Knightly News

Mt. Gallant's Quarterly Newsletter: October 2015

Hello Parents!

It's hard to believe that we have been in school for 45 days! We have really enjoyed getting to know and interact with your child/ren. There are so many wonderful things going on in our school each day that we can't possibly share them all; however, reading this newsletter will give you a few highlights from our first 45 days.

We hope to see you at our second annual Fall Showcase on October 29th from 5:30 - 7pm. See the flyer below for more information. We will have food trucks on campus so bring the family for dinner and fall fun! There will be cheeseburgers, hotdogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes and much more. Prices range from $5 - $7.

Our next family event is coming up on November 12th. Come out to see our third grade students perform in honor of Veterans Day. Our Book Fair will also be open until 6:00pm We really hope to see you.

Make-up Picture Day will be Thursday, November 12th.

Congratulations to both our Small Fry and Pee Wee Knights! We are incredibly proud of the hard work they have put in on the field and in the classroom. To officially celebrate these students, we will host our second Knight Day on Friday, November 20th. Parents of Knights football students are invited to eat lunch with their child at the class' regular lunch time. You can bring your child lunch or eat in the cafeteria. An adult lunch is $3.25. Show your school spirit by wearing Mt. Gallant spirit wear or navy blue/gray! Go Knights!

Our students had a BLAST at the PTA Mega Party! PTA is an easy and meaningful way to get involved. Meetings are typically the first Thursday of each month at 6pm. We would love to have you join us.

See you soon,

Mr. Moree and Mrs. Leonard

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Congrats October Terrific Kids!

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Thanksgiving Lunches

We will be serving Thanksgiving lunch on November 12 and 13. We'd love to have you join your child. The cost for lunch is $3.25.

Since our space is limited, please pay close attention to the designated dates below:
November 12 - Kindergarten, Second, and Fourth grades
November 13 - First, Third, and Fifth grades

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.

Playground Updates

This weekend, our playground got a little makeover. Instead of bringing in soil to correct our drainage issue, the district hired some folks to remove existing soil in order to create a slope for water to run off. Students will have to stay off of the area for two weeks to give the soil a chance to settle and the grass seed a chance to pop.

A special thanks to Leane Skroban, David McKeown, and Heather Gregory for helping make this possible!

Knight-o-Bots - Our Competitive Lego Robotics Team

MGES is proud to announce that we have started a competitive robotics team this school year through First Lego League. We are stoked about the work our team is doing to prepare for their state qualifying match this Winter. Lego Robotics encourages students to use teamwork to create and implement a research project on top of programming a robot to complete a series of tasks. Team members are Gabrielle Harvey, Dallas Taylor, Jonathan Barker, Larry Overby, Izzy Wright, Brooke Thomas, Lola Troung, Jia Lin, Caleb Ballard, and Lola Troung. Stop by and see how our work is progressing at the Family Fall Showcase.

Our team is sponsored by Mac Bailey, Melisa Smith, and Jean Whitesides.

PTA News

Happy Fall from the PTA! Our next meeting will be Thursday, November 5th at 6pm in the Library. All are welcome to join us. Here are a few updates for you:

Remember Spiritwear Fridays! Also, if you have any extra or outgrown Spiritwear for our little Knight's who may not have one, you can bring clean, stain-free hand me downs to the front office labeled "Mrs. Abernethy- Spirit wear Giveaway's" or send with your child.


We want to say THANK YOU to all of our families and friends for your support with our fundraiser. We exceeded our goal and ALL of the children celebrated with the Mega Party! Check out some of the highlights on our Facebook page. Fundraiser items will be in soon, please be on the lookout for pickup dates and times.

Box Tops
Thank you for your submissions, please keep them coming! To date we’ve submitted $640.80 and our goal is $2000! Each month the winning class in each grade level is rewarded with a special treat from the “Box Tops Fairy”. September’s winners were: Ard, K. Baker, James, E. Baker and Howe. October’s winners were: Ard, K. Baker, James, Good and Baccus. Who will be the next winners?

Yearbooks will go on sale soon! Be on the lookout for information in your child’s communication folder. Send photo submissions to:

Upcoming Spirit Nights:

McAlister’s Deli/Herlong Monday, Nov. 16
Chick-Fil-A/Cherry Road Thursday, Nov. 19
Chick-Fil-A/Cherry Road Thursday, Dec. 10

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

Lastly, thank you, to all of our volunteers who assist in making Mt. Gallant a wonderful and exciting learning environment for our children. We depend on you! If you haven’t plugged in to volunteering yet, please let us know and we will point you in the right direction!

