Mustang Roundup

November 2017

Principal's Pen

Dear Parents,

Please see the important dates below:

Wednesday, October 25: T-shirt Orders Due
Thursday, October 26: Fall Fundraiser Pick-up from 2:00 - 6:00
Thursday, October 26: Fall Ball from 2:30-4:00
Thursday, November 2: School Improvement Council Meeting @ 5:00
Thursday, November 2: PTO Meeting @ 6:00
Saturday, November 4: Fall Carnival from 10:00 - 1:00
Monday, November 13: Veteran's Day Parade (more information to follow)
Thursday, November 16: Lunch and Learn for Kindergarten, Second, and Fourth Grade (invitation to follow)
Friday, November 17: Lunch and Learn for First, Third, and Fifth Grade (invitation to follow)
Friday, November 17: Make-Up Pictures
Wednesday, November 22 - Friday, November 24: Thanksgiving Holiday

Children First,
Dr. Barnes

School Nurse

ITS FLU SEASON!! I would encourage parents, guardians, and students to get the flu vaccine this fall. The flu illness is easily spread by cough and sneeze and can cause symptoms of fever, headache, chills, sore throat, fatigue, cough, and body aches. Please keep your child at home if they exhibit these symptoms. Protect yourself and protect others.

Ms. Fuller and Mrs. Tomlin

Ms. Fuller’s class has been busy learning all about ways to move and the parts of the body! The students enjoyed moving around the track during walk to school day! We have also been very busy learning all about ABAB patterns. We even created colorful patterns using pompoms. We can’t wait to go to Fleet Equestrian center and see our favorite horses at the end of the month!

Mrs. Tomlin’s class has been learning about community helpers. We have studied police officers and firemen so far. The students enjoyed the interactive lessons in our Unique Curriculum that discussed community helpers and their responsibilities. We have also been very busy preparing for Red Ribbon Week! Our classroom theme is: News2You: Don’t Fall For Drugs, Be Unique! We are looking forward to our field study to Fleet Equestrian Center at the end of the month!

**Mrs. Tomlin’s class is very blessed to have amazing parent support. A parent and grandparent redesigned our sandbox to make it sturdier and painted a beautiful mural on the top. Thank you to our parents!**


Kindergarten will have our Lunch and Learn on November 16th. We will perform a play and sing some Thanksgiving songs. Children will either be a Native American or Pilgrim for the play. As this day approaches, please be on the lookout for information about what your child will need to wear for the play. We welcome all of our families to join us for lunch after the performance.
With the season changing, we ask that parents please be sure that your change of clothes are appropriate for the weather outside. When students have an accident at school and no change of clothes are available in their book-bag, we must then call parents to bring a change of clothes. We know this is inconvenient, however we are unable to provide clothing for bathroom emergencies.

We have started to allow students to purchase ice cream daily. If you would like for your child to purchase ice cream, it will be 75 cents. Instead of receiving the class snack for the day, your child will receive their ice cream during this time.

Challenger parents please remember to review your child's homework and do the reading homework with your child at home. Challenger teachers do homework with children here at school. However, the reading homework should be done at home. Your child should be reading the leveled books that they are bringing home each day. These leveled books belong to the school, so please be mindful of siblings holding them and be sure to return them to school daily!

This month, Kindergartners will be working on writing sentences on their own. Students will be encouraged to write about subjects they know a lot about. If this is something that your child would like to do at home, please encourage them to do so. In Math, we will be focusing on number sense. This includes, counting objects, figuring out how many are in a group, classifying a group to have more/less than another group, and writing numbers 1-10. In Science, we will be learning about the different types of wood and paper. This learning opportunity will involve hands on activities where your child will learn all about the properties of wood and paper. In Social Studies, we will be learning about different things that happened long ago and compare them to things we do today. The kids love to see old telephones and the first cars that were made compared to the phones and cars they see today.

