Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Party and More!

The kids have been having fun with our class "Elf" whose name is Sparky! He does all sorts of crazy things including leaving footprints all over the room! Thanks to Cara Carroll for this "Elf Is In The Building packet

Can't wait to see what Sparky will do tomorrow!

More from "Elf Is In The Building" mini writing project!

Add caption

Enjoying treats and Polar Express!
We had a super generous parent give special Christmas reindeer antlers or Santa hats to all the kids! Looks like Christmas came early this year! We must have made Santa's "nice" list! Yay!

Thanks Mom! Makes me hungry just looking at the picture!

Thanks so much for the yummy snacks! The kids loved them!
This was so delicious it was gobbled up almost before I could snap a pic!
This was part of an art project provided by another extremely generous parent! The kids got to paint real pine cones and we "tied" them in to a special project.  No peeking until Christmas!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Hi everyone! Just wanted to post a few quick pics for you! The kids looked amazing in their Christmas/Grinch outfits! Thanks for joining in the spirit of our day!

This is Max--the Grinch's dog who thinks he is a reindeer!

Grinch Mania! Who could it be?



Sunday, 1 December 2013

December News

Important Dates To Remember!

3       Hot Lunch Day
6       First Spelling Test
9       Les Bucherons arrive at MMH
10     Last day to request extra tickets
2,9,16Library Days
12     Christmas Concert at Southminster Church
13     Les Bucherons perform and "sugar shack"
16-20 Christmas carols in the gym daily 8:30am
18      Dress like Christmas assembly 8:30
19      Class party and all books due in library
20      Last day of classes before holidays
Jan6   First day back in 2014!
Christmas Concert
December 12, 2013 6:30-7:45 pm

Christmas Concert this year will be held at Southminster Church located at 1011 4th Ave. South (across from the Yates Memorial Centre). All the children at MMH will be working with Les Bucherons, which is an artist in residency program to create and perform a selection of songs and dances all with the theme “Vive Le Francophone Culture!”
Each family with students attending MMH will receive TWO tickets, as seating is limited at the church. (Families that require more than two tickets (i.e. a family with more than two parents involved), are asked to submit their request in writing to Mr. Bryant by Tuesday, December 10th.)
Grades K-5 performers are to arrive at Southminster between 6:00-6:15 p.m. and can be dropped off at the east side entrance (on 11th Street on the east side of the building). Students will then be taken to designated spots to get organized to perform.
All “ticket holders” will then enter Southminster through the front (main) doors.
The actual performance will take place from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.
The second option will be to join a “web cast” of the concert! No matter where you are in the world, you will be able to log on and view the concert from the comfort of your own home! Details of exactly how to join in on this web cast will follow.
As we have done in the past, we will have a silver collection to help offset rental costs. This year we are also asking each family to bring a donation of non-perishable food items that can be donated to a local food bank. These can be dropped off in the main lobby as you enter the church.

Language Arts
We have been learning about Bears and will be finishing up our mini-research projects this week followed by a Bear Fun Day where grade one students will rotate through all the grade one teacher’s classrooms for a literacy or math activity that is --you guessed it--all about bears. My centre this year will be bear math problem solving and some of the other activities include tasting favourite bear foods, reading bear sentences and colouring to show comprehension of the passage, listening to bear instructions, and much much more!
The children have been doing a wonderful job on their sight words and word families each week! Keep up the awesome home reading! This month we will be learning to make lists and to write letters! (to guess who?)

Spelling Program
Today your child is bringing home their NEW spelling program in a small green/white scribbler. Instructions are glued into the front cover, but basically there are 12 words on the list and your child has highlighted the ones that he/she is responsible for learning for the spelling test each Friday. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to jot me a note in the agenda or send a quick email!

Sight Words For December!