Jennifer Newton and Christina O’Connor and

2015-16 MGES PTA Co-Presidents


Kindergarten is off to a great start! We have completed the first 9 weeks of school where we have been busy learning about rules and authority figures in social studies and the 5 senses in science. In math we have worked on patterns, ordinal numbers (1st-5th), 2-D and 3-D shapes. During our language arts block, we have been very busy learning beginning reading strategies (finding the front cover, back cover of a book, tracking print, talking about picture clues), naming characters and setting, and learning the job of the author and illustrator. The children have been learning the writing process and what writers do. Writers: think, draw, label, write, add details. We are looking forward to a wonderful 2nd 9 weeks with your children!

First Grade

First grade was hard at work from the first day of school! After several weeks of learning procedures, remembering rules, and learning how to be a Mt. Gallant knight, we were off and learning. We've worked extremely hard to review what we learned in kindergarten and add on to our knowledge with new discoveries.

In math, our focus was on numbers 0-30 along with acquiring knowledge to understand place value. We also learned about repeating patterns, measurement, coins, and 2-d shapes.

In English/ Language Arts, we started 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 worked on answering questions about text, participating in group discussions about a book, and learning how to make predictions. In writing, we wrote our own narratives. We became more proficient in learning how to spell unknown words and adding details to our writing along with remembering capital letters and punctuation.

In content areas (social studies and science), we learned about American democracy, maps, and neighborhoods along with visible light, reflection, and mirrors. We had interesting conversations about how we are able to see things with light and how light reflects off of different objects. We also planted our winter garden and are excited to see our vegetables grow.

We have accomplished so much during the first nine weeks of school and cannot wait to keep learning!

Second Grade

Time flies when you’re having fun! The first grading period zoomed by and was an exciting time for second graders. In science, students enjoyed participating in many hands-on activities to learn about magnets and matter. Addition and subtraction strategies, place value, problem solving, and number sense were studied in mathematics. The local community was the topic of study in social studies, and students also worked on writing narratives.

Reading is an important part of the day in second grade as students work to grow as readers. Many thanks to our wonderful PTA for purchasing the supplemental reading program, Raz Kids, for second graders. Students may practice reading at home by using their personal login to access their Raz Kids class site. Keep on reading!

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Third Grade

Can you believe the first nine weeks are already over? Third grade has been “rockin’” through the past nine weeks learning about data, time, place value, explorers, rocks, minerals, and much more!

In math, we have been working on numbers and operations. Students have learned about data, time, and place value. We will breeze through addition and subtraction then we will be ready to multiply!

In science, we have been exploring our Earth’s materials. Students have observed and discovered rocks and minerals. We have also learned about different landforms that make up our Earth. In the next few weeks we will continue to learn about Earth and how it continuously changes.

In social studies, we have been learning all about the great state of South Carolina. Students have learned about South Carolina’s land regions and the first South Carolinians to inhabit our state. Currently we are learning about European Explorers that came to South Carolina, As we move forward, we will learn more about how South Carolina evolved from a colony into a state.

In language arts, students have learned how to focus more closely on their reading. Students have studied Characterization and Point of View closely. We are working to build our stamina while we read so that we can grow and mature as readers!

We hope that everyone enjoyed our fun and educational visit from Diamond Del! Mr. Rodgers visit to teach us more about the Catawba Indians was lots of fun. Brattonsville was also a great trip as students were able to experience a day in the life of a student in 1840 on the Bratton Plantation! We have enjoyed working with all third grade students thus far, and we look forward to another great nine weeks!

Fourth Grade

We are off to a busy start this year in fourth grade. We are really learning a lot and growing in many ways.

We started our math lessons this year with numbers and operations. We have studied place value, value of numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and now are in to division. Parents, please continue to review basic multiplication and division facts with your student. These basic facts are essential building blocks for the concepts that we will be studying for the rest of the school year in math.

We started the school year off with fiction text in language arts. We have learned about story elements, characters and the effect that story plot plays on character development, and inference. We are now studying theme and main idea/details. We have also written some great narrative pieces in language arts as well. Stay tuned for our “spooky stories” which will make their debut at the Fall Festival!

