Knightly News

Mt. Gallant's Quarterly Newsletter: March 2016

Hello Parents!

Happy Spring! It’s hard to believe how quickly this year is going. We have so many things to look forward to as we enter 4th quarter.

This is a time when parents begin to have questions about the next school year and what it will look like for their child. The creation of the class list is a thoughtful and involved process that I would like to share with you.

There are many things to consider as students are sorted into classrooms: instructional needs, support services that are provided for students and require scheduled time outside the classroom (reading services, special education resource, academically talented, speech/language services), behavioral needs, gender balance, interpersonal relationships, and learning styles. Each class list is evaluated and adjusted many times before being shared with parents.

As a parent, if I have questions about next year, what do I need to do?

  • If your child has a specific instructional or social need that you would like to be considered by me when making a classroom placement, please submit a letter addressed to me detailing these needs.
  • Please, do not request a specific teacher in your letter; such requests cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, I am asking that parents do not approach individual teachers to ask for teacher recommendations for next year. Parents can submit a letter describing the type of teaching style or classroom environment they feel best suits their child.
  • Even if a letter has been submitted in previous years, a new letter must be provided at the start of each school year. Circumstances change each school year and we rely on the most up-to-date information to develop class lists.
  • Please address any letters directly to Mr. Moree or email to
  • If you would like to discuss your requests directly with me, I’d be happy to talk or meet with you. You will just need to call the school to make an appointment.
  • Any special requests submitted will be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @MtGallantElem and find us on Facebook at Mt.Gallant PTA.

See you soon!

Jacob Moree

Peanut/Tree Nut Allergies

We have many students with peanut and tree nut allergies. To ensure that these students are able to enjoy lunch safely, there is a designated table for only these students. If you are joining your child for lunch, you will sit at the tables on the stage. Thank you for understanding and protecting our students.

Challenger Update

The last day to sign up for Challenger for the remainder of the school year is Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The last start day will be April 11, 2016

News from PTA

Happy Spring! We invite you to our upcoming meetings on Thursday, April 14th and May 5th at 6:00pm in the Library. All are welcome!

Thank you families for coming out to our second annual Family Health Day! We had so much fun spending time with our MGES Family. As always, thank you for supporting our school!

Upcoming Spirit Nights:

1. Groucho’s Deli/Cherry Rd Thursday, March 24th 5:00pm-9:00pm

2. TCBY/Manchester Monday, April 4th 4:00pm-9:00pm

3. Groucho’s Deli/Cherry Rd Thursday, April 21st 5:00pm-9:00pm

4. TCBY/Manchester Monday, May 2nd 4:00pm-9:00pm

5. McAlister’s Deli/Herlong Rd Monday, May 16th 5:00pm-9:00pm

Flu/Allergy Season
Now is a great time to check with your teacher to see if tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are needed. We can never be too careful to help keep every child well for learning!

SAVE the date
Spring Dance: Thursday, May 19th 6-8pm (3rd to 5th Grade MGES students only)

Follow us on Facebook: Mt. Gallant PTA. Also, don’t forget to share school related photos with us! Email them to:

Looking for a place to plug in? Please let us know and we will point you in the right direction! You are very important to us and we depend on you.

Jennifer Newton

Christina O’Connor

2015-16 MGES PTA Co-Presidents


Kindergarten is a very busy place to be. We have been working on increasing our reading levels through our guided reading block, independent reading and partner reading. Students have been working hard with opinion writing and how to books during our guided writing lessons with the Lucy Calkins framework.

In math, we have worked on addition and subtraction within ten, ways to make 10 by adding 1-9, and counting by ones and tens to one hundred. Our children have learned so much about how the weather / seasons effects humans. We graphed our daily weather patterns and discussed the findings. In social studies the children loved learning about our American symbols and figures. They loved writing about making models to represent the American symbols and figures.

Kindergarten is truly the place to be!

First Grade

First grade is flying by as students learn and work together. It is difficult to believe we only have a quarter of the school year left! As we have a limited amount of time together, we remind parents to read every night with their child and ask questions about the text (i.e. setting, characters, cause/effect, new information learned, etc.).

In math, our focus was on numbers 0-100 along with growing understanding of place value. We also worked on partitioning shapes, creating new shapes, story problems, and adding with three addends. Fourth quarter focuses on building a firm foundation of place value while using that knowledge to add within 100. We will also be looking at graphs again and keep on building more applicable math knowledge using story problems.