Week One: said, look, see, on, not
Week Two: will, out, up, down, in
Week Three: today, day, yesterday, tomorrow, was

We are moving into subtraction this month and our first mental math strategy will be counting back. Similar to counting on, except that we are going down the number line in the opposite direction! The key points for kids about this strategy are:
1. I can use counting back when I subtract 1,2,3,4 from a larger number. For example with the equation 8-3, the student begins with the “8” in their head and then counts back “7,6,5”
2. I should only use counting back when I subtract 1,2,3,4 because any higher and I might get mixed up with my counting.
I am also hoping to have time to squeeze in a fun 2D shapes/3D objects unit as well. We get to do a lot of hands on experimenting with objects in this unit, which will likely spill over into January and ties in nicely to the building unit we start in Science when we get back.

We kicked off our Science unit about the 5 senses with a popcorn lesson, where we used all our senses to see, hear, smell, touch, and yes! finally taste the salty, buttery popcorn! Yum! In this unit we learn that each of our senses provides information about particular aspects of our environment; and that, together, the senses enable us to know things and do things that we would not otherwise be able to do, or at least not as easily. We will also learn about the function of our senses, how they are cared for, how they could be damaged and how one’s
own ability to sense things may differ from those of other people and other living things. Throughout the unit, we will have a chance to sharpen the use of our senses and discover “juicy” words to describe the information that our senses provide.

Social Studies
In Social we are continuing with Looking At Our World which includes distinguishing geographic features in our own community from other communities. By the end of the unit the kids should be able to identify some familiar landmarks and places in our community, and know why these landmarks and places important to Lethbridge (ie. High level bridge, Old Man River, Nikka-Yuko Japanese Gardens, Nicholas Sheran Lake). They also get to learn the differences between rural, urban, and suburban communities and will be able to find Lethbridge and Canada on a map! And if that were not enough, they also learn to use a simple map to locate specific areas within the school and community, ask for directions, and understand that globes and maps are visual representations of the world! Just the other day we took a peek at Google Earth and even found Mike Mountain Horse from both a bird’s eye view and a street view. The kids were pretty excited and will likely be asking you to find their own address! We also started creating a map of our classroom to show how a map legend works and to start thinking geographically.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Glimpse of Our Fire Safety Day!

Thanks to the Lethbridge Fire Department for their Hazard House Presentation!

Being Fire Detectives with magnifying glasses searching for upper and lower case letters and words!


Thank you so much to everyone who helped organize our Halloween Party and for providing treats, creating amazing costumes, and joining us for pictures and parading! What a fun day!
Our district caretakers are hosting the annual Sock It To’ Em program from Nov. 4-Dec. 12 where we encourage students to donate a pair of new socks for families in need.
We will be starting a new unit about Bears very soon! This theme will encompass all areas of the curriculum as we read and complete many projects related to bears. A fun part of our Bear Unit is the school wide Pajama Day on Nov. 14th. The Grade One classes all get to bring their Teddy Bears on this day and will read, write, and do math with their favourite stuffy all day long! 

Parent Teacher Interviews

This year all the grade one teachers will be doing Student Lead Conferences instead of traditional Parent Teacher Interviews. Thank you for returning your preferred time choices so quickly. I have completed the schedule and slips will be coming home today with your assigned time. In this Student Lead Conference format, your child will lead you through a number of activities designed to highlight their strengths and also help set personal goals for growth. I’m looking forward to having the kids show what they know and to talk to each of you!

                                Curriculum Focus For The Month!         
          LA:Bear Theme

          Continue adding new word families each week
          Build number of words recognized by sight
          Printing (staying on the lines, words are units that must be in a        

          specific order to make sense)
          Focus on short vowels and how they glue CVC words together
          Sayn’slide words (practising the skill of sounding out)
          Review of CafĂ© reading strategies Check for Understanding and      

          introduce Cross Checking , Tune in to interesting words and back-up
          and  reread!
          Daily 5 Read to Self and Word Work continue

Math: Unit 2 Representing numbers to 20
Making sets 10-20
Ordering (before and after 10-20)
Read and write words 10-20
Count up and back to 20
Continue to subitize and learn power of 10 games
Addition to 10
Count by 2 to 20 and 1, 5, 10 to 100

Science: Seasonal Change
How people dress and activities we do in fall
Identify and describe plant & animal changes in fall

Social: My Community, My School
How do people cooperate and live together peacefully
How do groups make decisions
How do people help each other at home and school
How do our actions contribute to the well being of community

Health:Personal Health Wellness
identify the specific physical changes that occur during early childhood (losing teeth, walking, talking, growing)

Gym:Basketball Unit
Demonstrate basic movement skills while learning and participating cooperatively in the game of basketball.

