Mustang Roundup

March 2019

BINGO is TONIGHT! Dinner at 5:30...Games begin at 6:00

Principal's Pen

Dear Families,

Please see the important dates below.

Thursday, March 7: Spring Fling from @2:45-4:00

Tuesday, March 12: Spirit Night Shane's Rib Shack @ 5:00-8:00 (Newport Location)

Thursday, March 14: March Into Kindness Family Night @ 6:00-7:30

Friday, March 15: Author and Basketball Star Ivory Latta visits Mount Holly

Friday, March 22: Fun Run (more information to follow)

As always, thank you for the tremendous support you provide to our school and staff!

Children First,

Dr. Barnes

At Mount Holly Elementary, Reading and Kindness are Contagious!

Due by Tuesday, March 5th: Parents may submit their child’s favorite recipe if they choose to do so. Recipes will be compiled to form a recipe booklet. All MHES families and staff will receive the recipe book. All recipe submissions are due by Tuesday, March 5th.

Now – Thursday, March 14th and ongoing: As a family, decide on one act of kindness your family can do per week: open the door for someone, pick up something someone has dropped, smile at someone, help someone carry something, say a kind word to someone,…

Now – Thursday, March 14th: At home, students have the option of making a book cover for any book of their choice! To do so, you will need a paper bag cut open with the rectangular bottom cut off, or a long piece of paper or newspaper. Place the book in the middle of the paper and with the book open, mark the paper along the top and bottom so that it matches the height of the book. Push the book aside for a moment, then fold the paper along those two marks. Now put the open book back on the paper and mark the left edge and the right edge. Fold along the marks on the left and right. You have just created a pocket on either side that the covers of the book will fit into. Tuck the front cover into the pocket created by the left-hand fold. Fiddle with the book’s back cover until it too fits into the pocket on the right side. Decorate your book cover!

Monday, March 11th: At home, students have the option to create a flag or make a collage that represents who they are, what’s special about them, their interests, etc. Flags or collages are due to Ms. Weddington by Monday, March 11th. On Friday, March 15th, the winner will get to show-and-tell about their flag or collage on the morning news and receive a prize.

Thursday, March 14th from 6:00-7:30: March into Kindness Family Literacy Night

Ms. Sadzakov

We are learning about friendship and kindness, what it means, and which acts or words are peaceful. We did a lot of paper-based activities, and some on the Promethean board. Furthermore, we kept ourselves busy with crafts for the bulletin board and classroom décor.

We are very proud of the work that we have done so far and the progress that everyone has made. We have come a long way, and we will keep up the good work!

Mrs. Tomlin

Mrs. Tomlin’s class learned about “A Time For Peace” through our history lessons taught with our Unique Curriculum. We read and discussed many powerful peacemakers throughout the years. We studied Martin Luther King Jr and looked into his efforts of making peace, standing up for people’s rights, and his drive for helping others. For Groundhog Day, we made our own predictions about the weather and then compared our results to those of Punxsutawney Phil. While studying about the Chinese New Year, we learned the different zodiac signs and used our knowledge to match our birthdays to our sign. Our Valentine’s Day activities were filled with many fun arts and crafts. We decorated cards, bags, and enjoyed a special time of fellowship with our peers. On President’s Day, we studied leaders from our past and our present. We were excited to be a part of our schools annual Black History Month Parade. This year our students studied about The Freedom Riders. We took the knowledge that we gained and made an information poster as well as decorated a “bus” to share with our school peers.

In March, we will be focusing on science through our Unique curriculum. We will be discussing our Earth, space, and the sun. We will also be discussing Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Mardi Gras, Day Light Saving Time, St. Patrick’s Day, and the first day of Spring. These topics will be explored through projects, interactive stories, arts and crafts, and experiments. We are excited to learn!


Our grade level has been hit hard by the flu despite our best efforts to sanitize our rooms and reduce the spreading of germs. Hopefully that is behind us now and we can move on to a healthy and happy spring. As we anticipate the arrival of warmer temperatures, please keep a change of clothing in your child’s backpack in case of an emergency.

The children are continuing to grow as readers and writers. Their knowledge of the alphabet letters and the sounds they represent helps with reading and writing unknown words. The children have been taught strategies such as look at the picture, get your lips ready for the beginning sound, stretch out the word to hear the sounds and look for chunks in the word. Knowing their high frequency words helps them become more confident and efficient readers. Please continue to read with your student every night and practice and review the high frequency words using the flash cards that have been provided.

