Mustang Roundup

October 2015

Principal's Pen

Hello Mount Holly Families!

We have been extremely busy at Mount Holly! I appreciate all of the support that you provide your children and our school. I would like to send a special thank you to all of our grandparents that joined us for lunch on September 25. We had over 300 grandparents in attendance.

There are many exciting events coming up (see below). I hope that you will join us for all of the events taking place in October. I encourage parents to come out and walk with your child on October 9 as we continue to promote physical fitness and healthy living. The time for your child's walk is listed in the physical education section of this newsletter. I would also like to highlight the Canvas Parent Informational Sessions on October 13 at 8:15 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. for third-fifth grades. Come learn about the on-line learning system that we are using for communication and instructional purposes. Again, thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Children First,

Dr. Barnes

Important Dates

October 9

  • International Walk to School (Walk at School)-See times below

October 12

  • Student Holiday

October 13

  • Canvas Parent Informational Sessions for third-fifth grades (8:15 a.m. & 5:45 p.m.)
  • School Improvement Council Meeting (5:00 p.m.)
  • PTO Meeting (6:30 p.m.)
October 16
  • Fall Pictures
October 17
  • Fall Carnival (10 am-2 pm)
October 26
  • Report Cards Go Home


WOW, school is moving fast! It has already been a little more than a month since we started school. Thank you for working with us and getting your children ready for kindergarten. We had a great start to school and we are beginning to see your children develop some independence and responsibility.

October will be a very busy month. Some things we are working on are identifying letters and the sounds they make, as well as some common high frequency words the children are seeing frequently (I, a, my, is, to, and we). In Writing, we will continue to work on writing letters and the correct formation for letters. Please help us re-enforce the correct letter formation at home when you are helping your child complete his/her homework each night. In math, we are working on shapes, identify and extend simple patterns and ordinal positions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th). In Science, we will be working on using our five senses. Kindergarten is going to be a busy place this October!

We also will have a field trip to Black’s Farm in York on October 19. There will be more information sent home in the following weeks. Please be on the look out in your child’s folder.

All kindergarten classes will participate in Trick-or-Treating on Friday, October 30. We will need candy for this activity…please send in 1 bag of individually wrapped candy by Friday, October 23. Thank you for your support!

Please remember to place an extra change of clothes for your child in a bag in case of accidents. As the weather begins to cool, you may want to change the clothes in the bag for cooler weather. Also, remember to read with your child every night, fill in the reading log, complete all written homework, and review the alphabet chart and high frequency words.

Mrs. Green's Class

We are off to a great start this year. Our PAW buddies, a small group of licensed therapy dogs, with their owners/trainers will begin visiting once a month. Our first visit was on Tuesday, September 29! We will also be participating with Rock Hill Parks and Recreation in community access and training activities.

First Grade

First Grade Happenings


Continue to practice recognizing and writing numbers in the correct number sequence to 30.

Counting objects to 30

Read and write number words to nineteen

Write number words from zero to ten

Work with numbers 0 – 30 using base ten blocks

Write numbers in expanded form. (ex. The number 19 is written as 10 + 9)

Language Arts:


Students are developing into readers who read for sustained periods of time.

Please allow your child to read his/her guided reading book to you each night and PLEASE initial or sign your child’s nightly reading log. These books are also read to the teacher the following day. Your child may be asked various comprehension questions regarding the text.

Students are sequencing stories (i.e. what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story).

Writing - Continue to work on:

Correct letter formation and sentence structure.

Writers begin all sentences with a capital letters and end each sentence with the correct punctuation.

Finger space appropriate amount between words

Begin at red line

Stay on topic

Write for a purpose

Social Studies

Diversity among children around the world.

Compare the various modes of transportation, jobs, homes, and languages of children around the world.

Map Skills (i.e. map features, legends, compass rose, directional words, North, South, East, and West)

Parents please, work with your child to review Kindergarten High Frequency Words. If your child can recognize all 43-Kindergarten words, please work with him/her to learn the First Grade High Frequency Words. Five of these words are sent home each night for your child to study. Your child is assessed on these five words each Friday. Please help your child learn his/her lunch number. Your child keys this number in each day at breakfast (if breakfast is eaten here at school) and each day at lunchtime. Also, for your child’s comfort please send in a jacket of sweater to school.