In English/ Language Arts, we continue to meet in small guided reading groups to learn how to read on our own level while still practicing reading during independent reading time. We continued working on non-fiction text features along with writing opinion pieces. During fourth quarter, we will start writing our own fictional series of books and learn how authors develop characters and stories. We will also be focusing on realistic fiction.

In content areas (social studies and science), we learned about natural resources and how we use things from nature everyday. We have planted our spring garden and look forward to growing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and a lettuce mix as we learn more about plants, how they grow, and how different plants are able to survive in different environments. In social studies, we are getting ready to learn about important contributors to democracy like Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin along with learning about wants and needs.

We are looking forward to fourth quarter and seeing just how much our students really do grow and change. We are amazed by the changes in learning and personal responsibility students are showing and cannot wait to see how their learning continues to grow.

Second Grade

Second grade had a blast during the third nine weeks. In Math, the students are continuing to grow with their number sense and are enjoying the daily number talks. They are using many strategies to solve equations and explain their thinking. During Math Workshop, we learned all about fractions, data/graphing, and built the foundation for understanding multiplication.

In Writing Workshop, the children perfected their writing skills and wrote letters to share their opinion on various topics. The students also worked hard on identifying the author’s purpose, character traits, and becoming critical readers and thinkers. We are so proud of the stamina the children are gaining during independent reading!

During Science, the students were able to explore severe weather, record daily weather observations, and analyze weather data. The students each did a good job acting as our meteorologist for the day, and shared all of the knowledge they learned about weather with their classmates. Our Social Studies unit gave students the opportunity to explore various regions of the U.S. They were able to discuss the cultural contributions of different groups of people, recognize traditions, and recall songs and stories that reflect cultural history.

We are having so much fun learning and are excited about taking a field trip to Brattonsville on April 14th, 2016 to learn about life in the 1800s. Please talk with your child about what they are learning each day. We know they are excited to share their experiences with someone at home! Thanks for all you do every day to help your child and reinforce what we are learning at school!

Third Grade

Third nine weeks…gone…just like that! We have been working hard this quarter and are gearing up for the best quarter yet before our summer break!

In math, we continue to become math fact masters of multiplication and division. We have mastered fractions and are currently diving into measurement.

In science, we are investigating habitats and environments including a study of fossils coming up soon.

In social studies, the Civil War has been our focus and the students have been very excited to learn about all of the hardships endured by the people of South Carolina because of this devastating time in history.

In language arts, we are wrapping up our writing focus on opinion writing as well as completing our informational text studies. We will move on with narratives and increasing stamina this last quarter to prepare for fourth grade. Please continue to encourage your child to read each night and participate in the many reading challenges offered through the library.

We had SO much fun during Read Across America Week and look forward to rocking this last nine weeks as we prepare for State testing for the very first time as third graders!

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders continue to work diligently as we move in to the last quarter of our school year. We have completed our unit of study on measurement and angles. In this unit we learned basic units of measurement and used these to make conversions. We also learned about acute, obtuse, and right angles. We were very excited to learn how to use a protractor to measure angles. We are looking forward to learning about geometry in the last nine weeks.

In Language Arts we wrapped up our study of non-fictional text. We are reviewing fiction and nonfiction to help get ready for spring testing. We also worked on writing opinion pieces of writing using text as evidence to back up our opinions. We will continue working on this into the fourth nine weeks. We have finished our study of astronomy and are moving into light and energy. We enjoyed our field trip to the Nature Museum to look at animal adaptations and attended a planetarium show. In social studies we are moving right along in studying the history of our great nation. We have studied formation of our nation after the Revolutionary War and how our government was formed and still works today.

Please continue to study basic multiplication facts with your student, as this is an area of weakness for many of our fourth graders. Thank you for all you do to help us make fourth grade a success for each and every child.

Fifth Grade

5th grade is speeding right along into Motion and Design using different degrees of force.

Welcome to the Suburbs!!! In Social Studies, we are cruising through the timeline of our history during the 1950's. We are very excited about our upcoming field trip as we walk through history at the Levine's Museum of the New South.

In Language Arts, we are continuing to read and respond to text along with being able to express our opinions in writing. We've had some great read alouds!!

Shapes, Shapes, and more shapes.....Geometry is up next!