Thank you for coming in to hear about how your child is doing so far in Kindergarten. We have really enjoyed sharing their strengths with you all. As always, thank you for all that you do to help make this school year a success for your child!

First Grade

Here we are already moving into the third week of the second quarter. The year is marching on! On October 27th the first-grade class will go on its first field study to tour the heart of our community, downtown Rock Hill. We will learn about our City Hall, the City Police Department, the 911 Dispatch Center, the Firefighters Museum, and then we will eat lunch at Fountain Park! This field study goes along with our Social Studies standards for the first quarter. The “City Tour” allows our students to experience, in person, some of the community helpers we learned about in the classroom.

In our Language Arts block, we are continuing to learn strategies in Guided Reading to help students read with fluency and understanding. Students are continuing to work hard on these strategies to progress in their reading levels. We are also reading selections from our Junior Great Books (JGB) series to explore specific details and facts about our characters and the story, as well as noticing the orderly sequence of events. Independent reading is a big deal in first grade! Independent Reading is when students choose their own books and then spend time reading those books in order to practice reading skills and to develop stamina in maintaining focus in thoughtful reading. In Writing Workshop, we are writing “Teaching Stories”. The students are focusing on writing books about their many areas of expertise in a way to teach peers. Some of the topics have ranged from how to play football, to making cupcakes or friendship bracelets. Our students are doing a great job teaching each other about the many activities they are good at! Please remember to practice recognizing the First and Second Grade High Frequency Words at home as this knowledge is essential in developing fluency and drawing meaning from what we read.

In Social Studies, we have been exploring the role of government, authority figures, and how enforcing the law helps to ensure the rights and safety of all. These are important concepts in building an understanding of our rights and corresponding responsibilities as American Citizens. One of the primary ways in which Americans exercise their rights is in the act of electing public officials. We will also learn that we can help our community by serving as an elected official.

Our Science unit, The Sun and Moon, builds on some of the topics we studied in the 1st quarter. We will explore the predictable, cyclical nature of the moon phases, and the seasonal patterns in the rising/setting of the sun. The sun is the earth’s primary source of natural light. We will study how the sun benefits our environment and how we can decrease harmful effects of the sun on the earth. Finally, technology allows us to study planets, stars, and other aspects of space. Students will be introduced to some of the instruments that help us to gather information about these wonders.

We continue to work hard in Math Workshop learning about adding with 3 addends and applying the Associative and Commutative Properties of Addition—the key concept here is that you can add the numerals in an equation in any order and still get the same answer. We are continuing to build our number sense knowledge by counting by ones, fives, and tens, as well as connecting addition to increasing number values and connecting subtraction to decreasing number values. We will also continue to Practice our skills by using various strategies to solve real-world story problems with addition. A little later we will begin exploring strategies to solve addition problems with unknown addends. All of these mathematical ideas, concepts, and strategies will be reinforced and better understood by students through the use of classroom Math Talks where students explain how and why they have come to their solutions.

Second Grade

This month in Science we are learning about irreversible and reversible changes in matter. We are also learning that temperature causes matter to change from one type of matter to another. Magnets are another type of matter, which students are excitedly using in science explorations. Math lessons include using place value vocabulary to explain their thinking while adding and subtracting 10 and 100 from numbers up to 1,000. Students are representing numbers in standard form, expanded form, and base-ten models. We will continue practicing number sense in number talks and class discussions weekly. In Reading, the students are receiving small group instruction for comprehension, cause and effect, and sequencing strategies. Our RTI groups are also addressing these reading skills along with utilizing Jacob’s ladder to guide deeper discussions. Teachers will continue to model the writing portion of Jacob’s ladder so that students can continue to improve their understanding and be able to apply these skills independently. It’s amazing to reflect on the educational growth that second grade students have made since the beginning of the school year.