In science we are wrapping up our units of study on weather. We will be moving into classifying organisms and learning about the different environments organisms live in.

In social studies we have studied our ancient ancestors in the United States and moved into early settlement. We will begin learning about the early colonization of our great nation as we wrap up our standard on exploration.

Fourth grade also hosted a Parent Canvas Night to help our parents get their Canvas accounts set up. If you missed this opportunity, we will have someone here to help you with this at the Fall Festival. This is a great way to get involved with our classroom and monitor your student’s grades.

Fourth grade teachers would like to thank you for all of your support in getting this school year off to a smooth start. We look forward to a great school year!

Fifth Grade

In ELA we read the book Because of Mr. Terrupt. We were fortunate to have the author of this book visit our school. We also learned to quote accurately from a text, summarize, and how to determine the theme of a story.

In Math we have learned to read and compare decimals to the thousandths place. We learned to multiply multi-digit numbers. We also reviewed perimeter, area, and learned how to find the volume of a rectangular prism.

In Social Studies we studied the Reconstruction era. We started studying the westward expansion. During the first quarter, we have learned how technology impacted settlement of the west.

We have been busy investigating mixtures and solutions in Science. Through experimentation, we learned how to separate mixtures and solutions. We studied how to concentrate and dilute a solution.

Gifted and Talented News from Catherine Williams

Gifted children’s advanced vocabulary can often fool adults into thinking they understand themselves better than they actually do. As parents and teachers, we often need to listen to what gifted children “are not” saying so we will know what they are feeling and how to best guide them. Clinical child psychologist Dr. Sylvia Rimm, director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, speaks and publishes internationally on family and school approaches to meeting the social and emotional needs of gifted students. She offers these pointers:

  • Sit and listen to your children every day. Suppertime and pre-bedtime chats can be very effective.
  • Really listen. Sometimes we adults tend to take over the conversation, which stops children from talking.
  • When children talk about their friends’ feelings, they are often describing their own and are watching for their parents’ reactions. React and answer with caution.
  • Small tears can indicate there is a deeper issue involved than what they have shared with you.
  • Does your child make eye contact when talking with you? If not, they may not be telling the truth.

In the next newsletter, we will continue our discussion of Dr. Rimm’s excellent tips.

Art - Ms. Gregory

During our first 9 weeks, the Art Room has been “Going Places”! We all started the year with Peter Reynold’s book Going Places and enjoyed celebrating “Dot Day” on Sept. 15th.

5th grade classes made Pop Art “Selfies” and studied the art of Andy Warhol. 4th graders learned about the Navajo and the art of weaving. 3rd grade classes have been focused on SC symbols. Native American masks have started off 2nd grade travels in art class. 1st graders made royal self-portraits after looking at the art of James Rizzi and then became castle architects and designed a place for their royal self to live. Finally, kindergarteners are focused on basic skills and color studies. We are learning about Primary and Secondary colors through the book Monsters Love Colors.

Great things are coming up too! We’ll enjoy clay projects in 1st, 2nd and 4th grade. 3rd grade Vernon Grant gnomes will be on display at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. 4th will be designing original video games while 5th creates personal Super Hero characters. Kindergarten will be learning about the seasons and 2nd will be studying knights from the Middle Ages and China.

In November, check out our school’s traveling art “Show on the Road” at the YMCA and visit the RHSD Fall Art Show at the Center for the Arts. Also, don’t forget to view our virtual art gallery at! Every MGES artist will have new work posted soon.

Guidance - Ms. Abernethy

Mt. Gallant Elementary School is celebrating Red Ribbon Week during the week of October 26th- October 30th. Red Ribbon Week commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while fighting the battle against illegal drugs to keep our country and children safe. The goal of Red Ribbon Week is to teach students the importance of a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The week focus will be “ I Am A-Maze-ing Drug-Free”. Our activities for the week include jump rope for heart, drawings for prizes and a straw bale maze during our Fall Showcase on October 29th. You can support red ribbon week by talking to your children about making healthy choices. Research shows that parents play the most significant role in setting the example of a healthy lifestyle among our youth.