Gifted and Talented News - Catherine Williams

What can parents and teachers do when children say “I can’t,” but they can, and we know it? A recent article in The New York Times by Jessica Lahey cited experts who note that some children give up before they even begin to avoid disappointment, frustration, or embarrassment. If this is the case, parents and teachers should not avoid tasks or situations that can lead to anxiety, but instead should empower and encourage anxious children to face their fears so they can learn to overcome obstacles and control outcomes.

Other children have learned from experience that if they stall or refuse to do something they don’t want to do, someone will eventually do it for them. The trick for both teachers and parents is to know when to hold back and let children struggle a bit and when to step in and help out when a task is truly beyond a child’s ability. Our job is to guide children toward independence and a sense that they themselves can take on most tasks --- and that if they’re not yet fully competent, they’ll learn.

Art - Ms. Gregory

5th grade classes have been learning about the magnification in Georgia O’Keeffe’s work and are using photography to look at everyday objects in a new way. 4th graders are studying abstract art and are using Google Earth to inspire abstract paintings. 3rd grade classes have been focused on a few well-known SC artists. Ask them about Philip Simmons and Catawba pottery. Second graders continued their travels to the 7 Continents by creating South American rainforest birds and African mud cloths. 1st grade classes looked at the work of author/illustrator Eric Carle and created black light bird collages. Kindergarteners completed symmetrical butterflies.

Our last 9 weeks will be filled with a bunch of new art-ventures! 5th grade and kindergarten will be up to their eyeballs in clay. 4th graders will be designing original video games. 3rd grade will be discovering “The Chicken Man” and 2nd will paint like the Aborigines. All 1st graders will be creating dinosaur paintings for a large summer program at the Museum of York County. We are looking forward to an artists’ reception on May 12th and seeing our work featured as a part of the “Dinosaur Revolution” exhibit!

Please plan to visit the school in April to see our Spring Art Show! You also won’t want to miss “Family Art Night” on Thursday April 28th. Come join us for lots of FREE art themed activities, give your favorite art a blue ribbon, and hear the MGES choir perform. This is not a fundraiser - just a real chance for you to spend the evening together as a family celebrating creativity and FUN!

Our artwork can always be seen at Please consider checking out our virtual art gallery soon and remember…Mrs. Gregory gets 20% on any order from Artsonia to buy art supplies for the classroom! It’s never too early to think about Mother’s Day gifts…or Father’s Day…or birthdays…or Christmas!

Guidance Gab - Ms. Abernethy

Career Awareness is the theme for Classroom Guidance Lessons. Did you know that there are 16 career clusters? Fourth and fifth graders do. They are even aligning their interests to related career clusters. Younger students are learning about careers and identifying areas of interests.

Elementary School is not too early for you to start teaching your child about Career Awareness. Holland, a renowned career theorist, found that day dreams about jobs are actually precursors to occupational choice. One way to start talking to your child about careers is to talk about the things that interest your child. Then, point out how these items of interest relate to activities that adults do. Being an involved parent and encouraging your child to think about careers from an early age will help your child be successful in life.

Library/Media - Ms. Smith

Happy Spring from the Library! I hope your family had a fun week celebrating Read Across America! Special thanks to our second and fifth graders who performed at our family literacy night. It was great night as our school celebrated our love for reading!

The library is excited to share some exciting news about some of our MGES readers. Congratulations to our Battle of the Books team who will represent Mount Gallant at the March 19th district finals. Our MGES team members are Chloe Miller, Brooke Thomas, Brody Donaldson, Nashon Sushanek, McKenna Baker, Dallas Taylor, Christian Griffin, and Nahari Sushanek. We are proud of these students and wish them the best of luck! Fifty MGES readers will also be honored on March 30th at a Winthrop Eagles Men’s baseball game for completing the February reading challenge. Way to go, readers! Lastly, the Mt. Gallant art and library programs are working together to have our first grade students’ artwork and research booklets featured at the Museum of York County’s “Dinosaur Revolution” exhibit. Our first grade paleontologists are excited about sharing the research they did while in library class with the Rock Hill community. The first grade students will be honored on May 12th at MYoC!

During the 4th nine weeks, K-5 will complete units on poetry and drama. Students will learn the elements of poetry and drama while enjoying the fun side of literacy. During the month of May, 3rd-5th graders will have a Poetry Slam to share original poems and/or poetry from their favorite authors.

Look for information concerning our end-of-the-year book swap and summer reading program in the coming weeks.

Music - Ms. Abril

Kindergarten will start a unit heavily centered around instrument playing this last 9 weeks. Students will mainly be playing boomwhackers and colored handbells. Students will also be preparing for their kindergarten graduation. Our students will sing a song or two for you at their promotion ceremony.