Third Grade

We just concluded our unit on using addition and subtraction fluently to 1,000 using our knowledge of place value. Some students need to continue practicing their addition and subtraction thinking. We will revisit this skill throughout the year. In order for our students to be successful, they need to be able to add and subtract up to 20 with automaticity and to be able to use addition and subtraction strategies accurately and efficiently. We have now begun our multiplication unit! The students will begin to use multiplicative thinking to recognizing groups of objects instead of individual objects. They are learning that multiplication can be modeled through repeated addition.

Our students are making progress as writers! We have enjoyed reading their “small moments” pieces. Throughout the writing process, we will continue to work on writing for validity. Writers are reminded of the procedures used daily in all facets of writing. These procedures are, but are not limited to: beginning each sentence with a capital letter, stretching out words when spelling unfamiliar words, using dictionaries, having a beginning, middle, and ending to their stories, using legible penmanship, and placing the appropriate punctuation at the end of a complete thought.

Third grade students will be able to experience rocks and minerals “mining” as Diamond Del visits Mount Holly on November 30th. Students will be able to mine for minerals and keep them as souvenirs. Please send in $10 to pay for this experience along with the permission slip if you have not already done so. Both the payment and permission slips are due by Friday, November 10th.

The Third Grade Team applauds those of you who took the time out of your busy schedule to have a face-to-face conference with your child’s teacher. Family involvement is a vital component in a child’s academic success!

Fourth Grade

In Language Arts, we will begin wrapping up our Fiction unit of study with summarizing and determining the main idea. It is crucial that students practice their guided reading each night to build fluency as well as understanding and meaning. By mid-month, we will begin Fountas and Pinnell benchmark testing to see the growth students have made in Guided Reading this year. We are certain to see growth and look forward to sharing the results with you as they come to us. In math, we are focusing on using our skills to become Division scholars! It will be important for students to continue practicing their multiplication drills each night to ensure fluency! We will continue our study of Weather. 0ur budding meteorologists continue to focus on the sky and atmospheric changes and how it affects our Earth! In Social Studies, we will learn more about the foundation of the country’s early colonies by the Spanish, French and English. Then we go to war! Students will learn the causes and effects of the French and Indian war and how it ultimately led to the United States' freedom in the American Revolution. We hope you visit our class to see all of these wonderful things going on November 16th and feel free to stay for lunch afterwards as well!

Fifth Grade

A huge “Thank you!” goes out to the students who sold tickets for the first DC fundraiser, those who supported these students and purchased tickets for the BBQ, and Outbreak Church for hosting the event. Our first place ticket selling winner was Hailey Ackerman! She sold 12 tickets! Our next fundraiser is a Fish Fry, which will be on Saturday, January 27th at Outbreak Church.

The last day to hand in permission slips, fundraising contracts, and the deposit for the Washington DC trip is November 30th. Students who are planning to attend must have these items turned in so we can determine how many chaperones we will need for the trip.

In Math, fifth graders are working to develop an in-depth understanding of how the place value system works. They will continue to multiply and divide by powers of ten as they discover how decimals fit into the place value system.

During Social Studies, students are studying how Americans continued to move west and how their actions impacted people already living in the west. They will explore the relationships between the various groups of people and how conflicts and cooperation shaped the country.


Mount Holly Elementary is participating, alongside the fifteen other Rock Hill School District elementary schools, in an annual Fall Student Art Exhibition at the Center for the Arts in Downtown Rock Hill. The exhibit will run from October 20 through November 12 with an artists’ reception on October 26. Student artists representing Mount Holly in this exhibit are:

Allie Hosenfeld (Adams)

Jakeb Johnson (Fair)

Cooper Robinson (Campbell)

Jareth Gillelan (Lipe)

Ava McDaniel (Bernard)

Zanaya Rico-Miller (Bernard)

Hudson Knight (Mercer)

Bryson Rossomanno (Dagenhart)

Mikayla Langley (Mercer)

Melanie Robinson (Varnadore)

Reid Adkins (Fair)

Elijah Murray (Fair)

Jacob Veritzan (Bevilacqua)

Brianna Pittman (Jordan)

Alaysia Dickerson (Jordan)

Brooklyn Bright (Jordan)

Robert Bevilacqua (Veritzan)

Kylie Hughes (Veritzan)

Jazmine Jernigan (Veritzan)

Congratulations to these students on the recognition of their fine work.