In math we began learning about joining (adding) and taking away (subtracting) numbers. The children have caught on quickly but need help identifying a number that is “one more” or ”one less” than a given number.

We have enjoyed reading Save Me A Seat and answering the daily trivia question about Joe and Ravi. It is fun knowing that everyone at Mt. Holly is reading the same book.

Thanks for all that you are doing to help your child have a successful kindergarten year!


Each spring, Rock Hill School District Three, in partnership with The Arts Council of York County, has a district wide Youth art exhibit. Student art work, ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade, has been chosen by the art teachers from each school, and will showcase the Visual Arts programs in our district. It is a difficult task to choose from such a wide range of fine art work.

Representing Mount Holly Elementary in this year’s show are the following students:

Kindergarten- Patrick Jackson- Mrs. Mercer & Mrs. Bailey

1st grade- Destiny Robinson- Mr. Long

2nd grade- Ava Easley- Mrs. Campbell

3rd grade- Paige Robinson- Mrs. Settle

4th grade- Shyla Wingo- Mrs. Chase

5th grade- Khyia Patterson- Dr. McConneaughey

Congratulations to each of these artists in representing our school with their noteworthy talents and hard work.

In the Art room, each class earns “Amazing Art Earnings” for their behavior, participation, material management and perseverance. The classes with the highest earnings this past nine weeks at each grade level are:

Kindergarten: Mrs. Mercer’s & Mrs. Bailey’s class
First Grade: Mrs. Dickson’s class
Second Grade: Mrs. Campbell’s Class
Third Grade: Mrs. Fair’s Class
Fourth Grade: Ms. Stager’s Class
Fifth Grade: Mrs. Varnadore’s Class

These class names will be showcased on the Amazing Art Earnings board outside of the Art room.

First Grade

Hello First Grade Families! We are in the last few weeks of the third nine weeks and time is flying by! We are excited to announce our Spring Field Study. We will be going to Glencairn Gardens. Mrs. Andrews and Mr. Long will go on April 29th and Mrs. Dickson and Ms. Jordan will go on May 1st. Details about the field study will come home soon. We had our first garden lesson from the York County Soil and Water Conservation and the students loved it. Mrs. O’Connell will continue to visit us three more times as we plant and harvest our garden. This goes along with our Science unit for fourth nine weeks.

In Reading Workshop, we have been learning about summarizing books. Students want to tell about everything that has happened in the story, so we have been teaching them how to tell about the beginning, middle and end. We also are working on Plot. Students are learning how characters have a problem in the story, how they work on solving that problem, and how the character usually learns a lesson at the end. Guided Reading takes place daily and we are seeing growth in student reading levels. In Word Study we continue to work on blends, such as sl, bl, pl, br, bl, and so forth. As shown in our Lunch and Learn session, students do different activities each day in Word Study.

In Writers’ Workshop, we are focusing on Opinion Writing. Students are learning to state their opinions along with reasons to support their position. Students have been writing opinion pieces on different topics. We also are focusing on revising and editing our work. This can be difficult for first graders, so we will continue spending a great deal on revising and editing. Soon we will move on to persuasive writing where students will learn how to write reviews. In grammar we have learned about verbs (past, present and future). We are currently working on pronouns and will explore conjunctions soon. Students will learn how to expand simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory sentences.

In Math Workshop, we have been working up a storm. We have learned how to compare numbers using the vocabulary “greater than”, “less than”, and “equal to”, rather than using the traditional signs. We have learned how to determine a number that is ten more and ten less than another number. Currently, we are working on place value using tens and ones. Students are to understand that the tens place is on the left and the ones place is on the right. In addition, students are learning how to add multiples of ten to a two-digit number using base ten blocks and a Hundred Chart. Next, we will move on to adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number with and without regrouping.

RTI continues to take place daily. We are continuing to focus on Math. The teachers have seen a great deal of growth in students.

In Social Studies, we are focusing on Black History Month. We have been learning about influential African Americans and their contributions to society. This month each class chose an African American man or woman to study on their own, to create a life-sized bookmark, and a float on wheels. We will have a parade displaying the floats. This is a fun and informative project in which our students enjoy full participation.

Things to do at home:

-Have your child read their guided reading book(s) nightly and have their reading log signed.

-Sign your child’s behavior calendar nightly.

-Math homework comes home on Tuesdays and is due on Fridays.

-Make sure your child is studying the weekly sight words and previous sight words as they are expected to be spelled correctly in their writing.

-Continue teaching your children to tie their shoes at home. We still have many students who have difficulty tying their shoes.