Our 1st grade students are excited to sing at our 2nd annual Family Health Day, on Saturday March 19th. After our performance we will start a unit on entertainment. Students will learn about various forms of musical entertainment including: ballets, musicals, operas, orchestra programs, etc. Students will also participate in short musicals that will have them singing, dancing, acting and playing instruments! It will be a very fun unit!

Our 2nd grade students did such a good job presenting their program for Read Across America. I was very proud of all of them. We are now gearing up for a unit surround music performance based solely on reading traditional music notation, as well as composing rhythm pieces to perform for class.

Our 3rd grade students have had a wonderful time studying jazz and blues. Our cotton club will happen the week of March 28th-April 1st. Please review the letter going home for more information. After we finish the cotton club, students will participate in a program called Mallet Madness. Students will have the opportunity to play each and every percussion instrument in our classroom including: xylophones, glockenspiels, metallaphones, cowbells, rhythm sticks, claves and more!

Our 4th grade students will finally start their Recorder Karate program. Again, parents, I apologize for them being on backorder! This is an exciting program that motivates students by awarding colored “belts” each time a new song is learned. Students will learn how to play the recorder with correct fingering and technique while reading music on their own.

Our 5th grade students will continue their work in our keyboard lab. By the end of the unit, our students will be able to play at least 3 songs, and a C Major scale. After our keyboard unit, we will do more work with our buckets and bucket drumming, as well as prepare for our 5th grade graduation song. They will sing at their graduation in June.

PE - Mr. McKeown

In our final 9 weeks, we' ll be reviewing all of the sports and activities that we've covered. Badminton, volleyball, soccer, baseball/softball, basketball. We will also cover bowling using the loaner kits from Strikers Bowling Center and 5th grade will do archery during the month of May.

Reading Coach's Corner

Avoid “Summer Slide!”

Experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not, often slide backwards. This often causes teachers to spend at least a month reteaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of reteaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills. Here are some ways recommended by Scholastic to avoid Summer Slide:

  1. Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy. Take advantage of your local library. Ask for help selecting books that match your child's age, interests, and abilities.
  2. Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Find them throughout the day:
    • Morning: The newspaper — even if it is just the comics or today's weather.
    • Daytime: Schedules, TV guides, magazines, online resources, etc. For example, if your daughter likes the food channel, help her look for a recipe on the network's Web site — then cook it together for more reading practice.
    • Evening: End the day by having your child read to you from the book he is currently reading (one of the six books, above). Have him rehearse a paragraph, page, or chapter before reading to you. Rereading will help him be more fluent — able to read at an appropriate speed, correctly, and with nice expression.
  3. Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child can't, so she will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase her knowledge and expand her experience with text, so that she will do better when she reads on her own.

It's hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. These suggestions will fit into a busy schedule and make reading fun!

Mark Your Calendar:


21 - Report Cards Sent Home

22 - Fourth and Fifth Grades to Dutchman for Grease performance

25 - No School

28 - Chick-fil-a Spirit Day - Cherry Road Location

30 - Spring Pictures

30 - Winthrop Baseball Game - Readers Recognized -


4 - 8 - Spring Break

13 - MAP Window Opens for K-2

14 - Parent Volunteer Drop-in Reception - 5-6pm

15 - Chalk on Main - Mt. Gallant will have a section thanks to Ms. Gregory - 4:30pm

26 - SC Ready - Writing Grades 3 - 5 - Paper/Pencil

27 - SC Ready - Reading Grades 3 - 5 - Paper/Pencil

28 - SC Ready - Math Grades 3 - 5 - Paper/Pencil

28 - Family Art Night - 5:30-7pm - Dinner may be purchased at 5:30pm


3 - KNN, Color Guard, and Ambassadors Field Trip

4 - MAP Window Opens for 3-5

5 - SIC at 5:15; PTA at 6pm

11 - 27 - SC PASS Online Window for Science and SS for Grades 4-5

12 - York County Museum Dinosaur Reception for First Grade Only During School Day

18 - TK Ceremony @ 8:30

19 - PTA Dance (for students in grades 3-5 only. Not open to non-MGES students)

20 - No School - Inclement Weather Make-up Day

27 - Knights of the Round Table & Gallant Girls Field Trip

30 - No School

31 - Field Day (Info to come)


1 - Fifth Grade Promotion at 8:30am

2 - Kindergarten Promotion at 8:30am