All of the music classes have been having fun learning about our different Orff instruments and playing on them.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, December 7th and Friday, December 8th. You will not want to miss “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical” put on by our 4th and 5th grade students. Tickets for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical” will be going on sale in mid November. Tickets are $5 each. If you are interested in having an ad placed in our program, please contact Mrs. Kim Sloan at for more information.

Physical Education

Our 3rd – 5th graders are working on Fitnessgram testing and building endurance. Our K – 2nd graders are working on Loco-motor movements and learning to enjoy moving and playing games with others.

People often ask me about staying healthy during the holiday seasons. Here are a few tips from one of my favorite kid-friendly web sites! This information as well as making time for some exercise is my best advice. There are tons of “Turkey Trots” this time of year and signing up as a family is a wonderful way to spend time together!

Simplifying Thanksgiving - Planning Tips For Busy Parents

Thanksgiving food planning tips:

  • Take time to plan your meal - planning ahead can save time and be less stressful.
  • Simplify your menu – less thanksgiving dishes and desserts means less to prepare and less to clean up!
  • Make a shopping list - download our printable thanksgiving shopping list guide.
  • Shop early - look for bargains on nonperishable foods.
  • Make it a potluck – save time and have family and friends help with some of their favorite healthy side dishes.
  • Prepare some foods in advance - appetizers and desserts can be prepared in advance, reducing your "to do" list closer to the holiday.
  • Reduce your “To Do” list – prioritize to create time for rest, fun and being active.

This information comes from


October was a busy month for the Mighty Mustangs! October is always the month in which we celebrate Red Ribbon Week and make the pledge to be healthy and drug free! This year for Red Ribbon Week we focused on raising money for hurricane victims and will soon send our donations to the Red Cross. Our giving will continue through the month of November as our 4th and 5th grade students will participate in Holiday Mail for Heroes. This initiative, also sponsored by the Red Cross, allows students to create cards for the men and women who have served our country over the years. I am so proud of our Mustangs and their generosity towards others!

Media Center

The Media center did a great job with our fall Scholastic Book Fair. We raised over $3,000 for the library. A big "Thank You" goes out to our PTO and all of the great parents that volunteered. The Media Center has now started getting fourth and fifth graders ready for the Battle of the Books competition. This competition will be held in March.

Mount Holly Elementary School’s Little Free Library

Did you know that Mount Holly Elementary School is the site of a Little Free Library?

What is a Little Free Library?

A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. Mount Holly’s Little Free Library is a small wooden box of books located at the front of the school, where the car rider line begins. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share, adults and children alike.

There is an understanding among Little Free Library users that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community.

How can I donate books to the Little Free Library?

If you or your child wants to give a few books, simply put them in a Little Free Library.

Can anyone give or take books from Mount Holly’s Little Free Library? Do I have to return the exact book I take?

Anyone may contribute or take books. The more the merrier! If you take a book (or two) from the Little Free Library, you do not need to return that exact book. However, in order to keep the Little Library full of good choices for the school-wide community, the next time you swing by the Little Library bring a few books to share. Little Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside. This way, we all win!

We are also encouraging adults to utilize Mount Holly’s Little Library by leaving an adult-book selection and taking an adult book of choice.

Make a Reader Out of Your Child!

Below are some tips you can use at home to make a reader out of your child. These tips are suggested by author Jim Trelease in his books “The Read Aloud Handbook” and “Hey! Listen to This”.

  • Choose books on subjects that your child is interested in.
  • If your child is reading alone, it’s better for that book to be too easy than too difficult.
  • Set a bedtime so that your child is allowed to stay up a little later in order to read in bed.
  • Your child is never too old to be read to – make reading aloud to your child a daily ritual.