Library/Media - Ms. Smith

Library Media News

We have had a great start to our library program this school year! During the first nine weeks, we had an ice cream celebration for our students who completed the summer reading challenge. On top of some sweet treats, students also got a superhero goody bag with some free books. In library classes, students have been participating in station activities that include reading, coding, writing, and a STEM MakerSpace. A MakerSpace is where students are given opportunities to create and discover using various materials. Our MakerSpace stations for this nine weeks were building with Legos(K-5) and creating a stand-alone tower of cards (gr.3-5) . A major area of emphasis in the library this school year will be writing. During the 1st nine weeks, students analyzed writing crafts/skills that authors use to create incredible introductions and captivating conclusions. Literacy lessons have been on choosing “just right” books and a look at our SC book award nominees.

Please encourage your child to participate in our reading clubs and challenges. Each month, we have our Book-It Reading Challenge. Students who read 20 minutes and return a signed calendar will get a coupon for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. For October, students who completed the challenged also received a ticket for a Winthrop University soccer match. We have many K-2 students who are participating in the Royal Readers nine weeks challenge. This challenge encourages students to read a variety of genres. An exciting challenge for our 1st-5th graders has been the SC Palmetto Reading Challenge. Students who read 6 books before November 1st will get a chance to win free tickets to the SC vs Clemson game in November. All students who turn in their Palmetto Reading Challenge reading log will be invited to a tailgate party hosted by the library! Keep Reading!

Music - Ms. Abril

K- Kindergarten students have been singing, moving and playing instruments to identify and represent steady beat in music. We are using animal friendly music for our focus this week. We have had fun playing with puppets, singing games, practicing letter sounds and spelling the animal names from our songs. Students have also had the opportunity to play maracas, hand drums, tambourines, and rhythm sticks.

1- Boomwhackers and Bells is the name of the game for 1st grade students. 1st Grade students have been reading iconic notation to play both boomwhackers and handbells. Students have played songs such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” These songs were exciting because they were our mystery songs. They were not told the title. Students had to follow their music and work as a team. Once the whole class read the song, they were able to NAME that Tune! Students also made their own music compositions with a small group. Each group practiced their composition and performed for the class!

2- Around the world we go! Our 2nd grade students have been learning about our 7 continents, and various countries around the world such as France and Japan. Students are singing songs in foreign languages, and participating in discussions about various cultures. This starts a year-long process of singing, dancing and playing instruments to music from around the world. Ask your child to sing a song to you in French!

3- Do see Do! Third grade students have been listening to folk music from the United States, and have learned about folk dance, specifically the Virginia Reel. Ask your child to teach you. Perhaps your family could do the dance at home! 3rd grade students also started to learn a bit about vocal production to move forward towards our next unit preparing them for the Veteran’s Day Program.

4- “Dip, dip and swing” Students have been singing and playing instruments to Native American inspired music. They have also been a part of the arranging process of our song for the Fall Showcase. Students are now moving towards a unit in vocal production to prepare them for the Holiday Sing A’Long,.

5- Basketballs and Buckets- There is no doubt that peeking into a 5th grade music classroom at MGES might look very different, and perhaps like a PE class! Students have been playing basketballs to feel steady beat and other note values within a song. The students are demonstrating whole, half, quarter and eighth notes in their basketball routine. We have also started a unit in bucket drumming! This is made possible through the Rock Hill Foundation Grants. Be on the lookout. The Knightline Drumline is coming!

PE - Mr. McKeown

This 9 weeks in Physical Education class, we covered striking with body parts using volleyball and soccer. We also covered the Fitness-Gram fitness test.

The second 9 weeks we'll cover jumping rope (AHA Jump Rope For Heart Fundraiser), striking with body parts, throwing and catching using basketball. Striking with an implement, throwing and catching will be in our baseball unit.

Reading Coach's Corner

Did your mama ever tell you “practice makes perfect” while growing up? Well, she was partially right. Having students practice their reading every night can have a high impact on their reading achievement. So how long is appropriate for young children to read? Many studies say that doubling your child’s age is a simple way to calculate an appropriate amount of time for him/her to spend reading at home. But what we often forget is that children can equally benefit from being read to each night. Children develop as readers, speakers, and listeners just by hearing the fluency and expression that other readers (like you) often use. Let your reading serve as a model to your child of what reading sounds like. Encourage new readers to make their reading sound expressive like the characters they read about, and challenge experienced readers to utilize punctuation in texts in order to phrase their reading and show emphasis. Make reading to and with your child a daily, non-negotiable habit like brushing your teeth before bedtime…Mama says!

COMING SOON: How to help your child choose a “just right” book

Keep reading!