We are looking forward to a GREAT year as The First Grade Team!

Second Grade

The school year is off to a great start in 2nd grade! In Social Studies, we ended our unit about Communities with a guest speaker from the City of Rock Hill sharing all the different ways Rock Hill has changed over the past several years. We have also been learning about how to use map features to help us understand our community of South Carolina. In Math Workshop, we are working hard on using place value to understand numbers. Every morning we talk about NUMBERS! Number Talks are necessary to build math fluency, so ask your child about “Friends of Ten”, “Doubles”, and “Decomposing” when adding numbers more efficiently. Our students are becoming authors each day as they build onto their personal narratives! They have so many amazing memories to share! In Reading Workshop, we have been focusing on the elements of fiction. So enjoy a great fiction book with your child and ask them to pick out the characters, settings, problem, and solution! We have some exciting Field Trips coming up! We will be heading to downtown Rock Hill to observe the every day routines of some important community helpers as well as heading to Charlotte to watch the play Junie B. Jones. Student permission forms will be sent home via Communication Folders.

Third Grade

Third graders are FALLing into learning! To prepare for our year of reading together, we have covered our expectations for using the classroom library, selecting “just right” books, and reading as thinkers. We have begun to analyze our library and classroom books for character traits and point of view. In writing, we have all gotten to know each other a little better by using narrative pieces to tell ‘small moment’ or ‘seed’ stories about our lives. Within our writing and trade books, we are also looking for correct use of dialogue and stories that begin with great examples of exciting leads. Prefixes and suffixes have been the center of our word study lessons. Our Science and Social Studies lessons have been integrated to begin our nine weeks. We first learned about Earth’s landforms and water features in order to prepare us for our study of the six regions of SC. Our science focus will soon center on rocks and minerals to tie in with both our landforms and SC studies. We are preparing for our first field experience, a visit with Diamond Del to ‘mine’ for precious stones, in October. We can’t wait to see what we find! MAP testing concluded in September. Be on the lookout for conference times to come home soon as we prepare for our first opportunity to discuss student progress.

Fourth Grade

Our first field trip is coming up. Swimming at the YMCA! The dates are as follows: October 26 through the 29. Please be on the look-out for additional information coming home in the red Communication folders.

The first few weeks of school has found us extremely busy. In math, we have finished a study of place value and are now moving into rounding numbers which will lead us into adding and subtracting larger numbers. We continue to study weather in science and are beginning a unit on exploration in social studies. In reading, our main focus currently is on characters and how they are affected by the plot of a story. Shortly, we will tackle the difficult skill of determining the theme of a story.

Many of the fourth graders are excited about performing in The Lion King and we are just as excited about this too! Classroom elections for Student Council will be held soon. Good luck to all who are applying.

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders have been busy this nine weeks! In language arts, we are reading to find the theme of stories. We have become authors and are writing our own stories during writing workshop. During word study, we are learning to spell plural nouns correctly. In math, we are exploring decimals and powers of ten. We have become chemists in science by creating different mixtures and solutions and discovering how they can be separated. We are also moving West in Social Studies on the transcontinental railroad. Please continue to read with your child at home for at least 20 minutes daily. Thank you for supporting your child’s education.


Fourth and Fifth grade students are eagerly awaiting the time to get their recorders and begin playing. Within the next few weeks each 4th grader will be receiving their recorder, so if you have not sent in the $5 to purchase one (or $10 to purchase two) please do so quickly.

The musical parts have been given out and rehearsals have begun for our spring musical, Lion King, Jr. Mark your calendars now because you will not want miss this extraordinary event. The dates are Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25.

I'd like to welcome, Ms. Michelle Brown, to Mount Holly and to our Music class. She is a graduate student at Winthrop and brings a wealth of knowledge with her. We are so excited to have her with us.


