via School Cash online
Sept. 21  Assembly to introduce Orange Shirt Day
Sept. 22  Terry Fox Walk

Sept. 26  Hot Lunch Day!