Art:Composition Unit
Students will create artworks based on personal choices and show how they can contrast subject matter (bears) with the background for emphasis. They will use texture to highlight the main part of their composition. 

                              Report from School Council

FMMH Society is now applying for an application with the Lethbridge Casino. They also informed the council that the magazine fundraiser might not reach last year’s goal.
There was a Spring Dance Proposal by Shanea Nilsson for Spring of 2014.
Community Representative: School Council is seeking someone from the community to become a Community Representative for MMH. The requirement is that the Representative does not have a student that attends MMH. If anyone knows of someone that maybe interested, please let me know.
It was brought to our attentions of the overwhelming number scooters at the MMH, so the Council & FMMH Society is looking into get a scooter rack. Right now we are checking into some information of the cost, designs and who will be building it. Will keep you posted on this matter.
If there’s any questions or concerns on the following items that was mention above or if parents have any ideas or suggestions anything, please feel free to e-mail me @

Thank you for your time,
Deanne McDonnell – Class Rep

Spelling Program Coming Home Soon!
This month we will be starting our grade one Spelling program. More specific information will be coming home in the next few weeks along with Spelling Lists and a homework packet on Mondays. You will notice that some of these words are previous sight words and some are phonetic words. This homework has activities for you and your child to do together every night for the week and then return the sheet by Friday. One of the choices from the list is We have been on this site together as a class and in the computer lab as well. If you want to check it out ahead of time, the game the kids really liked was Hang Mouse. Your child will be responsible for practising his/her words each week. Now that your child is reading words by sight, we challenge them to spell them correctly in everyday writing. There will be a test on Friday of these spelling words. (I’ll email the exact date of the first one!) These words also go up on the word wall so children can refer to them if they get stuck during writing. It will save them time and help them get their ideas on paper more quickly if they already know how to spell the words.

What is the Difference Between Sight Words and Spelling Words?
Sight words are words that your child needs to be able to read or recognize by sight. These are words that are not sounded out, but that the brain learns to remember by the shape and chunks in the word. Each week these words are written in agendas under Words Of The Week. We do a variety of activities to master these words including smart board interactive lessons, reading the room, Work on Words during Daily 5 time, and reading them A LOT in our everyday assignments! Spelling words are words that the kids can usually sound out phonetically. We teach them to stretch the sounds when they are writing so that they can hear and record each sound.

Sight Words for November 
Nov. 4     Dog, cat, fish, bird , do
Nov. 11  Jump, swim, fly, run, ran
Nov. 18  Orange, green, it, can
Nov. 25   Big, little, stop, what

Sunday, 29 September 2013


Fire Prevention week is October 6-12 and our class will be doing a variety of activities related to the theme “Prevent Kitchen Fires!“ Please take some time to map out and discuss your familys fire escape plan with your child. Don’t forget to return your entry form for “Fire Chief For A Day” and a chance to win a computer by October 3rd.Our Halloween parade this year falls on a Thursday so students will need to bring simple costumes that they can change into over the lunch hour to be ready for the big parade which starts right after lunch! There will be a costume parade through the hallways with the entire school.Please join us if you are able and dont forget your camera!

Language Arts Fall Theme
Review of letter sounds,
word chunks or families ,
sight word recognition ,
printing (directionality, magic c bunny, spacing),
 CVC words and sayn’slide words
 Choose Good Fit books
Check for understanding when reading
Cross Check :match first letter, sound right, make sense?
Small moments (true accounts) writing
Math Number sense to 10, making sets 5-10,
ordering (before and after),
read and write words to 10,
one more, one less,
count up and down to 20,
review of patterns, beginning addition,
subitize-knowing a number by it’s pattern ( ie. Dice) without having to count from one. We use power of ten cards and dice patterns.