Physical Education

Field Day Shirts will go on sale March 25 – April 10. Look for the order form in your child’s Wednesday folder! Don’t forget to buy a shirt so that you won’t be left out of our Mt. Holly Field Day tradition. Remember we wear different colors for every grade level.

Field Day Shirt Colors:

Staff- Hot Pink

Kindergarten- Light (Carolina) Blue

First Grade- Red

Second Grade- Orange

Third Grade- Jade

Fourth Grade- Lime Green

Fifth Grade- Maroon

Parents, if you haven’t already planned to volunteer for Field Day, please plan to do so because we always need your help! Field Day Parent Volunteer Forms will come home right after Spring Break! Field Day is Friday, May 24!

Second Grade

Learning about Cultures in Social Studies has been exciting for the students. They are sharing their own cultures and customs as we talk about various cultures found within the many regions across the United States. Learning about different cultures, including the Native American culture is fascinating, because Rock Hill offers an abundance of opportunity to learn about the local Catawba culture. In addition we’re able to compare and contrast the Catawba culture and their customs with other tribes across the nation.

Math time is filled with engaging and rigorous practice with addition and subtraction facts through 999. It is imperative that second graders become more fluent in their understanding of addition and subtraction.

Please remember to continue to help your child build a strong mathematical foundation by practicing their basic math facts regularly so they don’t struggle with the more challenging math standards.

In ELA, our students are working on making opinion-writing pieces stronger. They are also learning to locate information in informational texts by practicing text dependent analysis. We are sharing examples in class and modeling how to do this skill. Students are expected to be able to locate, respond, and write multi-paragraph texts independently using complete sentences by the end of second grade. Please continue to encourage the use of correct grammar conventions at home, such as beginning a sentence with a capital letter, ending a sentence with the appropriate punctuation, capitalizing the pronoun I, and capitalizing proper nouns. We encourage you to have them write friendly letters to family members to practice sharing their opinions and to practice applying their knowledge of the correct grammar conventions.

Gifted and Talented

Third grade students have been busy as well. They have grown in generating many and varied ideas when responding to a question or idea in discussions or in writing. These students are able to conduct their own discussions and build on each other’s ideas. In addition, they acknowledge creative thinking and original ideas in a supportive way which really encourages even more thinking! They were also involved in a writing contest about a fun story we read in class titled, “The Green Man.” Students worked hard to support their ideas about him changing throughout the story. Our focus has been using text evidence to support an opinion AND adding our own ideas and elaborations to each point. As students grow in their writing skills, they are beginning to use more complex sentence structures and incorporate transitions when adding ideas or giving examples to make their writing flow smoothly. We notice these strategies in all the reading we do—whether fiction or non-fiction—so students see professionals using the same strategies they are using!

Students in gifted classes have been busy this year thinking deeply and studying complex issues. Fourth and fifth graders completed an extensive algebra unit. They worked with variables and mastered representing everyday situations with an equation and variable in order to solve problems. Many students had fun playing Algebra Election as they won votes campaigning across the United States map. These students have also been reading and writing poetry, reading non-fiction articles, and analyzing issues using advanced thinking models like Richard Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning. We even had some of our students’ poems accepted for publication in a poetry anthology which will be published later this year. Each student has chosen a global issue which interests them and is actively researching and learning about their issue to create a presentation informing others about the problem and what we can do to help or change. Presentations will include the implications of the issue for our world.

Third Grade

Third graders are working hard on their writing as they try to persuade others! Students are learning to write an opening statement, develop supporting reasons, use transition words to connect, and build a strong conclusion. Throughout this unit, they have come to see that passionate opinions and bold declarations are strengthened by the use of reasoning, examples, and evidence. They also see the importance of understanding a counter-point to their ‘arguments’! We are working on writing quality pieces while challenging them to move towards more independence as a writer.

We are continuing to work on our stamina as independent readers. Finding time to sit down with a good book on the perfect level is an important part of our daily routine. Reading time with families at home is encouraged, too! Reading newspapers, magazines, bedtime stories, or practically anything together can be beneficial. The only way to become a better reader is to READ! Our One School, One Book daily reading assignments fit this idea perfectly!

Third graders continue to develop their number sense and skills as mathematicians as we work through our fractions unit. Not only are we learning how to create fractions, but we’re also studying real models of fractions in our math workshop as “hands-on” practice. This lets us see fractions in action! Students are comparing fractional parts and values on pictorial models and number lines. They are using their knowledge of fractional sizes to support answers when solving problematic tasks. Currently, we are practicing mixed numbers and improper fraction relationships.