It’s always an exciting time when students are in the Art room! Please join me in welcoming Mr. John Rhodes to our Art team. Mr. Rhodes is a Graduate Student at Winthrop University and is working towards his Master’s degree in Art Education. We are fortunate to have his talents and support here at Mount Holly. Likewise, he is fortunate to be working at such an awesome school with AWESOME kids! We are currently working on various projects in the art room. From these projects, student work will be selected for an upcoming Elementary Student Art Exhibit at the Center for the Arts. Stay tuned to see whose art work will be on display. ANOTHER student Art exhibit will be on display at Winthrop University. This exhibit will consist of selected student work created in response to Mr. Rhodes’ student teaching. While we’re talking about art exhibitions, let’s not forget our ongoing, online, student art gallery on Artsonia. Mount Holly has been participating in Artsonia since the opening of Mount Holly in 2008. It’s exciting to see the growth in the digital portfolios of our student artists since then. You will be getting updated notices once the site is completely updated for the 2015-2016 school year. Until then, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns. I will end this post with a special shout out to Mrs. Burris’ Fifth Grade class. They have earned PERFECT scores of 20 in Amazing Art Earnings for the past four consecutive art classes! That means that they have worked beyond reproach each Art class period. Please share my recognition of their work and behavior in the Art room.

Instructional Specialist

Take control of the television

It's difficult to read when competing with the TV and video games. Encourage reading as a free-time activity.

Be patient

When your child is trying to sound out an unfamiliar word, give him or her time to do so. Remind your child to look closely at the first letter or letters of the word.

Pick books that are at the right level.

Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences.

Gently correct your reader

When your child makes a mistake, gently point out the letters he or she overlooked or read incorrectly. Many beginning readers will guess wildly at a word based on its first letter.

Talk, talk, talk!

Talk with your child every day about school and things going on around the house. Sprinkle some interesting words into the conversation, and build on words you've talked about in the past.

Media Center

Fifth grade students enjoyed meeting with author Rob Buyea on September 17 to discuss Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again. These students will also enjoy reading their autographed copy of the third book in the series, Saving Mr. Terupt.

All Mount Holly students have the opportunity to participate in the Read Your Way to the Big Game contest. If your child reads six books and completes the form, they will receive either a Clemson or Carolina bookmark (their choice!) and have their name entered in a drawing to win tickets to the Palmetto Bowl.

Thank you for shopping at and supporting our Mount Holly Book Fair in September. The next Book Fair will be in April!

Our 4th and 5th grade Battle of the Books students are beginning to read their ten novels in order to compete at the school level in February.

Physical Education

Please join us for our International Walk to School Day on Friday, October 9 during your child’s special area class time. We will use this day as a means to celebrate our health and enjoyment of exercise!

Special Area Schedule:

8:15-9:00- 5th Grade

9:10-9:55- 4th Grade

10:05-10:50- 3rd Grade

11:00-11:45- 2nd Grade

12:15-1:00- 1st Grade

1:10-1:55- Kindergarten

In other PE news, 2nd – 5th graders have been discussing My Plate, which is a great visual of a healthy meal. The kids were surprised to learn that the two largest portions of their plates should be vegetables and grains! K – 1st graders have been discussing healthy and unhealthy foods and working on moving our bodies in general space with our magic personal space bubbles!

Counselor's Corner

We have been having a blast in guidance so far this year! During the first few weeks of school each class had the opportunity to meet the school counselor and learn why I work at their school and the reasons why they can come visit me. We have also been discussing what it means to be a good friend and practicing ways to appropriately respond to teasing. We are already making plans for Red Ribbon week at the end of October (October 26 – October 30). Red Ribbon Week is an initiative to educate students on making healthy choices and staying drug free. We will celebrate with dress up days, contests, and prizes. More information will be sent home in the Communication Folders as the week approaches.

Also, please be reminded that small group and individual counseling is available to all students. If you feel that your child could benefit from any of these resources, feel free to let me know. If you have any additional questions or concerns related to the guidance program, you may contact me via phone or e-mail. I am always happy to discuss how I can better serve you and your children.

Warm Regards,

Kaci Kawakami

School Counselor


Office: 803.985.1668


We are gathering Box Tops, Campbell Labels and Tyson Labels to help support our PTO’s goal of raising money to support the students of Mount Holly Elementary. Please send these labels in with your students, in a baggie or envelope, with their name on it to receive a reward. Please do not feel you have to participate but with everyone’s help we can provide more for OUR kids. The date of our next collection is October 30. Thank you for your support.