Science Colour Unit:Identify colours in a variety of natural andmanufactured objects, compare and contrast colours, using terms such as lighter than, darker than, more blue, brighter than order a group of coloured objects, based ona given colour criterion, predict and describe changes in colour that result from the mixing of primary colours mixing a primary colour with white or with black.

  Social Studies Belonging In A Group: • What helps us to recognize different groups or communities (e.g., landmarks, symbols, colours, logos, clothing)?
• In what ways do we belong to more than one group or community at the same time?
• In what ways do we benefit from belonging to groups and communities?
• What are our responsibilities and rights at home, at school, in groups and in communities
Health Wellness (personal and safety)
describe the health benefits of physical activity
determine reasons for and apply safety rules at home and at school; e.g., demonstrate fire safety behaviours
describe and apply appropriate street safety behaviours in the community; e.g., as a pedestrian, passenger, cyclist

  Gym Games Unit to encourage cooperation and positive interactions with classmates. Game etiquette and fair play in small and large group games.

Art Reflection Unit
Creating and appreciating patterns and prints in nature
Fall theme using apples, leaves, pumpkins, and more!

We are learning to log in by ourselves with our own usernames and passwords! Getting pretty fast at it too!

One more little tidbit for you!....

Sight Word Games
Here are some fun sight word learning games for you to do with your child. These are words that are commonly found in reading and will strengthen your child
s reading fluency. At this time of the year these words are meant to be recognized by sight only . After we have built up a base of 50 sight words, we will begin the process of learning to spell them. Just make the words into  flashcards and then you can start playing!Let the kids get creative making their word cards... (gel pens, glitter glue, markers, stamps, mini-stickers)! Enjoy!

Game 1-GO FISH
There are two sets of cards and all need to be cut out. Deal 5 cards to each player and turn the rest of the them upside down to form a pile in the center. Take turns asking
do you have the word ____. If yes, the card is given to the player, who makes a matched set and lays them down. If no, the player is told to Go Fish, or take a card from the pile. Play continues until all cards are gone. Winner has the most pairs.
Game Two - Memory Match
Turn all cards upside down on the table. Players take turns flipping over 2 at a time to try to make match. The idea is to use visual memory to recall where the words are located. Play continues until all cards are gone. Winner has the most pairs.
Game Three- Oh NO!
On one of the blank cards print the words OH NO! Put all the cards in a container (hat, box, pillowcase), including the OH NO card and take turns drawing them out one by one, reading the word as it is pulled out. If read correctly, player keeps the card. If not, it goes back in the box. The goal is to pull all the cards before getting the OH NO card. If the OH NO card is pulled, then all the cards go back in and you must start over. This game works best with 3 or more players.
Game Four- Old Maid!
On one of the blank cards, draw a funny character and put her in the deck with the rest of the cards. Play the game as per instructions for Go Fish. Goal is to make matches and not be the player left with the funny character (old maid) in your hand.
Game Five- Bingo
Using the bingo boards, have players write in any of the sight words wherever they wish. One player is the caller and calls out words in random order. Players colour in the space on their board if they have the word. The player with all spaces coloured first yells BINGO! Game continues until everyone gets a bingo.

Here's a list of the sight words covered up to and including the first week of October!


Saturday, 21 September 2013

September News

Welcome to Grade One and to our classroom blog!  We've had a busy month with the kids getting to know each other and starting to learn the classroom routines!  They have already gotten into the habit of handing in their agendas all by themselves first thing in the morning!  This will become even more important when the home reading books start coming home in October.