In Social Studies, the students have just recently transitioned from discussions surrounding “The Causes of the American Revolution”, to “The American Revolution” itself. They are extremely excited to have now moved on to conversations regarding the actual battles, as well as the brave men who fought them. As students have been in years past, this year’s students continue to be amazed at the details surrounding the evolution of this great nation, as well as South Carolina’s place within it.

Media Center

Students are learning how to navigate the media center as well as our online catalog systems. They are learning to become more self-reliant while finding and checking out books. Also our Kindergartners are learning how scan out their library books themselves, as well as how to check out from the library shelves.

Our One School One Book program has started and it is going very well. Please remember our at home activities such as, you can write an ‘ad’, skit, rap, chant, or poem about bullying or create a Flag or Make a Collage – Flags and collages represent individuals – who they are, what’s special about them, their interests,…. Submit pieces to Ms. Weddington. Upon review, some submissions may be chosen to be broadcast on the morning announcements. If your flag is picked as a winner, you also get a free gift card to Chick-fil-la.

Fourth Grade

It is time for second semester conferences with parents so teachers will be contacting you soon to schedule these. This is an excellent time to discuss progress and any areas that need to be targeted so your children will enter 5th grade ready for success.

Students continue to build their reading skills as they work in their small reading groups. Figurative language will be an instructional focus in March. Students will explore personification, onomatopoeia, and oxymorons and how to incorporate these, and others, in their writing. Additionally, they will learn to recognize the use of figurative language by authors and how it brings their words to life.

As we are approaching the end of the school year, the use of R.A.C.E.S in reading will be reviewed. (R-Restate question, A-Answer the question, C-Cite evidence, E-Explain/Extend, S-Sum it up) This is a skill they need for testing, as well as progressing to 5th grade and then middle school.

In math, students will continue working with fractions. They will add and subtract fractions, as well as mixed numbers, with like denominators. Next they will learn to multiply fractions by a whole number. The use of real world problems will be incorporated into lessons to help students develop reasoning skills.

As a reminder, students need to have their multiplication facts memorized in order to work fluently with fractions. Please encourage them to go to and practice their math facts nightly. Five minutes each night is time well spent.

Two web sites that might prove beneficial for students as they develop their skills in fractions are: (scroll down to the math games)


We will continue our study of the solar system through March. Much of what we’ll examine involves “change.” Our first focus will be- why and how do we have day and night; what changes occur in order for this to take place. Next, we will examine shadows- what are they and why do they change. (There’s that “change” word again.) We’ll wrap up the unit with seasons- What are they, how do they happen, and why do they change?

The Revolutionary War brought us freedom from England’s rule, but with that also brought about change. As a new nation we had to establish a government and all the rules needed to successfully govern ourselves. With this in mind we begin the month examining the “Articles of Confederation”. Next we will look at the Three Branches of Government and the responsibility each branch has. Then we move on to the Bill of Rights and what this means to us. The “Founding Fathers” played an important part in the formation of our nation so we will look at who they are and the role they played. Finally we will learn about the two political parties in America and what this means in our nation.

As you can tell March will be a busy month. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher as we continue on our journey together.


During the month of February, all of our guidance classes celebrated Kindness Month. Our activities ranged from creating kindness webs to making cards for special people in our building that deserve some extra recognition. We also started our Pennies for Patients campaign. Eight brave teachers volunteered to get a pie in their faces if we meet our school goal. The students have been working very hard to ensure that this happens!!

During the month of March, we will be working through our curriculum Safer, Smarter Kids. This program focuses on providing students with tools to keep them safe. One of these tools that students are encouraged to create is their “Trusted Triangle” (kindergarten through third) or their “Safety Network” (fourth and fifth). The Trusted Triangle and/or Safety Network is made up of 3 or more trusted adults that you can talk to about anything. Talk to your child about who they consider to be a part of their Trusted Triangle or Safety Network.

Fifth Grade

We would like to congratulate Khyia Patterson in Dr. McConneaughey’s class for having her art work displayed as part of the Teacher’s Choice Youth Art Exhibit. Her work will be displayed at the Center for the Arts with K-12 art winners from across the district. Congratulations Khyia. As a reminder, final payments for our trip to Washington D.C. are due by Friday, March 15th. Fifth grade has been busy working on Argumentative Writing. Students are learning to research a topic, take a stand on the topic (for or against), and writing to convince others of their view point. In science, Ecosystems are the study of focus. Students will soon be creating classroom terrariums and aquariums in class.