 We have started diving into a program called the Daily Five and the kids have built up their reading "stamina " from 3 minutes to 12 minutes! WOW! They have learned that there are 3 ways to read a book 1. read the pictures 2. read the words and 3. retell the story!  I LOVE THIS PROGRAM. What better way to become a great reader than to spend more time in the day practising!  This year I'm going to teach the next lesson as a song- if you want to practise at home follow along with this link..
The lesson is choosing a "Good Fit Book" using the IPICK system:

I-I choose a book
P-purpose-why do I want to read it
I-interest-does it interest me
C-comprehend-am I understanding what I read
K-know- I know most of the words
In Science we are starting a colour unit and Math is number sense/printing 0-10 review.  Social Studies is all about friendships and rules this month and in Health we are learning about Terry Fox including the Terry Fox walk Friday September 27th.  If you would like to walk with the class, please email or send a note. A letter went home Friday with all the details of the walk. Our class buddies up with their Grade 3 (Mrs.Burke) book buddies for the hike to Nicholas Sheran. I will be sending home some Terry Fox tatoos and name badges on Thursday night for you to do with your child in preparation for Friday's Walk. 

A HUGE thank you to everyone for returning library books on Monday. Getting to take home the school library books for a whole week is a new experience for the kids and they LOVE the excitment of checking out their new ones every Monday.  If there is ever a holiday, we will try to reschedule our library day for Tuesday or Wednesday.

Our art day is always on a Wednesday and we often choose to do our really messy, goopy, colourful projects on this day! Bearing that in mind, I will do everything possible to keep clothing clean (we do have a few art shirts available) however, you may want to avoid the "brand new" outfits on this day. Here are a couple of the beautiful fish rocks that we made a couple weeks ago to go with our story "Only One You".  The story is about a little fish Adri who goes out into the world but first gets some pretty great advice from his parents including "treasure your family and friends."  My family and I collected the rocks for this project on a hike and the kids created some incredibly unique designs....take a look!

That's about it for now! Thanks once more to all who volunteered for the many, many jobs available! You are appreciated! I will email dates/times individually for home reading and art helpers!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

First Day Fame!

Photo taken from September 5, 2013 Lethbridge Herald

Welcome back to school! What a way to start the year-our first graders are already famous! Look at those adorable faces ready to dive into learning!  Hope everyone has had a good first week and please check back for more posts over the coming weeks!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Weekend Update!

Hi Everyone! Thank you for checking in. This is just a quick blog post, as I've added a few extra details to the calendar below. The Scholastic Book orders went out today online, so should arrive very soon!
So far, I have 3 drivers for our field trip to the Helen Schuler Nature Center on Thursday April 25th.  Thank you to Christine Slomp, Lisa Pateman, and Marianne Forsyth who have signed up to drive. If you are able, or have a grandparent who is able to help us out even by just doing pick ups and drops off, that would be wonderful!  We are scheduled to leave the school by about 12:45, and then leave the nature center for about 2:45.  Send me an email if you can help out!
 Also our Grade 1 students will be performing at the Family Assembly on May 7th at 12:30.  The Grade 1 team is in the process of planning out the details of this assembly so we will keep you updated. 
Special Requests:
 We are on the lookout for plastic (see-through) egg cartons, AS WELL AS Styrofoam ones!  Think of us on your next grocery store trip!
Also, we are collecting nylon stockings!  We'll be using this for a project for our living and non living science unit.  If you have any to donate that would be great!  They can be any colour!
 Have a great weekend!
Monday April 22nd- Earth Day
Wednesday April 24th- Grade 4/5 Airband competition 12:30-1:55
Thursday April 25th- Spirit Assembly @ 8:30- Crazy Hat / Hair Day

Friday April 26th- Professional Learning Day no school
Wednesday May 1st- Math-a-thon Test Day!
May 5th- May 11th: Education Week!
Tuesday May 7th- Family Assembly Grade 1s perform @12:30
Wednesday May 8th- Hot Lunch
Friday May 10th- PD Day No School
Monday May 20th- Victoria Day no school
Thursday May 23rd- Spirit Assembly @12:30
Tuesday June 4th- Galt Museum Field Trip-PM (TBA)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013




April 8 First day back

April 11 World Autism Day at MMH/Please wear blue today!/Gr. 3 host assembly in gym right after lunch.


April 12, 19,25 Library days/Spelling test days

April 17 Math-A-Thon practise test coming home today. Will be done in class.

April 22- Earth Day

April 25 Helen Schuler Fieldtrip pm- if you can drive please email!!

April 26 Professional Learning Day/No School for students

We will be finishing up our Building Unit and starting a plant/animal unit very soon! The children get to grow their very own plants and learn which parts of a plant we like to eat and what plants/animals need to survive and much more!

Language Arts
We will continue writing & editing with our Fairytale Unit after Easter and I have posted the spelling lists on Spelling City so you can preview over the break if you like. We’ll be looking at ou/ow, oi/oy,and the er sisters! The kids are always working on reading strategies and zipping along with Daily Five!

We will be starting a quick little unit on caring for our environment that ties in nicely with Earth Day! After that we dive into a big unit called Moving Forward With the Past! This unit will include a fieldtrip to the Galt Museum on June 4 and bussing is provided by the museum.

Kickball is coming soon!!

Sight Words
April 8-12 our, round, how, now know
April 15-19 oil, soil, boil, coil, boy
April 22-25 over, under, after, her, yesterday

Niagra Falls Lights It Up Blue!
We will soon be starting a BIG unit called Numbers to 100. This unit includes place value, using the mental math strategy of making 10 for adding and subtracting, grouping numbers to 100 by 2, 5, and 10 , comparing, representing and , describing numbers to 100 and so much more!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Spring Ahead?

In spite of the snow, we decided to spring ahead in grade one today! We teamed up Science, Math, and Art to make these pretty cool 2D/3D flowers! The kids did such an amazing job I just had to post a couple of pics for you! Have a great night!

Sunday, 3 March 2013


We have so many things to do and learn this month and they all revolve around Fairytales. We are starting out with Rapunzel and the Three Billy Goats and will be meeting The Three Little Pigs plus a few more over the next few weeks. The kids will be writing some fairytales of their own and our focus is making sure we have all story elements character, setting, problem and solution! A great website with inspiring illustrations to practise on at home is
We are diving into our building unit in science and the kids are starting to use terms like materials, tools, and fasteners! Each project we build is designed to help the children choose materials wisely and understand that everything they make has a purpose and a function. This unit ties together nicely with our Fairytale unit as we will test our bridges to see if they can support the weight of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff and will see if our houses from the Three Little Pigs can withstand an earthquake or windstorm! The kids are encouraged to talk about their projects afterward and decide what materials worked best and what designs they would modify and try again. A huge thank you to everyone who has collected and sent building materials! An exciting part of our building unit was the trip to Home Hardware where we actually got to use the drill press , hammers, and nails! The kids painted their pencil holders in Art the other day and they are looking very colourful! We just need to add the finishing touches and paper pads and pencils! Can’t wait to set them on our desks and actually use them!

Our new Geometry Unit in Math also ties in nicely with our Science Building and LA Fairytales! One of the big ideas in the geometry unit is that 2D items are called shapes and 3D items are called objects. The kids learn to use geometrical language and to describe, sort, and compare both 2D shapes and 3D objects. And of course, we get to build by replicating a design that is given and by problem solving the best way to fit pieces together. And of course we continue to reinforce the basic skills of number operation and number sense every day during our morning calendar time.

Sight Words For The Month
March 4-7 again, say, May, birthday, ate

March 11-15 when, where, who, what, once
March 18-21 brown, brick, bring, pretty, from, fry

March 25-28 daddy, mommy, funny, any, every

Spelling Words
There are several weeks in March that are 4 day weeks so we will have spelling tests and Library Days on Thursdays instead.  Spelling lists will continue to come home on Mondays and can also be found at

Important Dates!
March 8: PD day no school for kids

March 7,15,21,29 Library & Spelling test day

March 8:District Staff Learning Day! No school for students

March 14:Spirit Assembly @12:30 WEAR GREEN!!!!

March 15: Report Cards come home!

March 21 Celebration of Learning drop-in night 5:30-7:00PM

March 22 No classes P/T interview

March 28: Easter Sock Hop-pm in the gym

March 29: Good Friday: no classes